Posts for Ecuador

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

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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

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1

Wonderful job. So glad you made it to the summit - sounds like a wonderful trip. See you in Quito.

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Posted by: Gayle on 7/4/2014 at 11:47 am


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

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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

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1

Love following your travels to Cotopaxi.  I need more pics!!!

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Posted by: Mary on 7/3/2014 at 5:50 am


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

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Cotopaxi Express: Walter and Team Summit Rucu Pichincha

Posted by: | June 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,400'

Our team had a great day today, tackling our first acclimatization climb in good style. We climbed to the summit of Rucu Pichincha, a 15,400’ volcano outside of Quito. The views were grand as we ascended in the rare air of high altitude.

Everyone did great (we were all breathing hard up there!), and we look forward to moving out of the comfort of the city life tomorrow, heading south, and getting another acclimatization hike under our belts.

We’ll touch base again tomorrow. Thanks for checking in!

RMI Guide Mike Walter

The RMI team with the summit of Rucu Pichincha in the background.  Photo: Mike Walter

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1

Looks like a wonderful day! Have a great climb tomorrow and stay safe.

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Posted by: Gayle on 6/30/2014 at 7:10 pm


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

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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

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4

So proud of you Matt!! Sounds like a week of accomplishments that pushed you all!! Enjoy a hot shower, get some rest & will see you at airport Friday night!!… read more

Posted by: Jodi on 6/26/2014 at 4:03 pm

Way to go Shobita, cannot wait to hear more from you

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Posted by: Usha on 6/26/2014 at 4:01 pm


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

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6

Congratulations Shobita and to all the members of your team!!  Not only did you summit, but you did it in some very brutal conditions. Great job.  I guess now you’ll… read more

Posted by: Randy Shetter on 6/26/2014 at 2:54 pm

Congratulations! Looks beautiful!

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Posted by: Magda on 6/26/2014 at 9:21 am


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

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2

Glad to hear you’re all well and rested. Sending love and support! Go team go! One foot in front of the other all the way to the top! Can’t wait… read more

Posted by: Lizzie on 6/25/2014 at 3:47 pm

Glad to hear from you! I was getting worried.

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Posted by: Kris on 6/25/2014 at 3:34 pm


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