Pico Vértigo, East Face and Other Climbs. Venezuelan mountaineering has now entered a new phase, in which new routes on rock walls are sought. Local walls, granitic, are steep and at times vertical, albeit short, averaging 300 to 700 feet high. Artificial aid is often used. On June 22, 1981, together with four other climbers I made the ascent of the east wall of Pico Antón Goering (4550 meters, 14,928 feet), located between El León and El Toro. This name was given after a German artist who visited the Venezuelan Andes in 1868. On March 6, 1982, G. Gómez and I opened the east-face route on Pico Vértigo (c. 4900 meters, 16,076 feet), the “Dru” of Venezuela; in the upper part we changed around to the south face. Both peaks belong to the Sierra Nevada de Mérida. In the Sierra del Norte, situated north of the Andean city of Mérida, there are many unclimbed rock walls of interest. Quality of the rock varies. On March 14, G. Gomez and I climbed the east face of La Vieja III (c. 4300 meters, 14,108 feet). On November 14, the east face of La Vieja I (also c. 4300 meters) was also climbed, two girls, Rosa Pabón and Xiomara Rojas participating, plus A. Rángel and I. Finally, late in October, G. Reinosa and I climbed the east face of Pico La Torre (4311 meters, 14,144 feet). All these routes listed are new.
José Betancourt, Mérida, Venezuela