see also www.dav.cl (Homepage of the Deutscher Andenverein) for particularities, rescue and other hazards.
The area around Santiago enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with average maximum temperatures between 10°C in July to 30°C in January. Sport climbing can be done all year, however, most cliffs like Torrecillas, San Gabriel and Punta Zanzi are not exposed to sun in winter. From May to August is the rainy winter season, but even though rainy weather is not dominant and in many times better than the summer in Europe. Rains during the rest of the year are occasional, but can be heavy. In the mountains violent thunderstorms with strong precipitations can always occur. We have seen falling 0.5m of snow in less than one day. Nights may be cold even in summer. Ice climbing is possible during 4 months from June to September due to the altitudes around 3000m. The season for alpine-style ice and mixed routes around 4500m mostly ends in January due to strong melting. See weather report below www.meteochile.cl.
Locations are shown on the maps below ->Maps with locations
El Manzano, San Gabriel and Baños Morales are accessible by public transport. Buses run from Plaza Italia and Parque O`Higgins along the Av. Vicuña Mackenna until San José de Maipo. In January/February there is daily service to Baños Morales, else only on weekends. The road on the northern side of the river can be followed until about 3000m of altitude. 4WD necessary. There are no services to Embalse El Yeso. This road can be driven until Termas de Piuquencillos. 4WD is recommended.
Public transport to skiing resorts only in winter. Hitchhiking is possible but not always successful. Try climbing store La Cumbre in Las Condes for a private ride.
Take buses from Terminal Norte near Metro station Los Héroes.
There are numerous valleys and zones where you can hike and climb. Access may be difficult as most areas are private land. Owners generally restrict access. You need to ask for permission before going to some areas. However, almost all the climbing areas shown in this site have comparatively free access or are in national parks that are administrated by Conaf (Forest National Corporation). Please behave carefully and do not also leave your waste.
Officially there is a rescue team (Cuerpo de Socorro Andino o Rescate Andino) from one of the mountain clubs. We have never seen them in action. On the other hand, the police (Carabineros de Chile) generally claims to be the one and only institution in charge of mountain rescue, presumably for the reason of publicity. Although there is a terribly high rate of accidents among chilean climbers, experience shows that none of those institutions is capable, not even of an easy rescue. Usually, the fight about who will take action in a certain case takes at least one or two days. By all that, the accidented person is the least important thing. Without the people from the television, a helicopter will never start. When climbers tried to organize a rescue by their own, they already had been arrested. Thus, the best solution is never have an accident. If so, immediately call a private helicopter service and come with a couple of experienced friends. Unless a deadly accident happened never tell the police!