Cerro Malcante

  • Cerro Malcante
  • 5105 m
  • Primary factor 1903 m
  • Near
  • Location: South 25.07784, West 65.85114 (GPS on the summit)
  • Saddle is marked on map, north of peak, 5340 m.
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2.
  • Climbed February 17 2022.

Copyright Petter Bjørstad, 2009-2022.


How to get there:
The city of Salta is a good point of departure. Salta has good flight connections with Buenos Aires. Drive Hwy. 68 south to El Carril. Take Hwy. 33 more west. The road will climb a spectacular valley before reaching the pass Piedra del Molino. This location has parking, a tourist viewpoint and several information signs.
Continue, the road now descends gently towards the base of Tintin. Finally, you will drive with Tintin up on your left hand side. This road connects to the small town of Payogasta, but there is a road fork near location S25.12888, W65.99975. Turn right here and take the right fork shortly thereafter. Follow this (pretty good dirt road) as it climbs the lower slopes of Malcante. Complete several zig-zag turns before arriving near S25.07073, W65.8749, elevation a bit above 4000 meter. This is a good trailhead area.
Route description:
First, head directly uphill. Slightly higher, turn more left and follow the pretty broad, but distinct ridge upwards. There are several switch-back trails, pick one that looks good and continue upwards until you reach the summit. Do not take the trail that descends, then connects with the ridge all the way to your left (facing uphill). The summit will eventually appear.
Here is a quick overview of the peaks climbed on this trip in Argentina.
We had driven past Salta after climbing Pereyra the previous day. We crashed in a local hotel around midnight and agreed that we had to drive here by 0400, ie. a very short night.
Starting at 0815, we made the summit at 1100. The return was slightly more than one hour for a total trip around 4 hours. Next, we needed to drive to Tafi del Valle, quite a long drive. On the way back down to the main highway we noticed this strange sign. It is in Spanish, but seem to imply that this National Park do not want visitors! The main purpose of a National Park is to have people hiking and exploring. Someone should tell the Argentine authorities that they are heading the wrong way!