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Chimborazo, Bolivar's "Watch Tower of the Universe"

Chimborazo, Bolivar’s “Watch Tower of the Universe”

Robert T. Moore

TWO giant volcanoes, one extinct and the other in the heyday of violent activity, were still fascinating the imagination of Ecuadorians, when in 1927 the author led a zoological expedition to the country that straddles the equator. One of them had never been climbed, the other although ascended fifty years previous, had defied most, if not all efforts since to negotiate the summit.1 The latter, Chimborazo, was close to civilization. The railroad of the country half circled its enormous massif and gave intriguing glimpses of its mile-high crown of glaciers, 20,702 feet above the sea.2 The former, Sangai, had secluded itself in an inextricable maze of volcanic ridges and tangled canyons that effectually barred approach. There, in lonely majesty, it jutted far out into the Amazon basin—a mysterious goddess of snow and fire that concealed itself in a perpetual aureole of cloud. My imagination was piqued by an insatiable curiosity. It changed to determination, when later I read the accounts of the distinguished explorers and scientists who had attempted Chimborazo in vain, or had witnessed at a distance the terrifying eruptions of Sangai.

July of 1929 found me once more heading a zoological expedition to Ecuador, but this time with a secondary objective which resulted in our baggage containing some very unzoological equipment. On a tropical day in Panama fellow travelers were dumbfounded at the sight of four pairs of snowshoes and four ice-axes. They did not realize that the baggage also concealed crampons, alpine rope, ice glasses, an ice tent and cinema paint. The snowshoes were a concession to the soft snows encountered by Whymper on Chimborazo and Dyott on Sangai. Strange as it may seem, although they were carried to an elevation of 15,000 feet on the ice of Sangai, they were discarded because of the frozen surface, while on Chimborazo, where they would have saved hours of prodigious labor, they were not taken at all.

On August 4th after twenty-one days of packing on foot and of constant rains, that followed us through boggy wilderness and maze of canyons, we climbed through Sangai’s shroud and reached the frozen but smoking crater. As that story has been told elsewhere, I shall confine myself here to the extinct volcano Chimborazo.3

At an elevation of nine to ten thousand feet above the sea, the eastern shoulder of the “Giant of the Andes” spreads out into a plateau, in the center of which is located the city of Riobamba. On this plain many a stirring event has been witnessed by the “Mountain of Snow”.4 In fact, it has stirred the imagination of the world in past decades, not only because it was long regarded as the world’s highest mountain, but also because it was associated with historical events and dynamic conquerors of the past. It was here that the great empire-builder, Inca Tupac-Yupanqui, routed the fourteenth Shiri of Quito and first took possession of the country, making his vast domains bulk with the great empires of all time. Here too in 1534 the conquistador, Sebastian Bellacazar won the decisive victory over Ruminahui, which placed Ecuador under the Spanish flag and made Pizarro master of all that was Incan. Two hundred and eighty-eight years later Chimborazo saw the same flag driven ignominiously out of Ecuador, when the Venezuelan General Sucre marched to the battle of Pinchincha and established the present Republic. In that same year, 1822, Bolivar, the Liberator of South America, gave up his attempt to add to his war laurels the conquest of the Andean giant and spent a night on the eastern shoulder of the great massif. That evening he changed to poet and contented himself with penning his famous “Delirio”, after contemplating what he termed, “The Watch Tower of the Universe”.

The first important attempt to climb Chimborazo was made by the distinguished scientist Humboldt. On June 23rd, 1802, he ascended from the southwestern side and reached what he believed to be an altitude of 19,286 feet. A quotation from the dramatic climax of this effort will be interesting. “In many places the ridge was not wider than from eight to ten inches. To our left a precipice covered with snow. … On the right was a fearful abyss. … The rock became more friable and the ascent increasingly difficult and dangerous. We were obliged to use both hands and feet … one after another all began to feel indisposed, and experienced a feeling of nausea accompanied by giddiness. … Blood exuded from the lips and gums.” I hey were finally stopped by a ravine “some four hundred feet deep and 60 feet wide, which presented an insurmountable barrier.” Humboldt was profoundly impressed and throughout his life declared it to be the “grandest mountain in the world.”5

The next important ascent was made by Boussingault in 1831. After several efforts he bettered Humboldt’s mark by a few feet and recorded an elevation of 19,698 feet.6 His account contains a reference to the soft snow, which became such an impediment to later climbers.

