American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Adankasima Tepui, El Camino del Danto

South America, Venezuela

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 2011

The Adankasima Tepui, in the heart of the Bolivar State, is one of 13 tepuis comprising the Chimanta Massif. It is a magical land, where miles and miles of tepuis and sandstone walls make us forget the chores and daily problems of the city. The magic overcomes us. Adankasima had no recorded visits, though domestic and foreign adventurers have visited other parts of the Chimanta Massif—like Acopan, Upuigma, Amuri, and Churi. There is so much to discover and learn.

When we arrived in Yunek, the Pemon community received us warmly; the trip would be simply impossible without them. Our team was comprised of Carola Perez, Daniel Mora, Rafael Bracho, Carlos Pineda, me (all Venezuelan), and Wojciech Wandzel (Polish). For two days we walked through the beautiful Valle del Tirica, between savannas, gallery forests, and streams and rivers with the purest water—a walk among giant peaks: Acopan, Upuigma, and Amuri—and finally to the great Adankasima. We set up camp on the jungled slopes of the mountain and started working on reaching the wall. It took five days before we could begin climbing, and all the way to the tepui, the Pemon called it “El Camino del Danto.”

Every day was more special than the one before it, the sights and sounds of the mountain enchanting us—wild fauna, a large anteater with her calf, the sound of two macaws that flew the skies as we were climbing, howlers claiming their places in every corner of the jungle, capuchin monkeys that threw stones at Daniel and Carola one day as they walked to the wall, black hens wandering through the forest, large black scorpions trying to intimidate us, forest mice dancing through our supplies, colibris fighting among themselves at the base of the wall, and a guacharo even surprised me on the rappels one evening.

When we started climbing the first day, we saw only a great dihedral overtaking a large section of the wall, so we made that our goal. Some of the climbing was on loose and decomposing rock, while other parts were beautiful. The rock in the “Dihedral of Dreams” was exceptional—clean with cracks of all sizes, simply amazing. The second part of the dihedral had a very hard step, an offwidth, overhangs, and day after day we neared the top…we continued working the route and the adventure, finding our way until, finally, on February 9, 2011, we completed El Camino del Danto (300m, 15 pitches, 5.12a A2 J1), the first route and first recorded visit to the tepui. We finished like we started, in the jungle, shelves and vertical green everywhere, “matatraccion tepuyera,” with macaws calling overhead and the expanse of the indescribable Tirico Valley below, extending to a horizon of forests, streams, rivers, tepuis, and savannas as far as we could see.

Cheo García, Venezuela, climtepuyes.com

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