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Low altitude rockclimbing in Peru/Chile?
8:53:41 AM
The mrs & I are heading to Peru & Chile in November, and unfortunately are have to miss out on the likes of Huaraz and such for health reasons; as most of the climbing is above the 2500m mark.
Does anyone know of any reasonably accessible & worthwhile crags that aren't at high altitude?

  • Gearwise we'll have double ropes, trad rack & helmets.
  • Climbing up to 5.10ish this trip, a bit out of shape.
  • I speak moderate spanish and we have family there (who will be clueless about climbing)

  • Cheers for any advice you can give.
2:10:17 PM
Try this mob. It is run by climbers and they may be worth asking for advice and local knowledge. They have been developing a number of cliffs in the Sacred Valley near Cusco/Ollantaytambo and were really helpful when I was there in June. It is at a low altitude as well.
6:15:53 PM
Cheers tony, will do.

Anyone know anything about Bariloche in Argentina, how easy is it to access?
7:44:29 PM
For Bariloche, Google 'refugio frey' and you'll get some info. It's traditionally a popular spot, with lots of long mountain rock routes. More popular now is Arenales, close to Mendoza in Argentina, but driveable from Santiago (my Chilean friends climb there). The Arenales guidebook is for sale in the outdoor shops in downtown Mendoza. I think most use a car, but you might be able to hitch or bus some of it.

I was in Cusco in June-July and even at 3400m I didn't feel strong. I climbed Ausangate and did a long remote trek in the Vilcanota, but never felt like as strong as at home in terms of technical stuff.

8:06:57 PM
I almost died of hyperventilation trying to sport climb at 4000m near Huaraz. It smashed me totally, even after a few weeks of acclimatization.
9:11:52 PM
Bariloche was very badly affected by the dust from the volcanic eruption in June - be worth checking out how it is managing before going there.
2:32:07 AM
Not sure about the weather for November in Peru, I climbed around Huaraz and in Bolivia (including an fun little sport crag right in La Paz) for a few months from June - September last year and weather was perfect. The highlight was climbing the regular route on "The Sphinx", a big wall a few hours from Huaraz. I also spent a couple of weeks climbing and putting up new routes at Hatun Machay, a great new area for sport climbing (at 4000m) also a couple of hours from Huaraz. This beautiful area has a good hut and also has plenty of quality easier climbs (from around 14-18 but others go up to 29ish) that help ease you into the higher altitude

I think the quantity and quality of established rock climbing areas in Argentina and Chile make them more desirable destinations for a purely rock climbing trip, particularly if you're looking for easier things at low altitude. Peru's amazing culture and the possibilities for great mountaineering also make it a great climbing destination.

The weather in November in Frey (near Bariloche) may still not be that good, but there are plenty of other good crags (mostly sport) to visit if you have transport, such as Valle Encantado. Los Arenales is great but up at 3000 - 3500m and may also be a bit cold and snowy at this time of year.

Quite a few places (sport and trad) to go near Santiago de Chile, and although on the other side of the continent, Brazil also has tonnes of well-developed climbing areas. Including Rio, where you can climb with amazing views over the city during the day, go for a swim at Ipanema beach as the sun sets, then go out for caipirinhas and samba in the evening!!

A good website to check out for Chile and Argentina climbing is:

Happy holiday,


6:36:33 PM
For low altitude stuff in Chile try Cajon del Maipo. I spent a few days out there in 2005. My very vague recollections was really nice sports routes, about 1.5 hours from Santiago. I met a local climber at a train station (disconcertingly he only had one normal arm) and we took a bus and free camped near the base of the crag which was quite extensive in the foothills of the Andes. I recall it being volcanic and good quality. I am not aware of any good low altitude routes in Peru. Google "toposperu" though its in Spanish.
For Frey you take a bus to a ski area from Bariloche (obviously closed in summer) and walk in. There is a climbing information service in Bariloche. THe valley is on a walking circuit, I think it is even in the Lonely Planet trekking guide. Really fun place to spend a few days but I'd take my own tent and pay to use the refugio kitchen etc.
1:57:29 AM
On 24/09/2011 tonytas wrote:
>Bariloche was very badly affected by the dust from the volcanic eruption
>in June - be worth checking out how it is managing before going there.

In Peru now, trying To figure out what bariloche will be like end of noviembre, anyone know moré?
Hacen,t been able to get much info in english, peruvians are being helpful. Just wondering if anyone has any info on volcano left overs? Will they be welcoming tourists or still cleaning up?

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