The Ascent of Imbabura

Trip Start Oct 29, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of Ecuador  , Imbabura,
Sunday, November 20, 2011

So things were really hotting up as we got to Sunday and Imbabura Volcano. This is an inactive strato volcano that overlooks the cities of Otavalo and Ibarra and had been an imposing feature for the group for several days. The aim was to climb over 1000m to reach the North Peak of the mountain which stands at 4600m.

We had our first real early start, rising at 4am and having driven to meet our guide we started walking at 6.15am. The first hour was a gentle trudge along the road before we hit my favorite the paramo. We had to slowly progress uphill through this god forsaken grass until we hit more rockier areas.

Then it got really hard ! We were aware that the final section involved some kind of scrambling but we weren't quite prepared for the vertico inducing, really steep section at the end of the hike. At times there was even a fixed rope in place (don’t proper rock climbers use those?). By the time we reached the summit I was exhausted but really pleased by the progress I had made. For the first time in my life I had managed some full on scrambling (well with a little help from my friends) – now it was just the getting down bit. Thank heavens for the wonderful angel, Jim who did an amazing job of coaching me back down from the summit (he had no choice whatsoever in the matter I haste to add).  The poor guy had to talk me through every footstep for over an hour but was absolutely incredible.
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