I went to Cordon del Plata last year, in late january and since then the supercanaleta at Cerro Rincon has been on top of my list for an interesting technical climb in the area. I am living in Argentina at the moment so that should be possible next southern spring. Anyway, I am very happy you put up the route on summitpost... first hand experience is always very useful!
- From your route description and the photo of shallow penitentes snow in the upper section, I gather that late december is too late in season. It seems argentines climb in route in october/november when rock fall is probably less of a problem. Would you agree?
- You put difficulty at AD. Could you tell me how steep the couloir is and how sustained it was? My impresion is that you didn't rope up. Is this correct?
Thanks for your comments, and congratulations on the nice climb!
I think you would be wise to do the climb in October or November as the penitents were pretty obnoxious by late December. The only thing I would be concerned about earlier in the season would be soft snow or slab avalanches. I have never climbed in Argentina in the early season so I can’t comment on rock fall. The route is a shooting gallery by late season and I would recommend climbing the entire gully at night regardless of the time of year.
As to the difficulty, I was surprised at how easy the climb ended up being. It looks a lot more difficult from the ground. Given the penitents, it is a little difficult to estimate the angle but I would guess that it doesn’t exceed 45 degrees at its steepest point. I graded it AD not for the snow, but for the little bit of mixed climbing that was required getting out of the top of the gully.
We did bring a rope (visible in one of the photos), but it was only with us to guard against crevasses. If you already had scoped the decent route, you could probably solo the route in a few hours from base camp.
By the way, there are some nice looking routes on the south east face of Vallecito. Those routes look a little steeper than Supercanaleta and may make an amusing side trip by themselves.