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Entries By adam knoff

Ecuador Seminar: Knoff, Smith & Entire Team Summit Cotopaxi

Hannah and I are thrilled to announce to bloglandia that every RMI team member, all 13 of us, summited Cotopaxi this morning around 6:15 am.   I gotta say, this team is batting the perfect game.   Every climber has successfully reached the top of all four mountains without as much as a few blisters.   Granted I taped those blisters up this morning at 12:03 am and I was happy they weren’t mine, but it goes to show that stamina and toughness go a long way up here.   

Potentially assisting in the team’s great success is the unbelievable weather.   I was awe struck at how beautiful Cayambe was but surprised even more at the perfection of today’s weather and route conditions.   Whoever cashed in their karma chips certainly deserves a Pilsner Grande for their investment.   We simply could not be blessed with better luck.  Adding to the beauty this evening was a near full moon which lit up the glacier so brightly we were able to climb without headlamps.    Usually one element, wind, rain, snow, fog or cold is waiting for you at the top.  Today all we had was an intense rotten egg smell from the still active lava tube belching sulfurous gas but other than that nada mucho.   

After a spectacular climb and full blown photo shoot extravaganza, we descended quickly to the hut for homemade pancakes.  Again, this is how mountain climbing should be?   (When do we get cooks again at camp Muir?)

A brief packing session and 600 vertical foot hike down to the bus landed our exhausted carcasses into our assigned seats and off to the Hacienda for a needed shower and big dinner.   I think the average calorie burn on peoples watches indicated between 7 and 9 thousand calories for the day so some papas fritas and lots of meat shouldn’t tighten the belt too much.  

We hope this trend continues tomorrow as we head further south to attempt the grand finale of Chimborazo.   This mountain is notorious for its difficulty so stay tuned.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

2022 is being wonderful!  Keep it going!  Congrats!

Posted by: Jane on 2/17/2022 at 7:02 pm

This is So Cool Adam , Hannah and Team!!! Enjoy dinner and live in this Awesome time you are all having!!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/17/2022 at 3:21 pm

Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Enjoy Relaxed Morning, Arrive at Cotopaxi Hut

Today was a day we have all been hoping for.  No alarm clocks, no rush to load the small mountain of duffles in the bus and internet all morning.  

By the whipping crack of 1pm we had pacticed cravasse rescue, drank a gallon of coffee and packed our mountain bags.

A short bus ride up a road bumpy enough to make our seats feel like vibrating massage chairs, landed us at 15,200 feet.  A 40 minute cruise took us to the Jose Ribas refugio on the flanks of Cotopaxi.  We can definitely feel the 16,000 foot altitude. But after Cayambe we are all well prepared.   We even have the privilege of waking up "tomorrow" because our alarm clocks won't ring until one minute past midnight.   Wish us well as we are once again a full team with Maria's knee feeling much better. 

Climb on!!

RMI Guide Hannah Smith

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Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Enjoy Rest Day At Tambopaxi

Greetings all,

With a body exhausted from little sleep and climbing a volcano the team enjoyed a great nights sleep. Sleep apps showed we all slept so well we were basically comatose. As we all rose from our slumber we casually allowed our bodies to wake while sipping coffee and basking in a beautiful morning. 

Today is a rest day as we transfer to Tambopoxi and run through some skills. A three hour drive through more beautiful scenery brought us to the park entrance. Once again you can feel the excitement as we get ready for Cotopaxi. The mountain is being shy tonight, so no views of this beauty yet. Maybe in the morning she will reveal herself. 

Before dinner the team gathered around a playground set where we pretended the monkey bars were the edge of a crevasse. In this scenario the team learned how to self rescue if they had fallen into a crevasse. Using the previous skills of learning about friction hitches, we all ascended the rope pretending we were climbing out of crevasse. Cookies and a glass of wine/beer wrapped up our skill session. 

Many times on climbing trips you lose some weight, but on this trip we are all eating so well that who knows maybe we gain a pound. Dinner once again was delcious followed by a beautiful looking dessert. We are not sure exactly what it was but we can all agree it was delightful.

