Ecuador Seminar: Illiniza Sur Summit and Seminar Winds Down

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Casey Grom | January 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Ecuador Skills Seminar 2013 is coming to a close.  Although we did not attempt to climb the tallest of our three chosen mountains which should have taken place today, we settled for a 17,500 foot consolation prize, Illiniza Sur.  We left our hostel this morning at 1 am and began the two hour approach to the hut at 1:45.  Forty five minutes into the hike we had to stop and don rain gear to ward off the cold mist that was beginning to soak us.  By the time we reached the hut the mist had turned to snow.  Sadly the weather was not the only thing going south.  By the time we were ready to depart, Jaime our local guide was too ill to continue, Suzanne was too knackered from her battle with a loose gut and Jan began to have stomach cramps.  By the time we filed out, only Gary and Clark were able to ascend with both Casey and myself.  With a one to one ratio the steep, technical terrain we encountered was greatly entertaining.  Not to mention the weather broke just as we were approaching the glacier.  From bottom to top and back again, this climb was a fantastic way to end our time together as a climbing team.  I am really bummed we could not all stand on top together but tonight we become a party team.  It is always important to remember the summit isn’t everything.  Tonight we are all ready for a grand fiesta of both food and spirits.  Our time in Ecuador has been packed with good laughs, good climbing and great people.  We will miss it.  But now we are all deeply anticipating the reunion with family friends and ice climbing.  Thanks to everyone who followed along and gave support.  Hasta maƱana. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Illiniza Sur Hut and Cotopaxi in the background. Photo: Adam Knoff Starting the steps on Illiniza Sur. Photo: Adam Knoff

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