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.