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Update: last updated on 12/01/2017.

Cerro Colorado.

[para la versión en español clickear aquí]

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.

Cerro Colorado is located west of Chile Chico, in chilean Patagonia, in the northeast corner of Reserva Nacional Lago Jeinimeni. 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.

So far there are around 30 single pitch routes, as well at least 12 excellent multi-pitch climbs. They range from 5 to 7a.

Chilean Andres Bozzolo 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.

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Getting there, logistics, register, leave no trace.

Cerro Colorado is located in the Reserva Nacional Lago Jeinimeni. Before heading there, stop by the office in Chile Chico (calle Bles Gana #121) and register. The registration is free but mandatory.

Some considerations about taking care of the area:
- Do not leave garbage and minimize impact following a Leave No trace ethic.
- Distance yourself from the camping area and creeks to relieve yourself.
- No fire is allowed.
- Do not disturb the fauna.

To get there, drive, fly, swim or walk to Chile Chico, in the Aysén region of Chile. 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, 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. Drive through this gate (don't forget to close it) and park on the far side of the field, somewhere near a house. Here 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.

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.

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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.

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New routing.

There is a lot of potential for other new routes at the cliff. So far almost all routes have gone up on natural gear with bolts used only at belays or where it is absolutely not possible to place any gear, following a traditional climbing ethic.

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Gear.

Bring a double rack with some triples, to #4, including a good selection of small gear and a good many stoppers. The rock is far from perfect, with a good number of loose blocks, so bring and wear a helmet.

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Climbs.

One of the challenges is to figure out where the routes are located. There are so very many cracks systems, that even upclose it can be hard to know which one is which. Last season Mariana Candeia and Mauricio Clauzet proposed writing the name of the route on a small rock and placing it right at its base. This is a great idea that allows to easily recognize the lines.

Below are some of the routes we know about, but there are at least another 10 or so climbs. If you have corrections, additions or other, please let us know. The routes are listed from left to right, starting in La Proa and finishing in El Escudo.

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Left of La Proa.

To the left of La Proa there are a couple of climbs.

1- Ochenta zorros por año 5.11b (6c) 120m
Manuel Gomez - Maud Valette - Pere Vilarasau, 2015.
They left an arrow marked on a rock at the start and a cairn. It has bolted belays.

To the left of the previous route there are anchors from another climb. It is not clear who put it up or the difficulty.

2- Quatro Estacoes 5.8/9 (5+) 50m
Alessandro Haiduke, 2016

3- Chiquita Bacana 5.8/9 (5+) 20m
Mauricio Clauzet - Mariana Candeia, 2015.
Follows a double crack to a roof. Bolted belay. Pro: to #2, stoppers.

4- Mais Sorte que Juizo 5.10c (6a+) 45m
Alessandro Haiduke, 2016

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La Proa.

This area is the very distinct prow in the centre of the face.

There are two options to descend:
- Walk down and around, back to the base: 30min approx.
- Rappel. More than one of the routes has bolted belays. The recommended rappel line is marked in one of the photos. The top anchor is a big spike with a red piece of cord around it. Note that the one further east (#1 below), has an enormous column that moves (!!). Two ropes required.

5- Faroeste Caboclo 5.12b/c (7b/+) 150m
Alessandro Haiduke - Otaviano Zibetti, 2016
L1. 6c a bit runout, requires small stoppers.
L2. 7b/+ under two roofs, is well protected.
L3. 6b traverse left to a wide crack that takes you to the summit.

6- Vida do Gado 5.10d (6b) 35m
Alessandro Haiduke - Otaviano Zibetti, 2016.
Variation to the first pitch of Faroeste Caboclo, protects well.

7- Name? 90m?
Andres Bozzolo - Patricio Garrido - Matías del Sol - Rodrigo Vera, 2015.
Climbs three pitches, a 5.10, followed by a pitch that has yet to be freed (A2) and is runout, and a third that climbs an off-widht on the side of a 10 meter pillar that moves (!!!). It is not clear if this line continues or not. The danger of the moving pilar certainly does not justify the climbing. Beware.

