Ascent to Volcán Osorno-Trailhead on 2014-01-06

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Monday, January 6, 2014
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Point Reached:Volcán Osorno - Trailhead
    Elevation:3937 ft / 1199 m

Ascent Trip Report

After our Volcan El Mocho ascent, the next morning we drive south to the Osorno trailhead (Cafeteria Mirador, S41.12795 W72.52940, 1186m) (paved road nowadays, from S41.19367 W72.54121, serving the ski centre) then visit the Conaf office (S41.12705 W72.53193: fork L just before reaching the cafeteria, then pass the Teski refugio). Adam strikes up a good rapport with the two staff there, mentioning peaks which we have climbed in Chile and elsewhere, especially Aconcagua. The route is discussed in detail including the need for a fixed route (advisory only, for less experienced people - the 45 degree upper section has a good trail) and for comms equipment (no need for radio - we can contact emergency services by mobile phone) and they assure is that given our experience we don't need a guide. We agree to return next morning at 0630 to complete the paperwork for an 0700 start. This is two hours after the guided parties who move rather slowly as we noted on Villarrica, and they should be clear ahead of us most of the way to the summit. The weather is warm and clear today with more of the same tomorrow, with light winds.

We look in at the Teski refugio where we could stay for a reasonable CLP 12000 each and they serve food too. However the room is cramped so we descend to the small community of Ensenada at the southern base of the volcano and take a nice spacious room in one of the Hospedaje (guest houses) there, for the same price. There are a few eating places too, relatively expensive, given the tourist location.

Next morning however the clouds are down and it's raining. We drive the road to the trailhead and Conaf confirm no-one is allowed to climb today. We wonder how they found out and what forecast site they use. Back at the tourist agency wifi at the road intersection in La Ensalada I find some more credible local forecasts, principally accuweather and which show Osorno changeable all day but suggest Volcan Calbuco may be feasible today or tomorrow. We drive to Calbuco's southern trailhead but by the time we've searched for the apparently non existent Conaf office it's a bit late, and the weather is still changeable. We visit the waterfall
1 km along the trail and then head back to Puerto Montt and play tourist for the day. Late pm we return to the Calbuco trailhead to camp for the night.

We summit Volcan Calbuco on 7 Jan but with a late finish it is not feasible to climb Osorno before our flights this evening. A shame not to be able to climb this iconic volcano.

Richard and Denise Mclellan were there late Jan 2014 and report as follows:

You walk to 2000m on easy gravel path, but not much is easy after that. Recent fresh snow had thawed and frozen hard and there were no tracks.

We took a line north east up to the summit, which was ever steepening and culminated in 20 m of seracs. We had to pitch 100m with ice screws and axes. The only other party was a guide and single client
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3937 ft / 1199 m
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3937 ft / 1199 m
    Start Trailhead:0 ft / 0 m
Descent Statistics

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