With heavy eyes, we all leave the table for bed. Showers and phone calls to loved ones wrappwd up our rest day. Tomorrow we go through some more skills before heading up to the hut on Cotopaxi. Round two here we come!

RMI Guides Adam, Hannah, and team

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Ecuador Seminar Team Summits Cayambe!

I am thrilled to announce to the blogosphere and those actually following that our intrepid group of mountaineers all reached the summit of 18,996’ Volcan Cayambe this morning at 6 am.  Having been on this mountain close to a dozen times, I can honestly say this was likely the nicest route conditions and weather combination I have ever experienced.  Excellent snow texture, light wind and perfect temps made for a day that will be hard to follow on our next two objectives.   

Our day began slightly less than perfect with an 11pm alarm jolt which politely ripped me from my sleep which I had finally achieved a mere 30 minutes before.  Oh the joys of an honest alpine start.  

After flipping a coin to decide if I should put my harness on before doing something usually done before the harness goes on, the quarter landed tails so I harnessed up and hoped for the best.  While continuing to ready ourselves, one of our team members opted not to join the climb because of a strained knee which was heartbreaking news, so upon departure, we were six instead of seven.  Maria, you were with us in spirit the entire way! 

As the climb progressed, even the local guides couldn’t stop commenting on how beautiful the night was.  This is also Hannah’s first big mountain in Ecuador so she better not get too used to this.  Especially on Cayambe.  We all need to crack a cervesa and toast the weather gods.

With incredible summit photos and hugs proof of our ascent, the descent went as smooth as the climb.  Three hours after leaving the top everyone was safe and sound back at the hut drinking coffee and eating freshly prepared scrambled eggs.  Shortly after breakfast we loaded the trucks and headed back to town.

By 3:30 this afternoon we had put a serious dent in our hacienda's beer supply and couldn’t believe we were standing on the summit a mere eight hours previous.  Ah the beauty of not having to pack up camp and keep marching!  This is how mountain climbing should be (most of the time).

Now the team is continuing to celebrate and fight off the exhaustion that comes with ten hours on the move at altitude.  They are strong in more ways than one!

Congrats to a job well done.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Fantastic journey. To reach such a ‘high’.  Congrats to each of you for the safe adventure, These moments that you share with us, that will be held in the depths of your minds and hearts, will become a part of you for life.  Thanks for allowing us to read, just a little, about your moments in time.

Posted by: Terri L. Jennings on 2/15/2022 at 10:16 am

Memories of the static electricity on Cayambe!! That sure was an experience! So cool you had great weather!!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/15/2022 at 3:04 am

Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Train on Cayambe, Ready to Climb

Well, some snoring happened last night.  Not light cute, cuddly snoring but the real deal.  It was coming directly from the top bunk next to mine so I now have a nice visual of what a grown man looks like when running a chainsaw with his throat.   Add to that the fun fuzzy feelings of our first night at real altitude and I think it is safe to say most of the team did not experience their best night.   

By 6 am most of us were beginning to put motion to our already awake bodies which is never easy at this height.  With a few throbbing headaches everyone was in some way experiencing a mild hangover.   This is not out of the ordinary.   

After a beautiful hike around the hut which was blessed with clear and stunning views of our summit, Antisana and Cotopaxi, the aftermath of snoring and altitude began to fade.  It is common for this mountain to sock in and get rainy by 1 pm so we all motivated in good style preparing for training session on the glacier 1,200 feet above the hut.   By 8:15 we were on the move enjoying beautiful weather and vistas.  One hour later we were putting on harnesses, crampons and helmets at 16,000 feet.  

It is clear everyone on this team has climbed in the past because going through self arrest, rope travel and cramponing on steep ice was akin to getting back on the bike.  Hannah, Jaime and I just gave a little shove and off they went, making it all look easy.  

Like clockwork the rain came in at 12:30 and we descended back to the rough accommodations of soup, cheese and crackers and hot tea.  I can certainly think of worse places to be.   After snacks we rested for a couple hours and then had dinner at 5 pm.  

As I finish this entry, the moon has begun shining through our window, the team is tucked away in bed and the Super Bowl just kicked off.  Our alarms go off at 11 pm tonight giving us a midnight departure on our first big mountain summit attempt.  Cayambe is 5 feet short of 19,000 feet so we have a big day ahead of us.  

