Sunday, January 09, 2011

Guidebook: Espolones de San Gabriel - Espelon (5.7), La Raya (5.8)

 Espolones de San Gabriel

Approach: From Santiago head to Cajon de Maipo toward San Gabriel. By car, get directions in advance. By the Metro, get to the Los Mercedes subway stop. Head upstairs and grab a Collectivo (fixed-price taxi) to San Gabriel (as of Jan 2011, about 2500 pesos). The ride takes about an hour (maybe a bit less). Be sure to ask the driver to stop at the last bridge / stream before the town of San Gabriel (this will be a couple of minutes before the border stop, which the driver should know).

At the bridge, face up stream and see the obvious many cliff faces of San Gabriel Mountain. For Espolones de San Gabriel, you're heading to the lowest, large faces on the right of the stream.

Cross the street and bend through the two cuts in the barbed wire fence. You should be on the right side of the stream and facing upstream. Walk along the path (crossing the stream where / if necessary) until you come to a loose dirt / small scree field that is directly below a large slab that is facing the stream. Walk straight up the scree field, finding the path of least restistance to the base of the cliffs.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Viva Chile!

The stream below us
Less than four weeks had gone by since I had first arrived and I was rushing to meet "Red" downstairs. Two days prior he had said on the phone that in order to beat the Santiago crowd we'd have to leave early, which was fine to me because I wanted to beat the hot sun as best as we could. I figured he'd have me meet at the end of one of the subway lines at 7am so that we would have an easier time getting a collectivo (fixed-rate taxi) to San Gabriel in Cajon de Maipo, which is a deep, rural, and narrow canyon just to the southwest of Santiago. A day later I recieved an e-mail with the details: "Bring lunch, water, 3,000 pesos for the collectivo, and I'll pick you up at 9am."

And thus, for the first time, the notion of time in Chile had finally settled upon me.