Nevado del Ruiz

Elevation (feet): 17,454
Elevation (meters): 5,320
Continent: South America
Country: Colombia
Range/Region: Colombian Andes
Latitude: 4.88333
Longitude: -75.3667
Difficulty: Basic Snow/Ice Climb
Best months for climbing: Jan, Feb, Mar, Dec
Volcanic status: Active
Most recent eruption: 1992
Year first climbed: 1936
First successful climber(s): M. Rapp and party
Nearest major airport: Bogota, Colombia
Convenient Center: Manizales, Colombia, (northeast of the mountain)

Nevado del Ruiz is an active volcano, located in a compact cluster of volcanic mountains near the center of Colombia. The area is included in Los Nevados National Park, and is easily accessible by road. It is probably the most popular climbing area in Colombia, as well as a popular ski spot in winter. Some snow remains on the mountain year-round. Nevado del Ruiz is not only the highest mountain in the region, but is one of the easiest to ascend, straight up the snowy west slope from a parking lot at the base of the mountain. A popular alternative is a traverse of Ruiz, Nevado de Santa Isabel, Nevado Quindio, and Nevado del Tolima, all of which top 5000 meters. Nevado del Ruiz is the northernmost peak in this north-south alignment of peaks, while Nevado del Tolima is the farthest south. A traverse of all four peaks requires about a week. More than 23,000 people were killed in Armero, Colombia when Nevado del Ruiz erupted on November 13, 1985. Following that eruption, the mountain remained continually active for several years, culminating in eruptions in 1991 and 1992. The 1985 eruption was the world's second most deadly eruption in the twentieth century, the first being the 1902 eruption of Mont Pelée, which killed 29,000 people.