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Home > Screenings > > The Last Real Iceman of the Chimborazo
The Last Real Iceman of the Chimborazo


45 min.

For centuries local Indios have been climbing up South America´s highest volcano, the Chimborazo in Ecuador, to pick ice from the glaciers and sell it to the markets in Riobamba and other villages at the foot of this majestic mountain.

Balthazar Ushka, 68, is the last iceman, the "ultimo hielero“, to walk up to the ice mine, 4800 meters above sea level, twice a week with his donkeys and carve out ice blocks.

The people in the numerous towns, villages and settlements surrounding the volcanos – the Altar, the Pichincha or the Tungurahua – have learned to live with the threat and danger as they have profited from the advantages of the enormous frutility provided by volcano activity.

The film portraits Balthazar, who lives in a small village named Cuarto Esquinas with his wife, daughters and grandchildren.

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