South America, Chile, Cochamó, Cerro Noemi Walwalun and El Espejo, Various Ascents
Cerro Noemi Walwalun and El Espejo, various ascents. In January 2008, Germans Martin Waldhor and Achim Mink, and I climbed up to the Junta Valley in search of new routes. A five-hour approach brought us to our familiar bivy site, from where we could access the walls of the Amphitheater area.
Cerro Noemi Walwalun, first free ascent (by variation) of Cien Años de Soledad (800m, ED-6B A2+). In the first weeks of January, Jose Ignacio Morales, Mikel Martiarena, and I made serious attempts, and then on January 28 Waldhor, Mink, and I freed two alternate pitches to bypass the aid on this route.
El Espejo, Excelente Mi Teniente (14 pitches, 5.11a). This route follows a system of cracks through a pair of obvious roofs in the center of El Espejo’s wall. The route climbs 14 pitches, with difficulties up to 5.11a and a number of pitches of 5.8 and 5.9. A variety of climbing, from finger and hand cracks to off-width, along with the two roofs, makes this an interesting, athletic, and aesthetic line. Established ground-up on January 30, we placed 18 bolts, all on lead (14 of which were for rappels—in addition to some wedged knots). Our rack consisted of a set of Stoppers and a set of Friends, with doubles of #4.
El Espejo, Cinco Estrellas (400m, 5.10d). This route is located 15 minutes left of Excelente Mi Teniente. The nine-pitch route begins with a system of cracks and dihedrals to the left of an obvious pillar at the apex of the principal gully. The name, which is related to the rating scale for quality in the valley established by Daniel Seeliger, suggests that we think this route is of the highest quality and aesthetics (from the fifth pitch onward). The route was opened ground-up, with seven bolts placed on lead and the same rack as used on Excelente Mi Teniente. Descent was via Excelente Mi Teniente
Cerro Noemi Walwalun, lower wall, Sácalo pa’Entro Papá (ca 400m, 5.10b). Achim noted this system of cracks and dihedrals leading to the big ledge below the headwall on Cerro Noemi Walwalun. We climbed nine pitches, beginning in a system of somewhat dirty cracks. We used the same rack as on Excelente Mi Teniente and placed one bolt for a belay. From the ledge beneath the headwall, descent can be made via the rappels of Cien Años de Soledad.
Michael SAnchez Adams, Chile (translated by Adam French)