The Cochamo Big Walls

This trip got me as a good surprise. I confess that I was still tired by the intense last adventure in Greenland and I was planning to spend the whole summer quiet in my hometown. But the whole thing just came to me and when I figured out I was already there with three good friends going right back to the unknown in the great big walls of Cochamo!

This unusually beautiful and savage place is 100 km far from Puerto Montt, Chile, and is a part of the Andes Chain of Mountains. Took part of the expedition Dálio Zippin and Maurício Clauzet, who were responsible for taking care of multimedia stuff (photo & video), and Karina Filgueiras and me as a female duo going to climb out those wonderfull walls, something really rare for two brasilian women.

We decided to go for it by car, starting our little video on the 3.500 km road from Brasil to Chile.
After four days of dusty long distance roads we arrived at a small village in Cochamo, where we hired horses to help our transportation up to the base of the wonderfull Trinidad Mountains. Almost six hours walking through a very rough way and astonishing landscapes, nearing all the time a river that comes from the top of the valley. The more we've got into the valley, the more we could fell the wildness of the enviroment.

We arrived in a fabulous base of a wall infested valley with tops from 500 to 1000 meters high, breathtaking!
We took a rest and made ourselves confortable in our new home for 20 days, where the law was to carpe diem and enjoy that granite babylon.

We started by the lower granite needle, Gendarme, shaking our legs already (the climbing style was psychologicaly very demanding).
It took some days for us to really fell that we were ready to try a harder rout.

Finally we decided to make it happen, so we chose a traditional beautiful rout. That meant: no bolts, friends and nuts protection, 600m high and with some kind of compromise, because we could not rapel at it, in the Pedra do Gorila. We felt a little tense in the beginnig, but fluidity didn't take long to come, and we climbed out fast and most of the time simultaneously, having trouble just in the end, where unfortunatelly I got lost in a unpleasant split system. Luckily and with calm we could solve the situation and meet our friends next to the top.

With this attack we felt ourselves satisfied from spicy adventures and sure that we could keep on climbing togheter. Nothing better than an extreme situation to really know each other.

Cochamo is a potential in walls for the alpine and big wall styles. The rock has split systems in a very strong type of granite, with rounded shapes perfect for off-set friends.
By the way, I found out that Vibram soles has an excelent grip to this kind of rock, and had an excelent performance compared to other kinds of specific soles, enduring two months of an intense and very motivated climbing trip.

Now I am back to my sweet home and already preparing my next trips.
This time will be Perú and Bolívia, to get the taste of the altitude and their beautiful snow-covered tops.

Roberta Nunes