Pared La Paz, A Poto Pelao Po
Chile, Northern Patagonia, Cochamó
The initial project for Cyril Mokobodzki, Polo Barneoud, Nicolas Rotureau, and I (all from France) was to open a new 1,000m route in Cochamó, on the Central Cerro Trinidad. But after 10 days of nonstop rain, we downsized our goals. After days of talks with Dani Seeliger, the area expert, we chose a 500m wall, Pared La Paz, in the Paloma Valley. We left for the wall as soon as the sun came out.
After getting lost during the approach, Polo, Moko, and I started working on the route while Nicolas prepared the base camp below. The first three pitches were quite demanding and required a lot of aid climbing in dirty cracks. We fixed 200m of ropes to help us avoid using the portaledge. After three days of climbing and bolting, we eventually reached easier face climbing and then slab that made it possible to reach the summit before another period of rain.
After a great bath in the river on our return, we called the route A Poto Pelao Po, which means “naked butt.” We did not free the ca 430m route, but believe the first three pitches are 7a, 7c, and 7a, and the rest is around 6a/b (eight pitches total). Despite missing our original goal, four days of climbing great granite in a magical valley, with pipe and harmonica music from a Chilean team climbing adjacent to us, made it an unforgettable experience.