You will only listen the guide's voice with the most precise indications:Â
“ Don't look down, take short steps and grip thigh to the rocks ”
"Don't look down, take short steps and grip thigh to the rocks". We feel every muscle of our body while we walk trough this strait path that has as bottom an abyss with more than 100 meters of sharp rocks. Once in the other side, the guide receives me, he gives me a clap in the back and it congratulates me to have passed the famous step of the death in the route toward the Ruco Pichincha
The extreme adventure treks on the Ecuadorian Andes can be found few hours away from the big cities like Quito
. From any point of the capital, just look toward the occident and you marvel with the complex of the Pichinchas, mountains that reach the 4800 meters high just 10 Km away of Quito
Our adventure begins early in the morning, at 9am o'clock we are on board one of the small booths of the cable car of Quito
, which takes up to Cruz Loma Hill located at 4100 meters high. Only 10 minutes last our journey in the cable car. We step out from the cabin and we have a visual of our first objective. After a 45 minutes walk trough moor we arrive to the sharp walls of rock of the Rucu Pichincha that means âOld â in Quechua language
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. After a short practice of rock climbing using climbing ropes and harness and a brief technical chat, we begin the ascent across the sharp walls of the mountain.Â One to one the obstacles are drawn with relative easiness. After 30 minutes we arrive to the acquaintance step of death where our pulse and technique will put on approval to be an extremely narrow step on the edge of an abysmal cliff.Â
The warm sun and a totally clear sky allow us to see the alternating route crossing the sandbank of the Rucu Pichincha and we can also observe our following objectives. El Padre encantado and the Guagua Pichincha
After a short lunch and a brief rest, we continue our descent trough the sandbank toward El Padre Encantado, which means, âcharmed fatherâ in Spanish, up to 4600 meters high. The afternoon arrives, and our partners wait for us to the slopes of the Guagua Pichincha to establish the camp
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at the foothills. Now we deserve to rest.
The following morning, a slight breakfast is the only thing that we take for the walk toward the Guagua Pichincha with 4700 meters high. Suddenly, fumaroles and a strong scent to sulfur let us know that we are in an active volcano. After arriving to the refuge, we climb the final meters to reach the edge of the crater and the summit of the volcano where you can appreciate the smoky boiler of 1.5 km of diameter.Â
With an impressive view of Quito
, we begin our descent. Tired muscles and the most beautiful images in the journey flash in our memory waiting for the opportunity to be able to complete once again this wonderful circuit of elevations that keeps jealously the capital of our country.
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