The Torres del Brujo are a spectactular cirque of steep granite towers with walls of up to 550m near to the Argentinian border in the 6th region of Chile.
Arriving to the trailhead is relatively simple, but it will be an additional two days from the trailhead with mules to arrive at the towers near the terminus of the Glacier Universidad. Without mules, the trek would be an ordeal. There is one river crossing that will require horses to cross, although there are established tyrolen anchors at the crossing as well that we used for the descent at the end of the trip. Someone will have to take the plunge to set up this tyrolean on the opposite bank.
Several towers form the cirque, among these the Aprendiz del Brujo, Brujo Falso and several smaller, but no less spectactular towers and walls. The walls are nearly vertical from the base to the top and the climbing starts in the 5.10 range, there is very little "easy" climbing until the last couple pitches below the summits. There are also a some great crags, such as "Gato del Brujo", that have a lot of development potential and are mostly 1-3 pitches for easier days.
There are a multitude of possibilities for new-routing as well as several established free and aid routes. Caution should be taken approaching the towers as the glacier below the main walls is melting fast and negotiating the serac fields can be quite difficult, more so when carrying equipment for a prolonged siege of the walls.
Camping is best along the beaches next to the creek that outlets from the glacier below the towers. There is a large erratic boulder with a 5.12+/13- toprope route near the best camping. The boulder is actually visible on the Google map.
The weather is usually fine and warm. The region is relatively dry and sustained periods of high pressure are typical. During our trip we had only sunny days in the 25C range the entire time.
The towers are a fine alternative to those who wish to spend their days climbing as opposed to sitting waiting for weather windows down south. The cracks are long, very steep and perhaps the best alpine granite I have encountered anywhere. The opportunities for new routing are only limited by the amount of time you have and your motivation.
From Santiago it is a 3-4 hour drive to the trail head. From Santiago take Ruta 5 south through Rancagua to San Fernando, from San Fernando head east on I-45 to the confluence of the main river with the Rio Azufre. You will need to stop in San Fernando to arrange for mules and to register with the police. The Torres del Brujo is very close to the site of the downed Urugayan airplane that carried the rugby team made famous in the movie "Alive". It was through the Torres del Brujo valley that the survivors descended and encountered the ranchers that aided in the rescue of the remaining party from the crash site.
Poco de Patagonia tackles the central system of dihedrals on the smaller (350m) Aprendiz del Brujo. The first ascentionists rated this climb 5.10+, but it is no doubt 5.11. 8-10 pitches of sustained 5.10/.11 crack climbing that is reminiscent of the Rostrum in Yosemite(including a burly off-width). There are two distinct cruxes: The top of pitch one has a section of delicate and technical face climbing and pitch 5 is a long 50m corner with a thin fingers/tips section at the top(See Video in a...[more]Browse More Classics in International