Access PanAm, created in August 2009 and whose main sponsor has been the Petzl Foundation, supports climber’s organizations throughout Latin America to keep climbing areas open. Its first campaign was therefore to support two local associations to save one of Latin America's most important rock climbing sites, Cochamo, in Chilean Patagonia.
Located near Puerto Montt, the Cochamo valley is a major granite site, often referred to as the "Chilean Yosemite". Its big wall area is recognized as the most attractive in the continent and its very compact granite walls (700 to 1000 m) are a delight for climbers. But the Cochamo site was threatened by the construction of a hydroelectric dam which would have spelt disaster from an ecological point of view. For climbers, that would have resulted in the destruction of climbing sites, or at least access to them.
Through the combined efforts of Acceso Sur and Conservación Cochamó, in relation with Access PanAm, a presidential decree protecting the Cochamó and Petrohué rivers (rivers that would have fed the hydroelectric dam), was signed in late 2009. The Cochamo site is now Area of Tourist Interest and Water Reserve. “This is a real breakthrough,” said Rodrigo Condeza, President Conservacion Cochamó, “but this is the first step in a larger project which aims to create a Protected Area. This Park would be open to everybody, Chileans and foreigners alike.”
To celebrate the protection of Cochamo, a Roc Trip was organised by local climbers in February 2010, bringing together climbers in the valley, repositioning climbing as one of the key tourist activities in the valley.
The Petzl Foundation is proud to honor this first victory and wishes everyone every success for the future!
For more information:
- [11-27-12] Encourage respectful climbs in a major site: Piedra Parada
- [08-30-12] The environment call for projects is extended!
- [05-16-12] The Cochamo valley, a forgotten Yosemite
- [04-23-12] Saving the monk seals in Mauritania
- [12-21-11] Grimper dans les palmiers, un métier dangereux
- [12-20-11] Nepal: training future professional trek guides
- [05-23-11] Call for projects environment!
- [05-02-11] How to reduce accidents in the Gouter couloir?
- [03-29-11] Join the public Conservation Vote !
- [02-14-11] Ice Crystal, a scientific expedition into the heart of the waterfall
- [11-24-10] Results of the 2011 environment request for proposals!
- [07-30-10] Outdoor Industry Conservation Charity joins IUCN
- [06-29-10] Successful release of 3 Bearded vultures in the Vercors massif
- [05-21-10] Makay, the last Eden in flames
- [04-19-10] Saving Cochamo
- [02-05-10] Great success for symposium of the Bonelli's eagle
- [01-22-10] Petzl Foundation supports scientific explorations
- [09-29-09] First steps of Access PanAm
- [07-08-09] The Access PanAm initiative supported by the Petzl Foundation
- [06-05-09] Mountain safety training