Entries By mike walter

Cotopaxi Express: Walter & Team Back in Quito

Posted by: Mike Walter | July 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 9,000'

Our team is safely back in Quito, reacquainting ourselves to city life. We had a great trip here in Ecuador; we enjoyed the country and culture, the delicious cuisine, and the friendly Andean people. We also enjoyed a safe and successful climb of Cotopaxi.

Our trip is coming to a close now. We will get together this evening for a celebration dinner before we part ways and travel in different directions. It has been a pleasure to spend time in the mountains with this group of climbers.

Saludos…
RMI Guide Mike Walter

An RMI climber on a Cotopaxi rest break. Photo: Mike Walter RMI Guide Mike Walter and climber on Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Photo: Mike Walter

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts


Cotopaxi Express: Walter and Team Rest after a Successful Climb

Posted by: Mike Walter | July 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

Friday, July 4, 2014 – 10:32 AM PT

We took advantage of great weather and climbing conditions yesterday to summit Cotopaxi (19,348’)! We started climbing a little before 5 am, summitted around 1 pm, and were back at camp by 5 pm. Twelve hours of ascending and descending the glaciate slopes of Ecuador’s most famous volcano, Cotopaxi. Although we were greeted by gusty winds as we approached the glacier, the sky was clear and the temperature was comfortable. By the time we strapped our crampons on, the wind had died down and the weather and climbing conditions could not have been better. The snow was perfect for cramponing, winds were about 10 mph all the way up to the summit, and the views of the surrounding peaks were stunning.
After a long day of climbing we settled back into the climbers’ hut and enjoyed a warm meal before crawling into our sleeping bags for a full night’s sleep. This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we visited a small pre-Incan archaeological site within Cotopaxi National Park before heading south to the Hacienda La Cienega. Now we’re all set to enjoy showers, some more food, and comfortable beds.
Nice work team, on safely climbing up and down a very impressive mountain. We’ll rest here at La Cienega tonight and then head back into the capital, Quito, tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

RMI Climbers ascending the toe of a glacier on Cotopaxi in Ecuador. Photo: Mike Walter The view of Illiniza Sur and Illiniza Norte from Cotopaxi yesterday. Photo: Mike Walter

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts

1

Cotopaxi Express:  Mike Walter and Team Reach Summit!

Posted by: Mike Walter | July 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

RMI Guide Mike Walter and his team of climbers reached the summit of Cotopaxi on July 3rd around 11 am PT.  They descended to camp and will head to La Cienega today.

Congratulations to the team!

The view from the summit of Cotopaxi (19,348 ft), Ecuador.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts


Cotopaxi Express: Walter & Team Relax at the Chilcabamba Eco Lodge

Posted by: Mike Walter | July 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

We had a very nice and relaxing stay at the Hacienda Chilcabamba, enjoying excellent food, great views of Cotopaxi, magnificent star gazing, and warmth from wood stoves.
Well fed and rested, now we’re headed to the climbers’ hut on Cotopaxi where we’ll review climbing techniques and prepare for our summit bid. Hopefully the weather cooperates; so far it hasn’t disappointed.

We’ll check in again tomorrow to keep everyone up to date.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Cotopaxi from the Chilcabamba Eco Lodge. Photo: Zeb Blais

On The Map

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts

1

Cotopaxi Express: Walter & Team Acclimate on Iliniza Norte

Posted by: Mike Walter | July 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,500'

We had another great day today, hiking up to the climbers’ hut on the Ilinizas at an altitude of 15,500’. The weather, once again, was very cooperative and we had great views of Cotopaxi and the Ilinizas. Afternoon clouds produced some showers, but not until we were already back at our van and driving down from the trail head. Now we’re headed to the beautiful Hacienda Chilcabamba to rest for the night. We’ll be in touch again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

The Chilcabamba Eco Lodge. RMI Photo Collection

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts


Cotopaxi Express: Walter & Team Visit the Equator and Colonial Quito

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 9,000'

Our Cotopaxi Express team enjoyed a tour of colonial Quito today, visiting various churches, museums, parks, and plazas, and learning about the history of Quito and of Ecuador. We then traveled to the equator, just north of Quito. There we visited an ethnographic museum, and straddled the equator with a foot in each hemisphere!

