- Pico Bolivar 2009 - Day 03

Pico Espejo (4700 masl) - Pico Bolivar (4981 masl) r/t - Liftstation Redonda (4000 masl)

Text & photo: Marco Trobec   

Finally some alpine environment

[DAY 3 / 2009-01-04] Between Pico Espejo and lake Timoncitos

Everyone woke up early today. I asked if I shall bring a belay device for rappel but Darwin said it was not needed during the climb, sounded strange, so I asked two times extra to be sure. We started by walking and climbing on old wet and icy wood planks on a construction scaffold outside the cable car station, not really optimal (high risk). After 100 meter following the sewer and waste drain pipe from the station we reached a...belay point! Ok, we don't need a belay device according to Darwin since he belay us with a HMS every time (I had prefferred to do it my self). We followed the mountain side toward the lake Timoncitos, the nice colored little lake. On the way we had nice view of the large saddle/pass, but the main summit is out of picture (to the left).

Mixed climbing

[DAY 3 / 2009-01-04] Pico Bolivar

Not far away from the lake Timoncitos we find the corridor to climb to reach the summit. There are solid belay points/anchors and old rappel anchors (by old rope), recommended to use the first (anchors). It's not a technical climb but there is a crux with grade 5/5+ and to use rope is neccessary for right level of security. The approach was that Darwin climbed first, without belay, then he belayed us when we climbed after him (one by one). On the more difficult sections I had to go before our fellow climber Jorge to assist and guide him since he had never climbed before (and had one disabled hand/arm with reduced functionality)!

View over two different worlds

[DAY 3 / 2009-01-04] Pico Bolivar

When we had climbed up in the corridor, the ridge was visible in full glory. After climbing the next pitch we reached the main summit ridge (a kind of a saddle point), with a view of two different worlds - both Merida down in the valley and the mountain range on the other side of Pico Bolivar. In the pictures: Jorge climbing one of the pitches, Darwin climbing towards the main mountain ridge/saddle (second last pitch before summit), view of Merida and finnaly nice view towards the summit (the route is not on this side of the mountain).

Finally we meet Simon

[DAY 3 / 2009-01-04] Pico Bolivar - summit

From the main summit ridge/saddle we walked around to the north side of the mountain, there is a natural horizontal cliff ledge to use to reach the last pitch to summit. We fixed the rope in several anchors (like a via ferrata), then we tie in and walked to the last pitch. from here it was scrambling and some moderate climbing to reach the summit - finnaly we meet Simon Bolivar (or the statue of him, located on the summit of Pico Bolivar). Nice views from here, especially towards Pico Humboldt (second highest mountain in Venezuela). Before leaving the summit, I took time to say goodbye of Simon and enjoy the view towards Pico Espejo and the cable car station.

A day to celebrate...

[DAY 3 / 2009-01-04] Cable car station at Pico Espejo

...the successful summit puch. The descent was partly done by Darwin beleying us down, but the first person down need to move aside since there is many loose rocks and gravel that fall during rappel. There was no issues or problems on the way back and we reached the cable car station and took a short break before we started to descent to lower altitude (to cable car station Redonda at 4000 masl, visible in lower right corner in picture).

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