DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Terrain - ATACAMA DESERT  

 

This sector of the Cordillera is the Central Andes with respect to both Argentina and Chile.  It also contains some of the highest summits, including Cerro Aconcagua itself. In part, at least, it is also one of the more accessible sectors of the range, being adjacent to the city of Santiago, and served by a paved highway from just north of the city to Mendoza in Argentina.

 

Cerro Aconcagua, at 6959 meters altitude is the highest summit in South America.  This is the South Face.
Click to see big picture (623x402 pixels; 90 KB)
And being so famous, it attracts hordes of both climbers and sightseers.  Aconcagua is entirely in Argentina. Click to see big picture (640x387 pixels; 99 KB)
This was the Aconcagua base camp known as Plaza de Mulas in 1966.  I understand that the site is now grossly overcrowded, with a swank hotel nearby.   Click to see big picture (325x480 pixels; 77 KB)
In fact in 1966 this was a mule station for the Argentine army, and I got dysentery amoeba from bumming food off them. Plaza de mulas
And on the adjacent highway, there is the Aconcagua cemetery for those killed on the mountain. Click to see big picture (548x378 pixels; 96 KB)
A feature of Aconcagua and other high Andean sites are forests of ice pinnacle known as penitentes.  These form in areas where ice wastes by direct evaporation, a process known as sublimation. Click to see big picture (578x402 pixels; 77 KB)
Cerro Cuerno south face, adjacent to Aconcagua.    Click to see big picture (348x480 pixels; 68 KB)
On the Chilean side of the border, the international highway passes the tourist ski resort of Portillos. Click to see big picture (640x415 pixels; 89 KB)
And there are some spectacular summits in the Portillos area.  The main peak here is Cerro La Parva. Click to see big picture (640x433 pixels; 105 KB)
Cerro Tupungato at 5660 meters is also one of the higher mountains.  Shown here from the east, it straddles the Chile-Argentine border.  It is a stratovolcano, and the name is native, meaning "viewpoint for the stars". Click to see big picture (621x401 pixels; 87 KB)
Part of Cordon del Plata, to south of Mendoza, Argentina    Click to see big picture (338x480 pixels; 78 KB)
Cerro Altar, 5200 m., rises above the Yerba Loca Valley, immediately east of Santiago. Click to see big picture (640x401 pixels; 102 KB)
Volcan Maipo (5323 m.) straddles the international border to southeast of Santiago.  Here it is viewed across Lago Diamante in Argentina.  The large, round sector of pipe is a fast way to set up an alpine hut. Click to see big picture (614x406 pixels; 91 KB)
Closer to Santiago,Cerro Morado is a popular hiking and climbing destination, accessed from the Rio Maipo.    Click to see big picture (339x480 pixels; 83 KB)
A road from Santiago up the Maipo and Volcan Rivers gives access to scenery and rock crags such as this. Click to see big picture (624x480 pixels; 124 KB)
Sunset on some of the gypsum strata summits of the upper Rio Maipo. Click to see big picture (617x369 pixels; 69 KB)
Gypsum is also partly responsible for the coloration of the Amarillo Mountains group. Click to see big picture (640x402 pixels; 99 KB)
It may look nice, but it is an ugly rock for climbing on. Click to see big picture (623x480 pixels; 126 KB)
Cerro Castillo (5486), also known as Cerro Jeria, rises from the Chile-Argentina border at the head of Rio Maipo's Negro fork.  This is from the south. Click to see big picture (640x448 pixels; 104 KB)
Cerro Castillo from the Southeast.  As this translates as Castle Mountain, there are several summits with the same name. Click to see big picture (640x441 pixels; 97 KB)
And a camp below Cerro Castillo.  Nice area. Click to see big picture (345x480 pixels; 56 KB)
A rock tower on the side of Cerro Arguelles. Click to see big picture (326x480 pixels; 47 KB)
Above the Chilean mining town of Rancagua is the spectactular Paredones Valley, with wild summits dominated by a peak of the same name on its north side.
On the Argentine side of the Andes, some rock towers near the ski resort of Las Leñas. Click to see big picture (640x406 pixels; 80 KB)
Moving south, Volcan Descabezado (3830 m.) to the east of Talca.  This translates as "beheaded volcano", and indeed it appears to have blown off its top. Click to see big picture (640x418 pixels; 88 KB)
Cerro Santa Elena, north of the head of Rio Teno. Click to see big picture (575x467 pixels; 64 KB)
Volcan Planchon above Lago Teno at the head of the Teno River, Chile. Click to see big picture (536x480 pixels; 82 KB)
Cordon Manzanar, rising above Embalse Melado, Chile Click to see big picture (477x480 pixels; 77 KB)
This cliff above the road up the Rio Ancoa from Linares, appears to have rock climbing possibilities.  It is known as Peñascola Relbun. Click to see big picture (583x480 pixels; 86 KB)
There is an unfortunate habit in Chile to paint graffiti on summits, in this case on the popular Cerro la Campana, to northwest of Santiago. Click to see big picture (640x375 pixels; 103 KB)