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Piedras Blancas

International > S America > Argentina > Rio Negro > San Carlos de Bariloche


Piedras Blancas sits directly above the city of San Carlos de Bariloche by 1,000 ft or so. The area consists of a dozen or more small crags from 10 to 60m. The routes are bolted, mixed, and trad. Many of the bolts are relatively new, including glue-in anchors.

The rock looks like granite, but is actually some kind of volcanic rock, maybe tuff. It feels kind of hollow and light, but solid enough to get in some descent climbing.

This is not a destination climbing area, but if coming to the Bariloche area, it is a great place for 1/2 days of climbing balanced with enjoying city life.

The routes range from 5.6 to 5.12, almost all single pitch. Many routes can be set up on toprope by walking to the top of the cliff.The two main towers have the best routes.

A local guidebook can be purchased at outdoor retail stores but not online. 

Getting There

With Car: From Bariloche, take Avenue de Los Pioneros west from El Centro (the town center). After driving uphill through neighborhoods, you will see signs for Piedras Blancas on the left (south) side of the road. Take this dirt road up Cerro Otto until you see the crags. 15 minutes.

On Foot: Hail a taxi and ask the driver to take you to the trailhead for Piedras Blancas/ Cerro Otto. You can pick up a map in town fairly easy and point to the place on the map you want to be dropped off. From the turn off of Ave de Los Pioneros, it is about a 45min hike uphill on the road or mountain bike trails that cross the road once or twice.

By Bus: Take bus 50 or 51 to the YPF gas station at km 1. From there follow the directions for "On Foot."

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

TR 5.7 on this little crag.
[Hide Photo] TR 5.7 on this little crag.
Some of the crags at Piedras Blancas
[Hide Photo] Some of the crags at Piedras Blancas
The Torres west of Torre Grande - more crags at Piedras Blancas.
[Hide Photo] The Torres west of Torre Grande - more crags at Piedras Blancas.
Torre Grande in the distance.
[Hide Photo] Torre Grande in the distance.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Mike Sullivan
Durango, CO
[Hide Comment] You can take the #50 or #51 buses to the trailhead for 6 pesos -- way cheaper than a cab. Get off at the kilometro uno stop and find the trail that goes up Cerro Otto to Piedras Blancas. A guidebook is available at Club Andino Bariloche for something like 50 pesos, so not much point in detailing routes here. I thought the best climbs were on or around Sector La Carta and the northeast face of Torre Uno. The rock can be a bit grainy/sandy on some climbs, but it's generally pretty good. Definitely worth a couple of days if you are waiting for better weather before going up to Frey. Dec 20, 2014
[Hide Comment] Please be advised that the gravel road to/from Piedras Blancas is a common site for armed robberies. Police and locals have since said it happens about once per month. Walking the down the road at Curva Bariloche with plenty of daylight hours left in the company of 3 solidly built guys and 1 other girl (all climbers), we were approached by two masked men, one with a semi-automatic gun (cocked). They directed us out of sight and onto a nearby trail where we were told to put our heads down and they took all of our belongings including the shoes off the guys' feet. They made out with 5 backpacks filled with ropes, harnesses, draws, our cell phones, wallets, cash, and even passports as well as an engagement ring. Locals say that police will not enter the neighborhood where our stuff likely ended up and reputable shop owners will not purchase used gear from people they don't know for this reason.

Long story short, we're luckily safe and unharmed but be aware this is an ongoing problem. Jan 5, 2019