Other attempts were made, but not until the year 1880 was anyone successful in planting his colors on the summit. On January 2nd of that year Edward Whymper, the conqueror of the Matterhorn, with two Swiss alpestrians placed the English flag on the highest dome of the Andean giant. Whymper made two successful ascents six months apart. The first time he took the route followed by Humboldt and Boussingault, which led to a “breach in the Southern Walls”, requiring the employment of axes to surmount it. The second time he circled the northern shoulder of the massif, passing through the gap of Abraspungo between the ice-fields of Carihuairazo and the precipitous Northern Walls of Chimborazo. From his Fifth Camp below “the western end of the Northern Walls” at altitude 15,811 feet, he and his companions made the attempt on the summit. Shortly after reaching the Glacier de Stübel they were compelled to rope up, as “the slopes were too steep for direct escalade”. Traversing the head of the glacier they plunged into the area of soft snow and for several hours “floundered through it, occasionally sinking up to the knees”.7 As they reached the top, an eruption of Cotopaxi covered the snow with ashes and, blotting out the sun, compelled a hasty retreat. Whymper and both Swiss guides were incapacitated by severe attacks of mountain sickness at altitude 16,664 feet and Jean Antoine was crippled by snow blindness in addition. The means of the readings of Whymper’s barometers gave an altitude of 20,545 feet. This was about 1,000 feet less than the altitude generally credited to Chimborazo. The map of the American Museum of Natural History, published in 1921, accepts the figures established by Reiss and Stübel, 20,702 feet.

Chimborazo is truly a enormous massif. Its crown of ice and snow, beginning at a point a half mile higher than the summit of Pikes Peak, extends a length of eight and a half miles and projects three quarters of a mile farther into the blue. A cross section at an altitude equal to the extreme tip of Mont Blanc would show a length of twelve miles. Where its flanks reach the plateau at an elevation of half its height, its bulk extends forty miles. And if its base is considered to be the Bodegas River, then a radius from its summit to its base would vary from thirty-five to sixty miles. The thickness of the ice-field at the summit is unknown, but where it is sheered off perpendicularly on the brink of the precipices surrounding its crown, it reaches a thickness of two hundred feet or more.

On August 23, 1929, a base camp for zoological work was established in the Guayama Valley on the northeastern slope of the massif, to be more exact on the eastern shoulder of Carihuairazo. The party was divided into three groups. Waddell Austin, assisted by an experienced Quichua collector, was assigned objectives among the birds and mammals of Guayama Valley between the upper limit of tree growth and 15,000 feet. Mrs. Moore and daughter Marilynn remained with this party. The second group, consisting of the author, his older daughter, two Quichua collectors with peons and pack animals, were to investigate the zoological life zone in the valley of Abraspungo, make a study of the habits of certain peculiar birds found only on this mountain between 13,000 feet and the snow-line at approximately 17,500 feet, and finally ascend some of the unexplored northern glaciers of Chimborazo for the purpose of obtaining natural color plates of the ice front, where it breaks over the red Northern Walls. The third group, consisting of its leader Terris Moore, Paul Austin and Lewy Thorne were instructed to follow Whymper’s second route, try to locate his camps, make a small collection of birds in the desert conditions of the northwestern slopes, attempt to reach the summit via the Northwest Ridge, and ascertain if conditions had changed during the lapse of five decades. The third group carried the finest type of barometer, known as the Paulin, and a similar kind of barometer, graduated for lower elevations, was maintained at Riobamba throughout our stay in Ecuador as a check against the field barometers.9

The second group, led by the author, started on August 26th and ascending immediately above tree limit, surmounted the southeastern spur of Carihuairazo and descended through paja hummocks over a slippery zigzag into the valley of Abraspungo. After much turning and twisting to avoid miring the pack animals in quicksands and swamps, we reached a dry knoll between two mountain torrents and pitched camp beneath the cliffs of Almorzano Rumi. Toward sunset the nests of three large birds—hawk, eagle and condor—were located in the overhanging shelves of the dark cliffs. Subsequently both eagles were collected with the unwanted help of a paramo fire above.

