Chimborazo: Climbing Glaciers Near The Equator

Written by Steve Gillman

Continued from page 1

I think he said he didn't likerepparttar papery rainsuit I was using, and he frowned at my homemade ski mask. When he saw my insulating vest, a feathery piece of poly batting with a hole cut in it for my head, I just pretended not to understand what he was saying.

I hadn't intended to go climb Chimborazo with such lightweight gear, but I'd come to Ecuador on a courier flight, and could bring only carry-on luggage. I had12 pounds in my pack to begin with, so byrepparttar 142532 time I put on all my clothes that night,repparttar 142533 weight on my back was irrelevant. The weight of my body, however, wasn't. Paco had to coax me up that mountain.

Hiking On Glaciers

The glaciers start nearrepparttar 142534 hut, and hiking became mountaineering. I put on crampons forrepparttar 142535 second time in my life (there was that sledding hill). During one of my many breaks ("Demasiado" - too many, which I pretended not to understand), I noticed my tiny, cheap thermometer had bottomed out at 5 degrees fahrenheit. I wasn't cold, but I was exhausted at times -repparttar 142536 times when I moved. When I sat still I felt like I could run right up that hill.

We struggled (okay, I struggled) up Mount Chimborazo, hiking, climbing, jumping crevasses, until I quit at 20,000 feet. Of course I had quit at 19,000 feet, and at 18,000 feet. Quitting had become my routine. Lying had become Paco's, so he told me straight-faced thatrepparttar 142537 summit was only fifty feet higher. I wanted to believe him, orrepparttar 142538 lack of oxygen had scrambled my brain. I started uprepparttar 142539 ice again.

The Summit of Mount Chimborazo

We stumbled ontorepparttar 142540 summit at dawn. Well, okay, I stumbled. Paco, who seemed slow and tired down atrepparttar 142541 refuge, was energetic at 20,600 feet. Dirtbag Joe, a nineteen-year-old kid from California with ten bucks in his pocket, borrowed equipment, and my Ramen noodles in his stomach, was waiting for us, smiling.

The sky was a stunning shade of blue you can never see at lower elevations. Cotapaxi, a classic snow-covered volcano, was clearly visible 70 miles away. We enjoyedrepparttar 142542 view for a few minutes.

Handshakes all around, and it was time to head down. I was told you don't want to be on Chimborazo when she wakes up. She wakes up at nine a.m.

Paco kept looking at his watch and frowning. He got further and further ahead, like he planned to abandon me onrepparttar 142543 mountain. When I finally caught up, atrepparttar 142544 hut at nine a.m., I heardrepparttar 142545 rocks falling out ofrepparttar 142546 ice above asrepparttar 142547 sun warmed it. Now I understood - we really did need to get down by nine. A thousand feet lower my mountain climbing adventure ended with a photograph that mercifully can't show my shaking knees.


To climb Mount Chimborazo, it's cheapest to wait until you get to Ecuador to make arrangements. Talk to almost any hotel manager in Riobamba, and he or she will find a guide for you. It's also cheaper if you're part of a group.

Steve Gillman is a long-time backpacker, and advocate of ultralight backpacking. His advice and stories can be found at

German Gift -- Make The Right Decision

Written by Marcus Hochstadt

Continued from page 1

A friend of mine from South-Africa, when she visited merepparttar other day, she brought a brown South-African tribal mask, which looks pretty scaring and amusing atrepparttar 142468 same time.

She brought it for my mom, and it has still its unique place in her home. Everybody who hasn't seen it before ask her what it is and from whom she got such a unique, historical and picturesque gift. Some even asked if she bought it on an auction (no, not ebay, a place such as "Christies") and how much my mother paid for it.

The point is not how much it costs. The South-African mask does not cost very much, even for them. The point isrepparttar 142469 feelings you will tap by giving this.

So now I have a short checklist for you to focus on.

  • Unique and Extraordinary - If you get this gift at each and every corner, better forget it.
  • Cultural - your gift has to represent your culture and its history

You see, what you can cause with a gift that is probably normal for you and your culture, but very special for us here in Germany.

Allrepparttar 142470 best.

Marcus Hochstadt

Copyright All Rights Reserved

Marcus Hochstadt has a high interest in helping you gain the delightful form of a smart travel to and through Germany. Just recently, he has written a special report on How to Travel for Free! You can download it at

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