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Mt. Cotopaxi - 5897m (19,347 ft)


Cotopaxi is a stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, in Ecuador, South America. Some consider it the world's highest active volcano

Since 1738, Cotopaxi has erupted more than 50 times, resulting in the creation of numerous valleys formed by lahars (mudflows) around the volcano.

Use of crampons and ice axes are mandatory as snow and ice slopes of up to 50 degrees are encountered and climbers should be on belay and use aluminum ladders to cross one or two of the crevasses.

Typically no more than about half of those attempting to summit Cotopaxi make it to the top.

Many sources claim that Cotopaxi means "Neck of the Moon" in an indigenous language, but this is unproven. The mountain was honored as a "Sacred Mountain" by local Andean peoples, even prior to the Inca invasion in the 15th century. It was worshiped as “rain sender”, that served as the guarantor of the land's fertility, and at the same time its summit was revered as a place where gods lived.

The first European who tried to climb the mountain was Alexander von Humboldt in 1802, however, he only reached a height of about 4500 m. In 1858 Moritz Wagner investigated the mountain, but he could not reach the summit either. On November 28, 1872, German geologist Wilhelm Reiss and his Colombian partner Angel Escobar finally reached the summit of Cotopaxi. In 1873 it was again summited by Moritz Alphons Stübel, then in 1880 by Edward Whymper. Painters Rudolf Reschreiter and Hans Meyer reached the summit in 1903 and many of Reschreiter's paintings feature a view of Cotopaxi.


 

 


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