Leaving most of our zoological equipment at Almorzano with two peons, I took their leader Juan, my daughter and the two Quichuas straight up the valley in a northwesterly direction almost to the top of the pass, which has an altitude of 14,480 feet. Shortly before reaching it, we turned sharply to the south and climbed up a steep wall of ash which supported a few grasses and a peculiar stiff plant with club-like flowers. The plateau on top was splotched with coral red and madder brown from the variegated clumps of this Strange plant. Every club and every spear of grass was frozen into icy stalagmites. A biting wind rattled them together and sent cold shivers up the spines of the Indians, unused to a temperature below freezing. At this point Carlos and Manuel were dispatched in a southeasterly direction into a defile or couloir, that gouged the plateau transversely in front of us and took on the proportions of a canyon. They were instructed to proceed east to the northwest of the moraine of the Glacier de Moreno and obtain specimens of the Chimborazan Hill Star, a hummingbird,9a which makes its home in the ash pockets from 13,500 feet to the snow line and has been found nowhere else in the world except on Chimborazo.

As the Quichuas departed, Juan wavered. He was cold and did not know the terrain. He had never approached so near to the glaciers before. Fearing his waning courage would induce him to desert, as the Alao peons had deserted us in the Labyrinth of Sangai, I hurried him down into the protection of the transverse couloir. The bottom of it was shielded from the chill winds and warmed his courage. I now took the lead and he agreed to follow.

To the south a huge spur from the cinder zone jutted out over our heads. We rounded its northern end and immediately caught sight of the western one of the unexplored glaciers. It was less than two miles away and bulked majestically into the tropical ultramarine sky. Its pompeian red walls and ice-cliffs seemed unscalable and, where the glacier did not break sheer on the brink of precipices, it swept down over lower cliffs into great crevassed areas. Juan was visibly impressed and pointing to the panting horses, intimated they could proceed no farther. They were now at an altitude of about 15,000 feet. The offer of a bonus, if he would take them up to the end of the paramo and beginning of the cinder zone, won his hesitating consent. The horses wound up sharp slopes and entered a narrow ravine of ash, flanked on the east by lava walls. Here the peculiar plant with large orange blossoms like a thistle, Chuquiragua insignis, dotted the powdery ash with brilliant color. I glanced eagerly from flower to flower and my expectation was rewarded. Hill Stars were volplaning from bloom to bloom in a mad search for chilled nectar or tiny insects. At our approach they rifled like bullets from plants to crannies of the lava wall and crouched in fear, while they inspected the strange intruders into their cold paradise.

The character of soil, climate, flora and fauna had all completely changed since we left Abraspungo. There the atmosphere had been damp and the ground soggy, a condition enjoyed by many dwarf meadow plants. Here was powdery dry ash, that patently had not seen rain for weeks. As we paused for lunch, a study of the sky revealed the cause. At a point directly over the summit of the mountain, two different types of atmosphere were meeting each other. Heavy rain clouds swept up the ice-slope from the east. As they reached the dome, they were tossed into streamers by a dry desert wind which was mounting up the western ice sheet from the Arenal. Before our eyes a battle of forces was taking place, a condition of activity which must be more or less permanent for long periods of time. The wet clouds were buffeted about and torn to tatters, eventually dissipating. Sometimes they attained a point over the extreme western margin of the glacier, but as a rule they vanished before they arrived at the central concave gouge in the face of the ice-cliffs.

After we climbed out of Hill Star Valley, we headed south and upwards for the glacier. Reaching the end of paramo grass, we entered the cinder zone and left behind all traces of grass or plant life. Blocks of lava and soft ash, into which footsteps sank, made the ascent slow for the next half-mile. Frequent stops were necessary. To the left and east of us a second glacier, also unexplored, swept down in a wide tongue of snow a thousand feet lower than the moraine of the glacier we were approaching. Its cliffs were far above and seemingly at this distance insignificant compared with the ones that towered above our heads to the south. Traversing at acute angles, we headed up the main cinder ridge to our right. At 1.30 p.m. permanent snow was reached at a point several hundred feet above the crevassed areas of ice, which tumbled down the valleys to the right and left of our commanding arête. Where we mounted the ice, we were at a point nearly half the height of the sheer walls to the west. The next two hours were employed in securing color photographs and black and whites of our glacier and of the ones to the east and west—the precipitous rock walls and the sheered fronts of the upper ice. Investigation of records after our return to the United States indicated that no one had previously set foot on these glaciers. The one we first approached, I called “Glacier Karlene”.10

The return down the desolate ash slope to the east of Cinder Spur and along the moraine of the eastern glacier brought unexpected descents and memorable views of the glacier-encrusted pinnacles of Carihuairazo. As darkness fell we reached the valley and my horse foundered in a morass. Prodigious efforts brought him to his feet and threading a difficult course through the bogs in the twilight, we came to Camp Almorzano after night fell.

