Valle del Mesoncito

The peaks consist of vertical strata of sandstone and hard conglomerates, similar to Punta Zanzi. Although there are tons of loose stones on the terraces, the crevasses outside are solid rock, with good grip, which permits a good ascent with bolts.

Valle del Mesoncito is located significantly higher than the neighboring valleys, which makes the approach very demanding.

Once you have mastered the approach and gained height, you reach the ruins of a stone shelter. It is not quite clear what its function was, but it is helpful when building a wind-protected base camp.

Valle del Mesoncito is situated behind the mountain range of the Arenas. It can rather be described as a plateau, approximately 1,000 m above Valle del Morado. The four-hour ascent leads to an altitude of around 3,500 m, and the plateau builds the basis for the higher mountain peaks. From here, you have a view of several mountains over 4,000 m, with remaining parts of glaciers and vast snow fields, which make ski mountaineering possible until the beginning of the summer.

The narrow gorge of Valle del Mesoncito leads to a hidden high plateau. On the left side of this incision, there is a quite visible trail. Dario Arancibia and Felipe González set up the first route via the so-called main peak in 2002 (details are unknown). A year later, in 2003, M. and E. Waldhoer added three routes on three different walls.

The most important Mountains

Moai

Information

  • Height: 4,368m
  • First ascent: Humberto Ramírez, Alejandro Cintolesi and Pelayo García, 1964
  • Physical difficulty: 3
  • Technical difficulty: 2
  • Exposure: 2
  • Time required: 2 days
  • Suitable season: September to March
  • Ski mountaineering: possible from July to September
  • Summer temperatures: C Feels like -10 ° to 15 ° C
  • Winter temperatures: C Feels like -25 ° to 10 ° C

In order to reach Valle del Mesoncito, first walk to Cabrerio, a very characteristic place in this area. Shepherds, who keep large herds of goats, live in this place and produce fresh goat cheese (“Cabra” means goat in Spanish, hence the name Cabrerio). From this place, head north in order to get to the entrance of Valle del Arenas. Once there, continue to the east. This steep hike on the Moai takes about 2 to 3 hours. At the end of the slope, there is a stone wall, the “El Pirca Visionario”. From here, it is only a one hour walk up to a place that is well suited for the base camp. There is a river which can supply water.

The ascent begins here, first along the left side of the river for about two hours, up to a snow field. Once you have reached the snow field, continue northeast up to a pass, located between Moai and Punta Chile. The inclination of the snow field is about 40 °. It takes about two hours to reach this pass, from there you will see the rock peak and you can clamber up to the summit. The descent is via the same route.

Equipment

  • camping gear
  • crampons
  • ice axe
  • snow pickets (optional)
  • rope 30 m

Notes

Because of the crevasses, it is advisable to take a short rope. If you want to take a different descent, you should have belay devices with appropriate accessories such as accessory cord, ATC, carabiners etc.

Punta Chile

Information

  • Height: 4,377m
  • First ascent:
  • Physical difficulty: 3
  • Technical difficulty: 2
  • Exposure: 2
  • Time required: 2 days
  • Suitable season: September to March
  • Ski mountaineering: possible from July to September
  • Summer temperatures: Feels like -10 °C to 15 ° C
  • Winter temperatures: Feels like -25 °C to 10 ° C

The approach to this mountain is also made on the eastern side of Valle del Arenas. You will see the Arenas from there. Up to the entrance of Valle del Mesoncito, where the rock wall “El Pirca Visionario” is located, you will noticeably gain height. In order to build the base camp, it is recommended to continue walking into the valley. A river at this place will supply water.

For the actual ascent, cross the entire valley, so as to reach the snow field that covers the glacier on this side. Here great caution is recommended, definitely beware of crevasses. In order to reach the summit, you have to climb up to the pass that separates Morro Escondido from Punta Chile. This route is about 300 m and can be mastered in an hour. At this point, the rocks of Punta Chile begin, which are occasionally a bit icy, but not too difficult to master. The inclination is 55°. The entire ascent from base camp takes about 4 to 5 hours. The descent follows the same route.

Equipment

  • helmet, harness
  • rope 60 m
  • hammer, hooks, small Friends
  • carabiners
  • ferrata-sets, accessory cord
  • camping gear

Notes

The river is suitable for water supply.
Use filter and water purification tablets as you do not know if the water is contaminated by a dead animal or other contaminants.

Morro Escondido

Information

  • Height: 4,442m
  • First ascent: Mario Puig and Carlos Pereda, 1959
  • Physical difficulty: 4
  • Technical difficulty: 4
  • Exposure: 4
  • Time required: 2 days
  • Suitable season: September to March
  • Ski mountaineering: possible
  • Summer temperatures: Feels like -10 ° C to 15 ° C
  • Winter temperatures: Feels like -25 ° C to 10 ° C

The approach on Morro Escondido is the same as on Punta Chile and Moai. Please read the corresponding description.

The ascent starts at the end of the valley on the snow field, which is located at the base of the three characteristic mountains in this valley (Moai, Chile and Morro Escondido). The ascent is again towards the pass, which separates Punta Chile and Morro Escondido. This takes about an hour from the start at the snow field. The ascent begins there, where you have to take a dihedral rope length, degree of difficulty V. Caution, poor rock quality! After another 100 m of easy climbing, you will reach a large open space. The summit is not far away. The descent follows the same route, either rappel or climb down.

Climbing difficulty: IV

Equipment

  • ropes
  • ferrata-sets for anchoring
  • harness
  • carabiners
  • helmet
  • camping gear

Notes

Take a helmet. Beware of crevasses. The river at the base camp is suitable for water supply.