The terrain is páramo, which is a like a high-altitude tropical sponge. The harsh conditions - rain, clouds, high winds - prohibit trees from growing. But if you look closely the earth is covered with magnificent tiny plants and grasses. The soil is saturated with water and filters the water, slowing it´s descent into the valleys below. This process helps regulate water flow to the Amazon, ensuring water even during a drought. This ecosystem exists only in on small area of Guatemala and Costa Rica, plus portions from Venezuela through northern Peru.
The tallest plants we found were less than two feet high.
Beautiful flowers, the size of a peanut M&M, peppered the ground.
The trail splits at the base of the rocky peak. The direct routes goes straight up the ridge and hits class 5 territory (an experienced climber died there a few years ago), while the standard route winds to the right around the backside.We chose the more scenic trail.
We took the easier way, but still got off trail and found ourselves scrambling up a wall that eventually stopped us. Luckily, a passing hiker alerted us to the actual trail.
The summit. Grand views, huh? It was still well worth it.
Enjoying the descent.
A view of the city.
On the gondola ride down. They don´t call it a CrackBerry for nothing.