Last weekend, I made a spontaneous decision to climb Volcan Tajumulco – the highest mountain in Central America, at 4220 meters (13,845 feet!). I’ve done a bunch of volcano hikes before but never in freezing cold rain, carrying a fifty pound pack of gear, and camping overnight at 4000 meters. What an adventure!
It started Friday afternoon, with a pre-trek meeting in Xela with our guide company, Quetzaltrekkers. They distributed gear – big backpacks, sleeping pads and bags, tents and tarps, warm pants and jackets, giant bottles of water – and went over logistics and what to expect. The actual trip started at 5am, boarding a camioneta with all of our gear for a three hour ride to the department of San Marcos, where the volcano is located, finally strapping on our packs around 10:30 after an energizing breakfast of (you guessed it), rice, beans, eggs, and tortillas, at a comedor.