South America, Venezuela, Sierra Nevada de Mérida

Publication Year: 1978.

Sierra Nevada de Mérida. A stay in Mérida revealed that the long active Club Andino Venezolano has been disbanded. Presently there are three small clubs in the city. The most active seems to be Club Cóndor, Carlos Reyes, Presidente, Calle 24 #8-259, Mérida. There are also clubs centered in Caracas. Permission to hike or climb in the Sierra must be obtained from the Headquarters of the Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada and from the Comisión Regional de Defensa Civil. The refugio Pico Espejo, near the upper terminal of the teleférico (4765 m.), was falling into ruins, but still may provide some shelter. It was built in 1955. I was there in March, and made a solo ascent of Pico Bolívar (5007 meters, 16,427 feet) by the Garganta Bourgoin route. There has been a major contribution to the scant literature of Venezuelan mountaineering: