El Misti

Featured photo of El Misti

El Misti is an active volcano with a towering symmetrical cone, located ten miles northeast of the city of Arequipa. It is one of three large volcanoes that can be seen from downtown, the others being Chachani (19,960 ft.) and Pichu Pichu (18,372 ft.). El Misti plays an important part in many old Peruvian legends, and many Incan ruins exist today on the mountain's summit. The summit also holds more contemporary emblems, such as an iron cross erected by a bishop in 1900 to replace an earlier cross that had disappeared sometime after its being erected in 1787. The ascent of El Misti is non-technical, as is evidenced by its first recorded ascent, which was made on muleback.

Elevation (feet): 19,101
Elevation (meters): 5,822
Continent: South America
Country: Peru
Range/Region: Peruvian Andes
Latitude: -16.3
Longitude: -71.4
Difficulty: Walk Up
Best months for climbing: May, Jun, Jul, Aug
Volcanic status: Active
Year first climbed: 1878
First successful climber(s): R. Falb, on muleback , (there were earlier unrecorded ascents by natives)
Nearest major airport: Arequipa, Peru
Convenient Center: Arequipa, Peru

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 52 trip reports for El Misti.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #22090 - by shayenne on Oct 06, 2010
    If you are not very used to the altitude, it's going to be quite hard. Starting on 3400m, it goes quick to 4800m, where you pass the night. The next day, another 1000m to the summit! I highly...
  • Log #21445 - by Robert Mueller on Sep 20, 2008
    Went on the South-West Route. (Start on 3555 m; Camp on 4550 m). Very exhausting, cold and dusty. Only our group on the summit :-)
  • Log #20787 - by Chris Gough on May 25, 2007
    Climbed with my mate Matt Packer. We thought this might be a simple hike when we started. Camping half way up, an unseasonal blizzard blew in and took our guide's tent right back down the mountain....
  • Log #20777 - by Todd Szalkowski on May 16, 2007
    This was my second attempt to summit Misti. Last year, in August of 2006, I ran out of energy, water and time. This year, better conditioning, longer acclimitization, more water and more time...
  • Log #18959 - by Jean Pierre on Apr 02, 2005
    I made it only to the base camp at 4800 meters. I had headache and mountain sickness, but it was worth the view specially at night. I am planning to go back soon and conquer the top, of course with...
  • Log #14527 - by lukas rinnhofer on Sep 21, 2004
    It was great, but so hard. The first time in this altitude. It's amazing. Great view from the top.
  • Log #14528 - by Tamlyn Peel on Sep 01, 2004
    Ice axe was required and not supplied by the tour company - but a trekking pole made do and no-one died, so... Really good views, good to look into an active volcano too!
  • Log #14529 - by Beatrice und Roger on July 30, 2004
    "Arequipa, 18./19. July 2004" It was the first time we climbed over 5500m and it was a great experience for us! Thank you Arcadio for this great trip! Bea & Roger from Switzerland
  • Log #14531 - by Vincent Eijt on Jan 01, 2004
    Unforgettable experience and litterary highest point of my 3 month trip through South America. We've started at midnigth from Arequipa, started climbing approx. two hours later that nigth and...
  • Log #14532 - by Raelene and Trevor Dufresne on Dec 31, 2003
    El Misti was our first ascent and summit! We reached base camp at 4500 m the first day and had a beautiful view of Misti's conical shadow on the town of Arequipa below. After sleeping fitfully...
  • Log #14533 - by Raelene and Trevor Dufresne on Dec 31, 2003
    El Misti was our very first peak! It was a great start and an awesome challenge. Our guide Arcadio was an ace. The conical shape of the volcano is exactly what one would expect, the winter air was...
  • Log #14535 - by Dick Robinson on Oct 22, 2003
    Beautiful on top. Difficult, but not as hard as I had expected. Cold, but not extreme. Very very dusty.
  • Log #14536 - by Cor van Zanden on Oct 10, 2003
    Only the view makes worth the trip.
  • Log #14537 - by Dennis Kans on Oct 04, 2003
    Never thought I would ever climb a mountain. Never thought climbing mountains was THAT tough. But hey, I did it. It was marvelous.
  • Log #14538 - by Ben Clark on Aug 15, 2003
    Worth doing for the view of Arequipa by night, the street lights layed out like a shimmering spiders web, and the view of the pyramid shaped shadow that spreads itself out over the countryside as the...
