The challenges of commercial mountaineering on the highest Volcanic Seven Summit, the Ojos del Salado

Keywords: Ojos del Salado, Andes, outdoor tourism, commercial mountaineering, extreme environment, extreme landscape


Commercial mountaineering has gained widespread popularity in recent decades. Global mountaineering challenges – e.g., the Seven Summits challenge to climb the highest summit of each continent – amplify this process, and also raise the profile of individual destinations. The highest volcano on the Earth, the Ojos del Salado in the Dry Andes (Chile/Argentina) is featured in two of the major challenges (Seven Second Summits, Volcanic Seven Summits). Thus, it is a prime extreme outdoor tourism destination. The relative ease of access and the non-technical nature of the ascent have also contributed to the increasing volume of tourism. However, our observations about commercial mountaineering practices reveal surprisingly low success rates on the summit. Based on data from our decade-long environmental monitoring programme and our field experiences,, we attribute this to the extreme environment and landscape of the mountain (e.g., cold and dry climate, strong winds, topographical situation, loose surface material), scarce mountaineering facilities, and potential misjudgements by inexperienced climbers.


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How to Cite
NagyB., Ignéczi Ádám, Kovács-SzékelyI., Ruiz PereiraS., MihajlikG., FelkaiP., & MariL. (2023). The challenges of commercial mountaineering on the highest Volcanic Seven Summit, the Ojos del Salado. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, 72(1), 23-40.