Trip Report
Anti-radness (i.e. family fun) in La Vigilancia
Tuesday August 19, 2014 11:23am
La Vigilancia is a 1,000 foot high mesa-like hill about 250 miles south of Buenos Aires and about 20 miles from my house. Some of the best clip-ups in all of Argentina can be found on the steep crags guarding the top of La Vigilancia. There are even a handful of good gear routes, in case you're a hard-core gear placer.

El nido in La Vigilancia.
El nido in La Vigilancia.
Credit: yanqui

The area is on private property and in order to climb you have to register (at least 24 four hours in advance) and pay a fee (note: if you plan to visit Argentina in the near future, make sure you learn your way around the black market dollar, so as to get the maximum spending power from your foreign currency).

Last weekend we went to La Vigilanicia.

Ceci and Gaby on the hike in to the climbs
Ceci and Gaby on the hike in to the climbs
Credit: yanqui

This was a family outing, with lots of moderate sport routes for everyone to try. Thus, there is very little radness or awesomeness to be found in this particular trip report. However, there was a pretty rad-looking goat skull marking the trail up to the cliffs (we climbed in a sector known as "El Bosque").

Ceci and Gaby doing goat skull imitations
Ceci and Gaby doing goat skull imitations
Credit: yanqui

When we got to El Bosque, we met Martín, his wife Analía, his son Rafael, Adrian, Hugo and Hugo's girlfriend, who had gotten there earlier.

Martín got real serious climbing this 5.9.

Martín getting real serious (but not rad or awesome) on a 5.9
Martín getting real serious (but not rad or awesome) on a 5.9
Credit: yanqui

Later Ceci top-roped the route.

Ceci climbing the same 5.9 pictured above
Ceci climbing the same 5.9 pictured above
Credit: yanqui

Martín doing a foot-lifter move on the 5.9 right nextdoor.

Martín foot-lifting on a 5.9
Martín foot-lifting on a 5.9
Credit: yanqui

The highlights of El Bosque are three 5.10 face climbs right at the entrance to the sector. The routes are a bit squeezed, but they do offer steep, interesting and continuous face climbing.

In order to get to the first bolt on each of these, you have to do a little move. Gaby offers me some hand-jiving mojo.

There´s a little move getting to the first bolt
There´s a little move getting to the first bolt
Credit: yanqui

The middle face route is probably the hardest (maybe 5.10c) and has a tricky part near the top.

Getting ready for a tricky part.
Getting ready for a tricky part.
Credit: yanqui

Did it!
Did it!
Credit: yanqui

There are four other bolted 5.10s in El Bosque. Here's Ceci top-roping one of them

Credit: yanqui

Back at camp, Rafael gives Ceci a hand on the slackline

Credit: yanqui

Then Ceci managed the slackline alone

Credit: yanqui

That night, we chowed-down in the dining tent

Credit: yanqui






















  Trip Report Views: 861
yanqui
About the Author
yanqui is a climber from Balcarce, Argentina.

Comments
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this just in

climber
north fork
  Aug 19, 2014 - 11:36am PT
Very cool yanqui. These are my favorite TRs, places I have never seen or heard of. I will make it to Argentina one day.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Aug 19, 2014 - 01:17pm PT
Pretty cool place to have so close to home!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 21, 2014 - 06:25pm PT
Looks like total radness to me!!!
Nice TR!!!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Aug 21, 2014 - 06:37pm PT
cool.

but what is the black market dollar? Is this a bargaining skill, or a location for obtaining local currency?
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Aug 21, 2014 - 07:49pm PT

right on!!

thanks for sharing,
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Aug 21, 2014 - 08:05pm PT
Nice, great to see all of your crew going for it.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Author's Reply  Aug 23, 2014 - 06:49am PT
Thanks for the comments! The climbing around here is the closest to Buenos Aires and is pretty damn good for bouldering and 1 pitch climbs. There are areas where you don't have to register or pay (e.g: outstanding bouldering and about 50 short, mediocre routes near my house, good cragging at Sierra de los Difuntos, and good bouldering near Sierra de los Padres) but La Vigilancia has the best roped climbing, there is an excellent guidebook available and it's relatively easy to find your way around if you don't know the area. Just type "Sierra La Vigilancia" into google to find their web page.


but what is the black market dollar? Is this a bargaining skill, or a location for obtaining local currency?

