Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and others

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cbeats

 
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Re: Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and ot

by cbeats » Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:23 pm

Planning a trip to Cartagena and the surrounding areas in January. As far as I can tell climbing in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is still off limits, just wondering if anyone had heard anything different.

So if climbing is a no go, does anyone know anything about hiking in the National Park? Specifically day hikes (don't think we'll have time to do the Ciudad Perdida)? Not that I'll be complaining if I'm laying on a beach for two weeks, but it would be nice to get some mountain views.

Thanks,
Chris

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Damien Gildea

 
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Re: Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and ot

by Damien Gildea » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:02 am

cbeats wrote:As far as I can tell climbing in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is still off limits, just wondering if anyone had heard anything different.


A friend tried to get in there early this year and was turned back, with some locals being not too friendly.

There are always people saying it will open up again soon, but I would beware of anyone acting as an agent of some kind who says they can get you in. There's all sorts of stuff going on there with the indigenous people and other locals.

It seems some French climbed CC in 2010 but I don't know of any other trips in the last 20 years.

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Re: Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and ot

by RandyOverlandy » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:35 am

Has anyone heard anything about successful assents?

Also having trouble finding the best route to summit. Looks like coming in from the south west through the valley holding the Rio Donachui, about 23 miles in from the nearest end of a road.

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Re: Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and ot

by Damien Gildea » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:30 am

There was a successful ascent this past January, yes. A guide and client, both from the EU. They did it on the understanding that they had gained the appropriate permissions etc, but afterwards they weren't so sure. Nothing terrible happened, but they think the person acting as their agent may not have been totally honest with them. For this reason the leader was not keen on publicising their climb.

I saw photos, it looked OK, nothing exciting. They did not do Bolivar, only Cristobal Colon. I can't remember details of the route and have no idea what they paid.

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Scott

 
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Re: Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and ot

by Scott » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:21 pm

I saw photos, it looked OK, nothing exciting.


The look exciting to me from some of the photos I have seen, but maybe it's a relative term:

Image

Most of the photos I have seen are old though, so maybe the ice has receded, making the mountains less impressive. Pico Bolivar is said to be more impressive than Pico Crisobal Colon.

I do see a few photos from a December 2015 climb (maybe the same trip you are referring to), but only a few and some of them are kind of blurred:

http://www.andes.org.uk/peak-info-5000/ ... a-info.asp

I did fly over those mountains and thought they looked pretty impressive from the air.

That said, I don't think they are officially opened yet (if they are, I'd probably head down there). Sadly, much of the Cocuy has been recently closed to climbing as well.

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Re: Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and ot

by Damien Gildea » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:17 am

Scott wrote:I do see a few photos from a December 2015 climb (maybe the same trip you are referring to),


Yep, that's the one - December, not January, my bad. I didn't realise John had published anything, so I didn't want to drop him in it.

It's that middle pic I was going on, in terms of 'exciting', and yes, clearly exciting is relative because personally I think it's a long way and a lot of hassle for something like that. It's their forbidden status and coastal proximity that makes them more interesting, but if they were down in Peru or Bolivia they'd be outliers nobody cared about ;-)
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Scott

 
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Re: Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and ot

by Scott » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:53 am

It's their forbidden status and coastal proximity that makes them more interesting, but if they were down in Peru or Bolivia they'd be outliers nobody cared about ;-)


For me at least, the thing that makes the Colombian Andes (and the Sierra Santa Marta) the so interesting is that you start climbing them in the tropical rainforest and end up in the glaciers. You pass through many vegetation and life zones since the major ranges of Colombian Andes start near sea level instead of from a high plateau like you do in Peru and Bolivia. There are interesting archaeological sites around the Colombian Andes as well (though Peru and Bolivia have interesting sites as well). In the vicinity of the Sierra Santa Marta is also the Ciudad Pierda/Lost City, site that I think would be awesome to go to.

As far as big, rugged, glaciated mountains go, Peru and Bolivia are better. As far as the change in vegetation, fauna, life zones, and changes in scenery in a short distance, few places in the world can match the Colombian Andes. The only places I can think of that might match (or possibly exceed) in this manner are perhaps the highest peaks in New Guinea and the Rwensori.

The Colombian Andes are beautiful and special in their own way. I like them as much as the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes, but for different reasons.

These old photos aren't the best, but I took them on the rainforest approach to Nevado Tolima (the photos don't do the place justice though):

ImageImage

You start the trek in jungle type scenery with rainforest, waterfalls, monkeys, and even some hot springs. A few days later you are up in the glaciers:

Image

I find the high mountains of Colombia to be very attractive, but for different reasons that I find the high mountains in Peru and Bolivia attractive.

Variety is the spice of life and mountaineering. There is nowhere else in the world I have been that is quite like the Andes in Colombia. I would go back in a heartbeat.

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Re: Mountaineering in Colombia - Pico Cristóbal Colón and ot

by Scott » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:32 pm

I just noticed that Mountain Madness is planning on Colon next month and in December.

http://www.mountainmadness.com/adventur ... escription

Mountain Madness is a high profile and respected company so I can't imagine them making an illegal ascent. Maybe a route is open now?

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