We will give the report tomorrow after the climb.  Enjoy super bowl Sunday! 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

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Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Visit Otavalo Market & Arrive at Cayambe Hut

Saturday, February 12, 2022

As I write this from my top bunk in the third row of five from the hypoxic altitude of 15,100 feet, I have a strange nostalgia of a sixth grade slumber party.   With nine grownups stacked side by side, telling jokes and having laughs, I wonder if we aren’t actually at RMI’s Ecuadorian summer camp.   

Hannah was a camp counselor in her younger years but come tomorrow, our activities should resemble more of a mountaineer trip than that bad 80s flick. 

But, before we put the cart before the donkey, let’s hear about today.  

It started famously with chirping birds, hot coffee and a lovely breakfast.   This got everyone all fired up for our mega shopping extravaganza at Otavalo, Ecuador’s largest craft market.  After we crushed our huevos, we then needed to carry our big bags down the street a ways to load up because the day before, Hector our driver, accidentally ripped a chunk of the entrance gate off with the bike rack and was put in the penalty box 50 yards away.   Wait, I don’t think Ecuador has hockey.    

Once loaded we left our beautiful hacienda and our brave group of summer camp mountaineers dispersed into the stalls of color and crafts ready to finagle the deal of a lifetime.   I highly doubt this happened but with wobbly espanol I think we all managed something.  Don’t worry significant others, you’ll probably get a gift.  

After the market we had lunch at a sandwich shop shared with some “hot and rugged” older bikers, (that wasn’t my quote) and then proceeded  to the secret rendezvous point where we did a covert transfer from the bus to the 4x4s.  

It was here we finally found some real adventure!  Fifteen miles up the windy cobblestone road, we hit a mud bog likely to make any redneck proud! With our trucks tearing up the track, only to fail 30 feet from gripable salvation, we worried we might not make it to the hut.   I think we cheered, never fear Jaime is here! And he finally won the mud track battle.  With all the trucks passed the crux we had a relatively smooth go up to the refugio.   

A fine dinner of coke marinated chicken and water grass soup readied us for bed, so here we are.  Snuggled up just waiting for someone to start snoring!  

Find out tomorrow if that happened.   

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

This is Entertaining Adam!! 2 blogs a day please! LOL Brings back Awesome memories! All the best!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/13/2022 at 12:25 pm

Ecuador Seminar: Team Climbs Fuya Fuya

Saturday, February 12, 2022 4:09 AM PST

Hola Amigos,

We woke with an excitement in the air, today we were leaving the city. After a few nights in Quito it was time for us to head north to our next destination. Bellies full of continental breakfast, we gathered all of our belongings, squeezed into the tiny elevators and stacked our duffels in the lobby to await our driver, Hector. 

A two-hour drive through the countryside was a welcome rest from yesterday’s hike. The van winded up cobblestone streets until the road was covered with water from the overflowing lake. We had made it to our activity for the day. It was time to stretch our legs up Fuya Fuya and get our heart rates up. Our bodies are working hard to adjust to the altitudes and be ready for the three volcanos awaiting us. Beautiful views, pretty flora, and mysterious clouds provided great backdrops. 

Slippery grass and muddy steps led us to the top where we were greeted by a large group of Deutsch high schoolers. After snatching our summit photo, we made our way back down to the van, some with muddier butts than others. A few team members took the opportunity to take a cold dip in the lake because when at Fuya Fuya why not. Bellies growling, we made it back to town for some pizza before we loaded back in the van, up more steep cobblestone streets to our hacienda. 

The hacienda is beautiful with a peaceful presence overlooking the town below. The team enjoyed some downtime before rallying together for some learning. Tonight’s entertainment before dinner was learning about knots and hitches, a building block for when we learn about crevasse rescue. A delicious dinner wrapped up the day before we all went back to our rooms to pack for tomorrow. Tomorrow we head to our first snow covered volcano.

With nerves and excitement surrounding us, we enjoy one final night with Wi-Fi before heading into the mountains.

