Tuesday, June 19, 2018

2018 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Ascent (June 15 - 29, 2018) Dispatch 1

Guide: Romel Sandoval

Climbers: Max G., Laura K., Michael G., Kathryn S.

Dispatch from Days 1-4:

Members of the June 15th Ecuador trip called with the following news:

Greetings from Ecuador,

We've been having a great time together and our touring and acclimatization schedule has been working just fine. On our first full day in Quito, we did an orientation on the program and itinerary and then a thorough gear check. After that, we did a walking tour of Quito and visited a variety of cultural sites, from markets to colonial buildings with interesting architecture.

On Sunday we did our first major acclimatization hike, climbing 
13,776-foot Pasachoa. We had a good sunny day, though it was windy and kind of cold on the summit. It was a beautiful, open grasslands hike and we had excellent views of most of Ecuador's high altitude peaks.

The team was a little tired by the end of the day, but it was just the right level of challenge. No one had any problems with the altitude.

Today we climbed Rucu Pinchincha (15,413ft). Once again, the whole group made it to the summit, and had some incredible views of Quito and the surrounding volcanos!

The sky is very clear today, but it is also very windy and cold! We pretty much only stayed on the summit long enough to take photos and then hiked down.

This afternoon we are driving north, and tonight we'll be staying at beautiful Hacienda Guachala, And tomorrow, we make the fairly short drive to the hut just below Cayambe, which is our first big climbing goal. We hope the weather will be fair for our climb on Wednesday, but the forecast is calling for wind and rain in the next couple of days so we will see.

The group is very strong and we are all enjoying each other very much. They are a fun group to climb with, and I am hoping that everyone will get the chance to stand on the summit of Cayambe, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo.

I hope you are all well. We will call again when we have a good connection.

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