The government started currency controls after the 2012 election (it's called "el cepo cambiaria" here) which have gone through a number of small regulatory changes over time, but more or less the controls entail that people in Argentina cannot go into banks and currency exchanges and freely buy foreign currencies for the prices (in pesos) the government stipulates these currencies are worth. These restrictions immediately created a black market price for the US dollar. Right now the official price is about 1 US dollar = 8.35 pesos, except it is basically impossible to obtain dollars for this amount. However, if you try to exchange your dollars for local currency at banks or currency exchanges you will be given this rate. The blacket market price for the dollar is published daily in major newspapers (it's called the "el dolar blue") and right now is about 1 dollar = 13.75 pesos. For an outsider to obtain the black market price (or something close to that) it might not be too hard in Buenos Aires. If you have friends who are locals you can talk to them. Or try talking to a taxi driver or people at small businesses (for example, at climbing gyms) and see if they interested (or know someone who is interetsed) in buying some of your dollars. It may be harder to make these kind of exchanges in smaller towns.

It's all part of the fun in Argentina!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Aug 22, 2014 - 11:48am PT
Awesome Family Radness TR!!

More countryside pictures please?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Aug 22, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
Do you have any pictures of the big part of the cliff?
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Author's Reply  Aug 22, 2014 - 01:46pm PT
Mike m: the "big" part of the cliff is not so big (maybe 70 feet high). However the routes tend to be steep, very continuous at their grade and physically demanding.

Sierra la Vigilancia
Sierra la Vigilancia
Credit: yanqui

La Morsa en La Vigi
La Morsa en La Vigi
Credit: yanqui

Sierra La Vigilancia <br/>
Sierra La Vigilancia

Credit: yanqui

Sierra La Vigilancia
Sierra La Vigilancia
Credit: yanqui
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
  Aug 22, 2014 - 02:33pm PT
there is very little radness or awesomeness to be found in this particular trip report.

I disagree.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Author's Reply  Aug 22, 2014 - 03:47pm PT
Survival: I don't have too many countryside photos of La Vigi, but I'll try to get some more next time. Here's a photo of out tents, that shows some countryside:

Credit: yanqui

and a photo of "La Morsa" climbing a roof, with some countryside in the background

La Morsa climbing in La Vigi with countryside in the distance
La Morsa climbing in La Vigi with countryside in the distance
Credit: yanqui

Here's a shot of some countryside Argentina is famous for, but you'll have to head 1500 miles further south to see this:

Famous Argentine peak
Famous Argentine peak
Credit: yanqui
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Aug 22, 2014 - 05:27pm PT
Sorry I misread your original post and thought you said it was a 1000ft cliff. Looks like a great area. Love seeing other parts of the world.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Aug 22, 2014 - 07:04pm PT

I am grateful for TRs like this. Thanks.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
  Aug 23, 2014 - 06:24pm PT
Really great photos, Tim. Keep up the good work!


;>)
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Aug 23, 2014 - 07:35pm PT
That looks like super fun rock! Thanks for the TR share - hope you have more soon!
Mike Friedrichs

Sport climber
City of Salt
  Aug 25, 2014 - 02:32pm PT
Tim,

That's really nice and what it's all about. We do need more trip reports like this.

I just spent a week in Wyoming and talked with Joe about you. He's really excited to re-connect with you. I don't think he ever checks supertopo but I did tell him to look you up and attempt a PM. If you don't get one, let me know and I'll try and get his email address.

Thanks again for quality climbing (and family) content.

mike
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
Author's Reply  Aug 25, 2014 - 03:15pm PT
Thanks, Mike. I'll keep my eyes open for the message from Mr. Cupps.
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