OverviewBOLD TEXT HERE
Pico la Aguja is one of the finest peaks of the west range of the Sierra Nevada of el Cocuy.
It has a nice and pointy silhouette hence the name (Aguja=Needle) and there are several options to climb it. These options includes rock climbing, mixed climbing, and all you need for a true alpine (or Andean in this case) outing.
Approach to pico la Aguja from laguna del avellanal
There are not no much information about the first ascensions of this mountain, but It first received attention by Erwin Krauss, Colombian, who visited the range in 1938, 1942 and 1946, and probably Fréderic and Dorly Marmillod a swiss couple who made several first ascents in the same time.
After them probably it received new ascents by the generation of Juan Pablo Ruiz , Marcelo Arbelaez and others in the mid 80´s. There are reports in the AAJ from 1978: 559, 1984: 196, 1993: 172. If you have more information about the first ascensionists please let me know.
Actually the mountain is not too much visited, probably because of the difficulty and the access, wich involves 2-3 days for the approximation, depending of the face that you intent to climb.
Pico la Aguja lies in the northern part of the range, so the best access is from Guican – Cabanas Kanwara – Parada de Romero – Laguna de los Verdes – Laguna del Avellanal. In the map below the access are marqued and the passes indicated with letter. Pico la aguja is the mountain number 22.
Climbing in la Aguja
There are buses from Bogota - Guican, and from there you can rent a jeep to take you to cabanas kanwara - 45min(about COP$120.000 - US$65). Don´t forget to arrange with them the day that they will pick you up, or you can also walk from cabanas kanwara to Guican wich is almost all the way downhill and takes about 2h.
In cabanas kanwara you can arrange mules to help with the equipment. The trip to laguna del avellanal is about COP$150.000-US80,00 as jan/2011, plus the guide or "arriero".
Camping is allowed in the park. There is water avaliable, and generally is easy to find a spot to set up your tent, either in the Laguna del Avellanal campsite, or before the Paso de la Sierra if you intend to climb the east ridge.
You can also make an advanced camp in order to avoid the approach that takes about 1 1/2hrs from laguna del avellanal, but there are no marked places closer to the mountain. It will have to be or in the glacier, for the south face, or close from laguna de la isla for the east ridge
External Links East Ridge Route of la Aguja
Webpage with information on the East Ridge of La Aguja - Ruta Directa Blogspot.