Summary. Cochamó’s highest number of both international and Chilean climbers visited the area this season, and the number of new routes surpassed the last few combined. The spectrum grew to include not only big walls, short multi-pitch cracks, and sport routes, but deep-water soloing too. (Though at least 20 single-pitch routes went in, only the longer routes are reported here, to supplement the individual reports below.)
The Amfiteatro (Amphitheater), a gigantic granite bowl with almost a dozen big walls, received the newest and most classic big-wall ascents. Chilean Michael Sanchez and Germans Martin Waldhor and Achim Mink made several impressive climbs, reported below. Chilean Jose Ignacio Morales and Brazilian Roberto Sponchiado completed their 10-pitch La Hora Es Ahora (400m, 5.11b/c C1+) on the left side of El Espejo, in the Amfiteatro. “It has a little of everything,” said Morales, “long cracks, technical faces, flakes, and dihedrals—varied and entertaining…over excellent rock.”
Later, Chilean brothers Javier and Jorge Duran opened the valley’s easiest long climb, Espiral de Clavos (300m, 5.10a), up a huge face they called La Sombra. A great story exists behind the route name, tying together some generous Swiss climbers, a haul bag falling off a truck, Torres del Paine, an old Chilean lady, and La Hora Es Ahora.
Australian Anthony Schellens and I added the first color of climbing to the Arco Iris wall by opening its first completed route, Através del Iris (450m, 5.10c).
American Wes “Tomás” Thompson opened La Vaina Oscura (175m, 5.9+ A2+) in a way never seen before in the valley—a solo first ascent on a previously virgin wall to the right of the Arco Iris wall.
Americans Peter Fasoldt and Eli Simon found their Wicked Big Toddlah (150m, 5.10b), an obvious crack system on the right side of Milton Adams.
Spanish climbers Jose Miguel Diaz and Alejandro Puche climbed the center of La Junta Wall but stopped short a few pitches from the top when, as is so often is the case, the weather turned sour, and they ran out of time. They called their efforts Vivir para Trabajar (675m, 5.11c).
Americans Winter Ramos and Mateo Touchette also came close to the top of the right side of the huge wall Capicúa, as reported below.
Okay, that’s it for this Radio Cochamó report, wishing you great climbing, over and out.
Daniel Seeliger, www.cochatno.com, Bariloche, Argentina