The crack climbing paradise in Patagonia
Update of existing information on the mountaineering site forPatagonia PataClimb
Cerro Colorado is located west of Chile Chico, in chilean Patagonia, in the northeast corner of Patagonia National Park. It has a 150 to 200 meter tall face that faces north and northwest. It offers beautiful “basalt like” prism shaped columns. It is a crack climbing paradise of sorts, with pitch long splitters, reminiscent of the famed Devil`s Tower. It is also known as Cerro Apidame, and it is incorrectly known as La Pyramide.
Chilean Andres Bozzolo- Head Guide de Patagonia Huts – was the first to notice the potential and has been key in the development of the area. In early 2010 Jim Donini, with fellow Americans Jake Moritz, Jay Smith and Jim Turner put up the first routes. Later Donini continued the task with Weston Boyles, Roger Schimmel and others. In 2013 Brits Dave Brown and John Crook climbed several new routes, including at least three multi-pitch lines. In 2015 Americans Coleman Blakeslee, Tad McCrea, Austin Siadak and Matt Van Biene, established two multi-pitch lines and a couple of single pitch routes. Later Brazilians Mariana Candeia and Mauricio Clauzet climbed four new single pitch routes, Argentines Diego Simari and Luciano Fiorenza went on a rampage, climbing five new multi-pitch lines, while Juan Aguada and Aníbal Lombardelli added another two multi-pitch lines
Getting there and registration to access Cerro Colorado
Cerro Colorado is located in Patagonia National Park. Before heading there, stop by the office in Chile Chico (calle Bles Gana #121) and register. The registration is free but mandatory.
Because there is not any ranger or infraestructure on site, do not leave garbage and minimize impact following a Leave No Trace Principles
To get there, drive, fly, swim or walk to Chile Chico, in the Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia. From the east end of Chile Chico, drive out the dirt road toward the Aerodromo (airport) and go past it, until you reach Arroyo Las Horquetas (7km approx). Right before and on the right there is a wood-and-wire gate, to access the property of Esteban Milovic who allows to pass through his property but on foot only. Enter and don’t forget to close it, and continue west for a couple of kilometers until reaching another wood-and-wire gate at the edge of a small field. Walk through this gate (don’t forget to close it), where lives a caretaker of the private property that is crossed to access Cerro Colorado. It is very important that you stop by to ask for permission. Be as respectful as you possibly can.
From here, continue up the road on foot for a short while until the road ends. You can clearly see the cliff above the hills in front of you, so follow your nose and rough animal trails toward it. Establish camp at the obvious meadow in the basin below the cliff, about 35′ away from it. The approach takes 2.5 to 3 hours (6km and 600 meters of vertical gain). The meadow is a great camp location, with only condors and guanacos to disturb your peace. There is a spring right there that runs year round. Be sure to walk away and down valley from camp to do your necessities. It is imperative to maintain the spring clean.
When to visit
Although the weather is considerably better than in El Chalten or Paine, with little to no precipitation, it can still be a harsh place, mainly due to the wind. Not that just as it can be a cold locale it can also be darn hot, when there is no wind and no cloud cover. It is a very variable desert climate. The best time to visit is January and February, but it is possible to climb there from November to March..
If you need help with logistics, such a ride to the trailhead if you got to Chile Chico by bus, or if you want to horse pack your gear to basecamp or if you are looking for a place to stay in town, go find Juan Cordero at Campamento Ñandú, right in Chile Chico.
Original post by Rolo Garibotti, With help from Juan Aguada, Aldo Basquee, Andres Bozzolo, Dave Brown, Mariana Candeia, Mauricio Clauzet, Alain Denis, Jim Donini, Luciano Fiorenza, Martin Lopez Abad, Austin Siadak, Diego Simari, Jay Smith, Jerome Sullivan, Enrico Turnaturi, Pere Vilarasau, and Otaviano Zibetti.