The Highest Point in Ecuador
We visited Mt. Chimborazo in September 2022—truly an incredible experience. Driving up the mountain, we could see the sedimentary layers of rock and ash from years past when the volcano was still active. Alpacas ran across the open, desolate landscape. The mountain was somewhere in front of us, but we could not see it. There was nothing but clouds.
Our very kind taxi driver kept assuring us that as we got higher, the clouds would clear. He told us stories of summiting the mountain on several occasions, showed us pictures of him smiling at the peak, of his son congratulating him. We kept climbing. 7,000ft—clouds. 11,000ft—clouds. 14,000ft. 17,000ft. We'd reached the highest checkpoint that we could get to without needing certification or a guide, and we paid our driver to wait for two hours while we explored.
Still, no mountain.
A Moment Worth the Wait
When the Clouds Cleared
For 105 minutes, we visited the small café at the checkpoint, spoke to other tourists, and walked around—hoping for the moment the clouds would clear and we'd see the mountain. This was our only chance.
We had fifteen minutes left, and we had to be respectful of our driver's time. So, we began walking back down the slope—freezing and disappointed.
As we walk back into the parking lot, our driver in view, it finally happens: the clouds clear. It is one of the most incredible things either of us have ever seen. We start taking pictures, running back to the checkpoint, shouting and laughing.
It was definitely worth the wait.