Andes and Pico Bolivar

The town of Merida is the largest in the Venezuelan Andes in the western part of the country. The first dozen shots or so are from a tour of the country-side around Merida. Then I took a guided climb of Pico Bolivar, the highest peak in Venezuela, at about 16,500 feet. It is a technical climb involving ropes, after hiking for two days to get to basecamp.

The gondola serves skiers in the winter.

 

Alpine vegetation, Andes style.

 

 

 

 

By coincidence, I bumped into the same two women that I did the Roraima Tepui with when I got to Merida, and they invited me on a trip in the local mountains. Here we are relaxing at a local inn we were staying at.

 

 

 

This is the only trip in my life where I have ridden a horse. I found it to be very painful.

 

 

Now we're starting on our guided trip up Pico Bolivar. One other paying customer plus the guide. We all carried backpacks, but the guide's was much heavier.

 

 

 

 

He cooked for us too.

 

 

This was a different peak than ours. Not as difficult.

 

Again, this is not our route. We went off to the right.

 

This is where wewent.

Looking back down.

 

 

 

 

Basecamp. Quite an impressive location.

Looking up at our route, which I would rate about 5.5.

Roped climbing on Pico Bolivar.

A but up and right from the center of this photo, you can see our basecamp.

Near the top.

On the summit of Pico Bolivar. A bust of Simon Bolivar himself, is behind me.

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