The summit (on the left) and the path leading to it in October 2007
|Elevation||6,057 m (19,872 ft)|
|Prominence||1,963 m (6,440 ft)|
|Volcanic belt||Central Volcanic Zone|
|Easiest route||Scramble with possible snow or ice|
As a result of the very low precipitation in the Arequipa area, Chachani does not have a permanent ice cap or glaciers. Climbing Chachani is popular, and many tour agencies in Arequipa offer guided trips to the summit, though the altitude is considered highly challenging for those who are not fully acclimatized.
The mountain is normally climbed from its northern side. The start of the trek is at a drop-off point which is reached in 2.5 hours by four-wheel drive vehicle, driving west around Chachani and turning off from the main highway near Pampa Cañahuas, or heading north from Arequipa between Misti and Chachani. Base camp is at approximately 5,200 metres (17,100 ft). There is another higher camp called Camp Azulfrera situated at about 5,400 metres (17,700 ft). The route starts with the ascent to the Angel Col before traversing the El Angel mountain itself. Then climbers ascend the face of Fatima mountain in a zig-zag pattern before making another traverse on the Fatima mountain. Only then the summit of Chachani can be seen. From there, climbers need to make the final ascent on the face of Chachani all the way to the top of the mountain.
The standard route requires crampons and an ice axe, but does not require roping up, as there are no large crevasses on Chachani. Two traverses over relatively steep terrain constitute the main challenges on the way to the summit. The final push to the summit is a very steep[clarification needed] scree slope, which provides for a fast descent back to the first traverse.
In recent years,[when?] the amount of snow on Chachani has decreased dramatically, so for many months of the year there may be little snow on the mountain. For example, in October and November 2010, there was no snow at all, and the ascent could be made without crampons or ice axes. Climbers need to check on the snow conditions beforehand.
The average total climb time from base camp ranges from six to nine hours, with a two-to four-hour descent.
- "Peru: 22 Mountain Summits with Prominence of 1,500 meters or greater" Peaklist.org. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
- Siebert L, Simkin T (2002-). Volcanoes of the World: an Illustrated Catalog of Holocene Volcanoes and their Eruptions. Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program Digital Information Series, GVP-3, (http://www.volcano.si.edu).
- Chachani on SummitPost
- "Nevado Chachani, Peru" on Peakbagger
- Chachani on Peakware