Tag Archives: climbing

Volcan Chimborazo

     With the help of a policeman at the tollbooth on the Panamericana, we were able to get on a bus headed to Rio Bamba within 10 minutes. Unfortunately, all the seats were occupied and I had to sit in the aisle suffering through the exhaustion that was catching up with me.  I hadn´t slept since I got up to climb Cotopaxi, and the night before that, I could count the hours of sleep I got with one hand.   In Rio Bamba we got some almuerzo, then resupplied our food at a small tienda (stoked to find some tiny Nutella Packets) and hopped on a bus potentially headed to Chimborazo.
       In our search to find the correct bus; the conversations we had at the terminal (including with the driver of the bus that we chose to take), left us unsure there was a bus headed to the mountain, but a short ways into our bus ride Goat pointed out the window and said, “I think we´re on the right one.�   Filling the window was the profile of a tremendous mountain (once thought to be the tallest in the world) and a wave of nervousness rushed through me. “This mountain looks a bit more serious than Cotopaxi,� I thought.
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Volcan Cotopaxi

We got together our rental gear and modestly shouldered our packs, joining the throngs of mochileros in the Mariscal Region of Quito.  Bus routes were closed as the city prepared for it´s Ano Nuevo celebrations, promising lots of debauchery and the tradition of burning effigies of the old year, life size muñecas that sat languidly in front of shops and houses across the city.  For three dollars we got a taxi that took us to La Terminal, a rather terrifying mishmash of transportation services, stacked on three stories.   Stench of urine filled the air as we passed the cascade of busses and approached the entrance to the complex. Inside, single file lines weaved in zig zags through the vendor booths set up chaotically throughout and we tried to maneuver across these seemingly impenetrable lines of aggressive travelers.  Ice Axes and crampons protruded from our packs and commanded a bit of space to allow us through.  Our challenge was figuring out which bus we needed, information we neglected to acquire beforehand.   All we really knew was we were headed to Volcan Cotopaxi, sitting south of Quito some 50 odd kilometers, and we wanted to climb to the top.
Even when we found out which bus we needed, we were still stuck, because the assistant responsible for taking tickets and packing cargo underneath wanted nothing to do with us.   As if my pale face and gringo clothes were completely invisible, he refused to acknowledge my existence.  I asked a woman waiting nearby why he wouldn´t help us and she responded simply that he´ll only let you on if he can´t fill the bus.  I tried to get more from her, curious what was wrong with me, but before I could another bus attendant offered to let us on.  We threw our bulky backpacks underneath and got on the already moving bus, standing room only…………

New Years On Top of The World

Goat and Jacob just got finished with their climbing trip. Simon joined up for a bit, but after getting elevation sickness the first day, he decided to head to the beach for some surfing. They used a Spot Tracking device to show their progress on the hikes and it´s pretty cool to check out with Google Map´s relief feature. You can usually follow along on their progress with their SPOT MESSENGER Tracking Page.