Ojos del Salado: Permit, Hut and Road Conditions 1991-2. In late December, 1991, Ken Nolan, Jean Aschenbrenner, Dan Smith and I drove across the southern Puna de Atacama to the Chilean-Argentine frontier near the Ojos del Salado, assisted by Chilean Gastón Oyarzún. A travel permit issued by the Chilean authorities is necessary to enter the border region. This is obtained from the Directión Nacional de Fronteras y Límites del Estado, Ministerio de Rela- ciones Interiores, Bandera 52, 4° Piso, Santiago, Chile. Without this, climbers are refused entry to the Ojos del Salado area. On December 31, 1991, Nolan, Aschenbrenner and Smith climbed Cerro Mulas Muertas (5895 meters, 19,340 feet) from camp on Laguna Verde at 4000 meters. The once impressive Hosteria Murray, the hut previously used as Base Camp for climbing the Ojos del Salado, has been leveled by fire. The 17-kilometer road from the police checkpoint adjacent to the Murray ruins to the hut at Camp I is driveable in summer conditions but quite sandy, which can be troublesome to vehicles without large tires. The standard north-face route utilizes solid refugios at Camps I and II (5200 and 5800 meters). Running water can normally be found near each hut. The summit of the Ojos del Salado (6885 meters, 22,590 feet) was climbed by the entire party on January 4. The steep summit block, which contrasted with the otherwise mundane volcanic slopes found below, was ascended by a loose 4th- class arête where a short section of fixed rope was placed.
Charles D. Huss, M.D.