Atacama, Incahuasi in northern Argentina

We set out to climb the volcano of Incahuasi, a mountain on the border of Argentina and Chile. Incahuasi has a summit elevation of 6,621 metres (21,722 ft) above sea level.  We flew from Buenos Aires to La Rioja in Northern Argentina and then drove to Fiambala, the border outpost.  There, we met our driver Johnson who arranged for our transport to Las Grutas, a border police post close to Incahuasi.  We had two main issues:  acclimatization and water.  The mountain is very high and there is no drinkable water.  We were counting on the winter snowpack to provide us with the source of water.  Unfortunately, we did not find any snow and had to abandon our attempt.  The trip gave us a great opportunity to trek through the little visited corner of the Atacama Desert.  It was a good adventure regardless of our lack of success with the summit.  

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 The border post between Argentina and Chile. Since the mountain Incahuasi is on the border, we need to clear the customs. We will be in no man's land.

The border post between Argentina and Chile. Since the mountain Incahuasi is on the border, we need to clear the customs. We will be in no man's land.

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 Cerro San Francisco

Cerro San Francisco

 Volcanic landscape of Incahuasi

Volcanic landscape of Incahuasi

 Hard work at 5000m

Hard work at 5000m

 The summit of Incahuasi is 1000m above

The summit of Incahuasi is 1000m above

 The summit of Incahuasi ahead

The summit of Incahuasi ahead

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 View from the high up on Incahuasi

View from the high up on Incahuasi

 Looking for snow to melt - not much is available

Looking for snow to melt - not much is available

 Our basecamp at the foot of Incahuasi

Our basecamp at the foot of Incahuasi

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 The Altiplano

The Altiplano

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 The Altiplano - walking back to Argentina

The Altiplano - walking back to Argentina

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 The beautiful Altiplano

The beautiful Altiplano

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 The Atacama - the driest place on earth

The Atacama - the driest place on earth

 The water is fun of poisonous chemicals like arsenic

The water is fun of poisonous chemicals like arsenic

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 La frontera de pais

La frontera de pais