Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Walter & Team Thwarted by Rain & Winds on Cayambe

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 16,300'

We had an alpine start this morning, waking up in the middle of the night for our summit attempt on Cayambe. At midnight the winds were moderate and there was a beautiful, clear, and starry sky above us. We were psyched to see the clear sky, and we hoped that the winds would subside a bit throughout the day.

By the time we left the climbing hut (15,300’) at a little before 1 a.m., a cloud had settled in on us and it was raining lightly. As we ascended, the wind and rain increased in intensity and the temperature kept dropping. After about a thousand feet of climbing, we were soaking wet and the wind speed was strong enough that it made climbing difficult. With another couple thousand feet more to climb, we turned around and headed back to the comfort of our climbing hut. Wet and cold, we drank some hot tea and then crawled in our sleeping bags for a few hours of well deserved sleep.

We are all off of the mountain now and headed for the Hacienda Chilcabamba, located just outside Cotopaxi National Park. We will take a rest day there tomorrow, drying out our clothes and getting ready for our climb up Cotopaxi.

We will be in touch again tomorrow.
RMI Guide Mike Walter

An RMI team descending towards the Cayambe Climber's Hut in Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection

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Hi Dan! Bummer about Cayambe, but I am glad to hear you are playing it safe. The exact same thing happened to us! We got up at 9am and had big plans to spend the day on the beach. Just as I was getting really settled into my lounge chair with a tasty beverage, a big storm cloud rolled in! The temps dropped to like 75F and the winds were blowing beach toys everywhere. Overweight beach goers were waddling about the sand in a panic. It was pandemonium. We had to ride out the storm sipping our cocktails on the balcony. It was really rough, but I intend to press on. We plan to attempt more lounging today. I am with you in spirit, my brother! I will have an extra margarita in your honor and keep my fingers crossed for better weather in Cotopaxi! Love, your big sister.

Posted by: Tera on 6/25/2014 at 10:04 am

Gook luck with Cotopaxi. Thinking of you. Love Mom and Dad

Posted by: Magda on 6/25/2014 at 6:48 am

Hi, Dr. Raj!  Hope you’re well rested.  Good luck with Cotopaxi.

Posted by: cherrie on 6/24/2014 at 8:24 am

Whoa! Sorry to hear about the unfortunate weather. Keep your spirits up. Best of luck.

Posted by: Katie McCarty on 6/23/2014 at 7:22 pm

Bummer with weather…rooting for a better climb tomorrow!!
Hugs from home!!
Mom Dad & Verb Team supporters!!

Posted by: Jodi on 6/23/2014 at 7:13 pm

Hi Shobita and Team,

Sorry to hear that you had to abort the hike today.  But you made the safe decision to come back down. Hopefully you’ll have better weahter for the climb up Cotopaxi.


Posted by: Randy Shetter on 6/23/2014 at 6:57 pm

That is a bummer but better safe than sorry! There is another day. Good luck!

Posted by: Kris on 6/23/2014 at 6:56 pm

Glad to hear you made the safe choice to turn back .  Hopefully you will have better weather for your next climb.  Good luck and stay safe everyone.

Miss you Chris!  Xo

Posted by: Susan on 6/23/2014 at 6:00 pm

dr raj

do not let weather dampen your spirits for you have another day to complete the climb

noticed you front and center in photo of ecuador at the center of the world 0 degree 0’ 0’‘

Posted by: boyd on 6/23/2014 at 2:35 pm

So sorry to hear the weather didn’t cooperate! Better luck with Cotopaxi!

Posted by: Lizzie on 6/23/2014 at 10:28 am

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