It was a good, relaxing day in Ecuador as everyone is adjusting to the new altitude (9,000’) and recovering from a long day of travel yesterday. Tomorrow we’ll head out on our first acclimatization hike, climbing Rucu Pichincha, a volcano outside of Quito.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Cotopaxi Express team visits the equator. Photo: Mike Walter A Cotopaxi team member walks the equator line. Photo: Mike Walter

On The Map

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts


Ecuador Volcanoes: Walter & Team Back to Quito after Successful Cotopaxi Summit

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 9,000'

Well, we earned this one. We woke up early, at 10:30pm, to eat ‘breakfast’ and don our climbing clothes. At first it was warm and calm at the hut; soon it was foggy with light rain. We weren’t sure what to expect. The first hour was dry and very warm. The last hour to the summit was anything but. On our ascent of Cotopaxi, we climbed through various intensities of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow. The winds picked up in third hour of our climb, and were persistently strong and gusty, strong enough to make us work even harder to maintain our balance. Our climbers were as persistent as the winds though, and eight hours after starting out we were standing on the summit of Cotopaxi (19,347’)! The summit celebrations were short-lived because of the weather. After a tiring decent, we were all back at the parking lot, safe and sound, twelve hours round trip.

For the bulk of the climb we were all covered in rime ice; our ropes looked like frozen fire hoses, and we were glad to have helmets on when a flapping jacket hood would clock you from behind. We gave up any semblance of a view from the summit for the opportunity to test our merit in full alpine conditions. And we came away with no more than a few blisters and some tired climbers.

I’m proud of our Ecuador Volcanoes team for climbing hard all day today…we were the only team on the mountain today, and we even got a summit! Now we’re en route to Quito, anticipating hot showers and well-deserved cervesas (with maybe a nap or three thrown in there) before meeting for a celebration dinner tonight. Great job team!

RMI Guide Mike Walter

View of Cotopaxi, 19,348'. Photo: MikeWalter

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts

4

Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Walter & Team Summit Cotopaxi

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,328'

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 10:07 AM PT

The Ecuador team is back at Cotopaxi’s high camp.  All is well.

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 7:01 AM PT

RMI Guide Mike Walter checked in this morning from the summit of Cotopaxi!

We look forward to hearing from Mike again once the team is safely off of the mountain.

Congratulations team!

The view from the summit of Cotopaxi in Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts

6

Ecuador Volcanoes: Walter and Team Ready for Cotopaxi Summit Bid

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 16,000'

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team are checking in with the RMI office as they prepare for their summit bid on Cotopaxi:

June 25, 2014 5:38am PT

We enjoyed a relaxing rest day at the Hacienda Chilcabamba. Today we will head into Cotopaxi National Park and prepare for our summit bid. We’ll be in touch!

June 28, 2014 - 3:01pm PT

We we’re treated to good views of Cotopaxi and five condors as we drove into the National Park. We are at the hut now, going for the summit tonight.We’ll be in touch soon!
 
Stay Tuned!

The Jose Ribas Refugio on Cotopaxi. RMI Photo Collection

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts

2

Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Walter & Team Thwarted by Rain & Winds on Cayambe

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 16,300'

We had an alpine start this morning, waking up in the middle of the night for our summit attempt on Cayambe. At midnight the winds were moderate and there was a beautiful, clear, and starry sky above us. We were psyched to see the clear sky, and we hoped that the winds would subside a bit throughout the day.

By the time we left the climbing hut (15,300’) at a little before 1 a.m., a cloud had settled in on us and it was raining lightly. As we ascended, the wind and rain increased in intensity and the temperature kept dropping. After about a thousand feet of climbing, we were soaking wet and the wind speed was strong enough that it made climbing difficult. With another couple thousand feet more to climb, we turned around and headed back to the comfort of our climbing hut. Wet and cold, we drank some hot tea and then crawled in our sleeping bags for a few hours of well deserved sleep.

We are all off of the mountain now and headed for the Hacienda Chilcabamba, located just outside Cotopaxi National Park. We will take a rest day there tomorrow, drying out our clothes and getting ready for our climb up Cotopaxi.

We will be in touch again tomorrow.
RMI Guide Mike Walter

An RMI team descending towards the Cayambe Climber's Hut in Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

Sign Up For Ecuador 2014 Email Alerts

10

Previous Page More Entries