Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Team Makes First Acclimatization Hike

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,413'

Well rested from our recent international flights, our team went for our first acclimatization climb today, summiting Rucu Pichincha. Rucu is a volcano that is located just outside of the city of Quito, and the gondola-assisted approach allowed us to enjoy some very high altitude today. The summit sits at 15,413’, and was a personal altitude record for many members of our climbing team; we should break that record a few more times during our stay here in Ecuador.

After riding the gondola, the climb consisted of a relatively moderate ascent on good trails to a small Col just shy of the true summit. From the Col, we scrambled for about 15 minutes up 3rd class volcanic rock to the summit. Clouds obscured our views from the top, but added to the ambiance of our team’s first Andean summit. Other than some high clouds, the weather was great for our climb today. The temperatures were quite comfortable for climbing, and we had great views of Quito from nearly 6,000’ above.

Our team climbed very strong today, without exception, and it is obvious that everyone has been dedicated to their training programs in the past few months. The climbers on this team have a ton of experience in the mountains, from Rainier to Aconcagua, and it definitely shows.
Tomorrow our crew will pack up in the morning and leave Quito, traveling north to our next acclimatization hike of Fuya Fuya, en route to our first major climbing objective, Cayambe.

At the risk of sounding redundant, these climbers are strong and well-prepared for this trip. Sure, we all feel the affects of altitude at this point, but that is expected. The team’s collective dedication to climbing and training is allowing us to fully enjoy our experience here in Ecuador.
Thanks for checking in, and we’ll provide an update after our next climb. But for now, the well-oiled climbing machine is on track.

Hasta la proxima cumbre,

RMI Guide Mike Walter & team

An RMI team ascending Rucu Pichincha on their acclimatization hike.  Photo: Jake Beren

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Ola Amigos!  Greetings from 1100.00000 elevation in the Allegheny Mountain Range of NW Pennsylvania, USA.  Awesome photos—you guys rock!  Go Larry!  How much do they pay you for that awesome mug shot that now tops their web site?  Endorsements forever!

Posted by: Patti and Joe on 6/21/2013 at 8:31 am

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