Ecuador: Billy Nugent & Team Acclimate in Ecuador

Posted by: Billy Nugent | June 22, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 14,000'

Another casual morning… We ate some breakfast, checked out of the Mercure (our hotel) around 8 am or so, loaded up the van and Jaime’s truck, then hit the road. Heading north on the PanAmerican Highway, we left Quito and passed through the town of Otavalo, famous for it’s large open air market. Eventually we turned off the highway and headed up into the countryside on our approach to Cerro Fuya Fuya. After many kilometers of driving on a cobblestone road up into the mountains we reached Laguna Mojanda and the base of Fuya Fuya. The lake is actually a giant caldera filled with water (think Crater Lake in OR) and made for a great backdrop to our second training hike. A couple hours of hiking and scrambling brought us to the summit at well over 14,000’. We enjoyed clear and sweeping views from la cumbre of the two valleys below in addition to the big Laguna. After a quick break on top we beat feet for the cars to try and out pace some menacing clouds. Everyone was feeling great.

After another short trip in the van we arrived at the beautiful Hosteria San Luis. Talk about traveling in style, there are beautiful gardens, stables,  classic colonial architecture, a pool, and a pond. The gang is settling in and enjoying the last bit of luxury before heading up to the climber’s refugio on Cayambe.

I’ll call and check in tomorrow night from the refugio,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

An RMI team ascending Fuya Fuya with Laguna Mojanda below.  Photo: Casey Grom

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