26 January 2009

Training day – The Climb to Mid-camp Volcan Aguas Calientes

Originally Drafted 16 November 2008

Image: The team on the ascent up the volcano.

Today, we train. We will be making our ascent to 16,500ft. This will be the highest I've been to date!

Image: Our ascent leader, Macario. Credit: Cristian Tambley.

The ascent team will be led by Macario, a 62 year old Bolivian, who has worked with Nathalie for almost a decade now. Macario is definately one of my heros. When we made the ascent to 16,500 ft as part of our training, I realized Macario has made the ascent to the top of the volcano four times this week! I hope that if I reach 62, I can still be able to climb 19ers!

Today, I felt strong and I realized that I would be fine making this climb to mid-camp. However, my cough has not gone away. As I was climbing, I had to use a bandana to cover my mouth so I could breath in warmer air. The rational was that the air would be a bit warmer and would not be such a shock to my lungs. Well, I reckon it kind of worked.

All and all, I climbed strong and I felt good. I have done many endurance races in the past, and I realize all I have to do is get myself in race mode and I will be fine. In 2007, I completed the Mount Taylor Quadrathlon when I was near hypothermic during the downhill ski portion of the race.

So, while I realize climbing above 16,500ft will be challenging, I am confident that I will summit in a couple of days.

Image: Standing at 16,500ft on the slope of Volcan Aguas Calientes (also known by the Quechuan people as Simbad).

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