Cerro Catedral - Cóndor

Published: March 15th 2013
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Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0

Off we goOff we goOff we go

Mike and Jo
Woke up to a gorgeous day, with not a cloud in sight, and no sore legs, suprisingly after the previous days walking. The legs must be getting used to the mileage. Mike, Emiliano, Jo and I are keen to tackle a hard trek today, with Bruno skipping out. We decide to walk up the Cerro Catedral, the mountain we caught a gondala and a chairlift up on our second day.

After getting the bus out there, Emiliano chats with a local who runs a cafe, and he recomends that we trek the Condor instead, which is black/blue ski run next to the Catedral, and apparently has better views. So after feasting on some chocolate, we head off. The climb starts at around 1100 metres and tops out at just under 2000 metres. Instead of following the 'road/trail' we follow the horse trail that essentially shadows the chair lift up the mountain. It is basically a really steep goat track.

The first 30-40 minutes were pure hell, bloody cigarettes, as the lungs and legs were not working. We were also walking through fields of thistles and the little bastards hurt like hell. For you aussies, think of a bindy and times it by 10. Like a snowflake made out of rose thorns. And the little fkers stick to any bit of clothing and pierce the skin with the slightest touch. After breaking through the pain barrier it was a matter of just taking your time, stopping to get your breath and pushing on. Unless you are a crazy frenchman who likes to run up mountains. Over the next three hours we kept on going up and up, slowly getting past the treeline, and hitting gravel and rocks. There were condors (our first sighting) gliding around many 100's of metres above, and the view just got better and better.

I got to the top about 15 minutes after Mike, then Emiliano another 20 behind me, and thenJo 30 minutes behind me. Fair play to mojo as she was wearing leggings that attracted the thistles like flies to shit, and she was covered in them. Must have hurt...

We had our lunch at the summit enjoying the most amazing views, going photo crazy. Jo spent probably half an hour with a pair of tweezers trying to get all of the thistles out. After a while we had cooled down, and had to descend. It only took an hour, using a combination of skiing technique and jogging down the hill to ease the pressure onthe joints.

Managed to score a bus straight away, went back to the hostel, and we all made a pumkin and spinach pasta bake.

Thouroughly rewarding day.

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