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Entries from Ecuador


December 10, 2015

Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Chimborazo and Cayambe

Ecuador Volcanoes: Grom and Team Take Acclimatization Hike

Hello again everyone
Today we had a very nice hike to help with our acclimatization on a nearby peak called Pichincha. It is one of the many local peaks that is situated above Quito and is used by many climbers to help adjust to the higher altitude here in Ecuador. We made use of the gondolas to help us gain access to around 13,000 ft then hiked the additional 2,500 ft to the summit. It took our team roughly 3 hours to gain the top after a little scrambling up the final bit to reach our high point thus far. It was a personal high point for a few of us, and the entire team did a fantastic job. After spending a bit of time on the summit and getting are photos we descended all the back to our hotel for a brief nap before dinner.
Everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map


December 9, 2015

Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Chimborazo and Cayambe

Ecuador Volcanoes: Grom & Team Explore Quito

Hola from Ecuador!

After some very long flights and a little bit of sleep the team is doing well. We started our day with a team meeting where we did our usual round of introductions and discussed the game plan for our upcoming adventure.

After the meeting we headed out on the town to explore this beautiful historical city with our tour guide Foulsto. We first headed north to visit the Equator from which Ecuador gets its name, then headed to the older part of town where we visited several old cathedrals, and the colonial town square. Next we headed up to a small hill called La Panacia that over looks this beautiful city before returning to the hotel for a little break.

We wrapped up the day with a quick gear check to make sure everyone has all the gear needed for our climbs. Then it was off to dinner at a nice restaurant where we enjoyed getting to know each other better.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Danny and Team:
Be Calm and Climb On!

Posted by: Rob on 12/10/2015 at 8:36 pm

Go Danny and Team!  Wishing you all safety and success.

Posted by: Virginia on 12/10/2015 at 8:22 am


December 4, 2015

Cayambe Express

Cayambe Express: Grom & Team Summit!

We made it!
It was a tough day on Cayambe today to say the least. We managed to hit the trail shortly after midnight as planned. Unfortunately the wind had picked up through the night and made the hour climb to the start of the glacier a chilly one. The team did a great job of keeping themselves protected from the wind as we climbed higher up the mountain. About two hours into the climb the weather slowly turned from clear skies with nice views of the towns below, into a think cloud obscuring nearly everything. Luckily for us the route was still visible and we continued upward. It wasn’t long before we were fully enveloped in this wet cloud and had to put on nearly all of our clothing to stay dry. Sadly the weather didn’t change for the remainder of the climb, but everyone remained positive and we eventually made it to the summit. There were no beautiful views as we had hoped, and we only stayed at the summit for a few minutes before descending back down the mountain.
All in all it was a great adventure and we are now all smiling after hot showers and a warm meal. We are currently relaxing at the oldest Hacienda in Ecuador, Guachala.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Cayambe crew

On The Map

Way to stick with tough conditions! Prayers for safe travels!
Jen and Dave Porter

Posted by: Jen Porter on 12/6/2015 at 7:57 am

Congrats you guys.  Way to go!  Can you say hot tub:-)

Posted by: Jim Sheedy on 12/5/2015 at 9:59 am


December 3, 2015

Cayambe Express

Cayambe Express: Grom & Team Prepare for Summit Attempt

Hello everyone.
All is well here in Ecuador.
The team got a decent night of sleep here on Cayambe at 15,000’. We got up at 6 am and had a nice breakfast before hiking up to the start of the glacier. We took our time on the hike and enjoyed the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. It was pretty windy this morning so we kept things brief on our review of glacier travel, then made our way back to the hut for a nice lunch.
Currently the team is taking naps or resting outside in the always warming Ecuadorian sun. Our plan is to have an early dinner tonight and try to get a little more shut-eye before our alpine start. We’ll most likely get up at 11pm, have a quick breakfast and coffee, then start climbing around midnight to make use of the cooler temps. If all goes according to plan we hope to summit around 7 am give or take a few.
As per usual, I’m going to have a mountain trivia challenge where one lucky winner will receive a summit phone call from the Satellite phone. So everyone back home keep your phones nearby, you might be receiving a call from a strange number.
Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Cayambe crew

On The Map

Mark and Shawn,

Hey guys hope your climb was awesome!!! Can’t wait to see some photos and hear a few stories.

All my best,

Jimmy

Posted by: Jimmy Sheedy on 12/4/2015 at 8:37 am

Tom - I’ll use your call as my wake-up alarm…be safe!!

Posted by: Diane on 12/3/2015 at 9:39 pm


December 2, 2015

Cayambe Express

Cayambe Express: Grom & Team Settle into Cayambe’s Refugio

Hey, everybody, this is Casey Grom checking in from Ecuador. Today we had a nice leisurely morning. Woke up at the wonderful Casa del Sol, had a nice breakfast with scrambled eggs and some home-baked bread and some fresh marmalade they made for us. We got packed up and left our wonderful hacienda and headed into the center of Otavalo. Otavalo is a northern city in Ecuador that is famous for being one of the largest outdoor markets in all of South America. We spent a good hour walking around sightseeing and doing a little bartering to purchase a few trinkets. Everyone had a nice day. The weather was pretty nice all day. We had to wear plenty of sunscreen because it’s obviously a lot of UV exposure here on the equator. After we spent some time at Otavalo, we headed over to the town of Cayambe, which is at the base of the mountain that we are here to climb, and had a nice lunch. After we wrapped up lunch, we got back into our bus and we slowly made our way up the flanks of Cayambe. We get out of the city and get onto these cobblestone roads and slowly zigzag our way up grassy hillsides and vegetation that is up here near the base of Cayambe. We made it up to about 14,000 feet where we got out and loaded our stuff into a four-wheel drive vehicle and sent our gear up to the hut. Then we continued on foot, to help with our acclimatization, we hiked the last remaining thousand feet, which took about an hour, up to the refugio or the hut that is at the base of the mountain. We just finished a wonderful meal of trout and potatoes and some soup. Everyone’s doing great, We are heading to bed here pretty soon. Game plan is to get up and do a little training tomorrow, so thanks for following. We’ll check in again sometime tomorrow afternoon.

