Monday, January 4, 2016

A Snap Shot On The Trail

Quetzal Trekkers has given me the opportunity to lead and be a part of 3 different tours in the last month. I have hiked Coseguina once, Las Pilas / El Hoyo 4 times and Cerro Negro 4 times. As we climb up Cerro Negro twice each time I have technically climbed the gorgeous black mountain 8 times. It may be difficult to describe the hikes with pictures and words so I found a few videos that may give you a better understanding.

The first is the Quetzal Trekkers promo video for Cerro Negro. I did see Jake Littman acting as the flag man / guide in this video. Great job Jake.  I lead tours up Cerro Negro least twice a week and as I mentioned we go up and down twice. The clients board down and I run. Trust me when I say my thighs and calves are screaming by the time I hit the glorious solid level ground at the bottom. *Sometimes I wish it would rain so the paying clients would not see my tears.*
The past week or so has been exceptionally windy. This causes layers of scree to be blown off the volcano. Not only does it now run fast the traction running down is reduced to a think layer of scree. Think of running down a paved road at a 40 degree angle with about 2 inches of small stones layered on top. Normally I am bounding down into about a foot of lovely boot holding happiness.
Good times.

This next video is a bit older and a few of the elements are different but it does give a decent overview of our Las Pilas / El Hoyo and Asasosca Hike. The anonymous hikers are correct when they say the first 90 minutes or so are difficult. Not so much the climb up but the fact you are carrying up to 15 kilos or 35lbs of gear. (guides usually take a bit more). This gear includes tents, sleeping bags, food, water and other supplies. The views are worth the effort including sunrise over Momotombo.  The 5 hour morning hike makes the lake a paradise after 2 days of dirt and sweat... and yes the cows are very real.

Finally Coseguina. It is not the highest volcano but the trek is long and arduous. It has had the most violent of all volcanic eruptions in Nicaragua history creating a 3 km wide crater. The 360 degrees views at the top are stunning and you can see the mountains of both Honduras and El Salvador.

These are just a few random videos of how I go about my day on the trail. There is still Telica at sunset, the highest volcano in Nicaragua that is San Cristobal and Momotombo when she is not acting all angry and allows us to climb again.

Hiker Count:
USA 15
Germany 11
Canada 8
England 7
Australia 3
France 3
Holland 3
Costa Rica 2
Finland 2
Lithuania 2
New Zealand 2
Switzerland 2
India 1
Ireland 1
Israel 1
Turkey 1
Sweden 1
Spain 1

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