An Accessible But Challenging Hike
Watch me struggle my way up the volcano! Easily accessed via the cable car station of Quito, the trail going up the Rucu Pichincha Volcano (4698 m) quickly becomes a challenge.
As you go up, the weather conditions worsen, the wind gets stronger, the oxygen is seriously lacking, and the clear path turns into wild rock climbing. I wasn’t extremely well acclimatized to the high altitude when I attempted the ascent, which explains why I suffered that much!
I probably didn’t choose the best season to climb it (April), as the top was continuously wrapped in the clouds. On the other hand, the atmosphere generated by these clouds as you climb among the rocks is unique! At least I had no rain at all, which is awesome.
Climbing the Rucu Pichincha is a must for anyone seeking a challenging hike that they can do on their own, without a guide. The path is clear most of the time, and there are always people around so you don’t feel totally isolated in the wild.
The trek should be done in the morning, as the weather gets bad in the afternoon. I strongly advise to get ready to climb as soon as the cable car station opens in the morning, to give yourself the best chances of a great experience.