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Cerro Toco (Stratovolcano), 5,220 meters (17,125.98 ft) above sea level, the Purico Complex, the Atacama desert, Antofagasta, Chile.

Cerro Toco (Stratovolcano), 5,220 meters (17,125.98 ft) above sea level, the Purico Complex, the Atacama desert, Antofagasta, Chile.

Ten days after our arrival the Highlands, we are already acclimatized with high altitudes. We did not feel 'altitude sickness' after a week in Bolivia, when we entered Chile, we did not have to worry about the thin air anymore.

The ascent took almost two hours and fifty minutes. It's exhausting. With constant stops for people who are not acclimatized with high altitude. Breathe slowly for the heart beat to subside. Two professional mountaineers come up with the group. One climber goes ahead and the other is the last. Both of them equipped with ropes and first aid kit.

The people who arrived in San Pedro de Atacama (without acclimatization of high altitude, well-slept night and almost empty stomach) and tried to climb, had to give up at the beginning or in the middle of the trail, because they felt altitude sickness, even before the arduous climb. One of the professional mountaineers took the first person back to the van and the second who gave up halfway, had to wait for our descent with a guide at his side.

I physically looked great. It was really easy for me.
My nephew arrived exhausted at the top of the volcano. He had to rest, but he won something difficult and did not give up, the climber was motivating.

There are 3 bases before you reach the summit:

The first base is to get accustomed to the altitude (breathing slowly - meditation) at the bottom of the volcano;

The second base is where we wear the mountaineering equipment, the high boots with iron locks in the solar, helmet and the support sticks. We walked a little to get used to the equipment. We put on more winter clothes. We do not even feel the cold when it is rising, but on the summit is a huge cold and a strong and sharp wind. It is almost impossible to take off the leather gloves to take the photographs;

The third base is before the summit. About 60 meters before you reach it. Rest to the grandiose landscape;

The summit of the volcano Toco? Look at the photos.

Our plan was to climb the active volcano Laskar, but the volcano is closed by heavy rains that had not occurred 500 years ago in the driest desert in the world. Many of the tours we intended were closed.

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Photo taken @ San Pedro de Atacama on 15 February 2019 (© ER's Eyes - Our planet is beautiful. / Flickr)

Related tags :
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