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Jan 20, 2014
More beta on Arenales.
Trailhead and Approach
The trailhead involves driving on many kilometers of gravel road west of TunuyŠn. We barely made it with a low clearance 2wd vehicle. If coming by public transport or a very low clearance vehicle a shuttle may be arranged by stopping at the market near the giant Jesu Christo statue (where the road turns to gravel).
You will also need to pass through Aduana as the valley is very close to the Chile border. Passport required.
Many people camp at the trailhead but a much nicer option is to hike the ~15 minutes up to the refugio.
Approaches to climbing areas from the refugio range from 30 minutes to a half day. Bouldering and several sport climbs are literally within seconds of the refugio. Several areas with high concentrations of climbs may warrant leaving your gear stashed for several days.
The refugio is very basic and offers a place to take shelter, store food and trash. Many people cook here and some people even sleep inside but it is small and in poor condition as of 2014.
Water is available from streams that run all over the valley. I drank without treatment but YMMV. Cows graze the valleys and shit everywhere. Treatment may be prudent.
The bathroom situation is already beginning to become a problem around the refugio and camping areas. Bring a shovel to dig cat holes or a latrine for your stay. Or, even better, pack it out.
Cows are everywhere and aggressive. Food and trash should be kept in the refugio or hung above ground. Prickly plants are also abundant throughtout the valley. I found a sliver kit to be useful on numerous occasions.
A guidebook is currently available by Mauricio Fernandez and is already in 3rd addition (2009). It can be purchased at climbing shops in Mendoza. It became apparent after just several days that only a fraction of the existing routes are currently documented. Another guidebook is apparently in the works as well. Also, check out: arenalesclimbing.com