Volcan Chimborazo

   Volcan Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador at about 6200 meters is, as they say, high! The trip there was primarily for high-altitude acclimatization in anticipation for climbing Cotopaxi at the end of the week. Edison planned on a couple of night stay at the lower of the two refugio at an altitude of around 4700 meters. The cool thing is that you can drive to the lower refugio so we did. As the video shows our trip from Quito took us south through the city of Ambato where we stopped for groceries. The road the went up from the valley to over 14,000 feet as we drove southwest toward Chimborazo. The road we were on was somewhat familiar as I had been this way other times to get to the city of Guarando. Eventually we turned onto the road toward the city of Riobambo and the entrance to the National Park for Chimborazo.
   Once at the lower refugio we unpacked, claimed a bed, and then headed up toward the Whymper Ridge and 17,120 feet. That was a fairly straightforward zig-zag hike/climb past the upper refugio and then on to the ridge. So standing and sitting on this ridge was really an experience as one of my ‘heroes’ is Edward Whymper, and his climbing partners the Carrel Brothers, also were on this same spot (more or less) a little more than a century earlier. Then it was still snow-packed, and among the problems they described was the problem in lighting matches for their pipes!
   The climb back down was in the dark but with headlamps and gravity it was not too much of a challenge! Edison cooked up a dinner and as we ate we listened to Dave Brubeck music and talked with some of the other climbers late into the night when team of Japanese climbers headed out. Sleep was not that easy as a taxi filed with drunken locals showed up, then later the local Policia!
   Edison and I left the next morning for Cotopaxi National Park and another prep climb before going up Cotopaxi. We were held up for an hour or so by a local parade but eventually made our way to a small lodge called Tambopaxi, on the lower slopes of Volcan Cotopaxi. Plans were to stay here for the rest of the week, do another summit, and then try for Cotopaxi.

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