Yesterday a group of 10 us piled into two cars and took the drive to Cotopaxi National park to hike to the glacier line. The park is an amazing place, with wild horses, lakes, flat expansive plains, amazing views of 15,000 ft + peaks, and, of course, Cotopaxi. A road runs almost all the way to the Refugio, a small building used as a base for the more serious climbers making their way all the way to the top. We had to climb for about 40 minutes from the parking lot to reach the Refugio, which was jam packed with people of all nationalities and many different levels of mountaineering experience. Groups squeezed through the tiny hole of a door with large packs, and warm snowsuits, ready to make the trek to the top come midnight, while families with small children in simple fleece jackets sat around sipping hot chocolate. (There was even a glimpse of some high heeled boots being worn!) We enjoyed some hot chocolate ourselves, while letting our brains adjust to the thin air, and then headed back out the door to complete our hike to the glacier line. The rest of the hike took about 30 minutes. When we finally reached the glacier line we celebrated by taking a "few" snapshots and exploring a large crack in the ice. Although it was hard to see at the top, the shifting clouds gave way to different views of the peak and the valley below. It was an entrancing experience and definitely made me want to keep going, all the way to the top.
|The steep incline at the beginning|
|Taking a break with some coco|
|Finally at the glacier line|
|Claudia and me enjoying the view|