Elevation: 1,300 ft
GPS: 6.775, -73.087 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 42,752 total · 370/month
Shared By: Juan Carlos Poveda Jaramillo on Sep 27, 2009 with updates from Erik Yde
Admins: Tony Yeary
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Description

Located in the Chicamocha Canyon, one of the largest in the world, canyon with 108.000 hectares, formed 46 million years ago and cover in ancient times by a lake, that allowed the formation of caves and incredible cliffs. La Mojarra climbing park extends for a kilometer and a half in the hearth of the canyon, the orange compact sand stone has more than 200 routes in rating from 5.7 to 5.14 and some projects.
All routes have been protected with high security criteria. In the morning, sunny conditions are hard, but after 12:00 soft conditions with the rock completely in the shadow and the temperature decreasing gives you the chance to enjoy a perfect climbing, in beautiful and aerial scenery. The whole canyon continues with an infinite bolting possibility remaining.
Talking about history the park was discovered 17 years ago by Partners Juan Carlos Poveda, Juan Carlos Santander, Alejandro Navas and Fabian Carreño, who began with the protection of the routes in 1999, Ricardo Cancelado, Juan Sebastian Ragua and some other climbers from Bogota keep with the development of the climbing area this last year.
The accessibility of the place is very comfortable, is about 40 miles from the city of Bucaramanga at Mesa de Los Santos, department of Santander. Just 50mts from the entrance to the park is Refugio la Roca a very nice Refugio for climbers, located on the top of the cliff; the owners are a Colombia couple, both of them climbers and the ones bolting most of the routes for the last 4 years. They have a very update guidebook, equipment rental, and a store where you can find basic equipment, resoling service and a very peaceful and quiet environment for climbers.

The weather is good all year (The forecast on this website is not right)
refugiolarocacolombia.com

Getting There

From Bucaramanga take bus route to Piedecuesta, at about 15 kms. Being there search bus station Flota Cachira and take the bus route to La Mesa de los Santos and going down in Vereda la Mojarra, which take from 45 to 60 minutes. In the area is possible to do camping or take a bed and food, breakfast, lunch, dinner, in several hostels in the area. The price of bus route is approximately 4 USD dollars.

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Classic Climbing Routes at La Mojarra - Cañon del Chicamocha

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Jordan Vaughn
Denver
Jordan Vaughn   Denver
The description for this area is very vague. Firstly the crag is on a plateau called "Mesa de los Santos", it is several hours from San Gil. A great option if you are planning on climbing a few days(it certainly has enough for it), is to stay at the refuge of the rock, a rock climbing hostel located 100 feet from the crag.

If you are attempting to reach the area drive up the mesa and follow the main road past the cable car for the chicamocha park heading towards Los Santos (the town). Before you reach the town by a couple miles you will see on a hill directly off the road on the left, the sign for and the hostel itself (refugio de la roca). You can park here or just past the hostel at the stand on the left. This is where you can access the crag. At the hostel they have a guide book with pictures that they loan out.

If you are not staying at the hostel it is much faster to access the routes from piedecuesta or bucaramanga, as you can avoid the tedious drive through the canyon and the two tolls. Jun 12, 2015
Find add. info on these two reviews. I absolutely recommend La Mojarra. Its one of the best mixture between very good routes, stunning nature, a very cosy hostel and nice people. I (German climber) was there las christmas with my girlfriend.

La Mojarra - review and videos

blog.eddiebauer.com/2015/08… Oct 16, 2016
Gunkswest   CA
As of 12-2016:

We just spent eight days at Refugio la Roca. The owners, Richardo and Alexandra, are wonderful! The amount of thought and work they have put into the refugio and climbing area is just amazing.

We flew to Bucaramanga from Bogota, caught a taxi from the airport to the bus station in Piedecuesta (39,000COP) and then the bus up to Mesa Los Santos (10,000COP each). We were dropped off right at the entrance to the refugio. It's a very simple process.

Leaving, we caught a bus from right in front of the refugio to the Copetran bus station in Bucaramanga (2 hours, 10,000COP/person). We then got right on a Copetran bus that went to Portal Norte bus terminal at the north edge of Bogota (70,000COP/person). We transferred to another bus and were at the Suesca climbing area the same day (the whole trip took about 13 hours). Quite easy, the scenery was great and the bus very comfortable.

The refugio serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (great food) and there's a small shop about 150 yards away (toward Piedecuesta) where you can get food for the crag. A short distance behind the shop (on the dirt road that is just to the left of the shop) is a house where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables (it's the 2nd or 3rd house on the right and has a small sign).

If you need internet or an ATM, you can either take the bus into Los Santos (15 minutes/4,000COP/person) or do the beautiful walk down the old road (the same dirt road that goes by the house with the fruit and vegetables). The walk down the old road to Los Santos is beautiful and takes about an hour. Catch the bus in the main square of Los Santos back up to the refugio (4,000COP/person).

On a rest day, do the 3-4 hour hike down the valley below the cliffs to Los Santos. Start early (like 6-630am) to beat the heat. Generally stay right at each fork you encounter and follow gold colored pieces of tape that mark the way along the trail. It's beautiful and you'll get a glimpse of rural farming as it's been since the 1700s.

Also, make sure you venture far down the cliff and across the via ferreta that Richardo has built. You'll appreciate even more the work he and Alexandra have put into making this a world-class climbing destination!!!

Dec 27, 2016
I've been climbing for a year, but I'm not quite a strong climber yet. I lead 5.8-5.9. Are there enough routes for me there to make the trip worthwhile? Also, will there be climbers looking for belayers? I am traveling alone, and would like a climbing buddy. Jan 23, 2018
I spent a week here in July 2018. Here's what I wish I'd known before I went:

In order to climb they make you do a climbing test, pay a daily entrance fee (10,000 COP, less if you stay at local hostals) and sign legal disclaimers. There's also a complicated ticketing system. Honestly it's a complete hassle.

