The Venezuelan Andes
© February 2004 Adam Helman
Why Pico Bolivar? Because it has large vertical relief - something we refer to as prominence. In fact, some thirteen thousand feet of it by our reckoning.
|The north face of Pico Bolivar.|
We traveled to Venezuela just because that nation's highest mountain poses a high altitude technical climbing challenge, with considerable prominence in both the lay sense and in a well-defined technical sense.
After traveling so far, why not climb Venezuela's second highest as well?
The goals were well-defined, our motives pure. Climb Pico Bolivar (16,427 feet) and Pico Humboldt (16,214 feet). All else was secondary. Bob Packard, Edward Earl and I cannot claim to have toured Venezuela in the manner a well-intentioned tourist might. We only saw the mountains and their principal city, Mérida - the summation of our Venezuela experience.
Surmounting Bolivar's summit ridge, Earth's opposite face was revealed - a spectacle so grand, cold, hunger, and fatigue were all relegated to some emotional backburner.
Would I not rather lounge at some beach, lapping up blue Caribbean waters? The story speaks for me. Read it and learn my thoughts.
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