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Colombia beta please

Original Post
Mike Grainger · · Waterloo, ON Canada · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 0

My climbing partner and I are planning a month long trip to Colombia beginning in mid February. We are experienced multi-pitch rock climbers and mountaineers. We don't climb too hard (lead well-protected 5.9 trad, easy 5.10 sport) but are up for adventure climbing. We plan to mountaineer in PNN Cocuy y Guican and in Los Nevados (Nevado de Tolima). We plan to climb in Suesca and La Mojarra and possibly el Penol de Guatape. I speak a bit of Spanish.

I would appreciate any beta or suggestions that any one has to offer.

Specifically, does anyone know of topos or a guidebook for Suesca other than the black and white Spanish language ones that I hear can be picked up at Monodedo?

Has anyone climbed El Penol? Is it worth making the side trip to the Medellin region for it? What shape is the hardware on it in?

Does anyone have beta on the El Pulpito del Diablo rock climb? (I have read the TR and looked at the photos on this site).

What kind of rack would you recommend we take? Between us, we have a lot of gear, but don't want to drag any more than necessary around with us.

Any guides/outfitters/places to stay that you would particularly recommend?

Thanks in advance for any relevant information or suggestions you have to offer.

Josh Kornish · · · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 845

Hey Mike,

A new guide for Suesca is in the works and while the current one sucks it will be just fine for getting oriented with Suesca. I would recommend a single rack up to #3 and a rack of draws.

In Suesca stay at "El Nomada".

La Mojarra is incredible, just make sure you take the biggest bus possible on the way down.

Medellin is incredible and IMO worth the visit, El Penol is gorgeous but when I was there it was super packed.

Feel free to send me a message if you need beta on any of those areas. Cheers!

m-earle · · USA · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 810

I've only climbed at La Mojarra, but I highly recommend it. Stunning views, perfect rock, and a welcoming local vibe- cant beat it! Refugio la roca is the place to stay- owned and operated by an awesome climber couple, and walking distance from the crag. enjoy! Colombia is a wonderful country!

Mike Grainger · · Waterloo, ON Canada · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 0

Thanks for the helpful responses!

Josh, when you say El Penol was packed, are you talking about the "normal route" walking up the stairs, or the climbing routes on the other side?

rpc · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 575

Mike, others - I'm curious, the MP beta on El Penol is kind of limited (1 photo with some lines overlayed?). Were you able to find anything else about the routes on it? Looks like a spectacular monolith.

Mike Grainger · · Waterloo, ON Canada · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 0

The best route photos that I have found so far are here:…

There are some photos and rudimentary route descriptions on in a mixture of English and Spanish.

There are a couple of contact names given on…

rpc · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 575

thanks! Looks pretty cool.

Josh Kornish · · · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 845

Sorry for the brief post.

I was there over the holidays so it was a zoo. The area is gorgeous and it looks like there are some great slabby routes on it. Make sure to bring a hammock and you can rig it up underneath a really neat roof.

I think it's worth going to see and Medellin is an incredible city. It's super easy to do a Bogota>Suesca>La Mojarra>El Penol>Bogota in a month. You'd see a great variety and experience some of the best climbing the country has to offer. Cocuy looks incredible but with only a month I would choose either Medellin or Cocuy.

Ryan Marsters · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 848

We stayed at Nomada too for Suesca - hired a guide the first day to show us around and then climbed on our own the rest with help from the book (contains about 1/3 of the total routes and out of date - available at any of the shops on the weekend). Most of the time, the guides and other hostel mates joined us for something to do. The town shuts down during the week. Through Nomada, guides are about $30 each/day.

The guides were all familiar with El Pulpito and provided us with plenty of beta, However, the Liberadores bus was packed and we weren't able to travel up there. Should've bought tickets in advance. To sum what we were told:

-From Cocouy, take the morning milk truck to the Guicani cabins (brothers hermano?) camp.
-The trails and glacier sections are fairly straight forward with a map; however, the turnoffs aren't obvious so might want to scout it if you're daytripping from the camp. Otherwise, camping on the glacier or further up the trail in the park (illegal but low risk?) is feasible.
-The glacier poses some risk so an early start and noon return is advised.
-There are two routes on the Pulpit: the 5.8 route (described as PG13), and the 5.11. I don't know much more than that.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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