Know before you go
- This is NOT a beginner area. Extensive experience on multipitch trad routes is required. If you are a beginner or minimal experience on bigwalls, please consider Frey, located directly east across the border in Argentina.
- Grades and lengths: Most multipitch routes start at 5.10c / 6b+ and from there go up, and range in length from 8 to 30 pitches.
- No rescue nor medical services. This area, furthermore, is very isolated.
Thousand meter granite walls border the valley along the Cochamó River. Valle Cochamó’s rock provides route potential beyond the imagination. The area has already become a world class climbing destination. If you’re into mainly long routes, short routes, establishing new routes or just hanging in a gorgeous landscape, Valle Cochamó is one of South America’s best.
Many climbers familiar with Yosemite Valley have found Valle Cochamó to have many common features, as well as differences. Comparing the two may be sinful, but as you enter between the glacially-formed granite walls it’s difficult not to. Long bold lines make their way to the top. Cochamó, however, lacks some of Yosemite’s obvious aspects. Traffic, motors and generator noise don’t exist since there are no roads. Camping and the refugio often fill up in January and February so make a reservation at www.cochamo.com/reservations/. If you will be sleeping in the upper valley’s, please see the Please Don’t Camp in Cochamó’s Upper Valley’s post.
200 big-wall routes. Some of the popular classics are No Hay Hoyes (5.11a, 6 pitches), E.Z Does It (5.10d, 10 pitches), Bienvenidos a Mi Insomnio (5.11b, 20 pitches), Al Centro y Adentro (5.11+, 500 m), Las Manos del Dí (5.11+, 500 m), Todo Cambia (5.11+), Postive Affect (5.12b, 1000m) and Tigres del Norte (5.12d, 1200 m). Uh, and Presencia de mi Padre (5.10, 1500 m) may be one of the longes routes in South America. Ideally a double rack is best to get you up a majority of routes.
More than 100 cragging routes from 5.6 and up. This includes sport routes, mixed (bolts and gear) and all gear cracks. Many groups opt for the less demaninding day by climbing single pitch routes, which are popping up around the valley. These routes range from 5.6 to 5.13, with a majority in the 5.10 and 5.11 range. One paticular wall, Pared Seca, remains dry and climbable when it rains. If you come just to crag, bring a small rack. Just a few cams and nuts will enable you to select from many more routes.
Opening new routes
New routes are everywhere. Even many walls have not yet been touched. So many lines to open, life’s too short. The area has minimal development compared to its potential but when including its shorter routes too, more than 400 routes already exist. The rock quality is excellent. Nevertheless, unclimbed cracks tend to be dirty and vegetated in places.
Bouldering: Minimal bouldering exists. Opening new problems requires extensive cleaning.
For topos and descriptions of routes, go to www.cochamo.com/topos. More detailed route descriptions, photos and topos can be found at www.cochamo.com/routes. Physical copies of the topos are no longer kept in the camping or the refugio. Some copies of topos are kept in tubes near the bivy areas such as Trinidad and Anfiteatro.
See the essential beta page for more detailed info for planning your Cochamó climbing trip.