Elise Maillot is a climbing and skiing instructor. She lives between french Alps and Verdon canyon to spread her passion for mountains.
The rest of the time? She finds some wild destinations for adventure and trad climbing…
10 January 2014, rendez-vous in Puerto Montt!
It seemed a bit improbable, but to our immense surprise our plan had worked.
Our team of three women met up in Puerto Montt, with the goal of putting up a multi-pitch rock route in Cochamo Valley.
Cochamo Valley is located in Araucania, the lakes region in the south of Chile, near Puerto Montt (1,300 km south of Santiago). The area is a paradise for climbers and trekkers in search of adventure, and remains relatively unknown in spite of its beauty. Cochamo is the Yosemite of Latin America, but without the road, the cars, and the rangers!
The downside is the unpredictable weather. The vegetation is dense and tropical. Dinosaur-aged trees grow in the forest, sometimes serving as bridges for hikers. The landscape lends itself to contemplation, with granite domes as far as the eye can see and an idyllic river that flows at the foot of these rocky giants.
We started off by climbing a couple of classic routes, in order to get a feel for the rock and the general environment.
After a couple of days of rain and reconnaissance missions, we ended up finding a face that appeared to be unclimbed. We also met an American climber who had spotted the same wall that we had. We agreed on a line that had a lot of vegetation on it, but also appeared to have some cracks. We would set out as a team of four to establish the new route.
We started off by setting up a basecamp closer to the face.
It took us three days to reach the summit and three more days of cleaning to remove the dirt and vegetation. We discovered amazing cracks under all the vegetation, which continued for nearly the entire route.
Heavy rains would complete our cleaning work, but this meant that we didn’t have time to free climb all the pitches of Todo Cambia (Everything Changes). Oh well, that’s the weather for you! And it was time to head back to France.
Here is the topo
Retreat on rappel would be difficult
Descent on rappel by a different route.
Nuts: 1 set
Cams: 2 ea .4 ‘’- 1’’
3 ea 1.25’’ – 3’’
1 ea 3.5’’ (4.5’’ optional)
Slings all size
Grimpeurs: Laure Batoz, Caroline North, Elise Maillot, Cooper Barney