Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pacaya Volcano - Elevation 8,373 feet

Yesterday, 23 kids from Casa Shalom, along with 8 adults (including Jessica's parents and Brent, a former missionary to Casa Shalom) hiked the Pacaya volcano. 8,373 feet high, it was an incredible challenge for everyone, but the majority made it to the top! Brent started the Pacaya hiking tradition several years ago, but everyone said this year was the most difficult due to recent lava flows that covered a usually-accessible road up the mountain. It was no easy trek - it took nearly 4 hours from the bottom of the volcano to the crater and the last hour and a half hand-over-hand climbing up dried lava. Standing on the edge of the crater looking down into the volcano was an incredible experience!

Photo 1: A beautiful plateau after a 45-minute hike through the woods up to the volcano. Photo 2: The boys in front of the Pacaya volcano they later climbed. Photo 3: Jessica and her parents in front of the volcano Photo 4: Flora didn't like having her photo taken while climbing on the lava! Photo 5: Edwin the mountain goat Photo 6: The ants go marching one by one up the dry lava Photo 7: A view from the top of how far we'd climbed Photo 8: The fiery crater Photo 9: Rocks near the crater were yellow from sulfur Photo 10: Jessica the Sherpa Photo 11: The boys didn't enjoy the smell of the sulfur on the edge of the crater Photo 12: The group that made it to the top!

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