Patagon Journal: Cochamó Calling: Climbing, Conservation, and Community in Chile's Puchegüín - Freyja Foundation

Patagon Journal: Cochamó Calling: Climbing, Conservation, and Community in Chile’s Puchegüín

27.02.24 — Cochamó Valley, Feature

Freyja’s Director of Philanthropy Brady Robinson recounts his 20-year journey of conservation, climbing, and community in the Cochamó Valley.

Patagonia is so well known for its iconic places that it needs no introduction. Torres del Paine, Tierra del Fuego, Fitz Roy, Perito Moreno. I have been to many of these places — and it’s true, they are spectacular. But the part of Chilean Patagonia that captured my heart by surprise is a lesser-known tract of wilderness referred to broadly as The Greater Pucheguín, known primarily for the Cochamó Valley.

Twenty years ago, I ran courses for Outward Bound in northern Patagonia’s Lake District. The course itinerary was challenging and beautiful. We would hike our students up the Río Blanco in Chile to the shoulder of a massive volcano called Cerro Tronador, cross the border, make a summit attempt, and descend into Argentina via the aptly named Pampa Linda. The courses took several weeks and were some of the best and most challenging offerings by Outward Bound at the time.

The Cochamó Valley, known for its spectacular granite faces and sometimes referred to as the Yosemite of South America, was adjacent to our Chilean approach. I wondered if I could somehow incorporate it into our route. So, I took a few days off work and attempted to find a route through the Cochamó Valley to Tronador.


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