VOLCAN VILLARICA
So, what should we do on our rest day? How about we climb a volcano?? Ok, sounds like a great idea!!
That’s literally, about as much thought, as either of us gave to climbing 2,847m up Volcan Villarica. To be fair, it’s not a technical climb as such, but for two Aussies more akin to sprinkler bans and 40 degree days anything involving an ice pick is quite technical enough!!
We started out strong, springing over the rocky section under the chairlift like mountain goats. When we hit the ice though, and more specifically when that ice was at 45 degree slope, things got a little shaky. The conversation went something like… “you going ok babe?”, “I’m terrified!”, “yah, me too”.

Our trusty guide led us away from the other climbers and across a newly opened section of the glacier for a “better” experience!  It was a great experience too, but one at the time you weren’t quite sure of. Neither of us could look down or up. The only safe place was staring straight at your feet where it seemed the flattest. We reached the pinnacle of fear at a rest stop on the steep ice. Sitting on our backpacks like toboggans, we watched someone’s loose water bottle slide right past us and over the cliff edge… we couldn’t do anything but gulp and clench our ice picks even tighter.
So after 5hrs, getting to the flattish summit was a welcome relief. The weather was absolutely perfect and allowed us to walk right around the craters edge. Powerfully amazing is the best way to describe.It rumbled and smoked as peered into its open jaws. The sulphar tickled your throat as you looked out at the views and marveled at the world below. You felt uncomfortable yet privileged to be there. It was really quite surreal.
Getting down was a lot more fun than coming up. Covered in gortex from head to toe, we literally slid down on our bums using the ice pick as a break. It was really good fun and actually made you realise just how effective your pick was at stopping you. Something which I’m sure will give us much needed confidence on our next volcan ascent!
It was a brilliant day and without a lie, one of the best experiences we’ve ever had. If you ever get the chance to climb a volcano, even on your rest day – do it!
Jules & Jess

What we climbed

What we climbed

Not so bad at start

Not so bad at start

ok now we´re scared

ok now we´re scared

Why didnt Jules tell me my hat was on crooked!

Why didnt Jules tell me my hat was on crooked!

Not so scared at top

Not so scared at top

Jaws of Villarica

Jaws of Villarica

Smoke and rumbling too

Smoke and rumbling too

The climbers

The climbers

Getting ready to slide down

Getting ready to slide down

Easier on the way down

Easier on the way down