Barefoot Expeditions: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Peru Travel Adventures

Your First Mountain Climb Can Change Your Life

Cotopaxi

Climbing a mountain starts as a dream for many of us. Some people train hard and some others just think is a good chance to spend a couple of free days. But that first mountain can change your life, that first climb decides (consciously or unconsciously) whether you love it or you hate it.

Last weekend Jose took a couple of friends to the summit of Cotopaxi , I couldn’t go with them, but they brought back a video with their adventure. When I saw the video I remembered the first time I climbed an ice mountain, it was the Cotopaxi in august 1999. I was wearing my boyfriend’s father’s old leather boots size 40 (My size is 36), I had to add extra insoles and wear many pairs of heavy socks, and still my ankles were twisting inside those huge boots. I was wearing my brothers jacket, a pair of sweatpants and a my father’s old waterproof pants, wool gloves and hat, of course everything looked big on me.

On my first time in Cotopaxi, I felt so cold, so tired, and only 50 meters away from the summit I didn’t wanted to walk any more, I was crying because I was tired and cold, fortunately a friend that was climbing with tourists took my arm and literally towed me to the summit and just left me there. I couldn’t enjoy that summit that much, it was cloudy, I was tired, I was worried about the way down and just wanted to go back to the refuge, I don´t have any picture from that trip.

The best moment of that climb ant the one that I remember the most is when we finished the ice part and I took my crampons off. Only in that moment I realized that I climbed the Cotopaxi, I was so excited, I don’t remember if I cried or not, but the feeling was very intense, I was kind of mad that I couldn’t enjoy it when I was up there. And that is the very moment when I decided that I had to climb Cotopaxi again, I learned that I had to train a little more to enjoy the climb and the summit the next time.

Now, 9 years later I still climb mountains and feel cold wearing my nice hi-tech gear, and I wonder how did I climbed with that that first time?. I think that the answer is that “there is no accidents” like the turtle from kung fu panda says.

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