Cotopaxi Express: Back at Historic La Cienega Hosteria

Posted by: | July 09, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

The Cotopaxi Team is safely off the mountain and checked into the historic La Cienega Hosteria in Lasso, Ecuador.  Today has been a mix of excitement and frustration as we finally took our shot at the summit of Cotopaxi, only to be thwarted by the high winds that characterized our stay on the mountain.  We awoke at midnight to a slight lull in the wind and began our climb just after one o’clock AM.  The snow conditions proved to be tough with a thin ice-skin over unconsolidated ‘corn’ snow.  After reaching just over 18,000 feet I had to make the tough decision to turn the teams around.  The wind had increased dramatically, blowing climbers out of the trail and covering all of us in a layer of rime ice.  It was maddening to get so close to our goal but in the end the importance of returning safely to our family and friends is, of course, the most important thing.  Now we’re set to celebrate the end of our trip with a great dinner at La Cienega before making the final leg of our journey tomorrow.  We’ll check in again when we arrive back in Quito.

RMI Guide - Seth Waterfall

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