One weekend I had the pleasure of getting to climb an old volcano called Imbabura. First we took buses on a Saturday morning to a town underneath the mountain near the popular town of Otavalo. After stopping at the grocery store to stock up on some camping food, we headed to the town that leads right up to the trail and walked for a couple of hours to the trail head. There was a small abandoned home where some local kids were hanging out and listening to music. Above it was the small shelter for watching the animals that live in the surrounding fields where we set up our tent underneath.
While walking through the town, we made a couple of dog friends who began to follow us up the mountain. We thought it was harmless and didn't feed them anything in an attempt to dissuade them, but they were quite persistent! Out of convenience, we named them both Pat. After a night of hanging out and watching the sunset, we tucked into bed ready for the hike the next day.
The next morning, Aran, Phoebe, Pat and Pat and I started up the mountain. Phoebe had done the hike once before, but she seemed to forget exactly how steep the whole hike was. It took about 4 hours to hike up, and less than 2 to get down. The dogs followed us the whole way, so Phoebe and Aran could not make it to the real summit because they had to bring the tiny Pat back down safely. We met a couple of hikers along the way, one of which was a guide, and I continuted past a "false summit" to the real one about 15 minutes past it.
The summit was made of the exposed rocks that can be seen in the picture, and the summit was just marked with that wooden cross. We tried to head down the other side of the mountain, but after our new guide friends used harnesses and ropes to check out the trail, they deemed it unsafe so we hiked back down the way we came. It felt so great to finally summit a mountain in Ecuador from bottom to top! Imbabura is 15,190 feet of steep slopes and rock formations that look like summits when it is too cloudy to see beyond. I am not sure if I am going to be able to hike other mountains since it is now the rainy seasons and you need a guide for most of them, so I have no regrets about the weekend at Imbabura, it was one of my favorites so far!
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<div>My name is Chloe Trifilio. I am an Environmental Science student with a minor in Recreation at Ithaca College in New <span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">York, but for one semester I will be studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador! I am originally from the great state of Vermont </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">where I love to hike, bike, climb, kayak and generally explore the Green Mountains. I am also on the Ultimate Frisbee </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">team and I'm very excited to see how Ecuadorians get down on the field. I hereby promise to use this blog to show </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">everything that I see and do in Ecuador, which will include climbing, playing frisbee, exploring the city and a trip to the </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">Amazon!</span></div>