Cerro Leonera is the easiest high altitude mountain near Santiago de Chile. Its summit of almost 5000 meters can be reached in two days, making this mountain a great and fast aclimatization peak before climbing one of the biggest mountains of this andean region (Aconcagua, Tupungato, etc). Its also located very close to other famous mountains of the Santiago region, like cerro El Plomo (5424 mts), cerro Altar (5180 mts), the glaciated cerro La Paloma (4930 mts), all of them a bit higher and longer (3 or 4 days to climb one of them), and lots of smaller 4000ers. The normal route to Leonera follows the southeast ridge. It has no climbing steps (just a walk-up) but is very exposed to the strong north and west winds, so it can be very cold, even in summer, and the altitude can be a problem.
First ascent in 1935, by Erwing Gehrung and Heinz Koch, following the normal route.
From Santiago de Chile, take the paved road to La Parva ski area, directly to the east of the city, at the end of Avenida Las Condes. The road arrives first to the town of Farellones (35 kms), and after another 6 kms is the village of La Parva.
There is public transport in winter, when the ski season is open. If you rent a 4WD, in summer you can follow a dirt road that reach the top of the ski area, at 3530 meters. The houses of La Parva are at 2700 meters.
No permits required, and no fees to pay.
When To Climb
This mountain can be climbed all the year, but in winter (May-October) the weather can be horrible, with winds of 100 km/hr and extreme cold. There is no water on the mountain, but snow for melting can almost always be found.
Camping can be done anywhere on the mountain.
See http://www.meteochile.cl/Pronos/pron_gral.html and click on Cordillera-zona central for weather conditions on the mountains of Central Chile.
More information about Leonera and its normal rute in http://www.andeshandbook.cl/cerro.asp?codigo=24