American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

South America, Colombia, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1959

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. In January, 1958 Piero Ghiglione returned to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, ascending the Donachuí valley, accompanied by the guides G. Pirovano and G. C. Canali. They established base camp between the Pico Ojeda (18,012 feet) and La Reina (18,158 feet). The first climb they made was a new route up the ice slope on the north face of an unnamed 16,400-foot peak south of La Reina. From another camp in the upper Guatapuri valley they made new routes to the two middle summits of La Reina by the northeast face and to Pico Ojedo I by the southeast spur. They ascended the unclimbed Ojeda II (17,651 feet) by the west face and descended the southeast ridge. They also made from there the first ascents of the five difficult peaks known as the Nevaditos (between 17,300 and 17,630 feet). (The Chilean, Señor Evelio Echevarría informs us that there are only four Nevaditos and that they extend from the Pico Ojeda to the east, the first being a rock tower of 17,300 feet, the next two ice-peaks of 17,506 and 17,612 feet, and the easternmost Pico Oriental of 17,628 feet.) From camps on the northern slope of the ridge which extends eastward from the Pico Tairona and to the south of the Nevaditos they climbed all the difficult 17,000-foot ice and rock peaks of the ridge. All in all, Signor Ghiglione states that they made 21 first ascents and some 30 new routes during 40 days. They completed the first crossing of the range from northeast to southwest, emerging at San Sebastián. Señor Echevarría states, “After the remarkable activity of the Italians, the only unclimbed peaks of this area are concentrated northwest of Pico Colón, just above the impenetrable forest of the Tucurinca valley.”

Sierra Nevada de Cocuy. Two members of the Cambridge University Expedition that explored the northern area of the Sierra Nevada de Cocuy in 1957 (A.A.J., 1958, 11:1, p. 106), B. A. Curry and R. Perry, returned to climb the fine peak Puntiagudo (17,276 feet) and Púlpito Negro (ca. 17,000 feet). Both peaks were hitherto unscaled. They are located some two miles south of Alto Ritacuba, the highest of the range. Later, the same two mountaineers visited the little range called Nievecitas del Cielo, some twelve miles north of the Cocuy range and also belonging to the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia. They climbed Picos Moscarios and Pico Nievecita, some 16,000 feet high. There is no report of any previous expedition to this range.

Evelio Echevarria C., Federación de Andinismo de Chile

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