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South America, Venezuela, Sierra de la Culata, New Routes

Sierra de la Culata, New Routes. This range situated north of Mérida offers an array of climbs on good rock. The peaks vary from 4200 to 4762 meters. In 1994, we opened two new routes. On April 17, Eduardo Márquez and I climbed the northeast spur of Pico Mina de Hierro (4582 meters, 15,032 feet). The narrow chimney we chose offered good handholds; a ridge took us to the summit. A month later, on May 15, Leonardo Jesus and I climbed Pico Agua Blanca (4671 meters, 15,325 feet) by its steep rocky spur on the east flank. Both climbs are of IV+ difficulty.

José Betancourt, Mérida, Venezuela