Grade 3C III
Approach: The canyon approach is via the trail to Refugio Lopez. Ascend the trail toward Lopez for about 1-1.5 miles. After leaving the trail, head east into the canyon entering a scree slope which quickly becomes a faint bush whack trail. This turn off of the trail occurs just before you reach the old mountain hut and 4 wheel drive road.
Upper Rappels of Lopez Canyon
Description: Lopez Canyons lower section consists of rappels ranging from 20 ft – 125 ft in length. The canyon starts with 3-4 rappels ranging in length between 10 and 40ft. After these short rappels you come upon a rappel that seems to measure between 60- 70 ft. There is a second stage of about 8 ft. to this rappel that is not a suggested down climb due to the water flow volume. Set this rappel to length so that you are able to rappel beyond this obstacle 85- 90 ft total rappel. Once you drop into this short section of canyon you are in the canyons narrowest steepest part and at higher water flows it can be extremely challenging. The final rappel the longest and most awe inspiring is about 125ft. It can be difficult to visually set the rope length on this rappel without lowering someone. After completing this rappel the canyon widens as you boulder hop and make your way for about 1-1.5 miles back to Hwy 237.
Top of 2nd to last rappel and narrowest steepest section of Lopez Canyon
Other notes: Special thanks to Frederico of Canopy Patagonia for providing beta and showing me this great canyon. Suggested map is the infotrekking San Carlos Bariloche 1:50,000 topographic map. Additional beta available in Lonely Planet’s Trekking in the Patagonian Andes. Further exploration of the upper section of Lopez canyon looked promising to extend into a longer trip. Unfortunately, my exploration was limited due to the fact that I was alone.
Bottom of Last Rappel Lopez Canyon
Pura Vida Adventures offers guided canyoneering programs as well as canyon instructional classes. In addition Pura Vida Adventures offers adventure travel trips to Patagonia Argentina and various other adventure tours in North Carolina and throughout the US. Find out more at www.pvadventures.com .