Chirripo is a non-tecnical mountain, but we knew it would be a challenge. Chirripo involves a 2500 meter (8200 feet) of altitude gain hike, and 2200 meters (7250 feet) is gained on the first day. Kimberly was six-months pregnant and we also brought our 20 month old son. We spent February 7 getting to the mountain from San Jose, and stayed in a cheap ($3) room in a house which was next to the ranger station, and not too bad at all. The evening before was also spent arranging a pack horse to carry some of our gear up to Base Crestones.
We started hiking the next morning at 5AM. Since Kimberly was six months pregnant, and to give our son a chance to play, we took several rest stops. Our son enjoyed riding in the backpack very much. We passed by some monkies in the trees right before the spring/picnic area. I remember that while climbing along a steep slope along the trail, I said that it was time to drop off Kessler (our son) for a rest. He looked nervously down the very steep slope from in the backpack and exclaimed, "no, don't drop off Kessler, don't drop off Kessler!!". He had misunderstood the figurative meaning of "drop off"! We took a long rest and pushed through the beautiful moss/rain forest to paramo and then finally, the Base Crestones. It had taken nine hours for the 14.5 kms (9 miles) and 2200 meters (7250 feet) altitude gain. At Base Crestones, the rangers were very suprised to see someone up there who was pregnant, and also to see a 20 month old up there. They did give us a lot of attention and all wanted to play with Kessler. I guess they don't have much opportunity to play with kids up while stationed up there.
I woke up early, but it was very cloudy and rainy. I let Kim and Kessler sleep while I took a walk. When the sun came out, it was time to attempt the summit. We started at 9AM with partly cloudy skies which turned to sunny after not too long. We met a group of girls coming down who said they had rain and no view at all from the top. We crossed the paramo and climbed up to the pass where we viewed the summit and Lagos Chirripo. It was still sunny, but a little cold and windy. We then climbed to the summit. It was a steep scramble to the summit at 3820 meters (12,533 feet). We spent an hour on top enjoying the view and letting Kessler play. The Pacific side of the mountains were socked in with clouds down low, but the Carribean side was clear and we could see all the way to the Carribean Sea. We returned down the mountain with care.
One mountain is never enough, so day three was spent climbing Cerro Turbi/Cerro Crestones, and Cerro Ventisqueros. This time we could see all the way to the Pacific Ocean, but the Carribean side was socked in. Much of the day was also spent playing and throwing rocks in the stream with Kessler.
It was time to go down the mountain. We were lucky and saw more monkies and a quetzel (rare bird) in the spring-picnic area. It rained a bit and was slightly slippery, but it was a nice hike.