Ecuador: Nugent &Team Hike to Top of Rucu Pichincha

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Garrett Stevens | February 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,696'

Ecuador Adventure - Day 2:

Today the gang got their first taste of real altitude with an acclimatization hike and scramble on slopes just above the western edge of the city. After a quick breakfast we hopped a few taxis over to the Teleférico, Spanish for gondola, and rode it up high out of town. Blue skies and clear views were an uncommon treat for us and the top of the gondola revealed Cayambe in the north, Antisana to the east, and Cotopaxi and Chimborazo to the south. From there we started moving up the slopes of Pichincha, the volcano closest to Quito. We even had a chance to spy a couple of condors gliding below us and then riding thermals high, high above. These are rarely seen birds with wingspans as large as 3 m, quite the treat. Anyway, after a few hours of hiking and a little scrambling here and there we found ourselves on the summit enjoying 360-degree views of Quito and the caldera. The mountain we climbed was called Rucu Pichincha meaning the old part of the volcano, and we were catching views of the Guagua Pichincha, the baby volcano. We snapped some photos from the peak (4,697 m) and then made short work of the descent. Our acclimatization hikes will continue tomorrow but we are gonna hit the road and leave Quito headed north.

More tomorrow!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Views from the top of Rucu Pichincha, Ecuador. Photo: Billy Nugent

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Hi Charlie! The view is breathtaking, so glad I get to see it and follow along with your trip. Thinking of you :)

Posted by: Anna on 2/14/2014 at 9:38 pm

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