Thursday, November 20, 2014

Even Taller Than Everest

Today I woke up early in Ecuador with the intention of climbing Mount Chimbarazo.  It is the tallest mountain in Ecuador and technically the tallest mountain the world if you base it on distance from the center of the earth and not distance above sea level.  Ken Jennings explains it better than I do.

I made it to the town of Riobamba and slept the night at the Oasis Hostel, 15 dollars a night which is pricey for Ecuadorian standards, but in small towns you do not really have a choice.  I woke up early to beautiful sunset and caught the ten oclock bus to a town nearby that would drop me off at the mountains entrance.  When I got to the mountain entrance I was able to hitchike a ride with some Colombians another 8km up the mountain.

You can drive up 8km, anmd at this point there was space to camp, and a kitchen as well as bathrooms that were free.  If you want to make an attempt of Chimbarazo I recommend going in January when the weather is a little better.  A lot of Spring Showers now. 
 The peak of Riobamba, with clouds in front.

 A fox coming close to us.
The fox can smell the jamon y queso sandwhiches in my bag.  

Even with the gear to camp on the mountain, i decided to return so I could make it to the next destination tomorow, rather than get stuck up another day on the mountain.  I made the right call because later in the afternoon there was a huge thunder and lightning storm.  There will be other volcanoes to be had in South America.  Unfortunately I will not be able to climb the peak that dwarfs Everest.  There was only another 1.2km of elevation to be climbed.  That means at the point I was at, I was 500m away from being equal to Everest.  Very close.  The altitute definitely put pressure on my head.  I am going to have to acclimitize better before the next volcano.
Back in the town of Riobamba.  Will spend the night here and then take a bus to Banos.

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