The expedition's location is the driest part of the Andes, the Puna de Atacama plateau, where volcanoes tower above 6000 m a.s.l making this area one of Earth's most extreme places. This is the site of the world's highest volcano, the 6893 m Ojos del Salado, which—without any ice-cap—towers above the extremely cold and dry area of the Chilean-Argentinian border. This area has the highest climatic snow-line on Earth (around 7000 m a.s.l.), the highest elevation lake (6390 m) and the record elevation of highest vehicle ascent (6650 m). However, there aren't any exact data available about the environmental and climate changes, either about their local effects on this uninhabited land of high altitude desert characterized by salty lakes, lack of fresh water, scarce vegetation, permanently strong winds and dust storms.
The reason for this might be the extreme weather conditions, hard reachability and difficult terrain with high elevation. But exactly because of its harshness—the extreme dryness, and low temperatures—it might work as an indicator area of (possible) local warming, of which consequential ice melt and moisture might dynamically change the environment. Research of these processes require long-term field monitoring, during which we aim to measure the presence and changes of the regolith's ice-cement, the permafrost.

Weather Forcast for the summit

OJOS 2012 NB 00337



ojosstand05

OJOS 2012 NB 00586

OJOS 2012 NB 00655