The day starts at 8 am with eggs, pancakes and coffee in the Café & Hostal Andes Alpes in El Chaupi. The sun is shining and the view of the surrounding mountains is clear – in the northwest we can see the volcano Corazon (4788 m), in the southwest Illiniza north (5125 m) and south (5250m) and in the east, in the direction of the rising sun, the volcano Cotopaxi (5897 m) towers up high into the sky. If everything goes well the three adventurers Bryan, Anastasia and Yong Siew are going to climb until the top of the latter one tomorrow.
After breakfast there is still some time for calling friends and family in the United States and Malaysia, where our adventurers are from. Furthermore, all the equipment needs to be sorted and packed with help of the guides. Everything that the clients could not bring themselves, they get from Cotopaxi-Travel. Hence everyone is busy trying high mountain boots, snow pants, fleece and rain jackets.
After lunch we are driving by car to the entrance of the Cotopaxi National Park (4500 m). From there an ascent of one hour to the Refuge José Rivas (4864 m) lies ahead. We can already reach the first tails of the glacier, where Bryan, Anastasia and Yong Siew are practicing to handle the climbing equipment, like crampons, ice axe and rope. It’s also a great opportunity for body and mind to get used to the height.
In the refuge we have dinner as well as some time to rest before the great day starts.