Las Leñas Valley,Cerro General Carrera, north face; Cerro Manuel Rodríguez
Chile, Central Andes
In November, Ulises Espinosa (Chile) and I went to the Las Leñas Valley, where in six days we completed the first ascent of Cerro General Carrera (both its west [3,198m, GPS] and central summit [3,313m, GPS]), and Cerro Manuel Rodríguez (4,026m). We also explored the relatively unknown Cajón de Espinoza.
We climbed Cerro General Carrera in a day from our basecamp by its north face, which is composed of snow slopes and very bad rock (900m, AD- 60° 5.7). We descend by its south face, crossing the mountain and both of its summits. To climb Cerro Manuel Rodríguez, we first established an advanced base camp in Cajón de Espinoz. The next day we ascended easy snow slopes (50°) until reaching a final, loose rock tower, which we climbed to its highest point (1,100m, AD- 60° 5.7).
Previously, Las Leñas Valley was closed for decades to mountaineers due to private ownership. However, in 2010 the government declared the road into the Las Leñas Valley national property for public use and downed the gates preventing access. There now awaits an entire area full of canyons and mountains; many are nameless and unclimbed.
– Elvis Acevedo, Chile