You know I expected it to be tough. It was. More than I expected it to be.
I failed to climb Cotopaxi. Still regarding my decision to be right after I turned back due to storm and rain at 4,800m with more than 1,000 meters still to climb. But nevertheless this decision was followed by deep disappointment and severe weakness both physically and mentally. If someone had offered me a ticket to fly home instantly I would have gone.
The most depressing time I had when staying in the camp with very wet, foggy and cold weather every morning and evening. I even forgot to use the bottle of Single Malt I had taken with me to help along such phases.
Luckily I made my come back when fighting my way up to the top of Chimborazo. With three tops successfully climbed I can finally regard the trip as an achievement. There were Rucu de Pichincha (4,684m), Illiniza Norte (5,126m) and Chimborazo. At the letter one I have to admit I climbed just the second highest of its 5 peaks, Ventimilla which is recently measured at 6,225m. The main summit is only 42 meters higher (wiki).
photo 1: Looking from the ridge of Illiniza Norte to Cotopaxi. Note that Illiniza Norte was expected to be a walking summit free of snow and ice.
photo 2: Flying close by, a condor at the Illiniza hillside.
photo 3: Ornamentally placed alpacas in front of Chimborazo Mountain.
photo 4: We started our ascent of Chimborazo at 10pm. At sunrise we already had been walking for nearly 8 hours. With the verb "walk" playing down the sort of movement.
photo 5: Whereever I went - my mountain of disappointment was there to remind me, Cotopaxi, seen from the top of Chimborazo.
photo 7: Easy to notice that I was at the limit of my capabilities.
It will take some weeks to publish the complete photo story on my website. I will let you know when it's done.