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Entries By adam knoff


Ecuador Seminar: Team Readies for Summit Attempt on Antisana

Hello from our cozy basecamp on Antisana! Our second day here is almost finished and preparations are underway for our next big summit attempt of the trip.

We were able to sleep in a little this morning and we had a nice full breakfast with coffee, bread, cereal, and quesadillas. With full stomachs and a full night’s rest, everybody was feeling strong and ready for our second training day of the trip.

The lower glaciers of Antisana are literally an alpine playground—with open crevasses, firm ice, steep slopes, and towering seracs—and we made good use of it throughout the morning. We set up a challenging, yet fun, alpine skills course and spent the better part of the day practicing a variety of intermediate mountaineering skills: steep fixed line travel, vertical rappels, and a number of challenging ice climbs. The team is composed of members of a variety of backgrounds and skill levels, but all were able to learn something new today and we had a good time doing it!

We were back at our basecamp by 1pm this afternoon, just in time to beat the afternoon rain storms that have been visiting us these last few days. But despite the marginal afternoon weather, we remain optimistic for our chances of summiting tomorrow! The pattern seems to be afternoon showers that clear in the evening, giving us a good window tonight for our summit push.

With one major peak and a couple of days of technical skills training, this team is more than prepared to tackle a second summit. We plan on an early dinner tonight, giving us plenty of time to pack our bags and get some shuteye in preparation for another midnight start. Wish us luck in our attempt and we’ll check back in with you tomorrow afternoon with a full report!

Until then,
RMI Guides Nick Hunt and Adam Knoff, and the rest of the ESS-Ecuador team

Jimmy, sending best wishes for more sucess for you and your crew in the next part of your impressive adventure!!!

Posted by: George on 1/12/2017 at 8:41 am

William, I hope you have a better summit this time than last! The pups and I miss you! Can’t wait to hear from you!

Posted by: Linda on 1/11/2017 at 7:27 pm


Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Land at Antisana Base Camp

Buenas Noches from Antisana Base Camp.  

It always amazes me how one difficult mountain climb puts the little things back into perspective.  For our climb of Cayambe, we were on the move by midnight and did not stop until twelve hours later.  Even after the climb is finished, exhaustion has set in so thoroughly that the only thing that really matters is one good meal and a warm bed.
The simple joys continued this morning after ten solid hours of sleep with fresh brewed coffee, a delicious smoothie, farm fresh eggs and warm bread.  It’s not every day you wake up and feel so thankful for what you have.  Suffering, if even for a day helps us remember what really matters. 
After our lovely breakfast we packed the bus, said adios to Ecuador’s oldest hacienda and hit the road.  Two hours later we found ourselves back to the busy life shopping for food at a market equal to Fred Meyer, having lunch at KFC and eating pastries from the mall’s bakery.   Two hours after that, we were back in the boonies, driving across a landscape above 12,000 feet with not a house, or other road in sight.
By 3pm we had landed at Antisana Base Camp.  This place is wild with Andean condors flying overhead, wild packs of alpacas coming right into camp and no other people anywhere.  We are in a place of pure natural beauty.
Our elevation is 14,800 feet and the team feels great.  The more time we spend at altitude the easier it gets.  Everyone misses their families and friends but very happy to be in such a unique place.
We will train tomorrow and report before getting ready to climb.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff and Team Ecuador out.


Ecuador Seminar: Cayambe Summit!

Team Ecuador is excited to announce that we reached the summit of Cayambe this morning at 7:30am.  We woke up, or should I say got out of bed at 10:45pm to clear skies and warm temperatures.  We began our ascent at exactly midnight and had great climbing conditions the entire way up.  Having been on this mountain ten times I have never had a summit day this beautiful!  Not a breath of wind, temperatures in the 30s and views that you rarely get to see.
The team climbed strong and performed really well, especially for reaching 19,000 feet six days after arriving in the country. 
We were grateful to be finished early because as soon as we reached camp, the perfect weather that graced us up high took a 180 and began snowing, raining and sleeting on us.  By the time we got to town, the downpour was so intense we couldn’t hear each other at lunch because of the rain hitting the roof.
Now we are settled into the oldest hacienda in Ecuador and ready for a nap.  We are relieved to have gotten the first big climb under our belts and look forward to Antisana in a couple days. 
Stay tuned. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

On The Map

Sounds very exciting, not to mention awsome!!!! Congratulations!!!

Posted by: George on 1/11/2017 at 10:44 am

Congratulations, team! Quite an accomplishment!