8- Way Mule 5.10d (6b) 40m
Jim Donini – Jay Smith – Jim Turner, 2010.
Two bolt anchor at the top. An excelent 1 pitch climb: thin finger and thin hands.

9- Brown-Crook 5.11b (6c) 150m
Dave Brown – John Crook, 2013.
Climbs three pitches, crossing Blown Away in the first pitch and climbing to the top of the wall.
P1. Starts to the left of Blown Away and climbs up and rightwards crossing that route at one of the bolts to gain the crack line to the right of Blown Away. Follow this as it widens to a good ledge belay.
P2. Climb the obvious wide crack.
P3. Independence from neighboring routes becomes difficult as the cliff becomes more broken.

10- Blown Away 5.11c (6c+) 200m
Jay Smith – Jim Turner, 2010.
Four pitches (5.11b, 5.11c, 5.10, and 4th class). Strenuous crack climb. Steeper and more physical than the others, with good protection. This was the first climb on Cerro Colorado and it set the tone for establishing new routes, with limited bolts.

11- The Ultimate Basalt Experience 5.11d (7a) 200m
Dave Brown – John Crook, 2013.
Three pitches, the crux is the second half of the first. Bolted rap line down it.
P1. 60m - climb the obvious prow passing a optional hanging stance (two bolts) at half height to gain the good ledge and bolted belay. This is technically hardest in the upper half and can be split if you have shorter ropes. It has mandatory climbing above the gear (E4 in the english scale).
P2. Climb the left hand crack system to the left of the pillar. Cracks leading up the right of the pillar turn into off width and remain to be climbed (as far as I know).
P3. Easy broken ground to top.

?- Lichen or Not 5.9 (5+)
Jim Donini - Jake Moritz, 2010.
Where?

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Right of La Proa.

12 - El jardin de Don Marquez 5.11c 150m
Leo Billon - Sergio Garcia Gomez - Jerome Sullivan, 2016.
Climbs three pitches, 5.11a (6b+) (difficult to protect), 5.11c (6c+) (questionable rock at the start, superbe afterwards) and 5.10d (6b). At the last belay there is a slung horn to descend.

13 - Name? 5.11a 150m
Climbs three pitches, 5.11a (6b+), 5.10d (6b) and 5.10d (6b). There is a bolt in the first belay, nothing in place after that.

14- Alegria de Pobre, 5.10 (5+) 80m
Alessandro Haiduke - Otaviano Zibetti, 2016.
Two pitches, the third belongs to an unknown pre-existing route that comes in from the right.

15- Chuchumeche y Pucurú 5.10d (6b) 60m
Martin Lopez Abad - Carlos Torino - Ignacio Karlen, 2016.

16- Davi Marski memorial route 5.10a/b (6a ) 40m
Mauricio Clauzet - Mariana Candeia, 2015.
Follows a thin crack on a right facing corner, fixed piton 10m up. Pro: to #2, stoppers. Bolted belay.

17- La Femme Mange 5.10a (5+) 40m
Mauricio Clauzet - Mariana Candeia, 2015.
Starts at the same place as the previous route, climbing over to the right to follow a thin right-facing corner (crux), then cracks between two pillars to a two bolt anchor on the left (same belay as the previous route). Pro: to #3, doubles on the medium sizes, stoppers.

18- Nombre? difficulty?
Continuation of La Femme Mange. Two pitons in the second belay.

