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Our trail running club - Baños Trail Running BTR - is growing, so is the interst for mountaineering amongst the members. Step by step we are leading the group towards mountaineering activities. After having summited Iliniza Norte by the end of 2017 (inspired by the cross at the summit) and wanting to take advantage of the typically try season in January, the idea of installing a cross on our home mountain was born - and action started immediately.
cross for Tungurahua Summit
Quick action was required, organizing a group of 20 people, respective permits of the Ministry of Environment for A) entering the park without a certified guide and B) installing the cross at the summit. Saturday, January 13 was the day: an early approach to the park entrance in 4x4 starting from Baños, all participants well equipped for the ascent, we registered at the park entrance and started the hike at approx. 2.800 m / 9.190 ft straight to the refuge at 3.800 m / 12.470 ft. The administrator of the refuge accompanied us and made a hot tea for us ... it was rather cold, but views still amazing.
view from Tungurahua refuge, Chimborazo in the back
Banos Trail Running Summit Crew
The day was clear and the weather looked promising for our activity. Slowly but steadily we headed up the steep, sandy slopes towards Tungurahua Summit. Awarding views compensated for this hard 2.200 m / 7.200 ft in elevation gain up to the summit.
our Jhonny carrying the cross
from time to time a small rest
Climbing Tungurahua in only one day is very demanding, due to it's altitude and of course considering the remarkable elevation gain. Total track from entrance to the summit and back sums up approx. 15 km ... making the descend a never ending story :) ... anyway, also for the ascent a good portion of motivation is required, walking up the sandy path, one step forward a half back.
walking up Tungurahua's steep sandy slopes
We all made it to the crater, where some of us decided that being also their summit. Weather went bad (not really in terms of what Tungurahua has to offer), fog, a little snow / rain, wind started to make the project a bit more demanding.
at Tungurahua crater
30 minutes from the summit - our target of the day ... a smaller group went for this last part, completing the mission, installing a cross at the summit of Tungurahua. Carrying the cross, water & cement as well as other tools.
installation work at Tungurahua
Mission completed: cross installed, for many of us a first time summit of Tungurahua, for others a repetition after an almost 20 year active period of the mountain. An inspiring and motivating group activity.
Banos Trail Running with their cross on Tungurahua summit
A perfect start into a new year, with many projects, lots of motivation and only good vibs!!!! Want to know more about Banos Trail running? Visit our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BanosTrailRunning/
. There are weekly events open for the public, in order to get in touch with the local trail running scene.
Important Notice: as per current legal situation, ascent without certified guides within the national network of Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Environment is prohibited. Nevertheless there are exceptions for local clubs, and controls due to transition period for recertifications etc. are not yet fully enforced. Access to the refuge is free and possible also without guide. Anyway, make sure to ask about current situation, as there are frequently changes.