Entries By chris ebeling
January 31, 2019
Well up until yesterday morning the debate was still on: Cotopaxi or the Beach? Despite the obvious draw of bagging climbing for surfing, we decided that the steep moody glaciated peak out our dining room window was a worthy endeavor, so we packed up and headed for the Refugio José Ribas. It was a brief restfull afternoon and dinner (of course with Sopa and Ahi, our two favorite parts of every meal here) before we were off to bed, feeling oddly comfortable at 16,000 feet by now. We awoke around 1 am to find our legendary streak of good weather had not been broken. Launching in calm winds under the stars with only clouds to our north, we climbed the first thousand feet on red volcanic rock before donning spikes and venturing into the glacier with a few inches of consolidated fresh snow to provide traction. The entire crew felt strong, even stronger than on Cayambe after so much time at altitude, and before we knew it we were all on top of Cotopaxi with a clear view and a steaming crater. The route and views were all time, perfect to wrap up our time in a great country. By the time we arrived back at the hut there was another first for the crew of firsts: a hut to summit to hut record was in the bag, not far over 6 hours I believe.
We are now in Quito celebrating our 400% success this trip (100% success on 4 peaks), and will soon depart for home. What a great group we have had! Fun, positive, strong, interesting, and encouraging are all words that come to mind. We’ll call this trip a great one in the books and hope to climb with all these cats again!
Thanks also to our amazing local guides, Jaime, David, Nacho, and Christian. Also a big thanks to our driver - the Ecuadorian GPS - Victor.
RMI Guides Chris Ebeling and Adam Knoff
Congratulations to the entire team and to you! What an amazing experience with amazing people! Thank you so much for leading them to the top of these massive peaks with such style and expertise!
There are truly no better people to climb with in the guides of RMI!
Posted by: Susan Matthews on 1/31/2019 at 2:07 pm
Our team had a great morning relaxing, drinking coffee and socializing with our four new Swiss German friends. Since yesterday we have all shared stories and cervezas speaking English but having a great cultural exchange with folks from another country.
This morning after breakfast we continued that connection by putting ropes on the hacienda climbing routes, getting all our Swiss friends hanging on a rope for the first time!
Now we are all packed up and ready to head to Cotopaxi. The weather looks promising and route reports have remained good for the upper mountain.
We will call in tomorrow with results of the climb.
Everyone is excited for our upcoming ascent but looking forward to cleaning up and coming home. As much fun as we’re having we do miss our families.
Best of luck on the last big climb
Posted by: Jane on 1/30/2019 at 6:38 pm
Yesterday our team earned a big Ecuadorian summit towering 18,990 feet above sea level which also happens to be the only place on the planet where the equator itself is snow covered. These big mountains are not highly technical climbs requiring fixed ropes or advanced ice climbing skills but they are long sustained endeavors taking upwards of 8 to 10 hours to complete and literally pull the energy from your body one step at a time. Within our group we have a number of climbers who are very technology savvy and wear one of those super watches that short of turning you into James Bond, gives you critical info on how your body is performing. After the climb one person reportedly burned over 7,000 calories on the climb alone. Not only did we earn the top, we earned the 3,000 calorie hamburger we ate for lunch when we returned to town.
After lunch our half asleep, food comaed bodies crawled onto the waiting bus and began our 3.5 hour drive back down the “avenue of the volcanoes” toward our country side hacienda located ten miles from the sleeping giant, Cotopaxi.
Standing at 19,385 feet, Cotopaxi is considered the world’s highest active volcano and the most beautiful mountain in Ecuador. We couldn’t see the mountain when we arrived but exited the bus like a group of stiff, smelly walking dead looking only for beer and showers. Definitely a good theme for America’s next horrible zombie film.
Despite our showers being cold, the beer and Bourbon sufficed so after dinner we agin congratulated our climb and then quickly turned from alive to dead, collapsing around 9:30 and not moving until 8am this morning. When we finally did pull ourselves out of bed, we were greeted with stunning views of the mountain and a scene straight out of an Ecuador tourism book. Llamas grazed in the pastures and clouds drifted like dreams in front of the peak which confirms why people are so impressed with its beauty.
