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Mountaineering near Santiago, Chile in August

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Mountaineering near Santiago, Chile in August

Postby MikeW » Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:13 pm

Hi!

I'll be skiing in El Colorado near Santiago, Chile from August 10 to August 24. I was wondering if someone knows big mountains to climb around that area. I've already climb Aconcagua in summer (January), I have winter climb experience on Vinson so I don't care to climb in winter conditions.

I'd like to find a partner too with similar experience to climb while in Chile.
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Postby Andino » Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:31 pm

All I know is that the closest big moutain around Santiago is : Tupungato (above 6500m)
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Cajon del Maipo

Postby FabienenCordoba » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:37 pm

You should check out the Cajon del Maipo area. It is close to Santiago and offers endless possibilities for alpine climbing. There is a page for the area on Summit Post. You can also check out http://www.andeshandbook.cl/ (in Spanish) for detailed topos.

Good luck, and enjoy your sking!!!

Fabien
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Postby Andino » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:56 pm

If you have time you can also head to the Lake District (a few hundred kilometers south of Santiago)
Great place for skiing and hiking
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Postby MikeW » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:02 am

Thanks guys!

I was looking at cerro San Francisco, any info on that peak for a winter ascent would be appreciated. I'm also looking for mountains (base camps) that I can reach within a couple hours from the road.

MikeW
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Postby Ski Mountaineer » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:49 am

Hi Mike!
I can probably give some advice after having spent a total 12 months there, mostly in winter/spring. First of all, anything above 5k will be challenging and problematic in the winter, except for the North of the country.

Cajon del Maipo is a good advice, since it is close to Santiago and low - meaning access is not a problem in the winter. The last settlement (Lo Valdes) is at 1850m, reachable with public transport and hitch-hiking. If you want to climb something from Santiago, hassle-free from a road, this is probably the best choice.
Cajon del Maipo also has some of the most diverse terrain in the region, with high, easy volcanoes to alpine desperates.
You can climb Volcan San Jose (5856m) and Marmolejo (6108m) in the winter, giving you 3500-4000m vertical of skiing; however, do not assume that this differs much from a winter ascent on Aconcagua.

Winter is usually the time for ski touring, and as mentioned, the south is good for that. (I prefer Central Chile though, better for ski mountaineering). Winter is also the time for technical ice routes - Meson Alto, Loma Larga, Cerro San Francisco, etc are Cajon del Maipo's harder peaks. Since you asked - Cerro San Francisco can be climbed from the north (normal route - I have no info) or the south face, a rather difficult and dangerous undertaking in the alpine D-TD category.

A convenient option would also be the peaks around Cerro del Plomo (5430m), as they are all accessed from La Parva. This will require serious winter travelling skills too (avalanche terrain). Close by, but requiring somebody who takes you there, is Villa Paulina, with access to peaks like Paloma (4910m) or technical peaks (good in winter) like Altar (5200m)

In the winter the Argentine side tends to be better, with more stable weather (rain shadow). However, access to the mountains tends to be way harder there, with the notable exceptions of Aconcagua and Cordon del Plata (5900m). Anything else requires knowledge about and experience with the logistics.

I might be down in August, and interested in any climbs that involve technical ascents and steep ski descents.
Ah, btw - for serious skiing, Portillo and Las Lenas are repordetly better.

If you specify your question (what do you mean with mountaineering? Wanna slog up a 6k or climb a technical 5k? A bit of both? How experienced are you?) I can probably give you more info about road-access peaks.

Best website for general info: www.escalando.cl - take some time to browse through there, there are many good infos on there.

T.A.
Last edited by Ski Mountaineer on Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MikeW » Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:42 pm

Thanks Thin Air for the info!

I'm not that technical but don't mind to learn. I was mostly thinking peaks that you can climb without protections with slopes up to 50 degrees in the 4k to 6k range with a nice ski descent (that can definitely be technical, I'm a good skier).

I don't have a lot of time to climb, between 2 to 4 days max twice in my trip. If you want to do something technical, I'll gladly follow if you're experienced enough and don't mind my learning curve.
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