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Ecuador Seminar: Hunt, Gately & Team Acclimate on Rucu Pichincha

This morning the team woke again in Quito, had a short breakfast provided by the Hotel Mercure Alameda and meet in the lobby at 8:30AM. Today's agenda took us a short distance from downtown to the Quito Teleferico where we would take the Gondola to 13,200ft and begin our acclimatization hike to the summit of Rucu Pichincha. The old extinct volcano sits at a height of 15,700ft and offers an excellent opportunity for our team to begin its acclimatization.  The acclimatization process consists of climbing to a higher elevation, in our case 15,700ft and only spending a short amount of time there. This provokes the body into producing more blood red cells to help carry more oxygen throughout the body. We then return to a lower elevation to sleep in order to recover and allow our bodies time to readjust.  The day started off slightly overcast with a few sprinkles but by the time we made it to the top of the gondola the weather was dry and cool. Perfect for hiking! We enjoyed a short glimpse at the Northwestern flanks of the stratovolcano Cotopaxi, which is still currently closed to climbing due to recent activity. The trail takes us over rolling terrain and a few short but exciting easy rock steps before climbing moderately to its summit block. From there the trail dissipates and we begin picking the path of least resistance through blocky terrain. At this time the clouds descending upon us and a light rain began falling. We summitted Rucu Pichincha at around noon in a white out. The team did fantastic with the new altitude and enjoyed getting out of the city, seeing more of the country and stretching the legs. We're now back from dinner feeling a little guilty about the amount of pizza we just all consumed and are looking forward to some sleep. Tomorrow takes us a few hours out of the city where we will enjoy another acclimatization hike up Fuya Fuya (13,980ft) and a night in the city of Cayambe.  Thanks for following along. Stay tuned for more! RMI Guide Steve Gately

Comments (3)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TED PORTER!

Posted by: Denise reynolds on

Safe and happy on your first ascent! Great job!

Posted by: Denise Reynolds on

Everyone looks happy with their heads in the clouds.  :)
Enjoy and have safe travel.  Looking forward to tomorrows update

Posted by: Mimi Quinn on

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