At the same hour that we photographed Glacier Karlene, the third division of the party was floundering in deep snow near the summit of Chimborazo.11a They had left the base camp on the afternoon of August 23rd and, taking the Abraspungo route, had been led by the peons too far to the north, so that the first camp had to be made close to the snow line of Carihuairazo on its southern shoulder. Snow fell during the night and the following morning. Terris’ feet, which had never fully recovered from the Sangai climb, puffed out into pussed areas and gave considerable trouble, causing him to go barefooted. The peons proved unruly, but were persuaded by artifice to continue.

On the 24th the top of the pass above Abraspungo was reached, where they turned to the southwest in a driving snow storm. Camp was made above a valley fitting the description of Whymper’s Camp No. 4, where little water could be found, but firewood was abundant. The thermometer registered 30 degrees Fahrenheit. A howling wind banged the tent all night and snow fell again.

Travelling west on the morning of the twenty-fifth over a desert-like slope, they arrived at Whymper’s Northwest Ridge at 11.00 a.m. and almost certainly identified his Camp No. 5 at the base of lava blocks (15,811 ft.). At this point two peons and the mules were sent back to the base camp as the party would take to the ice on the morrow. Two peons remained to care for the party on its return in case of accident. The afternoon was spent in repacking and dividing the loads into three portions, for the peons refused to go beyond the ice. Here the Bergans ruck-sacks proved serviceable. The most valuable part of the equipment was the Fiala ice tent, which weighed only eight pounds. It was hoped it could be carried to the summit and a night spent there. Snow fell again during the night and blanketed the two peons, who had crouched in crevices of the rocks. “Casi moremus, patroncito!”, they wailed, at day break, “We are almost dead!” Some hot cocoa and Quaker oats soon warmed them up.

On the 26th Terris found his feet better after lancing and at 8.30 the party started for the Northwest Ridge to the right of the Glacier de Reiss. Snow squalls beset them in quick succession and caused a temporary halt at 16,500 feet under a great overhanging bluff. The peons stopped at the snow-line, which was reached at 2.00 p.m. in clear weather at an altitude of 18,500 feet. The snow-line was much higher—1500 feet—than it had been fifty years before.12 They pushed along the arête to a point where the “Northwest Ridge abuts the Northern Walls”, a point marked by Whymper as 18,900 feet above the sea. Here they camped for the night. Whymper had made his last camp at the lava rocks below, deciding that the slope at this point was impossible. The ground did slope at a serious angle. Paul tried without much success to dig a level platform through the snow into the frozen gravel, while Terris and Lewy went back for supplies. The wind rose. The temperature dropped rapidly. The sun set. As they struggled to pitch the tent on the slippery slope, a gust of wind broke the pole in two. Nothing could be done but dump the equipment on the ice cloth inside and crouch on top of it. The altitude had begun to produce its preliminary effects—a noticeable panting. Paul, who had undergone an operation for appendicitis three months before, dropped exhausted and was the only one who slept in spite of the uneven surface.

At 3.45 a.m. of the 27th Terris started the Optimus stove among the disorganized pile of baggage, and cooked oatmeal and tea, the latter being craved inordinately. “Dawn broke clear and cold with Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Iliniza and Antisana against the northeast horizon.” At this point Whymper had continued to watch an eruption of Cotopaxi, which had taken birth before his eyes when he was 3,000 feet lower. The highest volcano in the world, 19,498 feet, from a point sixty-five miles away had vomited ashes towards Chimborazo. The eruption had begun when Whymper left the “large block of lava” and by noon the clouds of ashes had passed the summit of Chimborazo.13 Terris secured motion pictures and stills in the early morning light but of course without eruptive accompaniments!

At the “islet of rock”, mentioned by Whymper,14 the party roped up and started south across the head of Stübel Glacier. Many crevasses appeared on its surface below, as they rose. It became necessary to traverse. The surface of the ice held firm and the crampons made it possible to pass over a thirty-five degree slope. After crossing a crevasse by a snow bridge, the leader suddenly plunged into soft, deep snow. In an effort to climb out of it in various directions, the party became confused and floundered around aimlessly for some time. They did not realize that they had now wandered too far to the south. Terris called a halt for consultation and tea. Snow was boiled on the Optimus behind the protection of scarfs and tea cooked, which revived flagging spirits.

