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South America, Colombia, Mountaineering in Colombia

Mountaineering in Colombia. I visited the central Andes of Colombia, ascending, some peaks previously climbed a number of times. An exploration of Nevado Quindío (5400 meters in official maps) revealed that there are indeed five rock peaks, locally called Cordillera (range) del Quindío. The two towers to the east seem to be glaciated. But height is only around 4900 meters. The Quindío peaks, as well as Ruiz, La Olleta, Santa Isabel, El Cisne and Tolima belong now to the new Parque Nacional Los Nevados. On Ruiz (5320 meters, 17,454 feet) climbs are taking place every weekend, with the help of a road through the park that leads to the 4790-meter-high (15,715 feet) ski lodge built by the Colombian Corporatión de Turismo. As for other ranges, the threat posed to climbing expeditions by Kogi Indians in the Santa Marta range seems to have vanished. The “Resguardo Indígena” (Bureau of Indian Affairs) at the town of Valledupar was designated to protect both Indians and tourists, according to information I received in Bogotá from local climbers (December 1974).

Evelio Echevarría