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Published on 4/6/2002

Normal Route from Puente Đilhue

Cerro Provincia
First ascent :
Valley :
Mapocho
Face :
West
Altitude gain : 1750m
From Puente Đilhue.

Reporte de estado de ruta
Info GPS
Rated by 80 people
Physical3.2
Technique1.6
Exposure2

Best season

One can climb Cerro Provincia during the entire year, although one should not underestimate the climb during snowy winters and when there is bad weather.


Access

At the border between the communes of Las Condes and Lo Barnechea, to the east of Santiago, one takes the Camino de Farellones (the road which winds through the mountains following the Mapocho river). You will find the trailhead for the climb of Cerro Provincia opposite kilometer 6 of the Camino de Farellones (kilometer 6 is marked with a sign). The most traditional route up Cerro Provincia starts right in front of Puente Đilhue (the old bridge for the dirt road that used to climb to Farellones, and that is used to cross the Mapocho), between some rocky outcrops. (See photo 1). If you cannot find transportation via car, it's recommended that you take a microbus to the end of Las Condes avenue, at the YPF gas station, which is before arriving at the plaza San Enrique. From here, you can hitchhike or simply take a taxi to Puente Đilhue.
To clarify: you must take the dirt road towards the right, at kilometer 6, before reaching the new Puente Đilhue, on the Camino de Farellones. After about 500 meters on the dirt road you will find the trailhead for the climb.


Approach

Because this is a peak that one can climb in one day, there is no approach. Some prefer to camp in Vallecito or at Alto del Naranjo and climb the peak the following day.


The climb

From Puente Đilhue, you take the signed trail from the entrance that climbs over a sector of rocks. In some parts, this section requires a bit of adhesion to the rock, or you can simply use the iron chains for help. Also, there are handrails in the most exposed sections. In other words, it is difficult to get lost here.

Once you have climbed the first rocky part, you will walk beside a river bed with abundant flora typical of the precordillera until you come upon a wider, perpendicular trail (no more than 10 minutes to this point). This trail turns to the left, toward the east, and continues around and below a hill. After approximately 300 meters, and a bit of a climb, this trail joins a dirt road. Follow the dirt road, duck under a fence that is across the road, and then take the trail which exits to the right, and which starts to climb the hill via switchbacks. This trail that exits to the right is marked with a wooden post. In less than 40 minutes from Đilhue, you will arrive at a ridge of the other arm of the hill. From here, the route continues toward the top of the same hill, toward Alto del Naranjo. It is very difficult to get lost, and every so often there are posts marking the way. Keep an eye out for the trail that descends toward Vallecito via the east side of the hill. If you are on a trail that starts to descend, it is a bad sign.

After walking a short way after taking the ridge, you will see the ridgeline to Provincia. The trail continues to the right of the ridge, to the top of the ridgeline. A little bit further, a canal crosses the side of the hill and goes underneath the trail. This is a classic place to rest. You will arrive at Alto del Naranjo in less than 40 minutes from the canal. Once you are at Alto del Naranjo, a beautiful plateau dominated by the presence of an old and lush quillay tree, you will have climbed the first third of the route, and probably the hottest and most tiring third (depending when you go). The walk up until this point, at 1850 meters, should not take more than 3 hours. An hour and a half or two hours is considered a very good time.

The second third starts along a ridgeline, following a trail with a very shallow climb, that occasionally climbs various hills, until arriving at the central spur that you will follow to the summit. This part will take less than one hour, in total.

In the last third, you climb the spur that leads directly toward the summit. The wind chill factor will start to lower the temperature, especially with more wind, and the steepness increases considerably, although you climb via a clear trail that switchbacks over stable ground, without any danger. Towards the end of this spur, you must downclimb a section of rock, and on both sides the drop-off is steep and the ground is slippery. At this point, you must take great care from slipping toward either side. The final meters are a short section of loose rock which leads to a flat section, which many confuse with the summit (also, there is a thick pole marking the place). This is a false summit. You will reach the summit in less than 7 minutes, on a trail leading toward the east until a small promontory of rock over which they have put a small wooden cross. From the base of the ridge to the summit is the final 750 meters of ascent, and will take between two and three hours.

In review, concerning times:

Normal time (an average person who climbs at a pace of 300 meters per hour): 5 to 6 hours.

Normal time for a mountaineer: those that climb frequently will take between 3 and 4 hours. If one can maintain a faster pace, it's possible to take between two and two and a half hours.

Time for "high altitude runners": There is a sport (it's recent) in which one climbs peaks while trail running. Some people call these marathons of altitude. The record on Cerro Provincia for this type of competition is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

From the summit, one has a good panorama of the entire central cordillera.(See photo 3)


Recommendations

  • If you climb in summer, carry a lot of liquid and depart before 9:00 AM

Suggested gear

  • Good boots (high tops), as the trail is very hard, especially in the descent.
  • Windbreaker and some extra clothing.

Normal schedule


  1. Stgo-cumbre-Stgo

Alternate schedule


  1. Santiago-Alto del Naranjo (or Vallecito)
  2. Alto del Naranjo (or Vallecito)-Summit-Santiago

      


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