Montes de Valle Leones   43275
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1 Cerro Castillo, 2675, 101 km
2 Río Claro
3 2287
4 2293
5 Río Leones
6 Cordón de Las Parvas
7 Carretera Austral
8 2440, 69 km
9 Lago Carrera / BUenos Aires / Chelenko
10 Macizo Jeinemeni
11 Bahia Catalina
12 Cordon Contreras
13 San Lorenzo, 3706
14 La Torre, 2337
15 Diablo Negro, 2250
16 Tronco, 2410
17 Cristal, 2745
18 (Hielo Norte)
19 Mocho
20 Cerro Redondo, 1504
21 Cerro Fiero, 3415
22 Lago Leones, 316
23 N.20710
24 Lago Fiero
25 Silberhorn - Cuerno de Plata, 3725
26 San Valentín, 4058
27 Tirolesa
28 Rio Leones
29 (Valle Exploradores)
30 Las Parvas, 2235


Location: Nameless summit (2027 m)      by: Pedrotti Alberto
Area: Chile      Date: 24-03-2014
I continue the recuperation of old Patagonian panoramas with what was, from a documentary point of view, one of the staples of the series. The original title sounded "SanValentín:2-2", highlighting the fact that the elevation of the summit here is "only" one half of what lies on the other side of the valley, and on the east margin of the Hielo Norte: namely, the San Valentín, highest mountain of the Patagonian Andes. A remarkable feature of this panorama is that, with a certain attention, you are able to spot inside it also the beautiful profile of the San Lorenzo, with 3706 m ranking second in that classification.
I climbed the mountain from Valle Leones, which in turn can be reached by some 20 km of gravel and sand road from the Carretera Austral, which is in turn a (1247 km) gravel road. The previous day, walking to Lago Leones, I had noticed a hidden side valley where huge and steep moraines allowed to cross the otherwise impenetrable vegetation belt. Following the lively creek, one first gets to a little lake, seemingly unknown to Google Earth: maybe it is a seasonal one. Short after the lake, when in view of a big hanging glacier, one turns left and begins a tough scramble on big stones and finally on a very tricky eroded mountainside. The exit from this stretch to the upper terrasses is very delicate, but however feasible. The higher section is characterized by a long series of couloirs filled with huge stones, each one leading to what on place seems to be the "highest pass on the summit ridge". Yes, it seems, but the true summit is elusive, and its beautiful granite cone appears much later on. Actually, considering that the "base camp" (end of the track / parking of the bicycle) lies at 250 m, and that nearly each metre has to be conquered, the height recorded by the GPS on the top turns out to be a remarkable one.
Due to unexpected length of the ascent - of course rewarded by an unexpectedly precious view - I was caught by the darkness in the zone of huge moving stones, and I thought: these are my enemies, let them be my friends and offer me a partial repair for the night. I named the place Hotel Patagonia, resort and spa... The night at Hotel Patagonia was a long one of shivering and star counting: far safer, however, than taking the risk to walk in the darkness on treacherous terrain.
Up to now, I was not able to gather more information, and every sort of help is welcome. The mountain, however, was not unclimbed, since I found evident remains of a cairn on the top - you can spot its top, badly out of focus, inside the picture.
For me the cover photo of this pleasant ascent, however, remains not the summit panorama, but the single photo "Dos reyes" that I invite you to look on Google Photos:
Namely, after exiting the most tricky stretch, I realized that a condor was controlling me from very close. Then it disappeared, leaving me in despair because I had missed more or less all the shots with him - yes, I know: a reflex would have given better services, but recall the 1247 kms of gravel to cycle... However, few minutes later I saw two huge shadows traversing with impressive regularity and majesty the beautiful granites where I was then climbing. The condor had simply gone to call his best friend: "Come and see the strange new animal who is scrambling down there". Actually, at times they flew so close that I could even hear their conversation - or perhaps was this only an impression? In any case, the 20 minutes spent in the presence of these two majestic individuals, my unique companions in three days within Valle Leones, will be difficult to forget.

20 HF, Canon G1X, 61 mm equiv, 1/1000 sec, f/6.3


Once more, a fascinating view and a fascinating story. I also like the cloud coming in from the north. Cheers, Martin
2016/06/07 22:12 , Martin Kraus
Martin: do not think that that cloud comes or goes. It simply remains fixed over Valle Exploradores, where the scenery is constantly like this:
For information, a farmer told me that it is feasible to traverse in two days from Leones to Exploradores via the side valley visible at 45° (Río Claro).
However, a horse is needed at least to cross the Rio Leones at the very beginning of the adventure.
The only other crossing chance is shown in
2016/06/08 15:14 , Pedrotti Alberto
- reminds me of the immediately present vultures and undertakers at gunfights in Lucky Luke:-)
2016/06/14 23:40 , Jan Lindgaard Rasmussen
So... we can propose the name "Lucky Luke Leones" for this summit!
Cheers, Alberto.
2016/06/15 00:30 , Pedrotti Alberto

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Pedrotti Alberto

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