Volcan Cotopaxi 5875m, are we mad or what?

Trip Start Aug 28, 2004
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Trip End Aug 2005


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Friday, May 13, 2005

Well folks, moving on swiftly from "Riobamba", and it`s "Devils Nose" train ride of your life!!! We decided to move up northwards to "Banos" a Spa town where we arranged a trek up "Volcan Cotopaxi" not an easy climb of 5875m!!!! We took a gamble and went half way up did some practising with our crampons and ice picks and off we wen the following day starting at midnight!!!

Crazy you might think but we were all up for it, the five of us that were destined to give it a go, one guy unfortunately dropped out the day before due to pulling a tendon in his leg (old football injury apparently). The rest of us got up at silly o`clock (12am) and went upwards and onwards. Our guide warned us that the rain might make it difficult and so we were up against the el˝ements of mother nature and possibly having to return to our refuge. Two hours later with horizontal rain, swiftly turning into ice we or rather our guide made the right decision to return to camp (phew!!). We were okay with the altitude, now being old hands at it, but at the point of where you start to climb in the snow, it becomes a different ball game totally. Have you ever battled with both night time walking in fierce winds, whilst trying not to stumble to a comedy death in the volcanic soil? (It`s fun, not!). One of the other group a mad girl called Louise, pushed further on, only to return two hours later after much side stepping in the snow further up. She was totally exhausted, but we were impressed that she gave it go. The snow was pretty tough and it`s a constant climb with no other reference point than the very top, it`s perfect cone shaped peak. Again we made the right choice and the sensible one, at the end of the day we don`t need to prove anything.

At least we tried, and got some great views from further down both in the valley and on our first day trekking. It would have been great to get to see the world from up there as it`s the furthest point up from the center of the earth, apparently, how cool would that have been? Not this time round, bah humbug.

we recommend ╦xplore SierraĘas a good tour Comapany to go thro┤they run a tight ship unlike others we┤ve seen in action (RainForestur, a shoddy affair from what we could see!). we had to take a lift in their van back to banos and it kept breaking down!!!

Now we plan to move onto doing a jungle trek in the northerly part of "Equador", "Cayebena", where there is much primary forest and shedloads of wildlife too. So watch this space folks.
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