Posted by: George Nimmo on 1/10/2017 at 10:25 am


Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Prepare for Cayambe Summit Bid

Today the group woke up having spent the night at 15,300ft.  Now I don’t usually let team members drink while we are on the mountain, and last night was no exception, but that did not keep the team from waking up with a solid hangover. 
In the game of high altitude mountaineering, no one ever looks forward to the first night at a new height.  Headaches, upset stomach and simply feeling like bad is very common the first morning after moving up.  So in short, a hangover.  
This unpleasant start to the day was quickly cured with caffeine, breakfast and preparing for our walk to the glacier.  By 8am the group had sprung to life and we made our way from the Cayambe hut to the toe of the glacier at 16,000 feet.  Another new altitude record for all but one climber.  Once on the glacier Nick, Cosme (our local guide), and myself reviewed the core skills to safely get us up and down this giant volcano. 
For the first two hours we enjoyed sunny skies with swirling clouds but by noon the clouds had swallowed up the good views and the temperature dropped.  
Back at the hut we took a shot nap, worked on some more training skills and ate dinner by 5:00.  It is 6:30 now and we are all tucked in trying to get some sleep before our 11pm wake up call.  We will call tomorrow with details about the climb.  Wish us luck.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff


Ecuador Seminar: Team Visits Otavalo Market and Reaches Cayambe

January 7, 2017

Hello friends and family!

This is Nick Hunt, reporting in from the high-altitude huts on Cayambe. I’m the co-leader of this trip, along with Adam Knoff, and I’m excited to be leading another trip down here in Ecuador with another great team!

We spent last night in the city of Otavalo, at a beautiful hacienda named La Casa Sol. This trip has been feeling a little more like a leisurely vacation so far, rather than a climbing expedition, and La Casa Sol didn’t disappoint. Hot coffee and fresh eggs in the morning, beautiful rooms and a breathtaking view of the mountainous region around us. As nice as it was, though, the team has been getting antsy and everyone was more than ready for our move to the mountains today.

After a relaxing morning at the hacienda, we packed our bags and made one last stop in town: the Otavalo street market. This market is the largest of its kind in Ecuador and stretches on for miles with all sorts of crafts, textiles, spices, and souvenirs. It can be a bit of sensory overload at first, but we spent a few hours shopping for friends and families at home, then waved goodbye to the city and headed for the hills.

The road to Cayambe is a legit 4x4 road and after driving a few hours, the bus could go no further. We exited the bus, loaded our backpacks and finished the approach on foot. A little more than an hour of walking lead us up in to the clouds and to our home for the next few days at 15,000 feet above sea level. The clouds parted just enough for us to sneak a quick peak of our first serious objective before dinner.

Our plans for tonight are simple. We are going to spend the rest of the evening taking care of ourselves, getting a good meal in us, and preparing our packs for a full day of training on the glaciers tomorrow.

The level of excitement is growing as our first objective looms overhead. We’ll check in tomorrow afternoon as we prep for our first big summit attempt of the trip. Stay tuned for updates!

Until tomorrow,
RMI Guides Nick Hunt and Adam Knoff, and the rest of the ESS-Ecuador team

On The Map

Jimmy,  How’s the air?  Clean and thin I’ll bet!  We know just how you feel, had about an inch of snow yesterday and temp dropped to mid 20’s.  It shut everything down but back to normal now high 30’s lots of rain.  How’s the knee holding up?  Praying for safety and great climbs for you and your team.  I guess you don’t use the term “break a leg” for mountain climbing so I’ll just say “ganbatte”!  ( In Japanese it means, “do your best”) Love Craig and Jane

Posted by: Craig Lucas on 1/8/2017 at 6:18 pm

Hey Jimmy…..looks like an amazing adventure…continued prayer for safety and good weather…savor every moment…

Posted by: Terry on 1/8/2017 at 10:57 am


Ecuador Seminar: Day Three Brings the Team to Otavalo

Good evening from Otavalo, Ecuador
Today was a good day.  It started as all the others have.  Breakfast and coffee at the hotel, light rain on the streets and an eagerness to see something new.  The exception was we left Quito.  It is easy to fall into the creature comforts of city life but we know that bigger and wilder places await outside of the country’s capital.
Once loaded onto Victor’s magic bus, we weaved our way through the maze of streets which eventually took us to the Pan-American Highway heading north.  After two hours of driving we arrived at the foothills of a volcano called Fuya Fuya.  Even though it’s altitude topped out at 14,300 feet, it still posed a worthy hike.  Unfortunately the weather had it out for us.  Just like yesterday, a soggy rain fell all around and the prospect of hiking for three hours up a slick mud trail didn’t sound worth the benefits gained by going up 2,000 feet. 
Much like yesterday though our team of determined climbers showed strong will so we stopped the van 5 km from the parking lot where our climb would have started and walked the road to our waiting van.  This idea proved sound when five minutes after arriving the heavy skies opened up and soaked everything with a downpour no hiker would want to be in. 
This is what Ecuador can do.  So after Fuya Fuya we headed down into town for lunch and then moved 11 men and 20 duffel bags into our beautiful hacienda.
After a couple of hours settling in we gathered in the sun room, ordered some cervezas and listened as Nick taught everyone knots, hitches and bends.
The weather hasn’t been perfect but we still seem to have fun times.
Tomorrow we visit the largest crafts market in Ecuador.  Pray for sun.

