Reaching the top

After a short night of sleep (felling like having your bed in a karaoke place) I woke up at 5:45 for a big day in perspective. The goal was to climb the highest vulcano of the area: Cerro Sairecabùr, after only 4 days of altitude aclimatation. Due to the techniticity of the climb and the short aclimatation time Christine decided to sleep in instead. We (with Carlos the guide) started early as the climb and decent can take about 8 hours and two more hours driving.

We started with driving up and had breakfast at about 4500 m of altitude before starting the climb at about 5300 m straight up in a very steep snow field. Very tough warm up!

The oxigen level was definitely low, it isn’t a myth! However earing the heavy breathing of Carlos, I realised I was not the only one suffering and kept the hope of making it to the top. After the snow field we reached a small plateau, there the terrain changed to a pile of boulders which we had to overcome. Normaly a “simple” exercise, jumping from rock to rock, but with the altitude my balance has somehow disappeared making it much more tedious. Finally the last bit was the “nipple” of the vulcano, a very steep gravel pile, just to make sure to achieve you before you can reach the top.

But we finally made it to 5996 m and I must say it was super tough! When we arrived we realised that we went a bit crazy and only needed 2.5 hours. This explained why. The view was incredible. No words can describe it! We enjoyed the moment and an hour was gone in an instant. Do it yourself, you wont regret I promise!

I suffered the most on the way down. The loss of balance was making it realy delicate. But after an hour of descent we made it safe back. We stoped at a shelter of the workers of an old sulfur mine at 5400 m. Poor guys, working in this conditions, it must have been horror.

On the drive back we took our time, enjoying the view, speaking about life. Carlos is an amazing guy and great gide, he inspired me for more adventures!

 

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