Monday, March 26, 2012

Guagua Pichincha 4784m

3rd peak in as many weeks. Guagua means baby...even though it is 88m higher than it's sister summit Rucu. Details below.

Setting off it the pre-dawn. 5:45am

Sincholagua to the left (climbed it last week), Pasachoa to the right and Quito in the clouds below.

This guy passed me on the way up....he's training for an 80km North Face Ultra run.

Volcan Atacazo looking to the south. The village of lloa below...where I started at 3100m

The slippery section...for about 500m.

Even the motorcycles had trouble and one had to push the other, taking turns.

This AMAZING dog...which I named Bertha....followed me from the start to top of the mountain and back down! 28km round trip. Here she's eating the first bit of snow that she sees.

Strange rock formations at the summit.

Looking down the crux from the summit. Bertha couldn't quite scramble up the last 10m. She waited down in the snow at the top centre of the photo.

Summit rock in the background.

Bertha on the false summit.

The zig-zagging road up to the refugio....summit in the background.

Well I was starved when I got back to lloa....and so was Bertha. Bought her some fried pork instead of this guinea pig.

There is a 4wd road that leads up the south side of Guagua. 14km and nearly 1700m vertical. I biked about 11km of it and pushed thru the muddy bits and the top part. The last 3 km was just too steep for me to ride and combined with the altitude....
4.5 hours to the refuge, then a 40 walk to the summit...amidst light snow flurries. Very cloudy and rainy this time of the year, but almost no wind and very warm on the summits. 45mins to bike back down and Bertha stayed with me, as I told her I'd buy her lunch if she made it back down. Then she proceded to follow me another 7-8 to Quito, but was scared off by upper neighborhood, Quito dogs. Otherwise I would've taken her home!

Think I'm ready for Chimborazo 6300m next week. Conditions permitting. Stay tuned....

BTW....this is what guagua looks like on a bad day :)

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