Madman time again! Just to give you the full picture: We came back from the low jungle only yesterday. Almost sea level back to 2850 meters. And this morning we head for Cotopaxi, the famous snowcapped volcano. The mountain is almost 6000 meters high but we are "only" headed for the refuge and glacier at 4800 meters. Zero to 4800 meters in two days. It was not my idea. Blame the German if I don't come back. To make this even scarier: Geologists have reported an increase in volcan activity during the last week ...
Our way up was really pleasant. We had to climb from around 4400 meters to the refuge and just when we set off a hailstorm set in. Really nice: Thin air and wet clothes!
We reached the refuge after a 30 minute climb and then headed to the glacier which starts on the same level about 20 minutes from the refuge.
When we reached the ice we even got some sun and were able to enjoy the amazing views into the Cotopaxi national park.
Tour info: Several travel agencies offer 1 or 2 day trips to Cotopaxi. Some include mountain biking trips down into the valley. If you like to climb to the top you need to go on a two day tour and stay in the refuge overnight. The park entrance fee is 10US$ for gringos and 2 US$ for Ecuadorians.
Btw, I made it back to Quito and I am o.k.