First of all, I climbed a volcano last weekend.
The summit of Pichincha is at 15,400 feet, which means its taller than any peak in the continental US. The climb took somewhere in between 8-9 hours, and it was crazy beautiful. After we had been climbing for a while, our friend and guide Daniel asked if any of us would like to go through the pass of death. I thought to myself, Oh that sounds like fun, besides it can't be that bad. I was wrong.
This was the razor's edge that lead to the pass of death.... notice how the "path" disappears into the clouds. Daniel just hopped up there and started climbing
Nobody from our group made a move to follow him, so I thought eh... let's do this. The razor's edge turned out to be a thirty or forty minute climb up a ridge that was about 3-4 feet wide with hundred feet drop offs on both sides. This is what I saw while climbing up the razor's edge...
Except of course for the times I looked to the right or left... then I saw this. (I think this was around the time I almost had a little freak out moment. Its a weird thing knowing you could so easily die.)
Whenever we finally got to the pass of death, we decided it would be a good idea to use a rope. (See Mom, I'm trying to be safe!)
So we did! Except for the time Daniel asked me to take off my harness so somebody else could wear it. (their leg strap had broken). That was really exciting! (And just in case you're wondering at this point... a lot of these pictures did require a decent amount of effort. I don't actually recommend climbing this stuff with an DSLR.)
Eventually, we just started climbing straight up to the top, passing through land that reminded me of Mars...
Coupled with some views that were astounding. It was hard not to praise Jesus for the magnificence of His creation. As one of my friends kept saying when she saw something beautiful, "I see what you're doing there God."
Then we made it to the top! The following picture is our victorious group pic... and although the intent was confidence and accomplishment, I'm not sure what my stance actually communicates
On the way down, we got to go down a scree (really really fine dirt/sand) portion of the mountain! It was so fun. You just started running and then you could just start sliding/skiing down the mountain.
After the scree we continued the long hike back to the base camp thing.
By the time we finished everyone was so exhausted, but so incredibly thankful for God's provision and protection! It was such a crazy beautiful day!