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Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 2037 | TRs | Pics
Location: Grand Junction
Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors
PostFri Mar 22, 2019 7:05 pm 
Quick trip report about Cerro Colorado, a relatively new climbing area near Chile Chico in central Patagonia. After our adventure to Cerro Palo and Puntado, we wanted to check out this local crag, so we joined up with a nice french couple and organized a ride from town east back towards the Argentina border about a mile, then south on road X-753 towards the Chile Chico airstrip. Just past the airstrip, we took a right turn on an unmarked private road right before a small perennial stream that led to a small grassy farm, at which point our driver dropped us off and we began walking. We passed through the farm and followed the road as it slowly petered out. The road finally ended at an irrigation pipe that takes some of the creek water towards the farm. From this point, we mostly followed the creek bed, only occasionally leaving it. Inside the creek bed was mostly easy going apart from a couple narrow spots with pools of water. Leaving the creek bed forced you to walk through grasses and desert shrubs which were sometimes thorny.

We continued onward, as the stream meandered deeper into more volcanic terrain with an interesting landscape. Our beta mentioned a beautiful grassy meadow that makes for an excellent camp at 1135 meters elevation, just 400 meters directly below the north face of Cerro Colorado (where much of the rock climbing is located). The approach to this meadow, which is often inhabited by horses, sheep and even guanacos (rare to see) rises 800 meters from the X-753 road in about 8 kilometers and takes a few hours for the average party carrying climbing gear.

We spent the next day trying out some of the thin cracks on the walls. This climbing area is basalt columns, similar to that of Vantage or Trout Creek, but much less traveled, and rockfall is a serious concern in the early days of this crag. Most of the cracks are thin and runout, which limited what I was comfortable lead climbing. Also, locating each route you read abut in the online beta sources is very hard. There apparently used to be rocks with written labels on them at the base of many of the popular routes but when I was there none of these helpful rocks were to be found, so we just tried routes that looked doable and where we could see anchor bolts. Shown below is a photo gallery of the area. Definitely worth a visit if you're passing through!

Note that in the map above that lake doesn't exist!

Where we began walking at the small farm
Where we began walking at the small farm
Hiking along the stream bed
Hiking along the stream bed
Cerro Colorado North Face climbing!
Cerro Colorado North Face climbing!
Cerro Colorado from the meadow camp
Cerro Colorado from the meadow camp
Our neighbors for the day
Our neighbors for the day
Odd hoodoo like formations
Odd hoodoo like formations
Approaching the final talus slope to the climbing
Approaching the final talus slope to the climbing
A fun 5.8 to start on
A fun 5.8 to start on
View north towards Lago General Carrera and Chile Chico
View north towards Lago General Carrera and Chile Chico
Many difficult routes
Many difficult routes
Cerro Colorado from a distance
Cerro Colorado from a distance
Hiking out
Hiking out

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The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!!
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Nancyann
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Joined: 28 Jul 2013
Posts: 2132 | TRs | Pics
Location: Sultan Basin
Nancyann
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PostSat Mar 23, 2019 6:02 pm 
Another awesome trip report! I love that photo of the horses grazing, what an incredibly beautiful area. Sometimes it takes me a while to get through all of your pictures and narrative, but you are a great storyteller who shows us intriguing far away places most of us will never get to see. Thanks, Matt!

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Get Out and Go
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 2040 | TRs | Pics
Location: Leavenworth
Get Out and Go
Member
PostSun Mar 24, 2019 4:50 pm 
What gorgeous terrain!  slobber.gif   In younger days, I taught in South America a couple times, spending more than a few years in Paraguay and Argentina.  I rambled around Chile for 5 weeks once.  I was impressed then and now.  Thanks for the beautiful photos, as usual. up.gif

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"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go."
(Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart)

"Sometimes you're happy.  Sometimes you cry.
Half of me is ocean.  Half of me is sky."
(Thanks, Tom Petty)
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Brushwork
Food truck



Joined: 18 Aug 2018
Posts: 508 | TRs | Pics
Location: Washington
Brushwork
Food truck
PostMon Mar 25, 2019 6:22 pm 
I agree - really beautiful country and rock - wow!!!!

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When I grow up I wanna play.
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Layback
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 5709 | TRs | Pics
Location: On a Bike
Layback
Mariner's Fanatic!!!
PostWed Mar 27, 2019 5:53 pm 
Thatís some nice looking basalt!

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