It was now decided to attack the snow with a system. Fortunately it was not wet, as Whymper had found it.15 Terris and Lewy alternated in tramping down a trench. It was painful labor at an altitude close to 20,000 feet, where every movement is a tremendous tax on heart and lungs. Turns had to be taken frequently. Hours passed. At 5.00 p.m. a lessening in slope was observed ahead; the curvature seemed to be flattening and convinced them they were reaching the top of something. An hour before sunset it was decided to pitch the tent. While Paul and Lewy located a site, Terris proceeded to the top of the dome through deepening snow. It was the Veintemilla summit! They had veered too far to the south! Chimborazo has two summits and this was the lower one by about two hundred feet. The higher one could be seen about a half-mile to the northeast. It would be impossible to pack down a trench to it before night arrived. The trench already made was now almost waist deep. The top of the dome, where Terris stood, was not more than thirty or forty feet above the site chosen for the tent. Returning to it. Terris helped the others dig a space in the snow and stake it down.

If the summit of the highest dome is 20,702 feet according to Reiss and Stübel, then the tent occupied an altitude of nearly 20,500 feet. On the other hand, if Whymper’s calculation proves correct, a lower altitude of about 20,300 feet must be accepted.15a When the barometer readings of the climb have been computed, it may be possible to determine which altitude is more nearly correct.

The temperature fell that night to 6 degrees Fahrenheit, nine degrees lower than Whymper had experienced fifty years earlier. Whymper had not tented on either summit and did not have the advantage of an Optimus stove to warm up a tent interior. It raised the temperature within the tiny home about thirty degrees. Two of the members of the party felt the effects of the altitude; it caused extreme lethargy but did not produce violent symptons of siroche. The wakeful ones took repeated readings of the various instruments, including body temperatures. Only one slept well that night.

Not until 10.30 the next morning did the party set out for the higher summit. They thought they could accomplish the half mile in an hour, but it required almost three. The snow became deeper. I he walls of the trench reached to the waist. At the low point of the dip between the two domes it occurred to Terris to read the barometer. While he was doing this, a fly as large as a common horse-fly landed on Lewy. Desperate efforts were made to catch him, but without success. A few moments later, a medium-sized brown butterfly flew overhead, going quite vigorously, as if a rarified atmosphere of 20,500 feet and a temperature of 10 degrees were merely a tonic for an Ecuadorian creature of wings. Finally at 1.15 p.m. the real summit was reached. At that moment clouds descended upon the party and rendered photography difficult. When the motion pictures were developed weeks later, it was found that they gave an excellent idea of the contour of the domes and the surrounding mountains. The climbers were more fortunate than Whymper. On neither ascent did he obtain a view from the top. The first time the sky was obscured by heavy clouds and the second time by a pall of ashes from Cotopaxi. The snow took on the appearance of “a ploughed field” and, had it not been for the wands, which Whymper with characteristic caution employed to mark his trail, the climb might have ended disastrously.

In spite of splendid views in every other direction, the absence of Sangai from the southeastern sky was a great disappointment. Whymper had caught sight of it on the day after his first ascent, as he was gazing across the Glacier de Debris.16 He was astonished at the power of this “formidable volcano”, for it was ejecting gases at a tremendous rate of speed calculated at “twenty-two miles per minute”. He was surprised that a volcano so formidable should be known to Ecuadorians only by name and stated he “was not aware … that anyone had approached the base of the cone.” Whymper himself did not attempt to reach Sangai, because of its distance,16a although he ascended almost every other mountain of importance in Ecuador. Just twenty-four days previous to the arrival of our party on the summit of Chimborazo, Terris, Lewy Thorne, Waddell Austin and the author had succeeded in making the first ascent of Sangai—a costly effort which had required twenty-eight days of packing entirely on foot through a labyrinth of canyons of ash and lava, during which time rain or snow had fallen every day. A brief summary of this expedition is given in the later pages of this magazine.

