Attempt on Ojos, but no summit

Hiking up the jeep trail at 5400m to Refugio Tejos

Hiking up the jeep trail at 5400m to Refugio Tejos

We are back in Copiapo after a round-trip through the desert to Laguna Verde and Ojos del Salado.

Getting there is an adventure in itself. It’s 260km of desert road with passes of 4500m, some 4000m higher than Copiapo.

Unfortunately we didn’t summit; we were too exhausted and didn’t get enough oxygen up there to perform well enough. I think we got back up to altitude too quickly for our bodies to adjust. We spent one night at Laguna Verde (4300m), one night at Refugio Atacama (5200m), one night at Refugio Tejos (5830m), then attempted the summit.

The weather was great, with no clouds at all and always a brilliant night sky. I’d thought that Ojos would be relatively easy after Aconcagua; but the altitude above 6000m is always a challenge, and the harsh desert environment up there adds to the physical discomfort. There are about 300 people attempting to climb Ojos every year, with a 20% success rate. A fairly exclusive summit, probably the least visited after Logan.

For details and photos, see the Ojos page: http://tlausser.com/blog/peaks/ojos

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