- Pico Bolivar 2009


There is almost daily buses and flights from Caracas to Merida - a good starting point for the climb of Pico Bolivar. The Alberto Carnevalli Airport, located downtown Merida, was closed due to unknown reason (perhaps because of the crash). Also, pilots need extra training to use the airport in Merida since it's located on relative high altitude (1600 masl - this reduce the engine power significant) and are surrounded by high mountains. The alternative is the Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso in city El Vigia (65 km west of Merida).

Pico Bolivar is the highest mountain in Venezuela. The elevation is given in some litterature to 5007 masl, but this is incorrect. A more correct estimate, done by several different and independent measurements, is 4981 masl. The normal route, named Ruta Weiss, starts on the south side of Pico Bolivar. The last part of the climb will be done on the north side.

Summit day: started from Pico Espejo (07.00), passed the white statue (Virgen de las Nieves) and walked north along the old sewer/pipe from the lift station. A short rapell after 150 m (belay point/anchor exists) and then continued along the mountain ridge wall towards the little lake Timoncitos. The gully used is located on the left side of lake Timoncitos (left side of the distinct saddle with snow between Pico Bolivar and the sister summit located on the right side). Climbed in the gully on the left side until a natural (forced) short traverse to a small plateau (with a belay point in a lonely rock). Then scramble all the way up to the small saddle - from here it's possible to see Merida. Next pitch is a short traverse followed by rockclimbing to the summit (10.15).

See more trip data in table below. Of cource there is other routes, and one that many recommend is to trek from La Mucuy towords the lakes Laguna Coromoto, Laguna Verde and Laguna El Suero before arrival att lake Timoncitos. If you prefer, you can go with a jeep from Merida to Los Nevados - really narrow and steep roads. Then a long day trek to Pico Espejo (or lake Timoncitos).The cable car is out of order and will not be running in a long time (not with respect to safety aspects any way). Some more info, click here.

Day # Started Altitude [masl] Finish Altitude [masl] Time [hrs]
01 Merida 1600 Los Nevados 2700 4 (jeep)
02 Los Nevados 2700 Pico Espejo 4700 10 (trekking)
03:1 Pico Espejo 4700 Pico Bolivar (round trip) 5007 (4981) 3 (up) + 3 (down)
03:2 Pico Espejo 4700 Cable car station Redonda 4000 3 (slow trekking)
04 Cable car station Redonda 4000 Mucunutan - Merida 1600 4 (trekking)