Entries By casey grom

Ecuador Seminar: Team Trains on Glacier of Cayambe

Posted by: Ben Liken, Casey Grom | February 08, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,300'

Hola Amigos!

Sleeping at 15,000’ is not a normal thing, nor is sleeping with 6 other people, but thankfully everyone managed to get a few hours of shuteye last night. 

Today the team woke around 7 am and headed downstairs for breakfast and washed it down with plenty of coffee. We then got packed up and went out for a little training on the glacier that’s about an hour away. Cloudy skies and light snowfall keep things relatively brief as we didn’t want to get too wet before tonight’s climb of Cayambe. Once back at the climbers hut we relaxed with hot drinks and a little additional training, mixed in with a few bad jokes.

Everyone is in good spirits and seems to be ready for tomorrow’s climb. Our plan is to get up at 11 pm and have a quick breakfast and hopefully hit the trail around midnight. If all goes well we should reach the summit around 7 am.

We had a trivia challenge tonight that will allow the winner a sat phone call from the summit. So keep your phones nearby to find out who the winner is.

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The climbers hut located at 15,300 ft on Cayambe, Ecuador.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team at the Cayambe Hut

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,300'

Hey everybody,

Today was a day of rest, tourism, and a car ride to our 15,000 foot hut on Cayambe.  After a light breakfast we leisurely packed our bags and headed to the famed Otavalo market.  Being a Saturday the place was packed with crafts, fresh fruits, and local people. 

Shortly after lunch we loaded the bus and drove to the cute little town of Cayambe.  At this point the clouds that had been floating around all day started to dump rain, so we changed out the bus for some 4x4 vehicles.  We then drove up the bumpiest road known to man… The Cayambe hut road.  After an hour of mud, rocks, and pot holes we made it to our home for the next few days. 

Everyone is feeling great and ready for a day of glacier training tomorrow.

From the snowiest place on the equator,  we’ll talk to ya later!

RMI Guide Ben Liken and friends

The Otavalo Market, Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection Colorful jewelry at the Otavalo Market. Photo: RMI Collection On the road to Cayambe, Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Hike Fuya Fuya

Posted by: Ben Liken, Casey Grom | February 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 13,986'

February, 6, 2015 - 6:46 pm PT

Hello again everyone!

Today the team left behind the hustle and bustle of Quito and moved just north of the Equator to the comfortable and quite rural countryside. Once outside the city limits the landscape quickly turned into rolling hills with farms pitched on steep slopes and dozens of small eucalyptus forest.

Our plan was to visit a smaller mountain called Fuya Fuya where we stretched our legs on a nice steep and short acclimatization hike. Thankfully the weather was nice which allowed us to see some amazing views of the beautiful surrounding landscape. 

We are just on the outskirts of a town call Otavalo, which is known for its massive market and we are currently relaxing at a wonderful Hacienda called “La Casa Sol”. The team is doing great and looking forward to a nice quiet night here.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

The RMI Ecuador Seminar Team takes an acclimatization hike on Fuya Fuya.  Photo: Casey Grom The team takes a hike on Fuya Fuya for acclimatization.  Photo: Casey Grom

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team Acclimate on Rucu Pichincha

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,696'

Hey all,

Today was a beautiful day in Quito, with majestic views of Cayambe and Cotopaxi it couldn’t have been better.  We started off with some strong coffee and promptly piled into some taxis to head to the gondola that would take us to 13,000 feet.  From here we hiked to the top of Rucu Pichincha at 15,696 ft, everyone did great managing new altitude and rugged terrain.

Upon our return to the city we did some final gear shopping, resting, and eating.  This will be our last night in Quito before we venture out to the country side for some more adventure.

Stay tuned!

RMI Guide Ben Liken and the crew

The Ecuador Seminar at the top of Rucu Pichincha. Photo: Casey Grom The February Ecuador Seminar team having dinner in Quito. Photo: Casey Grom

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team Tour Quito and the Equator

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hola from Ecuador!

After some very long flights and a little bit of sleep the team is doing well. We started our day with a team meeting where we did our usual round of introductions and discussed the game plan for our upcoming adventure.

After the meeting we headed out on the town to explore this beautiful historical city with our tour guide Angel. He first took us to the older part of town where we visited several old cathedrals, then to the colonial town square where we met a kind older Canadian who seemed to have lost his group and decided to tag along with us. Next we headed up to a small hill called La Panacia that overlooks this beautiful city before heading north to visit the Equator from which Ecuador gets its name.

