Cochamo Valley, Chile: Part 6, Cascada to the top / by Drew Smith

After returning from our trip to Puerto Montt we were anxious to continue going up on Arco Iris. We free climbed the bottom 5 pitches we had previously established to make it back up to King Ledge were our food and gear was cached. It hadn't rained in 23 days which was unusual in the valley and we began to stress of the rains coming and shutting us down. Chance and I began to prepare for our final push to the summit, hoping the weather would hold. 6 days worth of water and food were packed in haul bags and hauled up to a small ledge at the end of pitch 12.   

After hauling our gear 7 pitches up to our new high camp, Chance was able to lead a pitch off of pitch 12 before it began to rain.

Day 24 it finally rained, a waterfall was rushing over our portaledge for most of the night. The next day we awoke giving this small ledge the name Cascada Ledge.
Two days after arriving to Cascada Ledge, Chance and I made it to the top of Arco Iris. We gave high-fives exited about the first ascent but new we still had a lot of cleaning to do on the new pitches to make them free climable.

We spent 7 days living on Cascada Ledge, cleaning and establishing the last 7 pitches of our route. 

Before adding bolts for protection Chance and I would top rope and clean the pitches only placing them in places needed.

After running out of food on Cascada Ledge we repelled the route. We decided it would be easier than trying to do the decent off of the top with all of our heavy gear.

We returned to our base camp at La Junta and heard a week of rain was coming. Pitch 19 was still to vegetated to free climb so we hiked to the top of Arco Iris to finish cleaning the last pitch in the rain.

Cairns were built to mark the decent trail. 
Chance is one tough dude, he was loving this day hanging on our ropes in the rain cleaning the last pitch.

35 days after getting into the valley we had finally established and cleaned all 19 pitches of a new route on Arco Iris. We still had pitches that needed to be free climbed but had to wait for the rain to stop.