Lead Guide: Pepe Landazuri
Climbers: Diane Evans, Robert Krueger, Timothy Pattee, John Stephenson, Scott Curtis.
After that we headed into Riobamba for some good coffee. You can tell we were pacing ourselves carefully today! We had great views of the mountains and most impressively - we were able to watch Tungarajua erupting. It was wild. You can see not only smoke and ash but also what looks like fire – probably molten lava flying up. And the sound effects were quite impressive too. Lots of "booms.' The towns all around the mountain gave been evacuated, including Baños, where we were planning to go at the end of t he trip for the hot springs. I wonder if the temperature of the hot springs is going up! I'm afraid we won't to able to sample them.
Now we are at Estacion Urbina (right) on Chimborazo, and we can still hear the booming of the eruption. The power of it is quite amazing!
Tomorrow we are going to hike up to the second refuge on Chimbo at 4800 where four climbers and I will stay, and Tim will hike with the other guide Sebastian to the high hut at 5000 meters. Tim and Sebastian will try the ascent starting at 10:00pm, while the rest of us do some hiking and exploring. When Tim and Sebastian get down, w e will head back to Cotopaxi. That will be on Wednesday at about midday. And then on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, we will try Cotopaxi again.
So in terms of what's happening now, we had a great dinner at Urbina and people are heading to bed. It was a fun day, and tomorrow we will get really close up views of Chimborazo (below). It's completely clear this evening. We did a little walking and found ash on the grasslands here. There's not much, but if you run your fingers through the grass you can see it and feel its softness. Hopefully Chimbo doesn't get covered with it, as the darkness of the ash speeds up melting, and that is not something these mountains need!