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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Geocaching: Pichincha Volcano Eruption, Quito, Ecuador

One of the places to visit when you come to Ecuador is Pichincha volcano overlooking the city of Ecuador. There are several nice geocaches on the mountain that are worth the visit. On 7 October 1999 as I was headed out the door to go running I looked up and saw a white plumb of what looked like smoke boiling up out of the top of the mountain. In reality it was mainly steam with some ash, much less menacing than it appeared. We had been on eruption alert for several months at this time so we were expecting something. I called my wife out to see this and then got in the car to run get some things out of my office that I needed. I expected that we would have a significant ash fall and that I'd need to work out of my home the next several days. The cloud that appeared over the mountain looked like the results of a nuclear explosion. Check out the photos with this link! Within the hour the cloud had reached high into the atmosphere and began to flow out to the northeast. The ash fall was insignificant but the sight was amazing. Pichincha volcano is actually two volcanoes. One is named "Guagha" (the baby) and the other is named "Rucu" (the older). I've climbed both as they are easy climbs. To get to the crater of the volcano you'll pass close by Guagua Pichincha (GC15P8A). Be sure to visit it!
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