Friday, 18 May 2007

Up the active!

Today we climbed Lascar, the most active volcano around San Pedro.

It was up early to jump in a jeep to bump up to Lago Leja, where we had our breakfast. Beautiful location surrounded by the many volcanic cones.

Then it was up, up, up. At first I did not want to look at my watch to check our altitude status, but finally relented. Our guide had us walking up really slowly, to let our bodies react to the altitude. I has passed 5000m and felt fine.

We were aiming for the crater at 5600m. At about 5300 I started to feel a little dizzy, and had to stop ever 50 or so paces to let my head calm down. I was reassured this was normal and nothing to worry about.

To our right the volcano was belching poisonous fumes. Our guide kept an eye out that the wind did not shift. Up, up, up, over cinders and ash.

We made it. A gaping, smoking crater lay at our feet. The views were fantastic, pacticularly looking back towards Lago Leja.

We didn't linger too long at our goal, for the wind and cold were mighty there. I was proud to have walked up to 5600m.