Posteado por: Canto Rodado | febrero 16, 2010

Recuerdo de Erwin Kraus


Erwin Krauss pionero del Montañismo en Colombia


Erwin Krauss corona el Castillo y el Púlpito junto a la pareja Marmillod

Mountain climbers were a rare breed in the northern Andes, so the Marmillods were delighted to meet Erwin Kraus in Bogotá. Born in Colombia to German-immigrant parents, Kraus was the first regular climber in the country. For his record of first ascents from the thirties to the fifties, he is recognized as the leading pioneer in Colombian mountaineering. In late 1943, Kraus introduced the Swiss couple to one of his favorite ranges, the Sierra Nevada de Cocuy, three-hundred kilometers northeast of Bogotá.

This setting attracted another party of climbers during the dry season of 1943-1944. As the Marmillods and Kraus approached from the south, the rival Swiss team of August Gansser and Georges Cuenet were hiking in from the north. They converged on Pico Castillo (5123 m), the finest trophy in the range.

Located in the eastern portion of the range, heretofore unexplored because of the region’s atrocious weather, Castillo is one of the most beautiful peaks in Colombia, its name (“the castle”) indicative of the mountain’s majestic form. As with many remote peaks, the key to Castillo lay not on its hanging glaciers or symmetrical ridges, but in forging a path over rugged terrain to its base. The Marmillods and Kraus found the quicker way and reached the virgin summit six days ahead of Gansser and Cuenet.

They also made the first ascents of Púlpito del Diablo (4711 m), Cerros de la Plaza 4957 m), and Grande Campanilla (4886 m). The most interesting of these was Púlpito, a weird rock wart rising one-hundred meters out of the Pan de Azúcar’s summit glacier. From a distance this cubical block resembles a gigantic tombstone. A snow-covered staircase on the north face led to the flat-as-a-dinner-plate summit.


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