The idea started a year or so ago… Let’s climb Chirripo, Costa Rica’s highest peak.

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At 3,820 meters high (12,530 feet), you have to prepare. So last December, the gang started talking about doing it in earnest and in January, my friend Nelson called and made reservations.

We wanted to do it in March, however the first available space was in May. So we had the reservations for May 2nd, 3rd and 4th and we now needed to get into better shape.

We began walking in January but fell off the wagon, and the last month before we did the climb, walking became a religion. Every morning walking two hours, Saturday and Sunday, 4-6 hours each day.

Were we listo? Ready? No!

Saturday May 1st was travel day. We had clients coming in so we had to wait around to check them in. At 4 p.m. we headed south to San Isidro to stay at Rio Chirripo B&B where friends/clients of ours, Chris and Alison, celebrating Chris’ birthday, Happy Birthday Chris.

Driving down we go the bad news that we were not going to be able to start our climb the next day because of issues with the porters who take your luggage up the hill. You have to check you luggage in the day before you hike, before 7 p.m. We arrived at 9 p.m. so needless to say we missed the deadline. We will figure it out in the morning.

Frank greeted us, showed us to our room and left us to enjoy a homemade pizza and glass of wine. Everyone else had to go to bed after one too many glasses…

On Sunday May 2nd we were supposed to wake up around 4 am to start our hike at 5:30 am but with the issue of bags, we had to make other arrangements. We got up, greeted everyone, had breakfast and went to the park services to check in.

It was quite a fight, but we worked things out and were allowed to start our hike one day late, and stay one day extra. We had reserved for two nights and did not want to stay less time as everyone had warned against it.

Now, one issue down and one more to go… the baggage. The thing is you can hike up with your bags if you are prepared, but it really pays to hire a porter to take your bags up for you… you will need the extra energy.

It was 10 a.m. and the porters office did not open until 12 noon. We headed down to San Isidro to the mall for some shopping. San Isidro is a fast growing town in the south of Costa Rica that has a lot to offer and is very, very clean.

After hanging out, having lunch, we headed back up the mountain to Rio Chirripo B&B to get our luggage and ready ourselves for a long day of hiking on Monday.

We arrived at the porters office, and took out our 4 bags of provisions, sleeping bags, and cloths. For those of you who do not know, you must take your own food (I will explain another option later in the story), cloths, and sleeping bags, for the amount of time you are staying.

You also need to take your own cook top/burner. The camp has plenty of cooking supplies like pots, pans, dishes, glasses, utensils. We weighed our bags and to our surprise the grand total…. 58,000 colones or about $110.

Well it was not about the money but those of you who know me, I am a bit tight, so could not see paying that to have extra luggage. We needed our sleeping bags and food. The other clothes would just have to stay behind.

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En fin, we paid 31,000 or about $60. Back to the B&B to regroup with our bags and get some rest as 4 am comes early, especially when you have a 8 hour hike ahead of you.

Buenas noches, y se descansas bien.

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Living in Costa Rica – Climbing Mount Chirripo part 1

Article/Property ID Number 2581

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