The mountainweather is always good for a surprise. Whereas the last few days where full of snow and rain and not many summits were reached, it cleared up yesterday with the change of the moon and offered many adventurers and mountaineers the possibilty to try and climb the top of Cotopaxi (5897 m) again.
Underneath them is also Barbara from Switzerland. Her day starts in Baños, where she had some time to relax from Corazon volcano (4784 m) and Illiniza Norte (5125 m), which she climbed before.
With the car we drive to the entrance of Cotopaxi National Park, where we have lunch and register our visit. While driving to the parking lot, we can already admire the view of one of the highest active volcanoes in the world: The famous Cotopaxi.
The way up to the Refuge José Rivas, at 4864 m of altitude takes about one hour. It is a sunny day so we are enjoying the hike. The Refuge is full today and the atmosphere is frolicsome. Everyone is eating dinner early, around 5:30 pm, to have enough time to relax before the hike starts at nighttime.
At midnight we get up and have some tea, bread and jelly to gain energy for the long hike. We are lucky and the night is clear. The full moon is shinig so brightly that we don’t even need our headlights and the wind is gentle. The first part leads us up a sandy slope towards the glacier. In the distance we can see the lights of Quito aswell as other surrounding peaks like Antisana (5704 m) or the Illinizas (5125 m and 5250 m).
Sadly after some hours of hiking Barbara feels a bit sick because of the altitude and we have to turn around. Still hiking at the flanks of Cotopaxi at full moon was a beautiful experience!