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South America, Colombia, La Reina, South Face, Pico Ojeda, Northwest Face and Pico Colón

La Reina, South Face, Pico Ojeda, Northwest Face and Pico Colón, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Jim Wells and I spent from December 29 to January 21, 1977 in the high-peak region, Base Camp being east of Laguna Naboba. We spent nearly a week traveling from San Sebastián. The problems with the local Indians are considerably worse. One must deal with the right parties and stay inconspicuous. On January 8 and 9, 1977 we climbed the south face of La Reina. We followed the middle of three ridges onto the south face. Where the ridge merged with the face, we traversed up and right across snow to the summit. This rather easy route has very loose rock. On January 13 and 14 we climbed the northwest face of Pico Ojeda. We began on steep, good rock in a slight recess reached by climbing the left side of a narrow icefall descending from the southwest ridge. Easier rock led to a chute of water ice in the center of the face. We continued up the center of the face on ice and rock, passing just under and left of a frozen waterfall. A corner left of a blank section took us to easier rock and some 500 feet of steep snow between the north and west ridge. The final rock pitch took us past a large cornice. On January 18 and 19 we climbed the north face of Pico Colón. The route is generally parallel to and east of the prominent north buttress. A bit of aid was needed on the steep rock above the bergschrund to reach an ice ramp. After several hundred feet on the face just left of the buttress, we climbed an ice chute until we could get to a couloir, which reaches the snowfield below the summit. We believe all were new routes. All climbs were done clean.

William McKinney