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South America, Colombia, Huila, Tolima and Cocuy Peaks

Huila, Tolima and Cocuy peaks. “Andes-75,” a Polish expedition from Gdansk composed of seven speleologists and climbers led by Walenty Fiut, explored the main caves of central Colombia and also did some mountaineering in the Cordillera Central and in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy in the eastern part of the country. In the former, the Poles made the first ascent of the unnamed (southern) peak of the Huila massif (c. 5150 meters, 16,897 feet) in late December; they have asked the Colombian government to name this peak “Pico Polonia.” With the German H. Frank and the Colombians H. González and J. Curzio they also made the third ascent of Pico Mayor del Huila (c. 5350 meters, 17,553 feet). On January 3, 1976, two expedition members ascended Nevado del Tolima (5215 meters, 17,112 feet). In the Cocuy range, W. Fiut, H. Frank, G. Goeggel, S. Gaviria and D. Otero climbed on January 19 and 20 Nevado Pan de Azúcar (Nevado del Púlpito, 5210 meters, 17,093 feet) and “Toti,” locally known as Nevado Paloblanco (5074 meters, 16,646 feet). Fiut alone also climbed Púlpito del Diablo (“Devil’s Pulpit”), a rock block about 16,000 feet, rising in the middle of the west glacier of Nevado Pan de Azúcar, probably a third ascent.

Evelio Echevarría