BETA PHOTO: la fisura de los franceses - 7b+
Cojitambo was one of the first climbing areas developed in Ecuador. No surprise - its 500 foot walls are hard to miss and will make any self-respecting climber's heart rate increase. Around 25 years ago, Ecuador's first homegrown climbers started opening the cracks with homemade gear. Today, Coji is one of the country's premier climbing areas, with a wide variety of quality sport and trad routes ranging from moderates to open projects in the 5.13-14 range.
The majority of the face routes are vertical to slab, with emphasis on technique over strength. The cracks are mostly uneven but tend to protect relatively well. There is also an overhung area accessible by rappel that has been the focus of recent development, with lots of harder sport climbs. Some climbs go from bottom to top in up to 5 pitches, but there are also many single-pitch routes due to the sometimes broken and vegetated nature of the cliff.
Rock quality is good, and gear, both fixed and otherwise, is solid and abundant. One exception - do not trust any pitons you encounter. Nobody has placed any in years and all should be considered suspect. Don't worry - there is certainly a good clean placement nearby. The rock is volcanic and tends to have lots of small holds and slopers - not a lot of jugs to be found.
There are some tiendas in the town of Cojitambo at the base. Still, it's not a bad idea to bring any necessary food from Cuenca - selections are limited.
Juan Gabriel Carrasco and Pedro Montezuma have led the development of Coji in recent years. They can still be found climbing and bolting routes on many days. Juan Gabriel lives in Cojitambo and will provide you with guide services or a nice place to stay if you don't want to make the trip back to Cuenca every day.
For detailed route descriptions, check out Monodedo's guide in Spanish. monodedo.com/web/paginas/topos...
If you are traveling by bus, head to the Cuenca bus terminal and take a bus to Azogues. From the Azogues bus terminal, take the green "Panamerica" bus to Cojitambo. Get off in the main plaza of Cojitambo.
If you have a car, from Cuenca, you will take the Cuenca-Azogues highway North. There is an easy-to-miss exit off the highway that heads directly to Cojitambo before entering Azogues. This would be best done with a local who has made the trip before.
By bus, it takes about 1 hour to get from Cuenca to Cojitambo, by car, about 30 minutes.
Once you are in the main plaza of Cojitambo (the town) head towards the rock. Climber's left of the plaza, there is a rocky path leading up. After passing a few houses, head left through gate and keep straight until you arrive at a grassy clearing. From here there are several trails leading up to different areas.
Weather station 10.3 miles from here
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