RMI Guide Casey Grom


RMI Guide Casey Grom calls in from Cayambe Climber's Hut.

On The Map

Cool blog and some awesome pics already!  Good luck to all on your climb.

Mark and Shawn, shoooooooooo muck dooooooo eeeet!!!  Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em!!  How how!!

Posted by: Bo on 12/4/2015 at 12:13 pm

Hey Mark,
Love this website, as we sit by the fire watching Netflix…..not much of an adventure for us!  So take lots of notes and bring back your stories.  Be safe, enjoy each moment.
Xxx ooo
Doug and Ann

Posted by: Doug and Ann on 12/3/2015 at 5:57 pm


December 1, 2015

Cayambe Express

Cayambe Express: Grom & Team Hike Fuya Fuya to Help Acclimatize

December 1, 2015 - 6:48 pm PT

Hello again everyone!

Today the team left behind the hustle and bustle of Quito and moved just north of the Equator to the comfortable and quite rural countryside. Once outside the city limits the landscape quickly turned into rolling hills with farms pitched on steep slopes and dozens of small eucalyptus forest.

Our plan was to visit a smaller mountain called Fuya Fuya where we stretched our legs on a nice steep and short acclimatization hike. Thankfully the weather was nice which allowed us to see some amazing views of the beautiful surrounding landscape. 

We are just on the outskirts of a town call Otavalo, which is known for its massive market and we are currently relaxing at a wonderful Hacienda called “La Casa Sol”. The team is doing great and looking forward to nice quite night here.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map


December 1, 2015

Cayambe Express

Cayambe Express: Grom & Team Acclimate on Rucu Pichincha

Hello again everyone:
Today we had a very nice hike to help with our acclimatization on a nearby peak called Pichincha. It is one of the many local peaks that is situated above Quito and is used by many climbers to help adjust to the higher altitude here in Ecuador. We made use of the gondolas to help us gain access to around 13,000ft then hiked the additional 2,500ft to the summit. It took our team roughly three hours to gain the top after a little scrambling up the final bit to reach our high point thus far. It was a personal high point for a few of us, and the entire team did a fantastic job. After spending a bit of time on the summit and getting our photos, we descended all the way back to our hotel for a brief nap before dinner.
Everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

Sounded like a great day!!

Posted by: Carol on 12/2/2015 at 9:26 pm


November 30, 2015

Cayambe Express

Cayambe Express: Grom & Team Tour Quito and Visit the Equator

Hola from Ecuador!

After some very long flights and a little bit of sleep the team is doing well. We started our day with a team meeting where we did our usual round of introductions and discussed the game plan for our upcoming adventure.

After the meeting we headed out on the town to explore this beautiful historical city with our tour guide Daniela. She first took us to the older part of town where we visited several old cathedrals, then to the colonial town square. Next we headed up to a small hill called La Panacia that over looks this beautiful city before heading north to visit the equator from which Ecuador gets its name.

We finished the day with a small break and then a quick gear check to make sure everyone has all the gear needed for our climbs. Then it was off to dinner at a nice Ecuadorian restaurant where we enjoyed getting to know each other better.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Mark & Shawn,

Wishing you both and the team a great climb!

Kindest Regards,

Jeannie

Posted by: Jeannie Sheedy on 12/3/2015 at 12:09 pm

It certainly looked like a spectacular day in Quito!
Can’t wait to hear more!
Love to Craig!

Posted by: Carol Clark on 11/30/2015 at 5:27 pm


July 9, 2015

Ecuador’s Volcanoes

Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Walter & Team Summit Cotopaxi

When I woke up to check the weather at 11 pm I could hear that the wind would not be an issue. I went outside to check the sky; it was perfectly clear and full of stars. I woke our team up immediately and reported the good news. We ate “breakfast” and packed our summit kits and were out the door by 12:15 am. The route on Cotopaxi is in great condition, with a well-worn trail in the snow for most of the climb.

Some clouds moved in and out, but the weather remained good for our summit push. Our team climbed well, and efficiently negotiated the steeper slopes near the summit. We topped out at 6:30 am, snapped a few photos and began our descent. By 9 am we were back at the climbing hut. It was an awesome climb to close out an incredible week of climbing Ecuador’s Volcanoes.

Now we’re in back in Quito and it’s time for a shower and a nap before we meet for our team’s final dinner together in Ecuador.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map


July 8, 2015

Ecuador’s Volcanoes

Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Walter & Team Enjoy a Rest Day

After an enjoyable and well-deserved rest day at Hacienda Chilcabamba, we are headed up to the Jose Ribas Refugio on Cotopaxi today. We’ve had some good views of Cotopaxi from Chilcabamba, and the weather forecast looks favorable for the next few days. Our plan is to relax in the hut this afternoon, eat an early dinner, and hit the sleeping bags in preparation for an alpine start (likely around midnight) for our summit bid.

We’re excited for the climb, and hopefully our next dispatch will be with news of summit success!

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Best of luck Dad! -Madison

Posted by: Madison Mason on 7/9/2015 at 9:52 am

Good luck today, Dad and Dennis!

Love,
Linds, Daniel, & Wyatt

Posted by: Lindsay on 7/9/2015 at 8:34 am

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