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Ecuador’s Volcanoes

Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Summit Cayambe!

It is the end of a long, long day that technically began yesterday.  I know this sounds a bit odd but my alarm was set for 10:45 pm last night, the 12th.  This is one of the least appealing parts of climbing big mountains, knowing you have a huge day to come on average with three hours of sleep.  But lucky for the guides and each other, our team was totally motivated.  So began the ascent of the equators only snow covered place, Nevado Cayambe at18,997 feet.

From the hut, our route began with an hour and half of rocks and scree ascending 1,000 feet to the start of the glacier.  Once on the glacier, newly accumulated snow, which had softened and then frozen, provided perfect climbing conditions up the long sustained glacier.  By the time we reached the summit head wall, the temperatures were in the low teens, the wind was blowing and we all climbed to the top in our down parkas.  And people thought we were going to Ecuador to get out of winter.

The summit was beautiful offering grand views of our next two mountains, Antisana and Cotopaxi, as well as Quito and Chimborazo.  This is what makes the early wake up call, freezing temperatures and exhausted bodies worth it.  We took seven hours to get to the top and rallied down in three.  Unfortunately, both phones carried by Nick and me died in the cold before the top so a group photo will be coming later. 

After getting down and packing up, we hiked 30 minutes down to meet Victor and the magic bus to be carried off to our next accommodations, Papallacta. Here we enjoyed a fantastic meal but most importantly, natural thermal hot tubs.  Which reminds me, it’s time for a soak. 

We are off to Antisana later today.  Wish us luck.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

On The Map


Comments (2)

Great job everyone and congratulations for topping another peak. Go team Ecuador!

Posted by: Greg on

CONGRATULATIONS, TO ALL. I’M VERY PROUD OF YOU JENNIFER, STAY SAFE AND WARM. LOVE DAD.

Posted by: Nick Boekenoogen on

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