Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sincholagua 4873m

Another weedend, another scramble....see below for details.

This was part scramble, part 4WD adventure. 1st the creek.

Then the rock dirt barrier....after only 10 mins of digging. To avoid the first locked gate

2nd locked gate....15 minutes of piling rocks.

Martin, a student from last year's class, his dad Jose and a friend of theirs, the paramo.

Martin nice and warm in his balaclava.

On the rocky ridge.

Off the ridge and scrambling upwards.

And up to the snow at about 4600m. Where 3 amigos stayed and had lunch.

I carried on for another hour to the summit. That's my blue pack in the gully below, just to the right of the snow patch. The crux was 40m of exposed climbing. (I just read in another guide book that this is rated at a 5.4 III 70 degrees)

Very narrow ridge on the other side, looking down from the summit.

Rap slings just below the summit. Since I didn't carry a rope and it was more exposed that expected, I tied together 5 pieces of rope/tape and carryfully climbed down to my pack.

Looking down to my pack from the summit.

Looking back up to the summit and the rope I tied together....from my pack in the gully.

Still...the most dangerous part of the climb with the 4WD decent in the rain. I got out with the excuse of taking a photo :)

And back over the bridge. Private property doesn't mean much here!

Sincholagua....true summit, still in the cloud, to the right.

And nearby Cotopaxi.

Left Jose's house in Selva Alegre at 5:30 and flew up the road in his Turbo Diesel Toyota to the North Entrance of Cotopaxi National Park in 45 minutes.
Made our way past 2 locked gates and drove up a good 300 vertical metres to save about 3-4 hours hiking. Windy, cloudy and foggy at the start....some light rain and eventually some snow flurries. Martin's 1st big peak and he made it to about 4600m....not bad for a 9 year old! Unfortunately, the altitude hit him and that's as far as he got....woofin' his cookies on the way down, the poor kid. Left the truck at 8am and hit the summit at 1:30, an hour after leaving the 3 amigos....caught up to them about 2/3 of the way back down. The summit crux was trickier than expected. I found it more difficult than last week's Cotacachi scramble, as this was an open and fully exposed cliff face/ridge. Of course I wouldn't have climbed it if I didn't think I could downclimb it. Nevertheless I tied the raps slings together as a safety measure. Yup...I'd bring a rope next time.

So that was, Sunday we ran a 10k and the kids ran 1km each! I was impressed. Maria was 3rd overall and won the masters catagory as well. This time she got a prize for both and won $500. I got a gift basket for pushing the kiddies...even though I didn't have to push them all the way.

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