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|Ojos del Salado|
The volcano looming on the horizon.
|Elevation||6,893 m (22,615 ft)|
|Prominence||3,688 m (12,100 ft)
|Isolation||631 kilometres (392 mi)|
Volcanic Seven Summits
Seven Second Summits
Country high point
|Last eruption||700 CE ± 300 years|
|First ascent||February 26, 1937 by Jan Alfred Szczepański and Justyn Wojsznis|
Nevado Ojos del Salado is a stratovolcano in the Andes on the Argentina–Chile border and the highest active volcano in the world at 6,893 m (22,615 ft). It is also the second highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere and the highest in Chile. It is located about 600 km (370 mi) north of Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere at 6,961 m (22,838 ft).
Due to its location near the Atacama Desert, the mountain has very dry conditions with snow usually only remaining on the peak during winter, though heavy storms can cover the surrounding area with a few feet of snow even in summer. Despite the generally dry conditions, there is a permanent crater lake about 100 m (330 ft) in diameter at an elevation of 6,390 m (20,960 ft) on the eastern side of the mountain. This is most likely the highest lake of any kind in the world.
The ascent of Ojos del Salado is mostly a hike except for the final section to the summit which is a difficult scramble that may require ropes. The first ascent was made in 1937 by Jan Alfred Szczepański and Justyn Wojsznis, members of a Polish expedition in the Andes.
Ojos del Salado is an active volcano, but the question of whether it should be considered currently (or "historically") active is arguable. According to the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program, the most recent known eruption was around 1,300 years ago, with large error. However, there is also some evidence for a minor ash emission in 1993, which would definitely qualify the volcano as historically active. The presence of fumaroles high on the mountain and recent-looking lava flows, albeit of uncertain age, also argues in favor of a categorization as "active." By these definitions, Ojos del Salado is the highest historically active volcano on Earth. If the older date is accepted, the title of "highest historically active volcano" might reside instead with the somewhat lower Llullaillaco volcano, which certainly has erupted in historic times (most recently in 1877) and is considered active. Its last eruption was 1,000–1,500 years ago.
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