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Ascent to Volcán Acatenango-Pico Mayor on 2004-09-17

Climber: Casey Canevari

Others in Party:Andy Albers
Mareike
Date:Friday, September 17, 2004
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Point Reached:Volcán Acatenango - Pico Mayor
    Location:Guatemala
    Elevation:3974 m / 13041 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Our trip began with a cab ride that actually took us to the wrong destination, a totally different volcano than the one we wanted to climb. Thank goodness for the German girl (Mareika) because her Spanish was a lot better than Andy and mine and we had to communicate with indigenous people of Guatemala that did not speak a word of English. Our trek almost began in the wrong spot, but we proceeded further to the next area only to find out that we could not make it up the road in the car that we had. So we than had to reach the remote town where we would begin our trek in the back of a pick up that was packed with a whole bunch of indigenous people. After the scariest and funniest ride of my life we finally reached the town that we would begin our journey from.
Upon reaching the town we had to trek another 3km to reach the actual trail. At this point in time the air is starting to thin out and I began wondering why in hell I brought all of the damn supplies that I had with me. This is just barely beginning the trek! We proceeded forth up the mountain on unknown trails until we reached a man with a very large axe cutting wood in the corn fields we were in. He was actually really nice and showed us to the proper trail. I forgot to mention all the while we are being rained on and it is a good thing I had my Hi Tek rain gear on....a lovely black plastic bag.
As we began up the trail the rain really made things a bit more complicated. As mentioned earlier Andy and I had back packs that were packed pretty heavy and we were going to be heading up a serious volcano. Needless to say at this point in time I have two bruised hips and several other cuts and bruises. I fell down so many times it looked like I was a clown in a circus who would go flying for laughs!
The damn German girl was in a lot better shape than the two of us and she was just flying up the volcano. Instead of stopping like most people do at one of designated camping areas she progressed forth, so a trek that was suppose to take 6 hrs. to complete was finished in 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reaching the top was absolutely amazing except for the fact that it was absolutely freezing. I'm talking temperatures that were in the 30!s!!!!! We could not get a fire started and we had to resort to eating canned tuna and peanut butter. The geniuses that we were threw our tuna cans outside of the tent when we knew that there was the risk of being attacked by Los Lobos (The wolves). I did not want that to happen so I kicked the cans into the crater below us just after we finished eating. Being as tired as we were we all fell asleep at something like 8:30 only to wake up many times during the night. At one point in time it was 2:00 and we were all under the impression that the sun was going to rise at any moment. That was the thin air getting to us making us a little loopy.
When it finally was the next day we went out and climbed the other peak that would be the area where we would see the best vistas in all of our lives. Looking out into the countrysides of Guatemala, staring past other monstrous volcanoes and into beautiful mountain chains as the clouds rolled over us. ( Those that have stuck around long enough to read this can see the pic's, just e-mail me if you are interested) After spelling out my name in various lava rocks and resting briefly on hot pockets of steam coming out of the side of the mountain we decided that we should start to head back.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp



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