Rock climbing at Cerro San Martín

Caramor - sailing around the world
Franco Ferrero / Kath Mcnulty
Sun 23 Apr 2017 18:18
41:10.02S 71:25.41W

The sky was clear over Lake Nahuel Huapi when we looked out of the window of our hostel. We were going climbing at a crag on Cerro San Martín, near the ski resort of Villa Cerro Cathedral. 

The view from Hostel Pudu

The bus dropped us off near a gate and it was a short walk up to the Genésis crag. 

Villa Cerro Catedral, the ski resort

The routes looked desperate for the easy grade they were supposed to be. 

“Where were the hand holds?” I wondered. The rock looked as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Once we got started up the face we realised you didn’t need holds, the volcanic rock had such good friction, you could walk up it as if your feet had suction pads attached. We spent two delightful days here.

The Genésis sector of Cerro San Martín

On our third day, the clouds were gathering over the eastern end of the lake. We set off optimistically, for a different crag, Exodo, on the Bariloche side of Cerro San Martín. The access was more difficult as we had to traverse a very steep and loose scree slope to the base. The rock wasn’t as grippy and we watched forlornly as the drizzle wetted the surface. Instead of climbing, in the best of Welsh traditions, we took the rope for a walk.

Lake Nahuel Huapi from Cerro San Martín

We followed the ridge of Cerro San Martín as far as the Balcón del Gutiérrez, a natural ledge feature overlooking the lake, and descended the other side to Lake Gutiérrez and the small community of Los Coihues where we caught a bus back home.

Franco on the Cerro San Martín ridge walk