Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019 Ecuador Cotopaxi Skills Expedition (Trip 6: June 01-10, 2019) Dispatch 1

Ecuador High Altitude Trip Report

Guide: Romel Sandoval

Chris B., Brian R., Mengezi N.

"Hello – this is Romel calling from Ecuador to let you know we had a successful climbing of Rucu Pichincha [4,697m /15,413 ft] and that we had a wonderful day!

The weather was very nice and everyone was feeling good with the altitude. Besides doing a walking tour of Quito [2,850 m / 9,350 ft at the beginning of the program, this as our second high altitude hiking day after Pasochoa [4,199m /13,776 ft].

We made good time on the hike and with the weather so nice, we enjoyed the views al the way up and then spent a lot of time on the summit, identifying the many peaks, taking photos, eating of course – basically enjoying the great views together.

We descended and then drove north to the old Hacienda Guachala which operated a farm on the slopes below Cayamabe [5,790m / 18,996 ft] our first big climbing goal.

Everyone is a little tired, but we're going to have a very nice, low-key evening to recover. Our job this evening is to eat well and rest, then get up moderately early for breakfast and then a drive up to the Cayambe hut. We'll do another moderate acclimatization hike in the afternoon, demonstrate some climbing techniques.

The next day we'll head up to the glacier to work on glacier climbing skills for the ascent, and our plan will be to have an early dinner and an early to-bed-time so we can get up at about 11 pm. We want to make a very early start on the climb – hopefully by midnight – so we climbing in the coldest part of the night.

Hopefully it will freeze, as that will give us really good climbing conditions on the glacier surface. If the glacier's surface snow is frozen, it will make it a lot easier and take less energy then if it is soft or sloppy.

We won't have a good signal at the hut, so we'll try to call in a report late Friday or Saturday when we are back at the hacienda. Wish us good luck on the our climb! "

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