Taylor Davidson · Step after step

Long route to the top
by Taylor Davidson · 25 Nov 2012
Volcan San Pedro, Guatemala

Step after step after step, straight up Volcan San Pedro. Our guide Manuel cheerfully led the way, tending to the trail and looking out the entire way, saying hello to the other guides as they passed by.

Guides are required to enter the park (the cost of a guide is baked into the entrance fee), but are also important for finding the route on the unblazed trail (and we would not have made it to the top without Manuel guiding us up), but also for protection. Bandits used to be a problem on these trails, although it does not appear to be as big a problem now (older trail descriptions noted that a machete carrying guide was a necessity for protection).

For some reason Manuel was nearly the only guide not carrying a long machete or knife at his side (perhaps in his pack), but he did listen intently as we rounded corners and came upon people on the trail. Huffing and puffing, of course.