Monte Pissis: 6.2 Million Years Old Volcano in Argentina

Monte Pissis is an extinct volcano located in Argentina. It stands tall at the height of 6793 meters/22,287 feet above sea level. The volcano is on the border of La Rioja and Catamarca provinces of the country. This peak is the third-highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. Due to the weather and dry land conditions of Monte Pissis, there aren’t many mountain climbers who climb this peak. In fact, not many had given even that much attention to this mountain until only a few years ago. The mountain was named after a French geologist, Pedro José Amadeo Pissis. The man famously worked for the Chilean government. This mountain is situated in the Atacama Desert, which is also a reason why the land conditions of the peak are dry, and there is a presence of glaciers here.

Make sure to read till the end of this article to learn more about Monte Pissis!

Where is Monte Pissis located?

Where is Monte Pissis located

Monte Pissis is located on the border of La Rioja and Caramarca provinces. These provinces are located in Argentina. The peak is in the southern section of the Atacama Andes. Despite being close to Chile, this mountain is fully situated in Argentina. Monte Pissis is also a part of the Andes mountain range. It is 25 km (16 mi) in distance from the Chilean border.

What type of mountain is Monte Pissis?

What type of mountain is Monte Pissis

Monte Pissis is a volcano that has gone extinct several years ago. It is a massive andesitic-dacitic volcanic center. It has been said to have been formed around 6.2 to 6.6 million years ago. As for the volcanic activities in the mountain, it stopped taking place around 2 million years ago. The volcanic complex of Monte Pissis is one of the highest among all the other volcanoes in the world. After Monte Pissis stopped erupting, Incapillo started to form. The hypothermal activities in Incapillo continue even today.

The height of the mountain was confirmed with the help of GPS by the 1994 Argentine expedition to be 6,882 m (22,579 ft). This is higher than the height of Ojos del Salado. As per an Austrian team in 2005, the height formerly claimed as accurate was deemed inaccurate, and a new height was confirmed to be 6,793 m (22,287 ft) with the help of a DGPS survey of Pissis’ summit. In 2006, again, a new height of 6,800 m (22,300 ft) was confirmed by an international expedition team.

Finally, in 2007, the actual height of the mountain was confirmed to be 6,793 m (22,287 ft) by a Chilean-Argentine-European expedition team.

How many people have climbed Monte Pissis?

How many people have climbed Monte Pissis

While one may have heard of Monte Pissis quite a few times, the mountain is not the most popular one for climbers. It got very little attention from mountaineers all around the world and even in Argentina itself. The mountain was last climbed in the year 1937 by Stefan Osiecki and Jan Alfred Szczepański, who were the Polish mountaineers from the Second Polish Andean Expedition until it was finally climbed years later in 1985.

Since the roads to the mountain were not very developed, it has taken around 15 years, and the construction and development of the road are still going on. The construction and development have been favorable towards the increase in tourism around the Atacama Desert. Furthermore, one can easily climb the mountain from Chile, but it makes up for a longer route.

Coming to the tough mountain climbing in Monte Pissis it is not very hard to climb. However, the mountain conditions are not very good, and the remoteness might add to the difficulties of climbing the peak. Monte Pissis has to be one that can be climbed like any other mountain, given that a person wears enough warm clothes and is stuffed with healthy food throughout his journey. The mountain is fairly warm from December through March. Hence, many mountaineers choose these months to make the climb. Among the mountains in the Atacama Desert, this is one with the heaviest and most glaciers.


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