Cotopaxi Express: Team Summits Cayambe!
Today was the day! Cayambe summit bid.
The guides “woke up” at 11pm to check the weather outside and stepped into an uncharacteristically warm and cloudy night. Glimpses of stars came in and out of view with the wind dull and chilled. We decided it was go time and, given the hour we estimated it would take the team to gear up, we put our chips on an improving trend. Clear it did, as we donned our backpacks and set up the rocky, first section of the route. It takes us about an hour plus to get to the base of the glacier on Cayambe due to the varied, and sometimes involved terrain you navigate to get there. Our nerves quickly gave way to the necessity of focus on the tricky terrain and that’s when it gets fun!
After a quick break at the glacier to eat, put our crampons on, and rope up, we were climbing. That warm night gave way to a clear, chilly, moonlit night with views of the surrounding peaks and towns. With perfect conditions and beautiful weather, the team climbed in style for the 4000ft and 7 hours of ascent.
100% of the team stood on top of Cayambe today. An accolade not often achieved by teams attempting these tall peaks.
Proud of the grit, dedication, and attitude this team has. While it’s a shame the trip is ending, I know I’ll see these climbers back in the mountains soon enough.
This is the Cayambe Express trip.
RMI Guides Dominic Cifelli, Seth Burns and Team
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