Banos Zoologico Sport Climbing
Alejo Lazatti tests the slick holds on this river ...
This northwest facing cliff stays in the shade most of the day which is key even at these moderate altitudes so close to the equator. The Banos area can be closed due to volcanic eruptions of Tungurahua and the Rio Pastaza which connects to the Rio Maranon that feeds into the Amazon to the Atlantic in Brazil can flood on occasion making this climbing area inaccessible.
The rock is river polished basalt that has a layer of dust in many spots and most routes are 20m high on this 90m overhanging wall that is 60m wide. The majority of the routes are in the 5.10+ (6+) range up to 12+ (7b+) and all bolted with anchors mostly 15-20m high. Rarely busy, very difficult to onsight, breezy and cool in this amazing jungle-alpine-river gorge location with a sand beach and bouldering. Sand flies will bite your ankles so socks and pants with tight ankles will take care of this annoyance.
There has been minimal route development since the original installations in 1996-97 by Eli Helmuth and friends with a few moderate routes added and anchors updated by Eli and Alejo Lazzati in 2011.
The original name for this cliff "Zoologico Vertical" reflects its location adjacent to the Banos Zoo, located on the west end of Banos as you enter from the on the north side of the road and just 100m downhill brings you to the narrow bridge over the Canyon de Santa Banos where the Pastazo River carves a 120m deep gorge through vertical walls of polished basalt. Park on the other side of the canon at the zoo and walk through a narrow road cut to the entrance to the "adventure park" where you pay the $1-2 fee/person.
Weather station 1.1 miles from here
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