Cotopaxi Trip Report (#1370)

  • Signed By: Annette Deist
  • Date submitted: July 09, 2004
  • Date(s) climbed: 31.12.2003

It was one of the most overhelming experiences I've had so far in my life - but I've to say that I had never been so high up in the mountains before... It was hard, especially the last 200 m, where the track is so steep! But when we reached the peak, I was really happy and could fully enjoy our sucess. The weather was fine: blue sky with some clouds, clear vision of the two Illinizas and the Cayambe and the Antizana - but we neither saw Quito nor the Chimborazo. We started at 0.30 AM from the José Rivas hut (together with lots of other climbers) and at about 4.00 AM it began to snow and it really got cold, but fortunately an hour later or so it cleared up again. We reached the top as one of the last groups at about 8.00 AM. At about 11.00 AM we were back at the José Rivas hut - the way down we had almost pure sunshine and it really got hot. I needed about 3 liters of liquids for the whole tour and the first thing in the hut I did, was grapping a glass of water... We were seven people (out of nine) who reached the top and I like especially to thank our guides Benno and Fausto for their support and the perfect organization! The next day, New Year 2004, we visited the market at Saquisil' and like a special gift we always had the impressive Cotopaxi Volcano Cone as a wonderful background picture! The days before the Cotopaxi climbing we had done a 5 days trekking tour through the Pinan-Mountains north of Quito (i.e. climbing up the Yanaurcu, 4535 m, and sleeping three nights at about 4000 m)in order to get acclimatized - which paid off very well at the Cotopaxi. The good experience there lets me dream of other mountain adventures in South America ...

Annette Deist

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