Well . . . here I go! Apparently, with only two weeks left in Ecuador, I felt the need to take on a challenge that is very likely I may not complete. Ready to hear about it? Let’s do it!
This weekend, I am attempting to summit Mount Chimborazo. What is Chimborazo? Well, actually, it’s the furthest point on earth from the center of the earth – higher than Mount Everest – and the closest point on earth to the sun. If you don’t believe me, check this out.
So, here are the details:
- Friday, June 21: I travel about 45 minutes to stay and sleep at a hostel, Casa Condor, for the afternoon and evening. This hostel is about 1000 meters higher than Riobamba, at 2700 meters. This will allow my body to begin to acclimate to a higher altitude in preparation for the hike.
- Saturday, June 22: In the afternoon, I am picked up by my guide and we make our way toward Chimborazo. Around 5:00pm or so, we eat dinner and then head to the second refuge on Chimborazo, which is at 5000 meters. We sleep there for about 5 hours (again, so our bodies can acclimate to the altitude) and begin our hike at 11:00pm. (Yes, you read that correctly – at night.) The reason we hike at night is because as the snow is warmed by the sun, avalanches are far more likely. On top of this, any rock held in place by ice will start its gravity-induced downward journey once the sun has melted the cementing ice. Nights and early mornings are generally clear, and clouds normally come in by midday, which is another reason to climb at night. Also, the weather tends to be better during full moon . . . and guess what? Sunday is a full moon. 🙂
- Sunday, June 23: We will be hiking from Saturday evening until early Sunday morning – hopefully. The plan is to summit, but if I have to stop earlier because of altitude sickness, we will do so. Optimistically, I will be back down from the summit by 10:00am on Sunday morning. At that time, I get picked up by the guide company and driven back to Riobamba.
So, what can you do for me? PRAY, PRAY . . . AND PRAY. I am looking forward to the challenge – because I do like a challenge – and am excited about the possibility of making it all the way to the top. Yay! But also, I pray to have peace if I do not make it to the top. I pray that I do not feel like a failure and can be happy with myself that I at least attempted the journey. So . . . please pray for our safety, to enjoy both journeys – up and down, to feel peaceful regardless of the outcome, and to revel in the beauty of this majestic mountain. I will be in touch next week and let you know the outcome. Thank you in advance for your prayers. 🙂