Throughout the day rest has been the objective. Shortly after 10 it began to rain so our time has been passed napping, sitting by the fire and prepping gear for tomorrow’s big climb. Not a bad way to recharge.
Stay tuned for the outcome of tomorrow’s attempt.
January 28, 2019
RMI Guide Adam Knoff called at 7:45 am PT to report the entire team had reached the summit of Cayambe this morning and were safely back to the climbers’ hut. The team enjoyed a great training day yesterday and awoke this morning to clear skies and beautiful weather. They are leaving the hut soon and will stop for lunch before continuing to Chilcabamba where they will stay the night.
Adam will send photos and a complete report later today.
Congratulations to the team!
Congratulations to the entire team! It sounds like and looks like you’re having the time of your lives!
Rest up, eat some good food, sleep well, & continue with this fabulous journey!
Chris and Adam, thank you for taking such good care of this fabulous team !
Love you Paul!
Posted by: Susan Matthews on 1/28/2019 at 2:53 pm
Ecuador Volcanoes, day three.
This journey is only three days old but the number of firsts for me has surpassed the last three years. What I mean by firsts is simply having an experience down here I have not had in the 15 years I’ve been guiding these mountains.
For example, I’ve never ventured off the equator tour to go find local home brewed corn beer. I’ve never been told by one of my climbers that they decided to venture out onto the fire escape, only to lock themselves out, with their roommate, and wind up on roof of the lobby looking down directly at the front desk waving to get let back in. I also have never broken two hours ascent time to the summit of Rucu Pinchincha, which we did yesterday without even trying. Yes, that’s fast…....
To continue this trend, we blitzed our second acclimating hike today on a mountain called Fuya Fuya, reached the summit in record time, decided we should keep going and found ourselves on the second summit a kilometer away that I have never even considered going to. The views of Quito were amazing and the team was psyched to have two summits reached instead of one. Right when I thought the day should find its way back to normal, I was again surprised. When we descended and reached the parking lot a few of the guys asked if the lake we were parked next to was good for swimming. After a few typical guy jokes about fish that swim where fish don’t belong and shrunken heads, not attached to our necks, three crazy men stripped off their cloths, high fived and jumped into the lake. Of course at that point jokes about great white somethings happened but jokes aside, swimming in that lake has never happened! Kudos to my “brave” teammates who took the plunge.
After those shenanigans, we all piled back into the bus to head into Otovalo to praise our adventurous spirits and eat some pizza. At this point I was just waiting for an earthquake or meteorite to hit the bus, just to keep the streak alive. It didn’t happen…..Gracias!
Now we are resting nicely at our beautiful hacienda soaking up the warm sun and humid air. When the weather isn’t raining, it can be almost perfect.
In a couple hours we will have another nice team dinner then prepare to head to Cayambe. Our fist “big” objective of the trip. Stay turned for tomorrow’s dispatch on high intensity market negotiating, crazy 4x4 truck rides and a new sleeping altitude for most. With this team I have no idea what might happen.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team
I love the energy this group brings! Looking forward to the stories of the summit bids and how it all goes! Adam is a wonderful human and guide- you are in good hands! Can’t wait for the next update! Safe travels to one and all! ❤️
Posted by: Chrissy on 1/25/2019 at 8:39 pm
Your blog is awesome. Best of luck. Safe and fun! Mom
Posted by: Jane Knoff on 1/25/2019 at 6:04 pm
January 24, 2019
Today we woke up to another beautiful day in Ecuador. After breakfast our team, now complete with our outstanding local guide Jaime, headed for the teleferico (gondola) and began our first acclimatization hike on a beautiful ridge overlooking Quito. The entire team styled our climb to Rucu Pichincha, breaking a couple of altitude records along the way. After some time on the summit enjoying just enough weather to make for dramatic light without spoiling any views, we headed back to Quito to rest and pack up for our move to Fuya Fuya and Otavalo tomorrow. The whole team was happy to get up in the mountains today and are feeling great, we hope our streak of great weather continues!
