Parinacota and Chungará Lake
|Elevation||6,348 m (20,827 ft)|
|Prominence||1,989 m (6,526 ft)|
|Location||Bolivia – Chile border|
|Volcanic arc/belt||Central Volcanic Zone|
|Last eruption||290AD ± 300 years|
|Easiest route||snow/rock scramble|
Parinacota is a massive potentially active stratovolcano on the border of Chile and Bolivia. It is part of the Nevados de Payachata volcanic group. The other major edifice in that group is the Pleistocene peak of Pomerape. Parinacota's last eruptive phase has been dated using the helium surface exposure technique, which ties the eruption to 290AD ± 300 years.
One of the most dramatic eruptive events in the volcano's past was 8,000 years ago, when a major collapse of the edifice produced a 6 km³ debris avalanche, which blocked nearby drainage patterns, creating Chungará Lake.
Climbing the volcano is relatively easy, alpine F grade, on a snow/rubble slope of about 35 degrees. A camp can be established at 5,300 m at the saddle between Parinacota and Pomerape. Depending on the season, the main difficulty can be a snow formation called penitentes which make the ascent physically difficult or impossible. It is attempted by about 1 party per week in the season. If needed, guides and transport can be hired from Sajama village, 27 km away on the Bolivian side of the mountain.
The volcano featured on the Top Gear Bolivia Special when Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May decided to climb over the volcano in their 4WD cars because it was the quicker route however they were left exhausted, resulting in them taking Viagra to deal with altitude sickness, and the ultimately turned around and went on the slower, lower route.
See also 
- "Parinacota". Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution. http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=1505-012.
Media related to Parinacota at Wikimedia Commons
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