Chimborazo: The highest peak in Ecuador, and probably the most mentally challenging of the six peaks I climbed there. We set off to clear skies and no wind, but this quickly turned into a slog, Rafael had warned me this would happen, and I had lined up a bunch of my favorite songs to compensate. From the refuge you ascend to the ridge, and follow this all the way to 20000ft summit, and from there descend into the crater, and waltz around the penitents until you attain the true (Whymper) summit.
The ascent on the ridge was exceptionally cold, with a fierce wind developing across our path which was mentally very tiring and required goggles and balaclava. I also felt exceptionally tired for some reason, probably a combination of a 20 day climbing trip and not enough sleep. Rafael must have also been suffering as we stopped for a 5 minute ‘cat nap’ half way up. That seemed to do the trick and I started to wake up a little, I was resigned to enjoying just the 20000ft summit, but by that point it was light, warm, and I was back on my game – despite taking over an hour, the slog to Whymper and back felt like only a few minutes.
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