Cerro Chirripo

So after leaving Alonsos thing behind (a picture of which is coming, as soon as I can get to a computer fast enough to upload pictures), we took the bus to San Isidro De El General. We had to change buses there to head for Cerro Chirripo, the tallest mountain in Costa Rica, which we were determined to climb. Unfortunately, there are 4 bus stations in San Isidro each of which is on a different corner of town. And naturally, the locals directed us to the wrong ones first. So it took us about 2 hours of walking around town to different bus stations before we finally found the one that was headed to Chirripo (pronounced Cheery-POH).

 That bus took as long to travel 15 miles as the other had to travel 70, because the last half of the ride was on a gravel road. This bus went places I wouldnt have taken a car. And it was packed to capacity although capacity is a term that doesnt really mean anything on Latin buses; there is ALWAYS room for ONE more!

 So we found a place to stay at the base of the mountain that offered free transfers to the trailhead at 5am the next morning. We rented sleeping bags to take up the mountain (the hostel at the top doesnt supply them for some reason). Started that morning. The hike was brutal. Thats just the only word. It was 14 kilometers, supposedly, but I think it was more like 20. Their kilometers seemed flexible, if you know what I mean. And a total elevation gain of about 7500 feet. It was much harder than the guide book had let on, which wasnt helped by the fact that the last 5k was above 11,000 feet. We were dog tired when we made it to the top, after 12.5 hours of solid uphill hiking. I mean, REALLY tired. We seemed to be slower than everyone else, most seemed to average 7 hours but then these were people who climbed in the rockies, in British Columbia, etc. Everyone there was an experienced mountain hiker but us. So the average wasnt fair.

 Well, next morning Crystal was way too sore to finish the 5.1k hike from the hostel to the top of the actual mountain. I was supposed to get up at 3am so I could be on top of the mountain at dawn, but as it happened I overslept until 4:45 – which isn t bad considering when I usually get up at home!

 So I missed the sunrise from the summit, but as it was I was walking for about an hour in the dark before it started to lighten up. I was tired, and the last 100 meters to the summit was almost a vertical scramble at 12,000+ plus. I more or less crawled to the summit, but I made it. I got a video of myself juggling at the very top of the summit in the early morning light, which I will upload soon to youtube and post here. So then I had to go back down the mountain, which should have been easier right? Decide for yourself after the next post 🙂 

One Response

  1. Paul Maples Says:

    Nathaniel, this all sounds very dangerous to me and I have a vested interest in your safe returnI need your help with my new Hydrophonics Garden so take care of yourself and BE CAREFUL. I will follow your exploits and watch the YouTube presentation when you get it posted.

    Have Fun – Be Safe

    Paul

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Posted on January 25th, 2009 by Natnee and filed under Costa Rica |

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