|By MPT |
From Cambridge, MA
Apr 11, 2013
First, you are going to have a great time. Chile is an amazing place! However, be prepared for a more adventuresome climbing experience than you would expect in other parts of the world. Las Chilcas is a lot of fun, and probably your best bet for good sport in May. If you are renting a car (which I would recommend), a year ago you could park on the side of the highway and walk about 5 minutes to decent camping. There were plans to expand the highway, so I don't know the current status of parking at Las Chilcas. There is free camping but no drinkable water, so take everything you need with you. Also, be careful. There have been some robberies. And don't get bit by the Vinchucas! Mal de Chagas is bad stuff. The best climbs that I did there were Circulo Vicioso and San Pateste, the second being a 6 pitch 11c sport route.
The next best sport climbing area is El Arrayan. It is close to Santiago, but does not feel like it. You can also camp here, but the approach is about 10-15 minutes from the car. There are plenty of good routes here for a day or two of climbing.
Beyond these two areas, what you can climb will entirely depend on the weather in the mountains. La Mina near El Morado is great, but you could see a winter storm that time of year. I think it is around 9000 feet. Choriboulder is a great boulder field as well, but again, weather dependent.
After you're done climbing, order an Austral Yagan Dark and a Chorrillana and you'll be set.
There is a guide book that you should be able to purchase at either Casa Boulder or El Muro (the two gyms).
Surfing . . . Get a warm wet suit and surf at Pichilemu. It is 3 or 4 hours south of Valparaiso, but is world class by all definitions. Surf at Punta de Lobos.