19- The Magic Spatula 5.11c (6c+) 150m
Austin Siadak and Matt Van Biene, 2014. FFA Van Biene with Coleman Blakeslee, and Tad McCrea.
Climbs four quality pitches followed by a short scramble to the top. There are two-bolt anchors at the top of each pitch, except for the 5th.
P1. Gear is thin, but good. 5.10 (6a), 40m.
P2. Climb straight up, passing a small roof and continuing up a finger crack. 5.10+ (6b), 20m.
P3. Climb a beautiful finger crack that splits the pillar directly above the belay. It thins down and later opens back up into a hand-crack. A fantastic pitch. 5.11c (6c+), 30m.
P4. Climb the left-hand crack directly above the belay for about 10m until you reach ledge. Move left and climb a short thin-hands crack for 5m before moving back to the right. Climb a beautiful hand crack up the headwall for 10m before stepping left and climbing up another few meters to the anchor. 5.10 (6a), 35m. If you want to rappel the route, you need to stop here.
P5. Climb up blocky terrain above to the top of the cliff. 5.6 (3), 15m.

20- Asalto al Basalto 5.10d (6b) 160m
Luciano Fiorenza – Diego Simari, 2015.
Has some runout sections.

21- La Promesa del Puma Venezolano 5.9+ (5+) 35m
Mauricio Clauzet - Mariana Candeia, 2015.
Starts below a small roof to follow a thin crack and a left facing corner. Two bolt anchor at a small ledge on the left. Pro: to #2, stoppers.

22- Guanaco Chase 5.10b (6a) 40m.
Dave Brown – John Crook, 2013.

23- Cimarron y Tabaco 5.10d (6b) A0 150m
Juan Aguada – Aníbal Lombardelli, 2015.
This is a continuation to Guanaco Chase. In all it climbs four pitches to the top of the wall.

24- Fingers of Fate indirect start 5.10b (6a) 40m.
Dave Brown – John Crook, 2013.

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Repisa Central.

This is the area in the center of the wall.

25- Young Gaucho 5.11a (6b+) 40m
Coleman Blakeslee – Tad McCrea, 2015. FFA by Coleman Blakeslee.
Climbs a slabby crack system for 20m before pulling through a roof (crux) and finishing with another 15m technical, crack and face climbing. A high quality line. Two-bolt anchor at the top.

26- Flight of the Condors 5.10 (6a/+) 40m
Jim Donini – Alain Denis, 2010.
Thin cracks leading to a nice corner; very technical. Two bolt anchor which is not visible from the ground. Pro: stoppers and small cams.

27- Name? grade? 40m
Jim Donini – Alain Denis, 2010?
Two cracks over to the right from the previous route.

28- The Daley Splitter 5.8 (5) 40m
Aldo Basquee - Camila Mancilla, 2014.
Immediately right of the previous route. It features hands and thin hands. The name remembers Liz Daley.

29- Las Ardillas 5.10b/c (6a/+) 40m
Aldo Basquee - Solange Muñoz, 2016.

30- Fingers of Fate 5.10d (6b) 150m
Dave Brown – John Crook, 2013.
Start from the obvious ledge one pitch up. It climbs the two large detached basalt columns in the centre of the wall. The columns are detached from the cliff but they do not move. No bolted belays.
P1. Follow the easiest line starting to the right and moving left to the base of the lower detached column.
P2. Climb the left side of the lower column via a wide crack. From its top, a hard boulder problem leads to the base of the second column. Gear to protect this is small and fiddly but adequate, micro cams and wires. Wide crack leads to chimney behind the column and a belay on top.
P3. Easy ground to the top and a walk off.

31- Gauchito Gil 5.10- (5+) 50m
Matt Van Biene and Austin Siadak, 2015.
From the top anchor of the previous routes, traverse up and right for 10m, climb up a short corner (5m) and step right to the belay (two-bolt anchor). The second pitch climbs a beautiful finger crack in the corner directly above the belay to another two bolt anchor. The route stops here. 70m rope required to rappel off. The corner immediately to the left was cleaned and top-roped at 5.11 (6b/c).

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El Escudo.