Buenas noches,

RMI Guides Adam, Hannah, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Sending best wishes for perfect weather Hannah , Adam and team!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/12/2022 at 2:03 pm

Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Acclimate on Rucu Pichincha

Buenos Dias Bloglandia,

I’m sure many of you out there have been gnawing on your steering wheels and passing up Instagram to check on today’s happenings of the Ecuador skills seminar. Well, wait no longer because the moment has arrived. 

Beginning with last nights dinner (food and drink report) the team all gathered around a big table in a classic Ecuadorian restaurant, sharing stories and laughs eventually waiting for Dan’s guinea pig to arrive, his main course.  After realizing it didn’t really taste like chicken, we all focused back into our potatoes and meat happy we didn’t follow the adventurous Dan’s lead. 

Come morning we all returned to the table for breakfast while preparing for our bus ride to the giant volcano just out of the city where our first team climb would take place.  

After 15 minutes of solid Quito traffic we arrived at the trailhead.  Except here, as it should be on all mountains, the trailhead is actually the ticket office to the cable car waiting to zip us up the first 3,000 feet so our legs won’t get too tired.  No one botched getting into the moving car so we were off to a good start.  

With swirling clouds and occasional views of the city thousands of feet below, we all made quick and steady progress up to the 14,000 foot mark.  Soon afterwards my GPS began to rock a lady Gaga song as we broke the 15,000 foot barrier, marking the altitude PR for half the team.  Thirty minutes later we were all giving high 5’s on the summit of our first real mountain.   Pichincha Rucu, 15,300 feet!

The descent was uneventful except for a hummingbird which almost flew full speed into my face but crisis averted due to my lightning reflexes.  Maybe that’s exaggerated.  

Anyhoo, the team did great and gets the green light from both Hannah and me to climb again tomorrow.  I expect the same results barring anything loco!!

If Yellowstone wasn’t enough, give Ozark a try.  It will get you through until tomorrow.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

I remember the ride. I got sea sick. It sure saved on the legs.

Posted by: JOHN H NEWLAND on 2/11/2022 at 7:18 am

Ecuador Seminar: Knoff, Smith & Team Arrive Quito, Explore City

Welcome to day one of the February, Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador.    From this day forward, you as the blog follower will be stuck to the edge of your seat for the next two weeks, waiting with more anticipation than those waiting for the next episode of Yellowstone.  You will hear harrowing tales of long bus rides, lots of food and drink and perhaps some occasional mountain climbing.  

Today however, the excitement was kept to a minimum with a brief orientation in the hotel lobby with all team members present, followed by a four hour city tour covering the equator to the north then back to the old town of Quito in the south. 

I would say our most adventurous moments came during our visit to the Mitad Del Mumdo, or center of the world, where eggs mysteriously balance on nails if one posses the proper mojo and strange gravitational forces affect raised arms if hailing the sun god.  No one seamed possessed by evil spirits so my first impression is every one should climb well.

Beyond that the city blessed us with good weather, good views and nice people.   After the tour our weary travelers retired for a quick nap before our first of many group dinners. 

Tomorrow we will venture into the mountains for the first time stretching our legs and lungs while quickly breaking the 15,000 foot ceiling on the active volcano, Pichincha Rucu, 5 miles from our hotel.  Stay tuned for that report. 

Until then, watch some Yellowstone.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Following your posts and wishing all a great climbing trip.

Posted by: Jane on 2/12/2022 at 5:26 pm

Stalking you online with happy memories of 2016 in Ecuador with Adam and team.

Posted by: Lindsay Newell on 2/10/2022 at 4:44 pm

Mt. Rainier: May 15th Teams Summit!

The Four Day Climb led by RMI Guides Adam Knoff and Alex Halliday reached the summit of Mt. Rainier today on the newly established Disappointment Cleaver Route. Guide Adam Knoff reported clear and windy skies. Tempratures were cool in the morining, but starting to warm up, so the team will have a pleasant descent back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to Today's Team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I am so proud of my son Hridaya Patel.

Posted by: Asootosh Patel on 5/16/2021 at 8:40 am

Did it take long from Base Camp to Summit.Hope you both felt ok at the top.
Excellent few days , very proud of you.
What’s your next challenge.?

Posted by: Peter Thomson on 5/15/2021 at 9:32 am

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