Juan Pablo began the challenge “The 16 of Chile” at the end of 2020, seeking to climb the highest peaks in the country and thus enhance the mountaineering culture. However, he has postponed it in order to team up on an unprecedented feat of global mountaineering: he joined the first expedition in history to try to reach the top of K2 in the Himalayas during winter.
Chilean architect and professional mountain-climber Juan Pablo Mohr has already conquered the peaks of Everest (8,849 masl), Lhotse (8,516 masl), Annapurna (8,091 masl), Manaslu (8,163 masl) and Dhaulagiri (8,167 masl) without any supplemental oxygen in 2019. At the end of 2020 he took on a new challenge in his home country: “The 16 of Chile”. His aim is to encourage the national culture of mountain-climbing by building refuges of international standards and creating access and climbing routes, both expert and beginner levels.
Mohr launched this project with the support of CMPC and says, “this is an idea I have been working on for several years. I’ve always wanted to connect architecture with mountaineering by creating the DeporteLibre foundation with the main goal of bringing the mountain to the city and the city people to the mountain.”
“The 16 of Chile” project goes further. Mohr along with his foundation DeporteLibre will set up mountaineering and training workshops with local communities on his next climbs with the goal of creating a system to help local management of shelters along with activities to encourage a mountaineering culture. “The 16 of Chile” challenge already has the support of the Ministry of National Assets, the National Sports Institute (IND) and the National Tourism Service (SERNATUR).
THE VOLCANOES SUMMITTED IN “THE 16 OF CHILE”
Volcán Tronador: This challenge kicked off in 2020 in the Region of Los Lagos with the exploration of the Volcán Tronador (3,491 meters), known by mountain climbers as the Chilean equal to Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Alps at the border between France and Italy. The Tronador has three inaccessible valleys because there are no routes yet. This is the first project to design a hut that will be built in the area called Lomas de Huenchupán.
Volcán Villarrica, Lanín and Sierra Velluda: After the first challenge, in November Mohr and his team climbed the volcanoes of Villarrica (2,487 masl) in the Region of Los Ríos, Lanín (3,747 masl) in the Region of La Araucanía, and the Sierra Velluda volcano (3,585 masl), situated southeast of the Antuco volcano (2,979 masl), both in the Region of Biobío. Villarrica is an iconic place in the region, although its southern side has not been set up for tourism. Volcán Lanín is a mountain shared between Chile and Argentina. The national side has very few access points without any established, marked passages. The Sierra Velluda – Antuco volcanic corridor is a very well-known part of the Laja, Saltos del Laja and Laguna del Laja area with enormous tourism potential thanks to the Laguna de Laja National Park and the various trails that line the base of the stratovolcano Sierra Velluda, considered a wonderful natural amphitheater.
Volcán Parinacota and Sillajhuay: Continuing with his expedition in December in northern Chile, he reached the summits of the Parinacota (6,348 masl) and Sillajhuay (5,982 masl) volcanoes. His feet first touched down at the Lago Chungará tourist attraction, which is also a volcano bordering Bolivia. Mohr then was able to open a new route on its southeastern face. The Volcán Sillajhuay is a little known place situated east of Iquique toward the Andes. The nearest town is Cancosa, a settlement founded by communities of Aymara people who make their living with tourism.
Volcán Llullaillaco: Mohr closed out the month of December with an expedition in the San Pedro de Atacama area, namely the Volcán Llullaillaco, the next tallest in Chile after Ojos del Salado. The renowned mountain climber spent two hours on a secondary ridge searching for the principal peak. He ascended seven peaks before finding it. “This is one of the best mountains I’ve traversed, and it helps train me for my next trips to the Himalayas,” said Mohr.
K2 in the Himalayas
For the time being, this trip is on pause while the mountain climber gets ready for an unprecedented feat of global mountaineering. He will join the first expedition in history to reach the summit of K2 (8,611 masl) in the Himalayas during winter.
“The plan my team and I came up with was always to pursue “The 16 of Chile” project during these months. But due to the fact that this is a long-term commitment that won’t be completed for quite a while because of the work it entails, I accepted the invitation to join this amazing team pursuing this historic undertaking,” explained Mohr from Pakistan. “The 16 of Chile” challenge is planned to continue at the start of March 2021.