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14 The Alpine Club of Canada | Gazette | Spring 2019 by Gordon Hopper A fter a two‑year hiatus in our overseas climbing expeditions my wife, Elizabeth Tertil, and I finally got around to making a trip which had been in the works for two years. Instead of climbing the 6,000+ metre giants in the Puna in Northern Chile and Argentina, we decided to climb some of the volcanoes in the Lake Districts of both countries adja‑ cent to Northern Patagonia. Our first objective was Llaima a 3,139m active volcano in Parque National Conguillio. This was a one‑day ascent on the north side of the mountain with a mixture of easy snow, lava scrambling and a purgatory final 150m stretch on golf ball‑ sized and shaped lava rocks to the summit. However, the exertion was well worth the effort and the views in the early evening light were just reward. From the summit we were also able to see our next two objectives, Villarrica (2,847m) and Lanin (3,752m). Steam issued from across the summit and when sitting down, we could feel the warmth emanating from the rocks permeating our clothes. The evening hike back to the car was rewarded with warm lighting on the mountain and the large snowfields and a beautiful red glow behind the monkey puzzle forest as we reached our car at dusk. These trees are native to this part of the world being an ancient species, Araucaria araucana, and can be seen growing in gardens in coastal BC and Vancouver Island. The next day we drove to Villarrica National Park and explored the lower slopes of the mountain. We had to register with the Park Authorities and prove our ability to safely climb the mountain unguided—a process aided by showing our ACC membership cards along with copies of our ACC Gazette articles about our seven summits project. Once again, we had excellent weather on another easy snow and lava ascent. Being the most popular mountain in the Andes, there were hordes of others on the slopes. This is a very active volcano but on our summit day Volcano Mountaineering in Chile and Argentina Above: Descending Llaima in the evening light. Photo Gordon Hopper The fitness you need for the adventure you crave. Personalized training programs for skiing, climbing & mountaineering

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