The magic that mountains perform on man since immemorial times makes mountaineering followers increase over time. Within many mountain activities, climbing the highest peaks is undoubtedly the most dangerous one. Combining technique, equipment and fitness, this sport is a challenge even to the bravest!

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Unlike hiking, mountaineering requires three basic components:

  • olid technical knowledge
  • Excellent physical conditions
  • Specialized equipment

Even though a good physical condition can be obtained by exercising in a gym, and the appropiate equipment can be bought in a specialized store, the only way to acquire the necessary competences and knowledge to climb high summits is through the instruction given by qualifiedmountaineers and qualified guides, and with increasingly challenging goals.

Mountaineering in Chile has a long standing tradition, and it has a been a popular activity since the beginning of the XXth century. On a historical note, the ancient Inca culture also used to climb high mountains and build ceremonial temples in mountains like Lullaillaco and El Plomo.

Chile has over 4200 kms of mountain range, with peaks that exceed 6500 mts. Many of them are still unexplored and can be used as a starting point for expeditions to Mount Aconcagua (6957), located only 150 kms away from Santiago, in Argentinean territory.


Basic Aspects

The key aspect for the safe practice of mountaineering is, undoubtedly, the appropriate instruction on techniques and gear with qualified instructors.

Choosing the correct equipment is also fundamental, because, considering the conditions in which this sport takes place, defective equipment may make the difference between an adventure and a tragedy.

Good physical conditions and right judgement are also crucial. Tiredness, cold, height, lack of oxigen, snow, wind, etc. pose several challenges to our organism and mental strength. Despite all this, this sport is worth every sacrifice it demands.

The contact with the mountain, self encounter, team work, and the freedom and humbleness given by the mountain are enough reward. In our country, the Federación de Andinismo de Chile gives basic mountain, rock, and ice climbing courses. It is also the entity that authorizes guides and instructors to give tours and excursions.


Considering the fact that mountaineering is and outdoor activity, that occurs in direct contact with nature, it is necessary to have some ecological behavior.

  • High altitude ecosystems are very delicate, take care of them
  • Do not litter. If you brought garbage, take it with you.
  • A piece of paper may take more than 15 years to decompose in altitudes over 3,000 meters (9,840 ft).
  • Do not scratch or paint rocks.
  • If you need to go to the toilet, dig a 25-cm (10 in) hole, and then cover it completely. This should be done at least 30 mts. away from any water source (rivers, lakes, creeks).
  • Avoid leaving traces of your visit.


Practicing mountaineering implies accepting the inherent risks and dangers of this activity. Expert instruction, good judgment, and the right equipment can help to diminish the risks, but they don’t eliminate them. Getting hurt or losing your life is an ever present posibility. Remember, being safe is your own responsibility.


When buying or renting your equipment, seek help from someone experienced, so that you choose the implements that best suit your needs. Before buying, you can rent your equipment until you are sure that you like this sport and you want to continue practicing it.

Basic Equipment

  • Adequate shoes for the terrain
  • Adequate clothing
  • Mountain tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Stove
  • Headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Backpack

Technical Equipment

  • Mountain Axe
  • Crampons
  • Trekking poles
  • Rope
  • Carabiners
  • Harness
  • Helmet

GoChile Tips


Federación de Andinismo de Chile
Almirante Simpson 77, Providencia, Santiago
Phones (56-2) 2220888 y 2229140

Books and Guides

Andes Handbook
Complete Mountain Routes Guide

The Mountaineering Handbook: Modern Tools and Techniques That Will Take You to the Top
Author: Craig Connally

Mountaineering: Training and Preparation
Author: Carlton Cooke


These are de destinations where you can Mountaineering