We finished the day with a small break and then a quick gear check to make sure everyone has all the gear needed for our climbs. Then it was off to dinner at a nice Ecuadorian restaurant where we enjoyed getting to know each other better.

RMI Guide Casey Grom, crew, and our new friend Lee

Colonial Quito city tour in Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom The Ecuador team at La Panacia. Location overlooking Quito. Photo: Casey Grom The RMI Ecuador team visit the Equator. Photo: Casey Grom

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Summit Cotopaxi

Posted by: Casey Grom, Nick Hunt | January 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

We made it today, despite the cold, wind, and snow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom & Team

The RMI Team on the Summit of Cotopaxi January 29, 2015 Photo: Casey Grom

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Ready for Their Cotpaxi Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom, Nick Hunt | January 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hola Amigos!

Things are good here in Ecuador and the team is well rested after two nights at the wonderful Chilcabamba Lodge. Everyone is excited for tonight’s climb on Cotopaxi.

Today we bumped up to another Lodge that is nestled in right below Cotopaxi itself. Normally we stay at the Refugio on the mountain, but it is currently under renovation so we’ll be climbing from here. We have done this on the last few climbs and it has worked out well for the past teams and I expect the same for us.

Tonight our plan is to have dinner around 4:30 then head right to bed. We’ll wake at 10pm and have a sit down breakfast and then hit the road around 11pm. We’ll drive our bus to the base of the mountain and start our climb close to midnight. Based on how well everyone did on Cayambe, I’m guessing it’s going to take us somewhere around six to eight hours to reach the summit.

The weather has been improving each day and we have our fingers crossed it will continue for one more day. We’ll check back in tomorrow hopefully with good news.

Wish us luck!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

View of Cotopaxi, Ecuador 19,348'. Photo: Mike Walter

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Catch Up on Some R&R at the Chilcabamba Eco Lodge

Posted by: Casey Grom, Nick Hunt | January 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Rest day at the beautiful Chilcabamba Eco Lodge! Our team enjoyed the opportunity to sleep in and relax, and prepare for Cotopaxi, our next objective for this trip.

After a delightful breakfast, we were able to catch a few glimpses of the mountain in the distance and talked about the route. Based on the team’s performance on Cayambe, we’ll have no problem with this next climb!

We spent the day reading books and sharing stories, and wrapped the evening up with a technical skills session. We learned a variety of knots, talked about climbing anchors, and finished with a full-blown crevasse rescue scenario in the lawn.

Spirits are high and we are ready to go! Tomorrow we move on to the Tambopaxi Lodge in preparation for our summit bid on Cotopaxi.

Until then,
RMI Guide Nick Hunt and the Ecuador team

The RMI team enjoys a relaxing stay at Chilcabamba Eco Lodge. Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador: Grom & Team 100% on the Cayambe summit!

Posted by: Casey Grom, Nick Hunt | January 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 18,997'

RMI Guide Casey Grom sent us some photos of their Cayambe summit.  100% of the team reached the top!!!  The team is currently on their descent and will celebrate at the Chilcabamba Eco Lodge this evening.  Stay tuned to hear from Casey as he recounts their summit day.

The Ecuador team ascending Cayambe in the shadows from the sun. Photo: Casey Grom January 26, 2015 - The RMI Ecuador team on the Cayambe summit! Photo: Casey Grom

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Visit the Otavalo Market and Ready for Cayambe

Posted by: Casey Grom, Nick Hunt | January 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,300'

Hola from Ecuador!

All is well here on the equator. Saturday we spent a few hour at the massive Otavalo outdoor market where the team practiced their bartering skills with the locals. Buy the number of bags people had in their arms, they must have done a good job.

We then headed up to the hut on Cayambe to drop off our gear and add a little to our acclimatization. Normally we like to spend the night at the hut, but due to a hut remodel and new park management, we opted on staying in the town of Cayambe at a wonderful Hacienda call San Luis. Everyone enjoyed the day and the warmth of the fires that were awaiting us in our rooms.

Today the team headed back up to the hut and went on a short hike, then returned to the hut for a little training. We have had our dinner and discussed the climb here on Cayambe and everything seems in order. Hopefully the weather will hold and we’ll have a good climb tomorrow.

That’s all for now. We’ll check in tomorrow post-climb

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Otavalo Market in Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom Lots to see at the Otavalo Market. Photo: Casey Grom

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