Barefoot Expeditions: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Peru Travel Adventures

Climbing Cayambe with our Venezuelan Friends

Since last month, I have to spend every other week in the jungle as part of my job.  I stay in a place where I can get only by helicopter.  I love it, especially because it is great to go back to work in my field: Biology.

But I can´t help it, I prefer the coldness of the mountains rather than the unbearable warmth and humidity of the jungle.  That is why last weekend I did a flash trip to climb Cayambe,  Why flash? because we had to be back in Quito on Sunday for voting in the referendum, and we went after work on friday.

We went with three friends that came from a climbing club from Venezuela in a project called “escalando el sueño de Bolívar” (climbing Bolivar´s dream). Their goal was to climb the Cotopaxi. They tried with some other friends, but they couldn´t do it because they experienced altitude sickness.  A few days later, we were there, trying to climb Cayambe.

We left Quito around 6pm on friday -bad mistake, you should leave Quito either earlier or later, but not at 6pm -, the traffic was terrible, whe spent 2 hours trying to leave the city.  Finally we arrived to the city of Cayambe at 20h30, we had something for dinner, and we drove the jeeps to the refuge, we got there at 22h30.  It was too late to set the camp and too early to leave for the summit, so we slept for 1 1/2 hours in our unconfortable car seats.  At midnight we woke up, got ready and start walking up to the summit.

All 6 of us were sleepy, I remember closing my eyes in the “easy parts” and actually falling asleep when we stop for resting.  But we were awake enough to climb it.  We reached 5600 m of altitude at around 7am, once there, we found a crevasse, that we couldn´t pass because our venezuelan friend was too tired and had no experience ice climbing.  We decided to go back.

They had a great time, they didn´t reached the summit of Cayambe or Cotopaxi, but they were much higher than the highest mountain in Venezuela: Pico Bolívar (4978m), and we enjoyed their conversations so much!, they are so much fun. 

Thanks for letting us take you there.

Photo by <a href=””>Mauro Morán, on Flickr</a>

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