Ojos del Salado

Elevation (feet): 22,615
Elevation (meters): 6,893
Continent: South America
Country: Chile/Argentina
Range/Region: Central Argentina-Chile
Latitude: -27.109524
Longitude: -68.540869
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Year first climbed: 1937
First successful climber(s): J. Wojsznis, J. Szczepanski
Nearest major airport: Antofagasta, Chile
Convenient Center: Copiapo, Chile

Ojos del Salado is the highest mountain in Chile, and the second highest mountain in South America. It rises on the Chile-Argentina border and dominates a landscape of high volcanoes that tower to the east of the Altacama Desert. Monte Pissis (22,241 ft.), South America's third highest mountain, rises nearby, to the south. Further south (roughly 350 miles), one finds the highest and fourth highest mountains, Aconcagua (22,841 ft.) and Mercedario (22,211 ft.). Because of its proximity to the desert, Ojos del Salado has little snow except in winter. A winter ascent is recommended because conditions are too dry otherwise.

The mountain is extremely remote, and is difficult to access without renting a vehicle. The ascent is largely a walk-up, though there is a decent scramble on the final summit pitch which is best protected by the available fixed ropes or by a belay. 

Because it has no history of explosive eruptions, Ojos del Salado is categorized here as an 'extinct' volcano. However, solfataric activity was observed in 1937 and 1956, and more recently on November 14, 1994, when the mountain emitted an intermittent gray column of water vapor and solfataric gases. This gaseous activity may further reduce the amount of oxygen available above 6400 m. (Volcanic activity information courtesy Sandro Meli, Dip. Scienze della Terra, University di Parma)

Trip Reports

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

There are 21 trip reports for Ojos del Salado.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #18945 - by Zitha Kraemer on Nov 14, 2006
    I did not reach the summit of this impressive volcano. It was -44°C and the wind was so strong that it blew the hood of my anorak. The most expensive, so called functional, gloves for severe...
  • Log #18946 - by Michael Lehner on Feb 14, 20064 Stars
    First day: Copiapo-5100m - overnight in car 2nd day: up to Tejos 5780m 3rd day: up to 6300m, acclimatize, rest 4th day: summit, nice weather, freezing cold, mod. winds, up from Tejos 4.5 hours, down...
  • Log #18916 - by David Lim on Jan 21, 2005
    Jan 20th - after acclimatising on 6120m Cerro Medusa, solo climbed Ojos Del Salado from the Argentinean approach. ABove average snow cover on the peak with shin deep snow in much of the climb....
  • Log #5896 - by Brian Chatterton on Sep 29, 2003
    After climbing Aconcagua I reached the summit within 4 days. The weather was fantastic and we had less wind. The climbing at the end was not so difficult.
  • Log #5895 - by Rodney Knipe on Sep 28, 2003
    On this day 3 of our party, including myself summitted on the "North" summit and the following day, two others reached the "South" summit.
  • Log #5897 - by Andes Mountain Expediciones on Aug 20, 2003
    Andes Mountaineering expeditions. Aconcagua, Ojos del Salado, Tupungato, El Plomo and more. Complete support for your expedition.
  • Log #5898 - by Dan and Larson Silbaugh on May 20, 2003
    Universal Unicycle Mountaineers #1 and #2 Fiddle-E-Dee, Fiddle-E-Do We just climbed a volcano! 3 Nights Barrancas Blanca, 2 Lower Refugio, 2 (with a summit in between) at Tejos. It wasn't Rum...
  • Log #5899 - by Bob St.John on Mar 17, 2003
    Two aging Canadians stumble up to the summit in good weather. Photos and story on my website.
  • Log #5900 - by Ulrich Onken on Mar 02, 2003
    I climbed Ojos del Salado as member of a group from Switzerland. It took me 6 hours to the caldera and further 2 hours to reach the top. Starting from the nice hut at 5700 m, we remained on the left...
  • Log #5901 - by Jared Sexty on Jan 28, 2003
    Made it to 21000 ft. with Stephen from France. We climbed all day in a foot of snow. Had to bail cuz of a storm coming in.
  • Log #5902 - by Uli on Mar 29, 2002
    In contrast to all predictions we had no wind on summit day. Of course in the morning it was quite cold (-10 to -15ŠC), but 7 1/2 hours later on the summit (6.893m) in the sun it was so warm I...
  • Log #5903 - by Bruce Felix on Dec 25, 2001
    Nice hike- pretty tough. Don't necessarily believe the bit the guidebooks say about "little or no" snow. There seemed to be a pretty consistent pattern of afternoon snow showers commencing...
  • Log #5904 - by Bryan Flake on Dec 06, 2001
    This was a tremendous climb for me. Base camp at Atacama Refugio (16,800) was a tough place for my climbing companions with my brother, Layne Flake and my nephew, Lincoln Flake both getting altitude...
  • Log #5905 - by Maikel van Sundert on July 13, 2001
    If it is summer and you are well acclimatised, I suggest you take off very late (7.00h), as temparatures can rise dramatically at daytime and the way back is only a 2 our hike. The ascent took us 6...
  • Log #5906 - by Bob Villarreal on June 07, 2001
    I have a new E-Mail address. If you wish information, please send me a note. Bob Villarreal
  • Log #5907 - by Graeme Esarey on Feb 08, 2001
    Took the lefthand ridge route. Very mixed climbing on rock, skree, and snow. Were following a chek climber who had been lost on the route. Extremely long trek across to summit from the ridge.
  • Log #5908 - by Raul Zuleta T. on Mar 18, 2000
    Very strenous mountain , with awesomes sunsets , and decent huts available, the summit day starts a easy terrain then it turns steep (40-50 degrees) , is so cold , i got -31c on the summit on my last...
  • Log #5909 - by Julian Knoop, Sebastian Pilar on Aug 22, 1999
    only sebastian pilar make summit, with two persons of austria, you must wake up at o clock more or less to make a good summit. we aslo climb Incahuasi, Pissis, aconcagua and other peaks
  • Log #5910 - by Hartmut Bielefeldt on June 30, 1999
    In October 1994, after a week of acclimatization in the San Pedro de Atacama area, we attempted Ojos del Salado. I had never before seen such a dry and lifeless landscape. On the mountain there was...
  • Log #5911 - by David Marcus on Feb 14, 1999
    6 of us flew to Copiapo, rented 2 4-WDs from Hertz there, and drove to the hut at 17,000'. We took a week to get to 17,000. Day 8 we carried gear to the high hut at 18,800', and Day 9 we moved up...
  • Log #5912 - by Gil Piekarz on Jan 05, 1999
    I climbed Ojos from the Chilean side - easier than Argentinean side. It's so dry, so beantifull, so easy in appearance and so difficult at the end. Be carefull with dehydration. There are 2...