We moved yesterday to a new habitacion in the same neighborhood, La Floresta. The new situation is more like a boarding house with about seven other gringos there, but we have a great room with lots of light and a fantastic view out over the canyon on the east side of Quito. Our other situation in our "concrete cell-box" became unbearable with the guard dogs next door barking and howling all night, the motorcycle revving outside our window at midnight and our lack of interaction with our "family." We feel much better.
This past weekend we went to Cayambe, the third highest mountain in Ecuador and the highest point in the world through which the equator directly passes. It's about a three-hour drive north of Quito through majestic winding mountain roads with sheer drops of 1,000 meters into the valley below.
We trekked about an hour farther up the route and camped on a rocky flat about 15 minutes from the start of the glacier route. The views out to Cayambe were magnificent in the full moonlight. We started up at 1 a.m. and climbed with little difficulty to the upper heavily crevassed area of the mountain. Here the route-finding became more complex as we wound our way around and over crevasses and towering seracs dripping stalactites of tropical icicles.
It was 7:30 and the ascent had taken six and a half hours. We were moving a little slow, but much faster than the 8-10 hours stated by the guidebook. We made a hasty decent as the weather proceeded to get worse and negotiated the ramp and the top of the route in total whiteout. One of our members feel into a crevasse, but thankfully was caught only waist-deep and was able to extract himself. The rest of the descent was without incident and we made it back to the tents around 10 a.m.
<%=[TAN_psinet_include "/includes/include_ad_goingplaces.html" ]%>
©2000, Mariah Media Inc.