Cerro Palo Plantado, Southwest Ridge
South America, Argentina and Chile, Central Andes
The weekend of June 4-5, the G.A.M (Grupo de Alta Montaña) de los Perros Alpinos went to the sector Queltehues – Las Melosas, near Santiago but very seldom visited by climbers, mostly due to private companies prohibiting access.
On the map we had found an interesting summit in Cerro Palo Plantado (3,497m)—low compared to others, but without recorded ascents—and we decided to try its southwest ridge. We wanted to try an unclimbed peak, and open a much neglected sector for mountaineers to visit more frequently.
On Saturday, Roberto Toro, Jaime Wastavino, Juan Carlos Caro, and I ascended easy terrain to install base camp at the base of the ridge. The next morning we started climbing, advancing on easy terrain along the narrow ridge, traversing a stretch of gendarmes (El Filo de las Jorobas) and a section of mixed with some rock- fall, and powder on slopes of 70° that seemed ready to collapse at any time. We overcame the mixed stretches and were soon on summit.
The difficulty of the 1,000m route seemed to be D-, with grade IV rock, ice, verglas and unstable snow slopes.