July 1, 2013
Our Cotopaxi Express trip is under way! Today was the first official day of the trip, and we started it off with an introductory team meeting over breakfast. We spent the rest of the day enjoying an informative and educational City Tour of colonial Quito, visiting various churches and parks, the Presidential Palace and the Virgin of Quito (a large statue situated on a hill above Quito). Our local tour guide, Jorge, is very well versed in the history and culture of Ecuador, and we had great time seeing the city.
We also visited an ethnographic museum located on the equator, where we learned about the different indigenous cultures of Ecuador. We also got a photo of our team straddling the equator, some of us in the northern hemisphere and some of us in the southern hemisphere!
On The Map
July 1, 2013
We experienced some thin air on our first acclimatization hike today, as we climbed Rucu Pichincha, a volcano that sits just to the west of Quito. At 15,413’, it was certainly a new altitude record for some climbers on our team. Everyone did well on the climb. Tomorrow we will leave Quito and head south for our next acclimatization hike going up to the climbers’ hut on the Illiniza mountains. We’ll be in touch with our progress…
On The Map
July 3, 2013
Yesterday we had a great acclimatization hike up to the climbers’ hut on the Iliniza mountains. This hike brought us up to an altitude above 15,000’ once again, and will help prepare us for moving higher on Cotopaxi. After the hike, we transferred to the wonderful Hacienda Chilcabamba for the night. Chilcabamba is a beautiful, tranquil hacienda located just outside of Cotopaxi National Park. With the quiet surroundings and the great food, it’s a perfect place to relax before heading up to Cotopaxi.
Today, we’re off to the climbers’ hut on Cotopaxi, where we’ll spend two nights preparing for our summit attempt. Everyone is doing well, and we seem to be acclimatizing well to the high altitude. We’ll keep you posted from Cotopaxi.
RMI Guide Mike Walter
Joe - Guess who got her first card today (10 of spades). :) I miss you and love you. You all have a wonderful time and be safe!
Posted by: Nasrin on 7/4/2013 at 3:10 pm
Thanks for the update! Dad/Larry - enjoy the next few days! Thinking of you.
Posted by: Jen on 7/4/2013 at 10:35 am
July 4, 2013
Thursday, July 4, 2013
The team will descend completely today and drive to the Hosteria La Cienega for a well deserved dinner and spend the night.
Congratulations to the team!
On The Map
July 5, 2013
We had a great climb of Cotopaxi yesterday, and everyone summitted! We took advantage of cool weather and firm snow conditions and were able to climb during the day yesterday, hiking only the approach to the glacier in the dark. The weather was great, with no wind all day. The team climbed very strongly up the steep slopes of Cotopaxi, and had enough gas left in the tank to enjoy the summit and climb safely back down to the climbers’ hut in 10 1/2 hours round trip.
We had great views along the way, being able to see many of Ecuador’s high peaks, including Cayambe, Antisana, the Illinizas, the Pichinchas, Cotocachi, Imbabura, and El Corazon, as well as the beautiful mosaic of Andean farmlands far below us.
We spent last night relaxing at the climbers’ hut and descended to our waiting vehicles this morning. Now we are at the beautiful Hosteria La Cienega, enjoying hot showers, lower altitude, and the comforts of life off of the mountain.
Congrats to our team for a successful summit of Cotopaxi!
I just wanted to congratulate everyone for a successful climb! RTR!
Posted by: Kevin B. Danley on 7/6/2013 at 9:36 am