  • Log #14539 - by Matthias Kallenbach, Robert Seibt on Aug 13, 2003
    Climbed El Misti from the west side. Two days without a guide. Not sprectacular but nice trip.
  • Log #14540 - by Micah Tapman on June 17, 2003
    Group of four we went up from the northeast side. It was a great climb. Not too technical but with spectacular views and the elevation makes it difficult. Camped at about 16,500ft and spent a cold...
  • Log #14541 - by Charlotte Putz on June 04, 2003
    This climb should not be done if you are not well acclimitised. We first wanted to go on our own but finally went with an agency which is not indispensable but a safe alternative. A lot of wind, and...
  • Log #14542 - by brent on Jan 17, 2003
    It was one of the best and scariest experience in my life. My advice is to higher a guide. We didn't higher a guide and climbed up the back side of Misti. We got very lost on the way down and ran out...
  • Log #14543 - by Steve Hersee on Jan 04, 2003
    As a group of three 20 year olds we summitted the misti one in August 2002. We took a guide but he actually slowed us down because he was ill and we had to leave him not far from the top. A guide is...
  • Log #14544 - by Simon Beverley on Dec 20, 2002
    Went on group expedition to Arequipa in 2000, and thought then that "sometime in my life" would have to climb the Misti one. Came a reality sooner than expected in 2002 and was well worth...
  • Log #14545 - by Kathryn Walker on Nov 14, 2002
    It was amazing to be on top of the world. Had a wonderful experience with Mickey Zarate (Carlos' son). I would encourage anyone to try it, and feel the amazing power when you reach the summit.
  • Log #14546 - by Jonathan Horley on Nov 06, 2002
    After doing the Inca trail, its the highest I've been by 1600 metres. Pleased to have done it even if no technical ability needed. And thanks to Bart for running me ragged around the Inca trail and...
  • Log #14547 - by david watson on Oct 12, 2002
    my first summit over 5,000m. me and 2 friends climbed it only 3 days after completing the 4 day inca trail. non technical, but very disheartining as you slide down half a step in the scree, for...
  • Log #14548 - by Pate on Oct 11, 2002
    It's ours. Right after coming back from El Misti we sit in one of the internet cafes in Arequipa. Dennis took us as far as he could with his red and wasted 4x4 to ca. 3400m. After 5h we reached te...
  • Log #14549 - by Pate on Oct 11, 2002
    No to jest nasz, Swiezutko spod Mystka siedzimy w kafejce w Areqiupie. Dennis zawiozl nas do punktu zrzutu piechurow (ok.3400m npm). Po 5 h bylismy w bazie na 4600.
  • Log #14550 - by Richard Hoffer on Aug 08, 2002
    I booked the tour in Arequipa and reached the summit with a US guy and our local guide. The weather was perfect, and there was only few snow. From our overnight place at about 4700m it took a bit...
  • Log #14551 - by Nick Mew on Aug 05, 2002
    Overconfidence hurts. Ballsed up my schedule, coming back from the Colca Canyon too late to get on one of the organised trips in time to be back for a flight out of Arequipa. Managed to persuade a...
  • Log #14552 - by Marguerite Bailey Graham on June 06, 2002
    My cousins and I traveled to Arequpa to trace the route of our great grandfather, astronomer Solon I. Bailey, who built the original mule path and Mont Blanc hut on El Misit in order to establish a...
  • Log #14553 - by KEN SAVAGE on Mar 23, 2002
    AFTER BOOKING THROUGH A LOCAL AGENT IN AREQUIPA, I ATTEMPTED THE CLIMB WITH A LOCAL GUIDE CALLED "JIMMY" AND TWO YOUNG GERMAN BACKPACKERS. THIS IS THE SOUTH EAST SIDE FACING THE...
  • Log #14554 - by Tomas Celba on Mar 12, 2002
    I started to climb from Arequipa's side at 6 a.m. Lot of low clouds all the day. During the night a temperature about zero. Next day I started at 4 o'clock and I summited the peak at 9:49 a.
  • Log #14555 - by Steve Reber on Jan 16, 2002
    I climbed El Misti with my friend Rob Plummer. We were in Arequipa for several days attending a seminar and decided to take on El Misti before heading south to Buenos Aires. Accompanied by three...
