The Volcano Santa Maria; been there, done that…and it was tough!
Ever since I heard about the moonlight hikes of the volcano Santa Maria, I thought that it sounded like a blast!
Hiking through the moonlit darkness into the dawn and then seeing sunrise from the towering peak and viewing up to 11 other volcanic peaks including looking down onto the live crater of Santiaguito, sounded like a great adventure for this boy. farm
So, here’s the story of my volcanicadventure…
- Name: Santa Maria
- Height: 12,375 ft (3772 mts)
- Comparison: Mt. Fuji in Japan is about 10 feet taller
- Trail rating: Strenuous
- Trail distance: Approx. 6.21 miles (10 km)
- Elevation increase from trailhead: Approx. 4,173 feet
I had been dreaming of doing this hike for two years so when I found out that some friends were interested I planned it for Nov. 15th, 2013 (technically a few days before the full moon but it worked better for our schedules). There were five friends from ASELSI and three guys visiting town from Michigan plus our friend Kevin, from Totonicapan, our guide, Hansy, two friends of his and two police officers for safety. (Apparently there have been some thieves prowling the trails and they recommend armed escorts to prevent attacks.)
In Quetzaltenango, we met up with Hansy near the stadium and his friend wowed us with a story of Hansy’s record ascent of the mountain (an incredible 45 minutes). Then we drove over to the central park where a van pulled up at about 12:30 a.m., and we headed out to the Santa Maria Summit Trail trailhead which ended up being quite a long ways from the foot of the mountain but, unless you’re on dirt bikes, that’s as close as you can get in a van. Continue reading