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Cotopaxi: Grom & Team’s Weather Less Than Ideal for Summit Attempt

Hello again everyone.

The team is finally back safe and sound in Quito after a very wet two days. Unfortunately we didn’t make the summit, but as Lou Whittaker used to say, “Sometimes you eat the mountain and sometimes the mountain eats you” and today the mountain was tougher.

Yesterday we hiked up to the Refugio on Cotopaxi in some of the windiest and wettest conditions I’ve seen here. We settled into the climber’s hut and discussed our game plan for the climb with hopes that the weather would dissipate, then enjoyed a nice warm meal before heading to bed early.

We woke up at 11pm and got dressed and all of our gear ready before a very quick breakfast and then headed out to give it our best. The team climbed for about two hours in a sideways rain before it turned to ice and encased us in our waterproof clothes. To be honest it was pretty miserable, but the team kept a positive attitude as we battled the weather. It didn’t take long for us to realize that climbing in these conditions was far less than ideal. So just short of 18,000ft we called it good. Then quickly descended back to the hut to escape the maelstrom.

The team is currently relaxing in our comfortable hotel and looking forward to another nice meal before catching our flights back home early tomorrow morning.

Thanks for following!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the soggy but happy crew

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Cotopaxi: Grom & Team Enjoy a Rest Day at Chilcabamba Eco Lodge

Hello Everyone-

We had a nice relaxing day here in the beautiful Highlands of Ecuador. Some of the team took naps while others explored the local town of Machachi. Everyone enjoyed our down day here and and are excited to head to Cotopaxi tomorrow for a little climbing.

The staff here at Chilcabamba has been keeping us well fed with plenty of home cooked food, and very warm with fires in our rooms.

One last night of good sleep to recharge us for our next adventure.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Cotopaxi: Grom & Team Take Acclimatization Hike on Illiniza Norte

Hola Amigos!
All is well here in Ecuador.
Today we had a very early start to try our luck climbing Illiniza Norte. We left our hacienda just after 3am and after a short ride to the trailhead, the team was hiking uphill just before 4am. We hiked for about three hrs to reach the Refugio or climbers hut that sits in the saddle between the two mountains where we ducked inside for a little hot tea and coffee.
Unfortunately the weather made a turn for the worse while we were relaxing inside. However, we suited up in our climbing gear and made a valiant effort to see if we could push through anyway. But today the mountain won as the snow falling only thickened as we made our way uphill. We reached about 16,000’ before calling it good.
The team quickly descended back to our hacienda were we packed up and headed for a nice warm lunch.

We are currently relaxing in another wonderful hacienda close to Cotopaxi called Chilcabamba. 

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Good luck crew getting to the summit. Sending you blessings and a safe return journey. Go conquer it Thaddius.

Posted by: Kristen Hutton on 6/12/2019 at 5:00 pm

Cotopaxi Express: Grom & Team Prepare to Climb Illiniza Norte

Hello Everyone,

We had a nice relaxing morning here in Ecuador today, leaving the hotel just after 10am. After loading all of our duffels on our bus we slowly made our way through the traffic of Quito and headed south along the Pan-American highway.

Our goal for the day was to reach the base of the Illiniza’s, two extinct volcanoes not too far from Cotopaxi. We stopped along the way for a really nice lunch at “Cafe de la Vaca” cafe of the cows, where most of us had hamburgers and fresh juices that they are known for. We continued driving just a little further to reach our quaint little hacienda tucked in the hills not too far from the mountain. We spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring around the hacienda and discussing tomorrow’s game plan for climbing Illiniza Norte.

Everyone is doing well and excited about stretching our legs again early in the morning.

Casey and crew

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Cotopaxi Express: Grom & Team Hike Rucu Pichincha

Hello again everyone

Today we had a very beautiful 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’ then hiked the additional 2,500’ 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 some photos we descended all the way back to our hotel for a brief nap before dinner.

Along the way we ran into an old friend Carla Perez! A real mountain superwoman, as she is 1 of only 7 women to have summitted Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen.

Everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to tomorrow.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew.

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Cotopaxi: Grom & Team Meet In Quito and Explore city

Hola from Ecuador!
Today we started our day with a team meeting where we did our usual round of introductions to get to know each other and then discussed the game plan for our upcoming 10 day adventure here in Ecuador.

After the meeting we headed out on the town to explore this beautiful historical city with our local and very knowledgeable tour guide Angel. We first headed to the southern part of Quito to a big hill called La Panacia that over looks this beautiful city, then continued on foot exploring the historic district.

We then headed north to visit the Equator from which Ecuador gets its name, stopping by a museum that had a pretty interesting collection as well as some unique tests that attempt to prove it’s the actual middle of the world.

We wrapped up the evening with dinner at a nice restaurant where we enjoyed getting to know each other better.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Ecuador crew

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