  • Log #14556 - by Marcel Nijssen on Nov 28, 2001
    My girlfriend and I summited The El Misti in july 2001. Though she keeps claiming that for me it was Hell Misti...I really really enjoyed it.. Woohoo first 5000 +
  • Log #14557 - by Adolfo De Paz on Nov 12, 2001
    Was great, both very hard!! my first 5000 meters :-)
  • Log #14558 - by Greg Arnold on Nov 09, 2001
    Had the priveledge of having Carlos Zarate Sandoval as a guide- this 80 year old guy is incredible! Climbing a peak this size has always been a dream of mine- the experience was great as well as the...
  • Log #14559 - by Werner Jung on Nov 03, 2001
    Also wir waren eine Gruppe von 5 Leuten und ein local Guide. Einer aus Kanada und ich erreichten um 12.00 Uhr die Spitze des El Misti. Besonders schwer war es nicht da wir gutes Wetter hatten und der...
  • Log #14560 - by Stefan Wiebl on Sep 26, 2001
    i planned to fly from this mountain with biplace paraglider oktober 2000. together with my girlfriend irmi Maier i starded to climb this mountain with help from porter Orlando from Arequipa,Irmi was...
  • Log #14561 - by Zehriad on Aug 25, 2001
    First two Croatian on summit of El Misti: Florijan Tomc Zehriad VikiĆ°
  • Log #14563 - by Kristina on Aug 24, 2001
    I already signed, but now I have a webpage! There you can see the photo of the top of the Misti and many more photos from Peru and Bolivia.
  • Log #14564 - by O.P. Okker on Jan 09, 2001
    Just walk above relaxed, it is a tough walk but absolutatly worth the effort. Take enough water, you will need it.
  • Log #14565 - by Jan de Bruijn on Dec 27, 2000
    We hardly acclimatised. We had spend 3 days in Arequipa (2300 m) before taking a 4WD up to 3300 m where we started the climb. Altitude sickness started at around 4000 m. I suffered from the worst...
  • Log #14566 - by Kristina on Dec 26, 2000
    The Misti was a great challenge and a great experience for me. It was my first experience with this altitude. My friend Michael had more experience. He climbed up the Kilimanjaro and the Mt.
  • Log #14567 - by Karsten on July 21, 2000
    It was a pretty tough but amazing climb to the summit. The weather was beautiful and after sunset the view of Arequipa from the base camp at 4.400m was awesome. The second day the trail became...
  • Log #14568 - by Piotr G. Mielus on July 19, 2000
    After two defeats in Cordillera Blanca (Contrahierba and Nevado Caraz up to awesome crevasse at 5650) we moved south to do something much more easier. The volcano is dull but allows you to reach...
  • Log #14569 - by Klaus-Ingmar Pfrepper on June 02, 2000
    We (three Germans together with two local guides) wanted to start early in the morning in Arequipa but we had to wait two hours for our guides. They finally came in an super old VW van that nearly...
  • Log #14570 - by Tim Shaw on Jan 19, 2000
    El Misti, Arequipa 26/3/99 Serious security problems at the begining of the day because of the dam at the bottom of El Misti. Having pissed around for four hours plus getting permission we were...
  • Log #14571 - by Mike Wood on Jan 18, 2000
    The walk up from the base to about 4400m took about 4 hours in pleasant sunshine but the surface is sandy rubble making it a bit of a trudge. The slope facing you is not awe inspiring, but turn...
  • Log #14572 - by Paul Hawman on Oct 18, 1999
    We set base camb at somewhere above 4000 meters on the NW side, and watched the sun set and the stars shine. I swear half the planes landing in Arequipa don't look like they even land at night. Then...
  • Log #14573 - by Johan Groeneveld on Mar 19, 1999
    A Swiss guy and myself climbed from Arequipa to the rock band (about 5200 m) on the 24 th of December. We found a spot to sleep (if you can call it sleep at that altitude), against the rock band, and...
  • Log #14574 - by Sophie Quintin on Feb 28, 1999
    Very beautiful view on the land from the top, fumeroles from the volcano. We had to climb during the night because of the climate in this season (february). We made it to the top at 7:30 AM after a...
  • Log #14575 - by Cagan Sekercioglu on Jan 14, 1999
    Not a very exciting climb.
  • Log #14576 - by Gregory Frux on Dec 31, 1998
    Guided climb with local Arequipa service. Two day long ascent. None technical hike up loose volcanic matter. I was the only one in the party to make it with the guide.