News from the Columbia Climate School

, ,

Climbing Fuya Fuya

The team ready to go

By Jonathan Cain

After checking into our hotel in Otavalo, we pack  for our first acclimatization climb on Fuya Fuya, a volcanic peak with two summits. The climb starts on steep, grassy terrain that turns into a spongy, lush alpine meadow – known as the páramo – after about 1,000 feet. After trudging through the paramo, our route becomes a high-altitude scramble on an exposed rocky granite spine with sheer drop-offs on either side. The surge of adrenaline keeps our minds off the thin air.

Climbing Fuya Fuya






What began as a beautiful day turns to rain and hail after we reach the highest summit. Fearing that the weather might become a thunderstorm, we decide to descend rather than continue to the second summit.

Back in Otavalo, we clean up and go out for a large dinner and dancing. During these first acclimatization trips we will be joined by four climbers from Ireland, pictured above.


Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x