The obscuring of Sangai by clouds was compensated by memorable views to the north, west and east. Many of the greatest active and extinct volcanoes thrust their heads above the sea of clouds, which floated below at an altitude of about 16,000 feet. Altar, 17,729 feet, pierced the eastern sky with its glittering candles. The black orifice of Tunguragua, 16,689 feet, now nearly free from snow, cut a jagged rent in the swirling blanket. Slightly to the east of north Antisana projected its mighty glaciers 18,884 feet through the shroud and into the indigo dome. Almost in line with the frozen giant a hump in the cloud ceiling marked more humble Quilindana, 16,138 feet. But the tossing fleece completely hid the new ravager of the tropics, Reventador the Burster, which in March of 1926 had begun its barrage of incandescent bombs and in a moment made itself master of the Napo and the Cocoa. Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano of the world, thrust its upper mile of glaciers above the seething shroud, 19,498 feet of sheer majesty. Then farther to the west came Corazon and Iliniza with its unclimbed cornice, and the lake-filled crater of Quilotoa and historic Pichincha, whose dying abyss has been adopted by the Fire Throat Hummingbird as fit home for its passionate activities.16b Space does not permit even mention of the forty odd other volcanoes of this tiny country, two thirds the size of California. We had climbed some of them, but longed to try the still virgin peaks, such as Altar and Iliniza and the jagged east pinnacle of Chimborazo’s own “bride”, Carihuairazo, only eight miles across the snow field.17

1 An Ecuadorian, named Nicolas G. Martinez, is reported to have reached the summit in January 1911, apparently without companions.

2 This mountain has been awarded a great many different altitudes. Juan and Ulloa rendered it 21,615 feet; La Condamine, 20,592 feet; Humboldt, 21,425 feet; Whymper, 20,545 feet and Reiss and Stübel 20,702 feet.

3 Chimborazo has been extinct throughout the historic period, but ancient lava flows indicate former activity.

4 According to Enock, the “name Chimborazo is derived from the Indian designation—Chimpu-raza, or the “mountain of snow.” See “Ecuador” p. 160.

5 See “Travels Amongst the Great Andes of the Equator”, E. Whymper p. 27.

6 Whymper analyzes these claims at great length (See p. 76-77) and concludes that both Humboldt and Boussingault reached the same point—“the breach in the Southern Walls”, whose altitude he determines as “18,400 feet”.

7 When Whymper made his first ascent, he encountered even deeper snow. “The leading man went in up to his neck—we found the only possible way of proceeding was to flog every yard of it down, and then to crawl over it on all fours; and even then, one or another was frequently submerged, and almost disappeared.” See Op. cit. p. 68.

9 Our Paulin barometers acted excellently throughout the expedition. The results contrasted greatly with the unsatisfactory irregularities of aneroids used two years previous.

9a Oreotrochilus chimborazo chimborazo. See Gould’s Monograph of the Trochilidae, Vol. II, p. 68.

10 See map of Chimborazo herewith. This is a part of the map which accompanies Whymper’s volume, “Travels Amongst the Great Andes of the Equator”. Whymper admits that the drawing of the northern glaciers of Chimborazo are not founded on actual explorations. As a matter of fact they are decidedly inaccurate. It is clear that both Whymper and a later explorer, Hans Meyer, viewed them only from a distance of several miles, probably from Abraspungo, from which the lower and major section of Glacier Karlene and the one to the east of it cannot be seen. The altitude of the snowline of these glaciers cannot be given accurately, as the barometers were carried by the third group. As the third group found the beginning of permanent snow at 18,500 feet on the northwest side of the mountain, where climatic conditions are warmer and dryer it is assumed that the snowline of Glacier Karlene is not higher than 18,000 feet and that of the glacier to the east of it about 17,000.

11a From this point on, I follow the excellent notes, made by Terris Moore. The wording is my own, except where quoted.

12 See Op. cit. Note p. 321. The barometer readings have not yet been computed, but the altitudes given here are nearly correct, conforming closely to those of Whymper.

13 See Op. cit. p.p. 322-330.

14 See Op. cit. p. 323.

15 See Op. cit. Note p. 71.

15a Although all records have not been investigated, it appears at present writing that this is the highest point on the Western Hemisphere where human beings have tented.

16 See Op. cit. p.p. 73-75.

16a See Op. cit. p. 96.

16b See Gould’s Monograph of the Trochilidae, Vol. III, p. 185. Chalcostigma stanleyi is more frequently called Stanley’s Thornbill.

17 See “Ecuador”, by Enock, p. 161. The natives term this volcano Chim-borazo-embra—that is, “Chimborazo’s wife”.