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Elevation: 9,000 ft 2,743 m
GPS: -33.61959, -69.50999
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Shared By: Mauricio Herrera Cuadra on May 18, 2012 · Updates
Admins: Mauricio Herrera Cuadra

Description Suggest change

The Arenales valley is one of the best climbing destinations in central argentina, if not the best. It offers everything from bouldering to aid climbing, with the majority being multipitch trad on the vertical seas of varicolored granites. A lifetime of climbing can be expected from this area, and for every trad line that is up, there are 10 more waiting to be put up. Difficulties go from 5.5 to 5.12+.

Camping is free, but you must register with the park rangers at the lower entrance, the rangers are extremely friendly and outgoing. There is sport climbing right above the ranger station and trad on the other side of the valley. There is a mountain refuge hut in south branch of the valley leading up to the landslides and cerro tupungato, you can bivvy there for free. The water running in the stream next to the hut is drinkable and is perhaps the purest and best tasting you'll ever try. However, water treatment may be necessary since there may be dead animals further upstream. (I found a dead cow in 2010 a quarter mile upstream.)

Mind the weather and the seasons, the elevation at Arenales is around 3000 meters and the valleys will get heavy snow in winter. The weather is nice enough for climbing between october and april.

Getting There Suggest change

Arenales is 135 km southwest of Mendoza city. You should take road RN 40 S for about 35km. Take west exit to Tupungato, crossing Ugarteche town via RP 86 (AKA Camino Los Cerrillos). Once in Tupungato city, turn right (South) in the first traffic lights to take Las Heras st. Drive until the end, cross a bridge and turn right and immediately left to finally arrive on the RP89. After 17 kms there is a small village called Los Arboles, where you can buy ARENALES.GUIDEBOOK 2016 directly from the author Ignacio Elorza (please contact him previously by e-mail). From this village continue for 15 km until  El Manzano Histórico village. From there you  have to continue on a dirt road  (west) for 14km until Refugio Portinari (Argentine Gendarmerie checkpoint). After filling some forms there, you can continue 2km to get to Arenales Valley.

_ Public transport is available regularly from Mendoza to Tunuyán. From there, either you can take another bus to El Manzano Histórico and then walk or hitchhike , or take a private service –“taxi-flete”- or 4x4 truck from Tunuyán or El Manzano to Arenales. The bus service to El Manzano is run by CATA, generally twice a day.

_ Tunuyan is the last best place to buy groceries and anything else you might need before going into the mountains.  If you need a place to stay, La Casa Boulder is a Hostel run by climbers.  I recommend staying there: its near the bus stop and supermarkets, they have guidebooks, local knowledge of climbing in the area, the only climbing wall in town, and beer at night!

18 Total Climbs

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