November 13, 2011

Rucu Pichincha 15,413 ft / 4698 m

The hike up Rucu Pichincha used to be famous for armed gunmen and violent robberies. Today, thanks to the addition of a gondola that soars over the sketchy barrio,  the climb is better known for horses and great vistas.

Johann and I got lucky today. After three days of cloudy skies and rain, the sun finally broke through. After a civilized start that included lots of coffee and a cab ride to the new TelepheriQo, we climbed above the low lying clouds and were treated to a spectacular view of La Avenida de los Volcanes that included: Cayambe, Antisana, the Illinizas, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo. After a leisurely stroll that lasted a few hours, we topped out at almost 15,500 feet, had lunch and dozed in the rarified air. 

For tomorrow's hike, we'll climb Rucu's neighbor - Guagua Pichincha, and then drive to la Llovizna at the base of the Illiniza's.  From there, we'll spend two nights at the Illiniza Hut perched at just under 15,500 feet.  So for now we're just doing our best to get well acclimated.

The climbing wall in Quito. Not sure if they're trying to keep the public out or the climbers in?

Quito artwork

Topping out in the TelepheriQo.

This is what happens to bad kids.

Above the clouds on Rucu Pichincha.

Looking down at Quito.

Flower of the mountaineers.


If you look close, you can see Cotopaxi.

This shot is all about the shirt FC PBR


The ever present llama.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Andrew - Your photos are excellent as ever.

Enjoy your trip.

A jealous Niall from Ireland!