Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Train on Cotopaxi
It was a beautiful morning on the northern flanks of Ecuador’s “jewel mountain” when we awoke from our fist night at Cotopaxi’s Refugio. This newly remodeled hut sits just under 16,000 feet and offers a full service kitchen along with indoor and outdoor toilets. This isn’t exactly roughing it but no matter how swanky the accommodations, waking up at this altitude always feels like a self inflicted hangover without the fun stories from the evening before. After coffee, a traditional Ecuadorean breakfast and a few Ibuprofen, we were ready for a fun day of training.
Just as we began packing for the day, a group of Germans arrived looking haggered and shell shocked after having come down from the summit. It was their first ever mountain climb and they said the route was beautiful, steep and challenging but well worth the effort. This provided promising news and gave us good optimism for tonight’s climb.
Once out the door, a steep 45 minute climb took us to a perfect training location on the glacier where we set up a top rope for ice climbing, a fixed line and fun crevasse rescue station. The weather remained nice so our attitudes stayed really positive as we all took turns doing each activity.
From above we were amazed at the hundreds of people coming and going from the hut below. The remodel has sparked new interest from locals in visiting one the this countries coolest tourist attractions.
Now it is five o clock and we are resting and preparing for the climb to come. The route is shorter than Cayambe so we have high hopes for all of us making the top.
We will report tomorrow after the ascent.
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