Ecuador’s Volcanoes: The Team’s First Venture to Altitude

Posted by: Billy Nugent | June 21, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,500'

Woke up today to blue skies and a bunch of climbers eager to get the adventure started. We had a quick breakfast in the hotel cafe and then the team met up with Jaime, one of our local guides, before we set out in taxis for a ride up the teleferiqo (gondola) to a perch high above the city. The skies were clear, affording us an awesome view of Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, and the Illinizas.  After taking in our surroundings we started our training hike that eventually took us up to the summit of Rucu Pichincha at nearly 15,500’. The team felt great and was moving incredibly well considering that most of us had come from very close to sea level in the U.S. just a couple days prior. Unfortunately, we were socked in the clouds on the summit but shortly after beginning our descent we emerged from a higher cloud layer and again had the opportunity to enjoy sweeping views of the mountains and the sprawl of Quito.

We hopped in a colectivo van for a ride back to the hotel and most of us took a quick siesta before heading out on the town for another team dinner, this time at La Boca del Lobo. We even enjoyed some pretty awesome views of the urban wildlife on our walk back from the restaurant. The crew hit the sack pretty early tonight tired from today but also in preparation for another early start tomorrow as we head out of Quito and begin our journey towards our first big objective, Cayambe.

Will check in again tomorrow,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

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