The first Romanian to attempt the crossing of the American continents by bicycle, from Alaska – U.S. to Tierra del Fuego – Argentina, Radu Paltineanu, climbed at the end of last week the furthest point from the centre of the Earth, Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak, 6,269 metres.
Together with Daniel Cinghea, another Romanian on an expedition in South America, Radu Paltineanu gave up “pedaling” for a short period of time and focused more on climbing, that is escalating the Ecuadorian mountains, conquering four peaks over 5,000 metres high – Illiniza Nord, Cayambe, Carihuairazo and Chimborazo.
“We climbed Chimborazo at the second attempt. The first time, we took a very dangerous route and at 5,500 metres we decided that it was best for us to return and try again on a different itinerary. We went back [on the mountain – ed.n.] after a week. The second time, we climbed from 4,800, the first refuge, for eight and a half hours up to Whimper peak, at 6,268 metres,” Radu Paltineanu stated for AGERPRES.
The two Romanians chose to hike at night so as to be able to go down by noon.
“It is very close to the Equator and it’s getting very hot during the day and it is very dangerous to climb down on that damp snow in the afternoon, if one climbs in the morning. That is why it is done at night. There is also the fog. At night, it is usually clear. During the day, the fog comes and it is harder to recognise the route. We had the extraordinary luck to have a clear, wind-free weather. When we climbed down, near the exit of the glacier, at 5,700 metres, a bit of fog caught us and then the sleet started,” Paltineanu explained.
Radu Paltineanu intends to reach the highest volcano in South America, Ojos del Salado, 6,893 metres, after having succeeded, during the expedition started two years before, to climb Pico de Orizaba, 5,638 metres, in Mexico, the highest North American peak.
“We started the volcanoes project in 2014, in Iran, when we climbed the highest volcano in Asia, Damavand, 5,671 metres,” Radu Paltineanu recalled.
He said that after Ecuador he will pedal towards Peru, his final destination being the south-most extremity of South America, Ushuaia, Argentina. “We’ve still got 13,000 kilometres,” the young man mentioned.
A software engineer, having studied in Canada, where he emigrated when a child with his family from eastern Piatra-Neamt, Radu Paltineanu left two years ago Deadhorse, Prudhoe golf, Alaska, near the Arctic Ocean, the so-called Pan-American Highway, the longest road in the world. From the beginning of the expedition he has pedaled over 21,500 kilometres through 19 countries and territories, the cyclotourist estimating that he will reach ‘the End of the World’ at the beginning of next year.