The brilliant thing about being an endurance athlete is that i can do anything - keep it one thing - continuously, for quite some time. Examples would be laying block, painting the roof, pouring grout, riding in a bus, and hiking 4 hours to the top of a volcano. Switch me onto auto-pilot and i can get it done.
Only 4 other people from our group of 71 joined me on the trek. The Sims family from Canada. Through a long process, we got outfitted along with 22 other "tourists" with crampons, ice picks, gaiters, snow clothes and a back pack.
This is Guillermo, one of our guides. Classic...completely classic.
We began at 4,565 ft in elevation. OVer the course of the next four hours we Slowly trudged upwards beyond on the clouds and towards the sulfur steam of the volcano to a max of 9,305 ft.
Being summer, it was extremely warm. The backs of my hands got super sun burned. i Never even thought to put the gloves on.
Getting down was amazing.
We looked like snow Kayakers!!
With ice axe held between both hands, waterproof suite on, and helmets locked on, we literally jumped into snow slides and flew down the mountain. I felt like i was a human bobsled, you could catch air and a wave of snow started to follow us. There was snow spray behind us and you could use your ax as a paddle to get going faster.
I laughed so hard my eyes teared up and my abs hurt so bad!! Plus, your entire rear become completley numb. i still have bruises on my hips from hitting frozen spots or small rocks!! Amazing...
Watching 10th grader Danny get to the top and back down was another high light of my trip. If i was that overwhelmed with the experience, the sights, and the landscape, how did he feel? The sense of accomplishment and fulfillment is one that rivals when i won the expert MTB National Championships.....