Cerro los Olivares is a mountain located on the Chile-Argentina border about 300 km west of the city of San Juan.
It is rarely climbed and requires a long approach but the climb is relatively easy and straight-forward. The main objective hazards are the wind ad the low temperature, those hazards should not be underestimated.
Penitentes in this area can get very high and sometime impassable.
The mountain is located at proximity of the "Paso de Agua Negra", a pass on the road connecting the city of San Juan in Argentina to the Chilean city of La Serena on the Pacific Ocean. Getting to the base of the mountain is relatively easy, expecially on the Argentinian side, but some private transportation might be necessary. From San Juan take a bus to the village of Las Flores, this is the closest you can get by pubblic transportation.
Las Flores is a small, clean and pleasant village with some basic services but for a large expedition it might be better and cheaper to buy all the supplies in San Juan.
Spending a night or two in Las Flores is reccomanded, the village is at about 3000m and is an excellent place to acclimatise.
From Las Flores there is a two hours drive for the "Agua Negra" pass; during summer 5-10 vehicles drive trough this road so hitch-hiking is possible choice to approach the moutain. An expedition of 3 or more people should consider hiring private transportation (the cost is about 50 USD one-way).
From the Argentinian side the mountain can be climbed from a location on the road high exactly 4090m. This place can be easily recognised because there is a river crossing the road; it is 18 km from the border and is just before the road bends completely to the left. The GPS co-ordinates of the point are:
S30°16.096' - W69°47.785'
There are no restrictions for camping of fees to pay. After the village of Las Flores there are two police check-points; at the second you will be prompted to leave your passport if you are intending to return back in Argentina from the mountain or to get your passport stamped if you want to descend the mountain from the Chilean side. I do not have informations on the policies if the mountain is climbed from the Chilean side, but I suppose they are similar.
Expect some reluctancy from the police to allow you to climb the mountain expecially if you are alone.
Camping is permetted and necessary. Robbery has never been reported in the area.
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Maps and elevations
The map coverage of this area is quite poor, expecially the one from the Argentinian IGM. I heard there is a recent map issued recently from the Chilean IGM but I did not see it.
Elevations are quite approximate. 6200m is the elevation from the last official survey (1951) but the reading of my GPS was only 6160m.