In september 2017, we set off for the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center. In South America, one can find villages or even cities located at over 3500 m, which means that local people do not not the word ”aclimatation”. But if one lives in Deva, my home town, the maximum one coul reach woul be 250 m, on top of the town’s fortress.
Therefore, accustom my body to a high altitude is highly recommended. And these mountains are very beautiful and ”own” various kind of views! Just take a look at the article’s presentation picture, where we encountered a huge dune, and , in the background, the inspiring and majestuos peak. 🙂
After several aclimatation days, we jumped in the car, signed in for entering the park, grabbed pur expedition partners (Pinguin backpacks), and, together with our guide, set off for the place where we were about to set camp. Until now, I have wondered around the Andes mountains twice, but this time, they seem much more different! The reddish-gray view made my go back to what I saw from Turkey’s mountains ridge, while climbing towards Erciyes peak. Although the view was very different from what I had seem before, I could feel that I was climbing the Andes, because of the continuos scree ahead of me!
For a few hours, everything was fine. But then, just before going to sleep, I noticed that half of the sole from our mountain boots, the only ones we had, was unsticked! (During a bivouac expedition, one can not afford to take an extra pair of boots. The explication is simple: every little thing must be carried and every extra weight means extra effort, which decreases the expedition’s chance to succed)
Our luck, mental luck, was the fact that my father had brought a repair kit and we did our best to improvise a solution. Why was it only a mental luck? Because it did not really work! The clock showed 6 pm. At midnight, we were off for the peak. I layed down and tucked myself into the sleeping back. At midnight we were off for the peak. Our mountain boots sole was ”flip-floping”. It could be a great obstacle. Actually, it could have stopped us from summiting! These were the thoughts that haunted me for a few minutes, until took a deep breath and I told myself that everything will be fine! Slowly, I fell asleep and I was woken up by the alarm clock. I dressed up, had breakfast and was ready for a great adventure! A few minutes after our departure, a funny story came up into my mind. An ecuadorian, knowing about Vlad Tepes and his fights against the turks, asked dad which was the Romanian cry, before the battle. Dad’s answer, joking, of course, was: vamos a la playa! September 2017. Andes Mountains. Climbing towards Chimborazo Peak and what I had in mind was let’s go to the beach! Ironic, isn’t it? 🙂
The first part of our climb was a mixture of scree and snow. If I had not known how to step, how to care take of myself, or how to use crampons, well…let’s not imagine how hard it would have been. Because it was hard enough, anyway. Afterwards, the next part, the last one and the longest one was a huge snow slope. Probably the longest and steepest slope I had ever seen, and our guide did not help us much, choosing to climb up straight, instead of zig-zaging the slope.
Before the departure from Romania, I had read articles where tourists or alpinists talk about the sout american guiding incompetence, but we were on his land, so we could just turn him aside and take over the lead. All I could do was to subtle ”guide” him, convince him to walk slower or to pause, from time to time. The clock showed 2 am and all I could see, using the head light, was the long and steep slope that we were ascending. At 05:30, where day light was making it’s way through, Hunedoara County, represented by me and my father, were on top, at over 6000m above sea level!
All that could be seen was the great known Cotopaxi peak, a giant that was raising from the nothingness. Up here, it was damn cold! The minus degrees would give you permission to take off your gloves for only a few seconds, so… regarding pictures..we choose the following sentence: less often, MEANS warmer!
5 hours later, after a 1000m difference in altitude , a 1400 m descent and an 11 hours long expedition, we arrived at the Carrel hut, ready to hop in the car and relax for a few days. So…how was Chimborazo expedition 2017?! Really hard!
Happy to arrive up there, we would like to thank Consiliului Judetean Hunedoara, Grafica Plus, Nahanny, ROConnect, Enotech, Scoala de Schi si Snowboard Straja, Complex Montana Straja, Facultatea de Geografie UBB Cluj ! 🙂 Keep climbing! 🙂