Starting from the houses of La Parva (2700 mts), follow the ski lifts to its highest point (3530 mts). There is a dirt road that can be used in summer wich reaches the same point.
From here, ascend a little to the east to reach the Portezuelo del Franciscano (3570 mts), above the small Laguna del Franciscano. This is the real start of the climb.
From the portezuelo, one trail heads down to the Laguna del Franciscano; this is the start of the route to cerro el Plomo (5424 mts), located just northeast of Leonera. The other well marked trail, wich leads finally to cerro Leonera, climbs steeply to the north, ascending the scree slopes of cerro Falsa Parva (3888 mts). Once in the top of Falsa Parva, the trail becomes almost flat, ascending slowly to the north as it follows the ridge that conects cerros Falsa Parva, La Parva (4047 mts), Pintor (4230 mts) and Leonera. The cerros La Parva and Pintor pass to the right hand of the trail (they can be easily ascended if you have time and strenght), and after passing the Pintor, you will see a big high altitude plateau, at 4200 mts: Cancha de Carreras, the usual campsite for the normal route of Leonera. From here you have great views of the entire route (see picture below).
In dry summers, it may be difficult to find snow for melting in Cancha de Carreras, but it is almost always possible after a little search. You can camp anywhere on the plateau, but if you camp in the norhtern end, you will need less hours to reach the summit the next day.
From the northern end of Cancha de Carreras, start ascending the southeast ridge of Leonera (see picture below), having at your left the valley of the estero Leonera and at your right the glaciers of cerro el Plomo. The trail is almost always well marked, and it follows the ridge until you reach a little saddle at about 4500 mts. From here the trail takes a little to the left (west), when it reaches a rock section of the ridge, but it returns to the ridge at about 4600 mts, in a sector known as “rocas lunares”, the rocks of the moon, because of its particular erosion caused by the strong winds.
From the rocas lunares the ridge turns directly to the north, and here comes another steep scree slope that the trail climbs at the left of a rocky ridge. After ascending this steep section, you reach a little high valley at about 4800 mts, and you can see at the end of it the summit of Leonera. After traversing the valley, usually covered by penitentes in the summer, the trail turns a little to the left, asending the last 100 meters of cerro Leonera directly from its west face.
High altitude clothes. Cold can be extreme in Leonera, in winter and even in some bad days in the summer.
No climbing steps on the route. In winter and spring crampons and an ice axe may be necesary for sections of hard snow in the ridge, but it usually has very little amounts of snow because the strong winds take it away.
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