February 3, 2022
I am happy to report that on a beautiful morning the team made the summit of Cotopaxi. Sunny skies and light winds made for great climbing conditions. The local guides have departed and the team is headed back to Quito for an afternoon of relaxation and a celebration dinner. This trip has thrown some curveballs, but I'm proud of the team for sticking with it and being flexible along the way. Everyone, regardless of whether they went to the summit of Cayambe or Cotopaxi did a really fine job pushing themselves towards goals they have worked so hard for. Cheers to this team!
Thank you for following along with our blog and please continue following the final RMI Ecuador trip of the season which starts next week!
RMI Guides Dustin, Avery and Team!
Awesome!! Sunny Summit!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/4/2022 at 3:45 am
Congrats all! Great to see that mountain summited
Posted by: Sam on 2/3/2022 at 12:50 pm
February 2, 2022
The team is getting a final bit of relaxation at Chilcabamba Eco Lodge this morning. It's blue skies and the mountains are out. The group seems to be in good spirits as they prepare to head to the Jose Ribas Refugio today, where they will rest for the evening before a very early start tonight. The summit of Cotopaxi and the climbing route is visible from Chilcabamba this morning, giving everyone some additional motivation!
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All the Best for clear skies Dustin!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/3/2022 at 4:34 am
Good luck, Dustin, Avery, and team!
Posted by: Dylan Richey on 2/2/2022 at 9:27 am
January 31, 2022
After a late start due to poor weather last night, the team got moving this morning with the promise of a nicer day. However, conditions deteriorated once they reached the glacier with humidity and worrisome flashes of lightning in the distance. Those flashes ended up subsiding and the weather turned marginally better making it possible to reach the summit of Cayambe. Just a few members of the team reached the 18,997' summit, but everyone fought hard with every step. All team members pushed themselves today and will enjoy a rest day at the Chilcabamba Eco Lodge tomorrow.
We have our hopes for better weather on Cotopaxi and I know that any of these climbers stand a good chance to reach the summit of one of the highest active volcanoes in the world!
January 29, 2022
Today we will spend a couple of hours at the Otavalo Market looking for souvenirs and getting last-minute supplies for Cayambe. The afternoon will then be spent in pickup trucks on the bumpiest road you can imagine.
The team is doing great so far and staying patient with the acclimatization process. Over the past two days we did our warmup hikes on Rucu Pichincha and Fuya Fuya, getting us to elevations of 15,354’ and 13,986’, respectively. There was some off and on drizzle, but overall, both hikes went smoothly.
Tomorrow we will refresh basic mountaineering skills before making our attempt on Cayambe the following morning. Check back in the next couple of days for an update and wish us luck!
RMI Guide Dustin Wittmier & Team
Best wishes for the Best weather!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/29/2022 at 11:44 am
January 26, 2022
Posted by: Dustin Wittmier
Everyone has now arrived in Quito and I must say it was a pleasure to show up to this morning's orientation and count all nine people present. An added bonus is that all luggage is accounted for, although one luggage lock key was lost. Turns out those can simply be pried open with two screwdrivers.
We enjoyed a nice weather day for our city tour and Mitad del Mundo museum tour. It was just cloudy enough to filter some of the intense equatorial sun and it also never rained. Everybody learned at least something new about physics or practices of the indigenous peoples of Ecuador, the two main focuses at the museum.
Tomorrow we turn our focus towards getting the body moving. As a preparation about half the team spent the afternoon cold plunging and in the sauna. I can still taste the eucalyptus when I take a deep breath. Anyways, that's all to say that we are feeling ready to hike Rucu Pichincha tomorrow and hopefully reach a new high point for a few of the team members!