Hasta Manana,
RMI Guides Nick Hunt, Adam Knoff and team

On The Map


Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Acclimate on Rucu Pichincha

Day two in Ecuador.
Not many places in the world offer such easy access to high altitude.  Down in the lower 48, to reach 14,410 feet, the summit of Mt. Rainier, an average climber needs multiple days, a closet full of equipment and a certain set of skills not learned through a YouTube video.  Down here is a bit different.  For example, this morning we were drinking coffee in the hotel lobby, eating pastries and admiring our ten-pound day packs.  At 8 am we loaded into a van, took a 15-minute drive to the base of a still active volcano, got a lift on a cable car to 13,000 feet and began walking.
The name of the volcano we stretched our legs on is Pichincha Rucu.  It’s summit stands at 15,700 feet and can be reached in mere hours from the city. 
Pouring rain greeted us at the top of the gondola but this is what that closet full of gear is good for.  Putting on our rain jackets and pants we braved the storm like any fearless climber would and headed up the trail.  It wasn’t long before we crested that 14,410 foot ceiling giving every member, guides aside, a new altitude high point.
An hour into the hike, the rain ceased and we broke 15,000 feet by eleven am.  Unfortunately the final 300 feet to the summit is more of a rock scramble than trail hike and true to the days weather, a hail storm ensued so we made the decision to turn around and skip the slippery rock.  The team reached a final altitude of 15,300 feet and to everyone’s credit did exceptionally well.
After the stroll, we came back to the hotel for some rest then headed out to a fantastic dinner.  All of us gringos are feeling strong and psyched to be getting closer to our first “big” mountain. 
This is Adam Knoff and team saying adios.

On The Map

Good luck on this new adventure Jim (Nixon)!  Looking forward to hearing all about it when you return.  Maybe you and Tom Garner need a Maine vacation this summer!  All the best!  Rich Aspinall

Posted by: Richard Aspinall on 1/8/2017 at 4:13 am

Looking forward to the Cayambe update. Best wishes

Posted by: Tom Garner on 1/7/2017 at 5:12 am


Ecuador Seminar: RMI Guides Knoff & Hunt Meet Climbers in Quito

Hola from Quito Ecuador,
Today began with two guides, three brothers and five individuals coming together for the first time for the Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador.  Most climbers flying into Quito arrive around midnight and don’t get to the hotel until after 1am.  With an 8 am orientation and team introduction, we were blessed to have a hearty breakfast, strong coffee and warm sunshine to get the guys awake.  I can say guys because we are a team with no females.  From past experience I can say it is usually helpful to have at least one lady keeping the men in check but judging from our first eight hours together, I have a gut feeling we should be generally well behaved. 
After our breakfast and intro the team packed up in Angel’s mini bus for a splendid three hour tour of some of Quito’s main attractions. 
First we visited the “Mitad Del Mundo” or Middle of the World, where we stood on the actual equator.  Here we observed visual confirmation of the Coriolis effect, balanced an egg on a nail and watched as gravity played tricks on both our minds and bodies.  I would like to say we also saw aliens zipping overhead time travel portals open but unfortunately that happened last week.
After we left the center of the earth, we headed into old town Quito where we visited a giant statue of the Virgin Mary, a three hundred year old Cathedral and the Presidential Palace.  Having felt let down by absent aliens on the equator I was hoping for a brief chat with Rafael Correal, the country’s President, as a consolation prize but we were told he was too busy.  Go figure…..
After the tour we had a nice lunch, nap and gear check.  All in all a pretty full day.  Stay turned for tomorrow’s dispatch because we will be climbing a mountain higher than any team member has climbed before!
Wishing everyone well back home.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team Ecuador

Darlene shared your photos and it looks gorgeous.  I’ve been to Quito.  Got bad case of food poisoning at a hotel there.  Denny’s niece lived and worked there ten years and is married to a handsome Equidorian.  Good climbing!

Posted by: Mary Jane stiles on 1/8/2017 at 2:38 pm

Sounds like you are having a terrific time, stay safe and have fun

Posted by: Darlene on 1/7/2017 at 10:31 am


Shishapangma: Team Returns to Base Camp

Our team has safely reached Base Camp.  They will spend two nights there before descending to Driver’s Camp on Tuesday, October 4th to meet their vehicles and begin the two day drive back to Lhasa.  From there they will take a flight to Kathmandu. They intend to spend a few days in Kathmandu to honor their friend and fellow climber.  Team members will then depart Kathmandu to make their way back to family and friends.
All of the team members are doing well and are supporting each other.  Our hearts are with them.

The RMI Office Team

Always thinking of you and praying for all of your safe return.

Posted by: Jane Knoff on 10/3/2016 at 4:58 am

We’re so relieved you all made it back to base camp safely.  We hope you get plenty of rest.  Please extend our deepest condolences to the Sherpa’s family and friends.  We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.

Posted by: Hikari on 10/2/2016 at 10:09 pm


Shishapangma: Team Descends to Depot Camp (ABC)

It has been a difficult few days for our team members.  Today all climbers descended safely to Depot Camp (Advanced Base Camp) where they will spend the night.  They plan to descend to Base Camp tomorrow.

The RMI Office Team

Is the climb over? Reports done from the mountain?

Posted by: Jeff Olson on 10/4/2016 at 7:22 am

We can not imagine how are you feelling right now.
Just send you all our power.

Posted by: Martín de Andrés on 10/2/2016 at 8:05 am

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