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Home Travel Choriboulder


I didn't know what to expect when Chris and I headed up the dirt road into the Cajón del Maipo. It didn't matter. The landscape was simply breathtaking.

After a 3 Month break from climbing and a filming expedition to the Nevado Ojos del Salado in the north of Chile, Chris and I were left with a few days of spare time to go and explore the region around Santiago de Chile. (I guess I'll make a separate report about the film expedition).

[Filming in the Atacama desert, with our goal Ojos del Salado (6893m) in the background]

What really amazed me was the closeness of the high mountains and the wilderness to the 6-million-capital of Chile, Santiago. The first 4000m peaks are bout 25 km away from the city. As written in the intro, I didn't have a clue what to expect and I also didn't know where the boulders were. So, on our first attempt we chose the "wrong" valley, el Valle del Yeso.

[Waking up in the mountains south east of Santiago after some slightly disoriented driving in the night.]

[Entering Valle del Yeso with our extreme offroad vehicle]

[Spotting some insanely good looking peaks just north of Embalse el Yeso.]


Looking desperately but unsuccessfully for boulders we ran into some locals who told us that "somewhere back in the valley" there were supposed to be some natural hit springs. Somehow, soaking in the warm water sounded like a good alternative to climbing so we continued searching. This time not for rock, but for warm water.

[Crossing some icy rivers in the search for the hot springs.]

[Unbelievable: The waterfall in the right of the picture is indeed the hot spring!]

[Soaking our feet in the 45°C water!]

[In case of volcano eruption just follow the signs indicting the evacuation route.]

[Since we didn't encounter any vulanic activity we enjoyed a slow walk back to the car.]

[Just like authentic Gauchos we hung out at the campfire at night.]

We knew that there was another valley to the south of where we were, called El Volcan, and that this was probably where we needed to go.

[Let's go! Getting excited to finally find some boulders]

[Here it is! The amazing boulderfield of Choriboulder!]

[Chris warming up on a nice 5.]

We didn't have any pads, just shoes and a little bit of chalk. And since we also didn't bring a guidebook or topo I can't tell you name or grade of the boulder. But looking at these amazing features I have to ask: Does it matter?

[The rock alone makes this boulder unique...]

[... but the setting makes this piece of rock one of the most beautiful features I ever climbed on.]

[Another cool arete with the prominent Cerro Arenas in the background]

[There are also a lot of fun pocketed wall climbs!]

[Chris crimping the "veins" of a volcanic boulder.]

[A juggy traverse...]

[Setting up camp at sunset.]

[Chris getting excited about some "energy soup"!]

[It gets chilly at night, so if you are lucky enough to find some wood, it is a good idea to burn it!]


[Catching the morning light at camp.]

[The black volcanic rock warms up quickly. So does Chris on another "black pearl".]

[Things get a bit steeper on a cool "7-ish" line.]

[Ain't that one of the coolest features ever?]

[More fun moves on fun rock.]

[In the last remaining light...]

[The sun has long set behind Cerro Marmolejo, the world's most southern 6000m-peak as Chris climbs up on this amazing piece of rock]

[Some levitation exercise can help to keep warm at camp.]

[There are no words suitable to describe this picture and what we felt after those days at Chori!]





We'll be back. Oh, yes, if it still exists next time I go there... They are already starting to blast some of the boulders :-(



Umfrage: your vision!