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Cochamo Valley info

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Cochamo Valley info

Postby iceisnice » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:36 pm

So, I just got invited on a trip to the Cochamo Valley in Chile (the "Yosemite of Chile" as they say). Anyway, I'm looking for some first hand info on travel, logistics, etc. Thanks.
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Postby b. » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:07 pm

Freaking awesome place! It's a couple of hours drive from Puerto Varas to Cochamo, so have everything you need on hand. The TH is like many in the states, just a dirt road that turns into a trail, mainly a horse trail. The people who operate the refugio are spectacular. They have a site, stonedance.com. There is a bus stop at the bridge, maybe 1/2-1 mile from the TH. If you are hiking in, this works great. I think that Silvio and Dan at the hut can also arrange to have stuff packed in on horseback. I found Chile to be remarkable easy to navigate, especially this area as it's touristy (Puerto Varas is like Jackson Hole). But it is expensive.
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Postby iceisnice » Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:43 pm

Did you fly into Santiago and get a bus from there?
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Postby b. » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:29 pm

We flew into Puerto Montt from Santiago and rented a car. We only had a few days so we stayed at Campo Aventura which is pretty much at the trailhead. It's a nice place, and I think they will let you camp there for a small fee. We did the romance thing so stayed in the rooms there and it's pretty nice, the food was exceptional. I don't know how long the bus ride is from PM, but it was only a 2-3 hour drive I think.
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Postby iceisnice » Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:59 pm

Is PM the last good place to get food supplies? What time of year did you go? What was the weather like (i.e. precip, temps)?
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Postby b. » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:35 pm

Puerto Varas is the last place, but PM is bigger and cheaper. I was there in February and the weather was decent. That area gets about 20 feet of rain a year, so if you go offseason it WILL rain on you. Chances are good at peak season, too. I'd say if you want to climb, a week would be minimum to get some good days in. Temps were mild, it's kind of like the Oregon/Washington coast. There are some established trails, but it's pretty jungly down there, so if you are going to obscure formations you may want a machete. Also bring a swimsuit, because there is the coolest natural water slide I've ever seen near the campground. I'd show you pictures, but our camera is still down there somewhere.
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Cochamo

Postby dreamy » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:28 am

Stayed at Dan`s, Silvina and Zenon last feb. (If you go, please send them regards from Dennis). The new refugio might be finished by now (beautiful and closer to the walls). For any info just mail Dan info@cochamo.com (his web site is http://www.cochamo.com has the the best information). Last town is Cochamo (there are a couple of small stores, restaurants, Hotel, etc.). Sorry but www.stonedance.com is not about Cochamo. Campo Aventura is German so it mostly caters Europeans. For your first time try to go there by horse, Eva is the best, then Favian and last Ciro (don’t get ripped by him). Enjoy.
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Postby b. » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:07 am

Well Stonedance has a bunch of stuff on there about Cochamo. Silvina is the one who told me about it. The other site is pretty nice, thanks.
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Postby iceisnice » Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:00 am

Thanks for the info. My group is going down mid march to mid april. I'm going for 2 weeks at the end of march and beginning of april. have you guys come across any route info other than www.cochamo.com? we are going down there to do some FAs. it would suck to get on something that's already been done.....
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Postby b. » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:10 am

I'd say that Dan is probably the most comprehensive source available.
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Postby dreamy » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:29 pm

As b. said, get in touch with Dan. He has a collection of all the Topos in the region (take pen and paper). In your place I would prefer to be there not later than March (because of the weather and because it’s possible that Dan won’t be there by April)
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Postby iceisnice » Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:41 pm

We've been having a hard time getting someone to respond to our requests for mules to carry gear......any ideas why? Also, did you guys need to get climbing permits from the Chilean Embassy?
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Postby b. » Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:55 pm

The only reason I can think of is that it's the middle of the season down there, so they may just be really busy. As for permits I don't know, we weren't climbing on that trip, we just hiked in. I've got a friend that lives down there, I'll ask and see if he has any suggestions.
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Postby dreamy » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:12 pm

Don’t worry so much. You’ll probably have to spend your first night at the Edicar Hotel. Once there, ask the owner to get in touch with Dan and or arrange for you to meet the “arrieros” (they use horses, not mules, and remember: the best is Eva, then Favian and last Ciro). You can call them first if you want 56-65-216256, but they only speak Spanish. As for the permits, you could get them at DIFROL (not at the Embassy), but you wont need them for Cochamo, as it’s not so near the frontier (it’s different for Paine). There is no Internet at Cochamo town (at least not last year) so only when Dan or Silvina go to Puerto Montt (or Ensenada) they are able to look at their e-mails (it’s a four/five hours walk from the valley to town –with rain it can be really hard-, and a 130 kms/50 kms drive, so people tend not to do it unless its really necessary).
You might get some help/info from the people from Campo Aventura, http://www.campo-aventura.com/tour-oper ... lodge.html, but remember they are expensive (they think in Euros).
Don’t worry, go and things will take care of themselves.
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