Sunday July 7th 2013
Santiago's surrounded by mountains, and two of them in particular had caught my eye when I arrived. Cerro Provincia was the most prominent peak visible from the first flat I lived in, while Cerro Manquehue was the most obvious hill near work. With 8 friends, I climbed Manquehue today. We met at work at 8am and walked up to La Piramide, 20 minutes up the road. The trail there is not nice at all at first, climbing past a motorway, some electricity pylons and a sewage works, but eventually it gets to the slopes of Cerro Carbón. We climbed up to a ridge that joins Carbón and Manquehue, and headed for the bigger mountain.
From a long way off we could see an exposed rocky part of the mountain side, which we had to cross. It looked quite daunting from afar, and very daunting from up close. Two of the group decided it was too precarious and headed down. The rest of us carried on but it was a tough scramble.
5 hours after we set off from work, we made it to the top of the mountain. A layer of winter smog hung over the city and made us glad we were above the inversion layer.