I woke up today before the sun came up and was picked up by van headed to the Volcano Villarrica. I went up the mountain with a guided tour and a group of 4 Americans and 1 woman from Valparaiso, the hike started with a ride up a ski chairlift.
We then hiked through volcanic rock for 2 hours, we then strapped on crampons, and hiked up through snow for another hour and a half.
The top of the volcano was devoid of snow and after a short hike we arrived at the crater. The crater was about 1/4 mile across with a small hole (maybe 10 feet across) with lava visible at the bottom. Unfortunately it was not burping lava at the time but it was very exciting anyway.
After 20 minutes of taking pictures at the top we descended using little sleds and then hiked the rest of the way. It was quite amazing and my first scent of an active volcano; kind of a big deal for a geologist, thanks to Maddy for watching the kids while I completed my adventure.
Volcano Villarrica is a stratovolcano type which means that it has layered like buildups from different types of eruptions. It has Stromboli type eruptions basaltic lava, which look like orange geysers coming out of the top which happened in 1995 at Villarrica. It can also have Plinian type eruptions which are more rare which can include pyroclastic flows which kill lots of people like what happened at Mt Vesuvius.