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Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Hike with Beautiful Snow-Capped Mountain Views

Day Two

It is a rare blessing here in the highlands of Ecuador if we see the snow-capped summits of Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Antisana two days in a row.  Heck, I’d bet my son’s favorite LEGO set on the odds of that happening even once.  But due to abnormally clear skies, warm temps and some cashed in Karma points, we have received that blessing. 

Taking advantage of the good weather, team Ecuador Seminar enjoyed a great breakfast, packed our bags and headed out of Quito to our first “real” mountain, Pichincha Rucu.  Please keep in mind when I say “headed out”, I’m referring to a 15-minute bus ride and when I say “real”, I’m referring to a ho-hum 15,400 foot extinct volcano.  These two realities shine light on another of Ecuador’s overlooked blessings, the ability to go really high really quickly.  Not to mention a cable car which whisked us from 10,000 to 13,000 feet in a matter of minutes, making sure our unacclimatized bodies got the full effect.  

With the surreal summits still scraping the sky far off, we all hit the trail huffing and puffing but enjoying the warm sun and beautiful conditions.  Two and a half hours of steady hiking put us at the summit around 12:30 in the afternoon.  Here the temperatures changed to jackets and light gloves but not unpleasant by any stretch.  After 20 minutes on top, we headed down. 

Just as our team crushed the city tour yesterday, our first mountain was no exception.  Solid performances from every member proved we should be ready, when the time comes, to take on one of the high ones. 

Once back at the hotel everybody was set free to explore, rest, eat a guinea pig or go shopping.  We will reconvene for dinner and prepare for another mountain tomorrow.  

Stay tuned.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff


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