American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Argentina and Chile, Northern Patagonia, Chile, Cochamó, Cerro La Junta, Trinidad, and Roca Grande de la Junta

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2006

Cerro La Junta, Trinidad, and Roca Grande de la Junta, new routes. I made my first Cochamó expedition, from the DAV and supported by the Section Bayerland, with Stephan Schanderl (30, mountain guide, also from Munich). We spent six weeks between mid-December 2003 and the end of January 2004 there.

After a complicated journey, starting in Argentina, we wanted to find good, high, untouched walls. We found the 800m south-southwest face of the first mountain behind the La Junta junction, and called the peak Puta Bayerland. [Cochamo locals and most climbers know this peak as Cerro La Junta, which is the name we use elsewhere in this Journal—Ed.] The weather was bad: rain and snow for days. After three days of jungle-cutting and transporting equipment to the face, we started on wet rock. We finished in fine weather on December 29, 2003. It was mostly green, sometimes dirty and easy climbing: 23 pitches to the top jungle, without bolts. Alter Gartenweg (IV 5.10a A0).

At the very end of 2003 summer weather arrived. We turned to our second project, theface’s steeper left side. We began climbing with fixed ropes. However, on January 1, 2004 we found that our money (nearly $1,000 U.S.) had been stolen from base camp. We lost three days of dream weather while reporting this to the police at Cochamó village. The following days we climbed and fixed up to the 11th pitch. Then in four days we climbed to the top jungle and rappelled our new 18-pitch route, which we called 1000 Dollar Gedächtnisweg (VI 5.11b A4c). We did the aid without drilled protection (clean, new wave) on good hardware: 20 beaks, cams, heads, pins, hooks, etc.

At the end of our trip, on January 23, we climbed a new alpine route on the north face of the north tower of Trinidad. Dick and Doof (15 pitches, IV 5.10b plus one point of A0) has good slab and crack climbing on excellent granite, with a few runouts and no bolts.

On our second visit to the Cochamó Valley, in 2005, there were of us: Schanderl, Felix Frieder (29), and I (44). Our aim was a first ascent on the biggest wall in Cochamó, the 1,000m west face of Roca Grande de la Junta [a.k.a. Capicua]. After cutting a new trail we transported equipment to the base. We found a possible line, without too much drilling, on the right side of the face. On the left side is the 2001 Spanish route Pluja, Fam i Feina. Nice weather and rain had been alternating every few days, so we started with fixed ropes. Our portaledge would not have a chance in the rainstorms, so we commuted daily between base camp and the wall. Later we put up a small tent on a ledge to save time.

The lower half of the climb had hard slabs (5.11) and easy vegetated cracks. In the middle of the wall we climbed steeper rock, mixed aid and free. The cracks were mostly dirty or green, limitingour free-climbing possibilities. We used hardware ranging from 23 beaks to a #4 Bigbro. After 19 pitches (up to 65m) we reached easy terrain and climbed about 300m (5.0-5.3) up and down to the main summit. We rappelled the wall, mostly down our route. We named the route with our dead Bavarian friend and climber in mind: Adios Michi Olzowy (VI 5.11b/c A4b/c).

Thomas Tivadar, Munich, Germany

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