Sandy Preiss at the crux of Don Polla
Paute is one of the most developed and highest-quality sport climbing venues in Ecuador. There aren't a lot of cracks to climb, so development came later than nearby Cojitambo. The walls are shorter and the rock is different but every bit as good.
While Coji sports lots of slopers and thin holds, Paute has lots of positive crimps and jugs on steeper rock. The approach is easy, the weather is nice, and in general, Paute lends itself better to a casual day of cragging than Coji, which presents more involved routes and route finding. Paute does have a few multi-pitch routes, but the majority are single pitch.
The Ecuadorian climbing company Monodedo maintains a website with lots of good beta, including individual route descriptions. Check out Paute's site at monodedo.com/web/paginas/topos...
You can get there by bus, but it's a haul. If you choose to do so, take a bus from the terminal in Cuenca to Paute. From Paute, head north and up to the mirador. Keep going until you see the rock to your left.
If you go by car, take the Panamericana north and follow signs to Paute. From town, follow the same directions as by foot.
Once you see the rock to your left, there's and obvious trail from the road to the base of the cliff.
Climbing Season For the South America area.
Weather station 14.0 miles from here
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Paute as seen from the road on a rare rainy day.
This pillar is the start for the routes Dona Pili ...
BETA PHOTO: If driving, you're looking for a steep paved road ...
From: Wherever we park!
Jul 26, 2014
If driving, you're looking for a steep paved road on your left before you completely leave the town. The road quickly turns to dirt and takes you right to the cliff. There is a small pullout by the creek before the first major switchback where you can park and camp. The locals seemed very friendly and we weren't worried about leaving our vehicle unattended. I posted a beta photo with the trail and an arrow marking the parking spot before the switchback.
Great rock, good bolting, and lots to do. The topo from Monodedo didn't help much on route identification so we just eyeballed them from the ground and got after it!