Ecuador, Volcan Sangay, part 1

M. Rietze, Th. Boeckel ,  (4. -12. Januar 2006)

in deutsch

     

Starting point of this Sangay 'expedition' was the mountain village St. Eduardo apprx. 50 km south from Riobamba. For the whole route of 120 km we planned nine days. Because of the humid weather tendency around the Sangay which can change completely into continious rain, we decided to expand the trek for two days longer. For transporting all this proviant three horses were employed.

     

By trying to photograph the little Ecuadorians, the other kids and parents did not hesitate for a momet and without saying a word they lined up nearly according to their size. A really nice welcome and you'll get a positive feeling for this long, uncertain one and difficult trek.

     

Day 1: By traversing deep and green valleys the way directed us into the typical highland scene which was overgrown by the Paramon grass. Here you are moving steady between 3500 - 4000m. The first camp was embraced with an intensiv shower which formed nice little icicles from our tent roof during the frosty night. But at this place the weather cavorts are created in a way that the sun-greed-head is allowed to see the star one time per day. On the right picture you can see Alberto preparing the bridle for the horses, which he will search tomorrow for two hours in the great wideness.

        

Day 2: After crossing the first pass on 3960 m, we stood fascinated in opposite to the impressive cone of the the 5230m high volcano, the Sangay. Nearly 1500 m the summit is towering above the countless mountain ridges which appeared really undersized in comparision.

              

We are reaching the second camp 'Plaza Bamba' and admired the ecuadorian way how to build up the cabanas. Strong constructed the thatched roofs did show an excellent density against the heavy rain. This cabanas are mostly used by the local farmers. On the second image from the right you can see our mountain guide Fausto and Alberto the horseman, which are preparing a rich and fine dinner by using rustic facilities.

              

Day 3: On the last leg a lot of mud canyons and countless river traverses were promised to us. And so it happened. By passing this long mud canyons you learn to apprechiate the dry season, because in the rainy times it is nearly impossible to pass the slurry chutes and you'll get forced to take long detours. Right: A tapir skull is decorating the welcome plate at the base camp ' La Playa'.

     

Respecting the unique nature during the day time, we are waiting for the first activity signs in the twilight.

   

Impressive Sangay in the evening mood, but we are fearing the worst case...

part 2

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   2006, photos  by Th. Boeckel (tb), Martin Rietze (mr) ,last modification 22.1.2006