The crag doesn't "open" until mid morning meaning you can't go for a dawn raid and avoid the heat.

The published grades are not accurate. There are only a handful of beginner/warm up routes. Head to sector 10 for these. A couple of them are highly polished.

All other routes are overhanging. If steep climbing is your thing then this is the crag for you.

Condition of the routes is pretty good. I only found a couple of spinning bolts.

There's a few good trad lines but it didn't seem like anyone bothers climbing them. Bring small cams.

Most routes need less than 10 quickdraws. Bring some extenders for the overhangs.

Hostal Juan Palitos is cheaper and in my opinion much nicer than the refugio. Jul 8, 2018
Hi all,

I will be down in Columbia starting the first week of Nov. 2018, and my girlfriend and I are planning to rent gear and do some climbing in the Chicamocha Canyon area starting Nov. 8-10 (give or take). Does anyone want to meet up? Can anyone give me beta on specific areas, as well?

Feel free to email me at:
nick.carpenter667@gmail.com

Any help is good help!
Much appreciated in advance!

Cheers,
Nick Oct 29, 2018
Jim Lawyer    
I spent 10 days climbing here. There is some hassle, but it's not too bad. For Colombia, it seems pretty standard. (For example, there are fees for parking and climbing at Suesca, and fees for parking and approach at Machetá.)

1. There is a fee to climb here. If you stay at the Refugio la Roca, the fee is waived. (In 2018, it's 10,000 COP, or about $3.00.)

2. There is a small entrance station where your fee is collected, and you must pass through this to access the main cliff areas. If you are staying at the Refugio, ask for a "climbing ticket" at the front desk, then present this to the person at the entrance station so your fee is waived. After climbing here a few days, everyone at the Refugio knows you, and knows you're staying at the Regugio, but you STILL must have this ticket to get your fee waived.

3. You will be asked to sign a register each day you climb here. Even the owner of the property signs in, so they seem pretty serious about it.

4. If this is your first time, you will be asked to complete a waiver. It takes about 1 minute, and is similar to waivers you see at gyms. I assume this is for liability to protect the property owner. Once completed, we never had to revisit this. You need your passport number for this, so be sure to bring it to the cliff for your first visit.

5. If this is your first time, you will also be asked to demonstrate your anchor change-overs. We were not asked to do this, as we clearly knew what we were doing. Many people that climb here do not, so perhaps this is for the best?

6. The entrance station is locked until somebody from the Refugio goes down and opens it; times vary. Several times we just hopped the fence and signed the logbook on our way out. If you ask at the Refugio, perhaps they will open it early? Just talk to Ricardo, the owner, and figure something out; he's a climber and will accommodate. Nobody seemed bothered by us hopping the fence (and taking care of biz on the way out).

7. There is a guidebook, which is simply a collection of thick, index-sized cards printed in color with the sectors topos. These cards are small and crammed with info, and even with my glasses I could barely read them. I was wishing I had printed (on large paper) the sector topos from their web site in advance. You can purchase the guidebook at the Refugio. Be warned -- the purchased guide is more up-to-date than the online info.

8. There are 18 sectors on the main cliff, and this is where most people climb. There are additional sectors above the camping, and I was very unimpressed by these -- very short, junky rock, and bee hives everywhere. There are also additional sectors beyond sector 18 accessed from a via feratta; we examined these carefully and there are some cool-looking routes, although nobody climbs here, so you won't find any chalk.

9. Did I mention the bee hives? There were "death star" hives littering the cliff, and paper wasps nest everywhere. On several routes, I lowered a rope for my stick clip and cleared the [smaller] paper wasp nest above me. I wouldn't dare touch the death stars. Often the nests are off to the side, and the insects don't seem very aggressive. But I did get stung. Might want to bring medications if you have a sensitivity to stings. We definitely stayed off some routes due to the nests. We were told that the Refugio clears these from time to time. I don't envy that job. (We had the similar issues at Machetá, so we were used to it.) Nov 25, 2018
Jacob B  
LA MOJARRA - 2019 UPDATE. The grades are much more normalized to what you might find in the USA, the bolts are close together and the routes are generally short and steep. If you’ve never climbed before, this place is much friendlier to start when compared to Suesca, as there are more beginner grades which are easily accessible. You can also hire a guide if you are in need of some lessons.

Where to stay: There are a few nearby hostels where you can either pay for a bed or to camp, but the only real option is Refugio la Roca. It is the closest and by far the most popular place to stay. A high percentage of its clientele are climbers, so it is the spot to go if you’re looking for a partner or someone to hang out with. Not to mention, El Refugio owns the access rights to the climbing, so your entrance is free only if you stay there!

The Climbing - In a word, excellent. The rock is high quality, heavily featured sandstone. There is a mix of styles, but most of the routes are slightly to very overhung, with a lot of explosive bouldery moves. Super fun to climb. The bolting has all been done to a high professional quality, and due to the dry desert conditions, you don’t really have to worry much about rust. All bolts are stainless or titanium glue-ins.

How to arrive - From Bucaramunga, take a bus or cab to the town of Pidecuesta. If you are coming from the airport, I suggest taking a cab to Pidecuesta as the buses to arrive are a mess (the cost from the airport to Pidecusta is 30,000-35,000COP). From there you can take a bus towards Los Santos (they leave every 30 min or so). From Piedecuesta it will take 1.5-2 hours to arrive at the Refugio.

For a full guide on the climbing see: thewanderingclimber.com/spo… Feb 23, 2019