Having been told that Mateusz is too young to climb Cotopaxi we decided that at least we’ll make it to the climbers’ refuge at 4800 metres. Snow line at this time of the year starts just above the refuge which meant that we didn’t need any climbing equipment. We thought it would be an easy hike up the hill. Well, it was easier said than done.
First we needed to have a guide as solo tourists are simply not permitted into the national park. Our guide did not speak English at all but was affordable, helpful and very patient with us. As we crossed the guarded gates of the park it took another hour to get to the car park located at 4500 metres. Despite the beautiful weather conditions, the wind at this altitude was literally blowing our heads off From parqueadero we were supposed to reach refugio, little yellow hut in the background of the picture, in around one hour.
As we started our slow ascent to the refuge we quickly discovered that we had to stop every five minutes to catch our breath. After one hour of climbing at a snail’s pace we only covered half of the distance. And Mateusz started to feel dizzy. Shortly afterwards our guide advised us not to go any further and we agreed it was wise to listen to him. We made it to the altitude of 4700 metres, surely an achievement worth celebrating!