Still recovering from my trip to Ecuador. There will be plenty of time to talk about the raw beauty of the Ecuadorian countryside and the wonderful indigineous culture I encountered. Truth is, mountain climbing is still on my mind.
While I was able to climb the northern side of the Illinizas volcano I stopped short of summiting Cotopaxi (5,900m/19,347 feet) by about 350 meters. At that point, I made the decision that I just couldn't go on. And it wasn't because of the altitude. From the start of my ascent I had been battling the worst stomach bug I've had in years (thanks to a couple of yummie street donuts I ate on the way to the volcano) plus I had developed severe congestion in my sinuses. Every breath up Cotopaxi was laborious. Every step a reminder that my stomach wanted to explode.
At about (5,550m/18,200 feet) I had a flashback to a time of similar distress somewhere in the Oregon desert. Back then, a bit vanity and bravado mixed with just plain stupidity put me in a pretty dangerous situation. Not this time. At that point I turned to my guide and said, “no mas/no more.” It was a good decision.
I may not have made the summit. But at least I tried. I fucking tried. And that is more than some people are willing/able to do.
I've said it before. I'll saw it again. Follow your dreams. Always.