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Chile’s “Devils Tower on Steroids”

With splitter multi-pitch routes, this Patagonia peak has some stellar looking rock climbing

Photo by: Patagonia Huts

The Devils Tower in Wyoming is famous for its vertical basalt columns that read up to 150 metres, but just over a decade ago an American opened the first routes on a peak that he calls the “Devils Tower on steroids.”

Nearly 20 years ago, Chilean climber Andres Bozzolo noticed the potential of a remote peak. In 2010, legendary alpinist Jim Donini began to establish routes up the vertical cracks. The peak is called Cerro Colorado and it’s located in Chilean Patagonia’s Reserva Nacional Lago Jeinimeni.

The walls are over 200 metres on the northwest and north aspects. After several years of development, Donini wrote an area profile on Super Topo, which you can still find here. In it, Donini said, “Great venue when the weather over the ice cap is bad, a not uncommon event. Route potential up to 700 feet. So far there are around 22 or 23 pitches with four excellent multi pitch climbs in the 5.11a to 11d range and some nice single pitch climbs starting at 5.8+.”

The best time to visit is January and February, the routes are almost all trad and there’s still a lot of potential for new routes. A sample of a few routes includes Faroeste Caboclo 5.12b/c 150m, The Magic Spatula 5.11c 150m, and Fingers of Fate 5.10d 150m. For more beta, visit Pata Climb here, and for information on huts see here.

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Lead photo: Patagonia Huts