Friday, August 12, 2011


The cold Antarctic waters of the Humboldt current running up the west coast of South America makes this section of coast one of the driest regions on earth. We had been heading north for several months in this region and stuck in this endless desert. It was still cold and dry right up to 3 degrees south of the Equator.

Then we crossed over into Ecuador and within a few hours driving, the landscape had changed into rich jungle. Here the Homboldt current had finally met its match from the warm waters decending from the North. We drove pass km after km of banana plantations, Ecuador's major export, and then up into the steep forested mountains.

We visited three small climbing crags in Ecuador. The first, a small sports crag high on a ridge up a tight winding road where we had to jam our camp into a tiny switchback next to a fast flowing creek. Now in the tropics, it rained quite a lot and the truck soon gathered a good layer of mud. When the rain held off we managed a few days climbing as the rock would dry quickly in the hot sun.

The second crag was under the watchful eye of Chimborazo, Ecuador's highest mountain at 6,310 meters. We camped at a lazy 3,600 metres which gave us access to good sport climbing and a selection of trad cracklines. Again we worked aroud the rain to maximise the climbing oppuntines.

Our final crag was a huge sports climbing wall next to a raging river. The was one of our best camping spots. We camped on the river's edge and it was an easy, if a bit muddy, 5 minute walk to the base of the crag. We managed a day climbing and there was potential to do more, but after 7 months we had just about had enough of climbing. So we enjoyed the excellent campground while Ee Fu baked cinnamon scrolls on the gas cooker.

No comments:

Post a Comment