Ecuador Volcanoes: Knoff & Team’s Acclimatization Hike on Rucu Pichincha
Today our Ecuador Volcanoes team set out on the first of many uphill travels planned for the next ten days. We like to think that our strategic planning plays a big role in our future success, which is why I ordered up some nice weather and arranged for a cable car to whisk us from 10,000 feet to 13,000 as to not over stress many sea level lungs.
Our goal today was to ascend the 15,400 foot Pichincha Rucu volcano, a stone's throw outside the city in order acclimate for bigger objectives down the road. With a starting zone of 13,000 feet, this hike is usually very manageable from the top of the cable car in five hours, give or take. Upon arriving at the upper station the weather, unsettled for the last two days, showed signs of grumpiness but played nice as we prepared go. A wild hitchhiker latched onto Jerome’s shirt and hand, quietly calling daddy, daddy, but after five minutes of hiking changed his mind, flying to Willie thinking his orange pack looked more suiting than Jerome’s yellow shirt. Both would make fine fathers.
Once on the trail we could not have asked for better walking conditions. Thick clouds kept the temps down which was nice but obscured our view of the upper mountain. The steep parts weren’t too slick so the entire team made good and steady progress upwards until there was no more up to be had. After a cloudy 20 minutes on top we descended down with no issues and still no rain which landed us back at the hotel around 4:00.
We ate a great meal and then prepared for the upcoming climb tomorrow. Stay tuned for more sports action.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff
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