Cochamo Update

January 22, 2014

We just got an e-mail and photos from Chris Kalman who's down in Cochamo, Chile right now where he just finished putting up a big new route with Austin Siadak and Florian Haenel:

Highlights of the route include a true knife edge bolted arete for two pitches that was wild to bolt on lead, a traversing pitch to a dirty dihedral which I led onsight with a 50 foot runout to a  5.9 friction stance where I handdrilled half a bolt hole just to clip a sling to a hanger to stand up in and lunge for the trees!  Florian also had a pretty epic lead with a 5.11 runout over some pretty marginal gear.  By and large, the majority of the route has gone up at 5.8X or 5.9X.  However, as is the Cochamo way, it is not so much about how you first establish the line, but what you leave to future generations.  Thus, we will be spending another couple days working on the route, bolting on fixed lines or lead where necessary to make the route safe for future climbers.

Interestingly enough, though this will be technically the easiest route I have ever established in Cochamo, it will be probably be the most difficult to put up.  As is often the case, easier means lower angle means more cleaning and more bolting....  I have always wanted to establish an easier line, since I have had many experiences with more novice climbers coming to Cochamo and not having a nice line to climb.  This will be the longest route under 5.11 to reach the spectacular summit of Cerro Laguna, and probably very popular for that reason.

Photo courtesy of Austin Siadak

Photo courtesy of Austin Siadak

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