Hiking into Chile’s secret valley

French hiking addict Romain Martin takes in the view of Mt Trinidad over the Cochamó river in Chile’s fabled Cochamó valley. Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4L IS USM lens. Exposure Details: 1/60 seconds @ f9 ISO 500

This post comes to you from a fabled valley hidden deep in Chile’s Northern Patagonia.

After a five-hour slog through dense temperate rainforest, contending with eight-foot mud trenches and precarious river crossings, my friend Romain and I arrived at an awe-inspiring Garden of Eden: Cochamó Valley. No car has ever penetrated this valley, no road has ever been built and the forests have never been felled. By a river of pure sapphire that splits the valley sits a sleepy mountain refuge and camp-ground. Flanked on all sides by thousands of metres of hulking granite mountains and ancient forests (gigantic patagonian cypress up to 4000 years old dominate the valley walls) it is a paradise for climbers, hikers and horseman alike. It is also a place where for 150 years local arrieros have moved their cattle on a small scale and maintained a unique tradition of horsemanship. However as we soon discovered it is a paradise under threat and for a decade an inspiring battle to save the valley from road building, forestry and hydro-electric development has been waged by a small but growing team of locals and expat climbers. Banding together they have formed Conservacion Cochamó, a non profit organisation dedicated to preserving the valley’s natural and cultural heritage and promoting sustainable tourism.

Muchas gracias for reading, if you enjoyed the photo why not leave a comment? On that note I’m also thinking that today is the perfect day for you to throw me a like on my facebook page if you feel so inclined.

Cheers,

Cam.

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