National Geographic : 1929 Jan
THE VOLCANOES OF ECUADOR appreciably, I ad vanced at a snail's pace. I failed to tamp the snow down hard enough. Consequently I sank in deep and had all the extra labor of pulling myself out again, but I scram bled on until within 400 feet of the crater. The black masses of rock which stood out so conspicuously at a distance were not far above my head, but a long snowfield led up to them. While considering the best route to fol low, I suddenly sank to my waist. Quickly extricating myself, I landed in a still deeper hole, almost to my armpits. I bent dou ble, so as to distribute my weight more evenly on the white softness about me, and slid down a little way. That was the begin ning of the end. Com mon sense triumphed and I had to admit de feat. The hour was late and there was barely time to reach camp be fore dark; so I has- STEAMING JETS ISSUE FROM HOLES ALONG THE EDGE OF TUNGURAHUA'S CRATER During one ascent made by the author and his party the noise was terrific and the heat sufficient to enable the explorers to cook their food (see, also, illustration, page 78). tened back. I en countered Johnston by the wayside val iantly advancing in spite of mountain sick ness. Had he been given time, he would have climbed as far as I; but his size and weight were handicaps in the soft snow. To offset our failure we had, at any rate, accumulated much valuable data on a re gion hitherto untouched and had blazed a trail which others, with better equipment and greater financial resources, can follow to the top of Sangay. ON TIIE ROAD TO TUNGURAHUA Returning to Riobamba, we turned our attention to Tungurahua. To reach the base of this ugly heap of smoldering rocks and snow was child's play compared to what we had just experienced with Sangay. We would be saved the task of exploring vast areas through which unnamed rivers ran, because an excellent trail wound its way to the very foot of the mountain where snuggled the picturesque village of Bafios, celebrated for its thermal springs (see illustration, page 64). As Don Miguel had been our mainstay in our first venture, so Don Nicolas Marti nez of Ambato steered our steps on our second effort, and to him we take off our hats for the success attained.