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South America, Venezuela, Pico Vértigo, South Face and Other Climbs

Pico Vértigo, South Face and Other Climbs. Attempting to gain experience in all kinds of weather and all kinds of terrain, Venezuelan mountaineers based in Mérida accomplished during 1985 the following climbs of note. Pico Abanico was ascended by a woman, Dora Ocanto, and me on May 25, introducing a new variant on its southwest face; in July (our winter or rainy season) its southwest wall was climbed in difficult conditions by M. Afonso and J. Albarrán and its south face by N. Rojas and me. Pico Vértigo (4950 meters, 16,240 feet) was climbed on February 2 by its difficult south face by J. Albarrán and S. Villafañe, members of the Club Escalada Libre, a new route. These two peaks are located in the Sierra Nevada de Mérida. On June 23, J. Zambrano and I made on loose rock and on a windy day the first ascent of the south buttress of Pico Agua Blanca (4671 meters, 15,325 feet), which is located in the center of the Sierra de la Culata, north of Mérida.

José Betancourt, Club de Andinismo y Excursionismo, Universidad de los Andes, Mérida