Cotopaxi
(Equator) (1990)

A misleading picture, which lets you think of an actual glacial climb in high altitude ! In fact, from the shelter based at 4 800 meters - excellent to complete your acclimatization - , you can make out a crack of only a few meters high, that obliges you to a minimum use of your climbing-studs ; the rope is not even necessary if you are experienced.
Afterwards, you just have to follow the signs and the foot-prints, before standing ahead oh the final sharp rise, a huge hump at 35 °, which leads you up the crater at the summit.

That steep slope, which may be exhausting if you suffer from altitude (the summit rises up to 5 887 meters, the very height of another famous volcano, the kilimandjaro), abruptly opens upon a superb crater festooned with rock-ledges. A vaporous sulphurous smell occasinally reminds you that the Cotopaxi was active throughout the 18 th and the 19 th centuries. And so will it start again sooner or later, threatening the city of Latacunga, 20 miles away, with its lahars generated by the elting of its 27 km2 glacier at the summit.

* Back to Equator ("Personal volcanic trips")

Stories of volcanoes and eruptions : Agung (Indonesia) ; Batur (Indonesia) ; Bogoria (Kenya) ; Bromo (Indonesia) ; Cotopaxi (Equator)
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 Tungurahua (Equator) ; White Island (New-Zealand) ;
 Yasur (Vanuatu)

Volcanoes and volcanism : Stories of volcanoes and eruptions
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