Photographs by Dermot Wall and San Juan Aventura.
We highly recommend San Juan Aventura for services to climbers (including guiding) in this area and also as far as Aconcagua. Read about them and make contact at www. donmercedario.com.ar. Their enthusiasm and commitment is magnificent.
- When searching for information on far away places it is not enough to do a Google search. It is best to go to the local Google site in the relevant country and then search from there there for the information needed. For example go to google.ar for Argentinian information, google.cl for Chiléan information.
- Useful web sites
- We picked our Hotel in Mendoza from the South American Handbook 2004. This is a good source of information and covers every country in South America comprehensively in one volume.
- From Guanaquitos it is possible to climb the normal route and also via the Caballito Glacier.
From the Rio Colorado there is a much better choice including
South Face or Japanese Route:(picture)
The best of the easy routes, very nice and fast. Approach heading west up the Colorado River (from Santa Ana) to the final valley called 'Valle del Colorado' (one of the nicest places in San Juan). The climb is a moderate 45-60 degrees plain and safe glacier (actually it goes between two glaciers). Crampons, axes (not technical) and a rope for crossing the crevasse at the entrance are needed. Rope need not be used within the wall, there's no crevasse danger at all. The best snow conditions for this route are in November and December. Only one camp at the top of the wall, in a place called La Mesada. The summit is 6 hours from there, crossing the upper part of the Caballito Glacier and following the final ridge heading west.
Grade: safe, enjoyable and moderate (45 to 60 degree) route. In general quite sheltered.
West Wall or Argentinean Route: The access is through Valle de Los Patos Sur (five days). Three camps within the wall, rock approaching route is to cross the "Peine" and ice climbing, a good (and fast) alternative through the Valle del Colorado
Grade: First in order of difficulty. Permanent avalanche danger.
East Face or Caballito Glacier: marvelous glacier, approached from Guanaquitos (heading left creek). Two camps.
South Ridge or El Peine: rock climbing, three camps. Approached from Valle del Colorado.
West Ridge or Sanjuanina Route: the faster route, one camp. Very steep and constant slope.
Polish Route or North Ridge: never repeated since 1934. This is a variant of the normal route.
- Nearby is the Cordillera Ansilta with 7 peaks. (picture) Some are just over 6,000m and some just under 6,000m. Most have only been climbed two or three times.