The main challenge of our second climb was dealing with soreness from climbing downhill from Pasochoa the first peak. One of the most difficult attributes of climbing to train at sea level is climbing downhill. The descent takes a toll on your feet and shins and the best way to avoid serious blisters is to walk down slowly. We probably descended far too quickly and my feet were feeling sore on this climb. We climbed this active volcano on December 31st 2008. Quito is the city visible below in the pictures. The most recent explosion was in 1999 when the city was dusted with a layer of volcanic ash. People had to wear masks and were required to adhere to a very low speed limit while driving in order to avoid kicking up masses of dirt. There is a ski lift which takes people up to the beginning of the trail. the area does not get snow but the ski lift was originally a government owned attempt to increase tourism and is now privately owned. A failed amusement park sits at its base and an empty tourist area at its top. The buildings behind me in the second picture are the buildings where snack and coffee is sold on certain busy times. You can see Cotopaxi in the distance behind my head. We climbed the 4794 meter peak in about 5 1/2 hours round trip from the lift back again. The main reason is we tried to do a small rock scramble up the ridge. We were not tied up and it got a little hairy for me and Chris when we had to traverse a very thin ledge. Not expecting to do any free solo climbing on this trip we turned back and down climbed to the trial and hiked around like the normal people do. So by the time we made it to the top the clouds had rolled in already and the view was covered in mist. This peak was a challenge to do since the altitude is hard to acclimatize to so quickly. I found myself strong up until the last 45 minutes when I started feeling really challenged and the climb down was long and slow.
Video In Parking Lot
Video In Gondola Looking Down On Quito
Video of View From Top of Quito - Disregard the commentary the names of the peaks are all wrong except for Cotopaxi
Video of Hiking Looking Back on Pichincha Trail