Ritacuba Blanco is the Cordillera Oriental’s highest peak in Colombia’s Andes Mountains. It also goes by the name Ritak’uwa, which comes from the U’wa indigenous people living in the local lowlands.
Why Is It Famous?
This mountain is famous for being the tallest point on the renowned Cordillera Oriental.
What Is Nearby?
Ritacuba Blanco is in the National Park Sierra Nevada del Cocuy y Guican. You can access the summit from El Cocuy, a town to the west. Alternatively, you can access it from Guican, a village, or Las Cabanas, a hamlet, both of which are also in that direction and the Boyaca department. Visitors can hike the mountain easily, but this involves crossing a glacier and dealing with unpredictable weather. To climb, you will need to reach Kanwara, where you start the main hike at the mountain’s base. The east route is closed, but the west route only requires basic mountaineering knowledge.
When climbing Ritacuba Blanco, you must cross a glacier. This glacier is melting extremely quickly due to global warming. In 1950, the glacier went from the top down to 4,500 meters above sea level. By January 2007, it only reached 4,800 meters above sea level. Based on this, experts predict it will disappear by 2025 at the latest.
The mountain has an altitude reaching 5,330 meters. From the top of Ritacuba Blanco, or even partway up it, there are amazing views.
Events in Time
The first to climb Ritacuba Blanco were Erwin Kraus and Heriberto Hublitz in 1942. Kraus was also the first to climb Nevado Pan de Azucar in El Cocuy.
Ritacuba Blanco sits in Colombia and is part of the Cordillera Oriental in the Andes. Climbing the mountain is not very technical, and it is part of the national park in the area.