This wall is on the far right side of the face, where the rock is visibly different. The rock here is the best the area offers, with wider cracks and less breakable crust on the surface. To reach it you have to climb a set of horizontally stacked columns known as El Zócalo. This is best done by climbing Welcome to Paradise (60m 6b). To descend, walk down to the right (west) and then back around to the top of El Zócalo, from where a 60m rappel (2 ropes required) gets you back to the ground. It is also possible to rappel down routes 29 and 25. Enrico Turnaturi and partners established this rap line, using pitons. The rappel stations are marked in one of the photos.

32- Original Veschoway 80m
Luciano Fiorenza – Diego Simari
Loose blocks, not recommended.

33- Welcome to Paradise 5.10d (6b) 60m
Luciano Fiorenza – Diego Simari, 2015.
Climb past six bolts. Two bolt anchor up top.

Routes listed from left to right.

34- Diario de un Bibliotecário 5.11b (6c) 165m
Luciano Fiorenza – Diego Simari, 2015.
Four pitches, protects well.

35- Ceferino on the rocks 5.11b (6c) 160m
Lise & Leo Billon - Sergio Garcia Gomez - Jerome Sullivan, 2016.
Four pitches that go at 5.10 (6a), 5.11b (6c), 5.11a (6b+) and 5.10d (6b).

36- Tierra de Abrojos 5.11b (6c) 160m
Luciano Fiorenza – Diego Simari, 2015.
Protects well.

37- E o vento levou, 5.11a (6b+) 150m
Alessandro Haiduke - Otaviano Zibetti, 2016
Three pitches, either rappel or walk down.

38- El Perro Flautista 5.10d (6b) 160m
Ignarcio Karlen - Martin Lopez Abad, 2016.
The last pitch is fairly dirty, best avoided by heading right to join Yuyitzu.

39- Yuyitzu 5.11a (6b+) 160m
Luciano Fiorenza – Diego Simari, 2015.
Four pitches, the first is 70m long. Protects well.

40- Charqui de Guanaco 5.11b C1 (6c C1) 120m
Luciano Fiorenza – Diego Simari, 2015.
Three pitches. Before it joins Yuyitzu there is a dihedral that has not been freed, estimated at 5.11d (7a). The name, gaunaco jerky, refers to how very hot it was that day.

41- Delicatessen 5.11a (6b+) 100m
Juan Aguada – Aníbal Lombardelli, 2015.
Climbs behind (under) a dettached pillar that can be easily seen from below.

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Where to find more information.

The webpage of Reserva Nacional Jeinimeni.

Jay Smith's trip report after putting up the first routes in the face.

Jim Donini's Supertopo trip report that anounced this gem to the "world"..

A blog post by Alain Denis who help Jim Donini put up some of the first routes of the area.

Revista Escalando #35 article by Rodrigo Vera with some great photos from Patricio Garrido (pages 36 to 43)

Revista Kooch #44 article by Diego Simari with some great photos (pages 20 to 27)

Austin Siadak's 2015 trip report.

Mariana Candeia and Mauricio Clauzet excellent series of posts in Mountain Project.

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Please Do Not Reprint This Article.
This article is copyrighted. Please do not reprint this article in whole or part, in any form, without obtaining written permission.

Cerro Colorado - camp.

Eating cordero at Don Marquez's

place.

Getting there

Getting there

Coleman Blakeslee on Young Gaucho

Matt Van Biene on the crux pitch of

Magic Spatula

Tad McCrea in the last steep pitch of

Magic Spatula.

 

 

 

Cerro Colorado overview.

Left of La Proa,1- 4.

La Proa, 3 to 11

La Proa, routes 5 to 11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Proa & right of La Proa, routes 11

to 20.

La Proa-right side and Repisa Central,

routes 16 to 30.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repisa Central, routes 25 to 31.

Repisa Central, routes 25 to 31.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Zócalo, routes 32 and 33.

El Zócalo & El Escudo, routes 32 to 41

El Escudo, routes 34 and 36.

El Escudo, routes 38 to 41.

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