January 6, 2011

Chile: Active Volcano Villarrica

Yesterday Laura, Hanna and I climbed Villarrica an active volcano near Pucon.  The climb up took about three hours. It was the slowest and most boring climb (besides the beautiful view of the mountains). There were a lot of people climbing yesterday because Pucon had a few days of rain so there was a huge build up of people waiting to climb. The top, however, was very rewarding as I have never been able to walk inside a crater before. The smoke was bubbling and the ground made it feel like you were on Mars. After being on the top for about a half hour we headed back down. Not by walking but by sledding. It took about an hour and half to sled down and we were soaking wet by the end. I had puddles in my boots. At one point I some how flipped over and tumbled down completely out of control, trying my very hardest to stop by using my ice axe but in a time of complete madness it is hard to get your ice axe in the snow. I had snow everywhere. Stuffed under my sunglasses, up my sleeves, between my back and my backpack... everywhere! At that point I realized my entire body was just going to be soaked. The pants and jacket they gave us were only wind breakers.

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