Paul you are incredible!
Posted by: Julianne Echols on 1/25/2019 at 7:22 am
Nice work everyone! It looks absolutely beautiful out there. Good luck on your climb today! *Rock Stars*
Posted by: Amy Collins on 1/25/2019 at 4:46 am
January 23, 2019
I am happy to announce the Ecuador Volcanoes team successfully assembled in the hotel lobby this morning. They were all a bit late and I couldn’t scold anyone in particular so I plan to run them all a bit harder on our first acclimating climb tomorrow.
After our team introduction we all loaded the tour bus and headed north out of Quito to the Mitad Del Mundo, or Middle of the World. Otherwise know as the equator! Here at the museum we were taught how the Amazon tribes shrunk actual heads of people, tiny fish can swim up urine streams into parts of the body fish don’t belong and snakes in the jungle can eat full size monkeys. And of course we learned how shadows tell time, the coriolis effect makes the water spin in opposite directions and gravity is possessed by aliens on the actual equatorial line.
The team seemed quite interested in these scientific studies but when we left the museum they were equally as interested to detour from the set itinerary to find some local home brew corn beer called Cheecha that the tour guide said was popular in that area. We did just that, toasting a good trip together with a liquid resembling nothing like we drink back home. At this same restaurant we noticed another local delicacy roasting on a stick. Here it is called Cuy. At home it is widely recognized as guinea pig. Luckily they don’t look as cute once they are cooked.
When the Cheecha ran dry we loaded up and headed into the old town of Quito where we saw great views of the city, a beautiful golden church and some of the oldest buildings in the country. Ecuador has an incredibly rich history and diverse population. Getting to see it up close never gets old.
After the tour we all gathered for espresso and soccer at my favorite place one block from the hotel. Before dinner we will check some gear then team up for our first official team dinner then retire to prepare for our first official climb. Tomorrow we go to 15,400 feet so stay tuned for the report.
September 22, 2018
Today was a day of weather on Mt. Rainier. Unfortunately, that weather was not cooperating for the summit climb teams and they were turned back at 8,500’. Mountaineering has its weather uncertainties- we take what Mother Nature deals to us. Today was not a day for aces but there will be more days in the mountains.
A great effort by the team today.
September 16, 2018
The Four Day Summit Climb September 13 - 16 led by RMI Guides Christina Dale and Chris Ebeling were unable to reach the summit today. The teams left Camp Muir around 1 AM but poor visibility along with increasing winds and precipitation forced them to turn around at 10,800’. They returned safely to Camp Muir and will begin their descent to Paradise this morning. Their climb with conclude this after once they return to Rainier BaseCamp.
Bummer you all didn’t make it. I was so bummed and upset I had to turn back early. You guys were such a fun group. Hopefully I’ll see you all next year love and we’ll wishes Ryan
Posted by: Ryan Shepeard on 9/16/2018 at 2:58 pm
September 5, 2018
The Four Day Summit Climb August 2 - 5 led by RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Chris Ebeling reached the summit of Mt. Rainier today around 7:30 AM. Dave reported a beautiful day on the mountain. The team will spend some time in the crater and enjoying the views. They will return to Camp Muir and continue their descent to Paradise this afternoon. Their program will conclude with a celebration at Rainier BaseCamp later today.
Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!
What an adventure and what a great team to summit with. Could no have asked for more!
David Hahn, Greyson and Alex are rock solid stars and I was happy to trust my life with their judgement and skills.
Posted by: Sarfraz A Durrani on 9/8/2018 at 2:17 pm
WOW. I am so impressed and proud of you all!! Such an experience and accomplishment I would never dream of. Congratulations
Posted by: Louise Utley on 9/5/2018 at 9:06 am