I had initially planned to do Chimborazo but following a bout of sickness at Christmas Wendy recommended that I take a gentler route and do the 1 day climb of Carihuairazo which would be technically interesting but have less altitude. It would also provide great views of the Avenue of Volcanoes. I can attest to both - the climb was very good and I felt generally comfortable with the pace (The guide let me ascend to the summit more slowly than some of the other climbers as I was struggling with stamina). The climb is basically relatively simpler with only a need for short section of climbing with crampon near the summit. The view was extraordinary that morning and I could see almost every major volcano in Ecuador with Chimborazo especially impressive. It is probably the best view of my life. During the descent I coped fairly well until the final few kilometers where I struggled to continue. Nevertheless the guide remained with me and we were able to talk to keep my spirits up. (I spoke sufficient Spanish to do this - I don't know what his English would have been like).
I only have 2 complaints - I found the night at the refuge near Chimborazo extremely cold and struggled to sleep. Perhaps some extra blankets could be provided. Secondly on the first afternoon we were encouraged to explore the Paramo around the Refuge but with no clear paths and no guide I felt that it was too easy to get lost. I feel that to miss out on that experience would have been a shame but I do feel somebody should have been prepared to show us a good route.
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