Volcan Osorno Rock Climbing
Volcan Osorno and Lago Llanquihue from the waterfr...
Volcan Osorno is a large, occasionally-active volcano in northern Patagonia. Its distinctive conical shape dominates the view at the east end of Lago Llanquihue, near Puerto Varas, Chile. Although the summit is only 2652m, it rises from near sea level at the lake and thus offers (potentially) 2500 vertical meters of climbing. However, a small ski area has been built on the mountain, and most climbers elect to drive to the trailhead at treeline, about 1300m. If you have only a few days to sample Patagonian climbing, Volcan Osorno is a good option due to its ease of access and the (relatively) uncommitting nature of the climbing.
Like many Patagonian peaks, the mountain is heavily glaciated. Although a number of routes exist on the mountain, only one, the Ruta Normal, is regularly attempted. December and January are the most popular months for climbing. Earlier climbers may encounter winter conditions; later climbers will have to negotiate late-season glacier travel conditions.
Permission from the Chilean forest service (CONAF) is required for climbing on Volcan Osorno. There is a hut at the trailhead that is staffed in the summer months. Non-guided climbers are required to demonstrate that they have adequate equipment and experience, although this is not much of a hassle. It is also helpful to have a membership card from a recognized alpinists' organization (e.g., AAC).
Guide services (about US$200/day per person in 2010) are available on the mountain. Although lodging and camping are available at the bottom of the mountain in Ensenada, an excellent option is a bed at the Refugio Teski (www.teski.cl). This is a modest mountain lodge in the style of European mountain huts and offers bunks (US$20/night), a restaurant serving tasty meals, a dining area with superb views of Lago Llanquihue, and a small but well-stocked bar (cervezas US$4).
Scheduled airline service is available to nearby Puerto Montt, but bus service from Santiago (600km north) is frequent, comfortable and inexpensive. From Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas, minibuses run every half hour or so up to Ensenada (US$3/person). From there, hitchhike or walk up the ski area access road (paved, about 15km). Just before the ski area, turn off the road signed to the Refugio Teski. Go past the refugio to the CONAF hut; the trailhead for climbing on the west and north side of the mountain is just behind the hut.
Climbing Season For the South America area.
Weather station 32.2 miles from here
1 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Volcan Osorno
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Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Volcan Osorno:
Featured Route For Volcan Osorno
Ruta Normal South America
: Volcan Osorno
The Ruta Normal ascends the Volcan Osorno on its southwest aspect, mostly up a broad shoulder on the summit glacier. It is the most commonly climbed route on the mountain. In good conditions, it's an easy snow climb, but it may have seasonal ice. Glacier travel technique is required; crevasses and small seracs are present, especially on the upper part of the route. Summer weather is mild but variable and visibility can be quite bad if it's cloudy.This route has a reputation as somethin...[more] Browse More Classics in International
BETA PHOTO: Normal Rute from ski center to end of ski lifts.
BETA PHOTO: Normal Rute from highest point of the ski lifts.
By Mike Sullivan
From: Durango, CO
Dec 30, 2013
Thanks for the write-up! Just to clarify, the nearby town that you use to gain access to V. Osorno is Ensenada, not Escondido. You can catch a bus twice daily to Ensenada from Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas.