Cayambe/Cotopaxi Jan 2-11, 2015
Guide: Romel Sandoval
Climbers: Rod Nease and Tommy Nease
“Hello everyone back home! We’re calling to report that we got extremely close to the summit of Cotopaxi despite very difficult conditions. We reached 18,646 feet in high winds. We ended up pretty much covered in ice by the time we were done, but we had a great time.
There were 60 mile-per-hour winds near the top, and the gusts were pretty much pushing us down, but we were warm and secure and enjoyed just trying to go higher. Eleven groups made the climb today and we went the highest by far. That’s not a big deal, but we are proud of what we accomplished. What’s crazy is that the weather forecast was for 40 F and clear. Well, we didn’t get that. Romel says that would have been normal for this time of year and that the low pressure system that has hung around here for the last few days is quite abnormal. Well, you take what the mountains give you and do what you can. That’s part of the fun of climbing. Always an adventure.
I have to say, today was an awesome experience. I gave it my all and my son gave it his all. We’re proud of what we did and had a heck of a good time together and with Romel. It would have been nice to make it to the top, but we were close, and it’s the amazing process that counts the most.
It’s been a great trip. We have felt very well taken care of from logistics and lodging to the great food all the time.
This has been far more than an expedition. We got so many personal things from it. We enjoyed the country in every way. The people here are wonderful. It’s been an awesome experience and now Tommy and I are looking forward to more climbing together back in the US! ”