Ilike to think that passion is an important part of life. It’s what drives you through thick and thin, it’s what gives you a sense of being alive in this place and moment on this corner of earth. The all seeing journey started when I was 17 and went to the United States to live in Durango Colorado. Before I left, my father gave me my first camera, a film canon. It was amazing, I loved seeing and taking pictures to share with my family. I would take pictures of the sunsets, of the colors of water, of the river, not as a professional but as a person who liked to capture what I saw.
Photography is one of my passions but fortunately I found another passion in 2017. I had always done trekking trips and hiking and training but I had never done a high summit with a glacier. The highest I had been was on a rave back in 2009 in Buenos Aires but really, I had not been past 5000m because I had never thought of it and also my dad never encouraged mountaineering because a very good friend of his passed away in an avalanche 20 years ago.
We left Quito early on a saturday morning, I remember it was the last weekend of September. The drive was long so we decided to stop for some breakfast before going to Cayambe`s high camp. During breakfast our mentor and guide Karl told us that there was a slight possibility that the weather might change and that we might have to try to climb during the day. I had always known that you have to avoid day and sunlight because of the heat on the glacier melting the crevasses and algo softening the snow creating possibilities of an avalanche. I was scared, but I had trust in the people I was climbing with.
When we arrived at high camp, Karl told us that the possibility of the climate changing was real so we needed to prepare all our gear for the assent. 30 minutes later around 1 in the afternoon we started the adventure. Clear blue skies with some clouds at a far. The team leader guided us through the creavasses without any mistakes, we arrived at Picos Jarrin that is about halfway to the summit for some snacks and water. We rested for 10 minutes and continued our climb. I was amazed with all the unique scenery that surrounded us. The snow, the clouds, the light, everything was so beautiful, I felt like I was in an alternate dimension, the mountain makes you feel so small and insignificant.
After 5 hours of accent we arrived at the summit while the sun was setting at a far. There was a sea of clouds and light that covered as far as the eye could see. I have no words to describe the feeling that comes over you when you arrive. All the fighting against altitud, lack of air and cold winds is instantly paid for with one second of staring from the summit. Then and there I knew that mountaineering was going to be a big part of my life.
Karl took out a thermos with hot tea and gave some to all of us, took some pictures of the summit and started our descent. The temperature started falling, you could feel it with every minute that passed. An hour later a snowstorm hit us hard, fortunately we were close to the high camp so we did not suffer as much.
Since then I have not stopped climbing and learning about this life long journey. People often ask me why would you put yourself through that and it’s something that’s very hard to explain because not even my passion for this can explain the experience of climbing a high altitude mountain, so I always suggest that you should feel it for yourself.