The sensation of being a climber and walking into Cochamó Valley for the first time—especially after six months of planning and working, 8,000 miles of travel, and not one day of climbing for a month and a half, is tremendous. Right away, I found myself in a group of climbers dedicated to the development of these monster walls, and to the preservation of the valley.
Just two weeks before my arrival, on the east side of the amphitheater above La Junta, Chris Kalman, Cooper Varney, and Chris Moore had established the Doppler Effect, thus opening a new 650m wall they named Pared del Tiempo. After hauling up supplies to a bivy cave in El Anfiteatro and climbing one of the soon-to-be ultra-classic routes, Al Centro y Adentro, I joined Tate Shepherd, Shawn Wright, and Rhain Phifer to work on an elaborate variation to the Doppler Effect. Our inspiration was to create a long, sustained, moderate route, of which there are very few in the valley. After five days of searching, cleaning, and bolting where appropriate, we established the Coriolis Effect (5.11b/c). As much as we would have loved to rate the route 5.10, it seems that Cochamó continues to be a wonderland for the 5.11 climber.Our line crisscrosses the Doppler Effect, borrowing six of the 17 (or so) pitches and goes at mostly 5.10+, with one beautiful pitch of 5.11a (a long overhanging finger and hand crack) and a crux 5.11b/c pitch that climbs through some horribly thin face moves to a sharp hand crack through a roof. Both routes offer clean rock, incredible exposure, and fun climbing in an alpine setting. From the summit, one can see from the Reloncaví Estuary in Chile to the spires of Frey in Argentina. Descending with double ropes is fairly straightforward to the top of the sixth pitch, where one can follow fourth-class terrain with a fixed hand-line to the south and then down a long scree gully.