Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Notes from Josh:
-started at 1am, summited at 8
-hardest thing i've ever done
-winds that knock you off your feet
-changed somethings from the Cayambe climb
-boots are too tight -- toes cut because circulation was cut off
-5 am 18,000 feet or so, crossed area where the path was only about 2 footsteps wide that disappears into nothing at times on the sides; took 45 min to walk 200 m, winds would gust, pushing guides/rope teams together
-guide - Nacho
-6 guides for 9 climbers, guides radio each other, walking along like it was no thing,
"Robin" guide roped in with me, Nacho went on with Mark
-2 short, steep mountains back to back, get to the top and there's a sheer ice wall you have to climb
-wind was brutal, same kind of exhaustion as at the end of the marathon, but for 4 hours rather than 30 minutes
-get to the top of the wall, and then there's another hill to climb, get to the top of that and there's another hill, top of the next hill and finally at the summit
-didn't believe I was really at the top, expected one more hill
-spectacular view: clear in part because of the wind; could see all of the surrounding mountains, above the clouds,
-another 25 step walk and your on the edge of the crater looking into the now dormant volcano
-2 hours back, 3rd one to summit
-heroes welcome from the rest of the team waiting below

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