Entries By dustin wittmier
May 12, 2022
What a difference a day makes. 40mph snow and wind at Camp Muir. A perfect day to train inside.
After a cloudy walk up the Muir Snowfield on Monday we enjoyed two gorgeous, sunny days of training on Tuesday and Wednesday, learning the basics of snow and ice climbing, glacier travel, crevasse rescue and ice climbing.
This morning the weather has changed! Blowing snow all night and day has us thankful for the shelter of the bunkhouse at Camp Muir where we're learning about avalanches - how to avoid them, use the tools of the trade and perform a rescue.
We'll continue with other topics of interest and get out for some hands on training if and when we can do it safely outside.
Everyone is doing great and happy we got so much training in even though our summit aspirations are no longer realistic after finding serious signs of avalanche hazard on the slopes leading to the summit.
We'll be headed down tomorrow morning after some training and packing up in the morning.
Thank you for all of the updates for those of us at lower elevations here in the Twin Cities and others! I am sorry to hear you won’t be able to summit but am glad you all are taking precautions. Enjoy the views from up there, it’s something not everyone gets to experience in their lifetimes. Good work team!!
Posted by: April Londo on 5/13/2022 at 4:34 pm
May 6, 2022
RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Dustin Wittmier and the Mt. Rainier Five Day Climb teams endured a steady and consistent spring storm at Camp Muir. Windy conditions prevented the teams fom ascending above Camp Muir but will make for epic stories of traveling to the outhouse while at camp. The teams will return to Rainier Basecamp in Ashford this afternoon.
Sorry to hear that, looks like last three expeditions able to go up Muir Camp only due to weather.
Is May is good month to go (just wondering)?
Posted by: Umesh Patel on 5/8/2022 at 5:01 pm
Sorry to hear the May 6th team got turned around due to weather….
I am ready to tackle Rainier on August 3 - 6…. I am hoping the weather is not a factor
I would LOVE to hear of your experiences and recommendations so I can learn more
Posted by: Jeff Duqutte on 5/7/2022 at 9:36 am
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!
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!
January 23, 2022
Following a restless night of not sleeping at 17,400’, our team stood on top of Chimborazo this morning. It was a clear morning with calm winds and the route is in excellent condition.
Interestingly, the summit of Chimborazo is the furthest point from the center of the earth, due to it’s position near the equator. It is the only 6000 meter peak in Ecuador and it was an honor to visit the summit with this team.
That is AWESOME!!! Congratulations to Everyone!! Your wish came true with the Sunshine!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/24/2022 at 3:13 am
January 22, 2022
Yesterday we traveled south through the town of Ambato, where we learned what a 50cm burrito looks like. Despite an exact measurement it’s still hard to imagine. Following a comical lunch we drove through the park, Reserva Producción de Fauna Chimborazo, and continued to La Estrella de Chimborazo where we had a quiet night with delicious food and beautiful views of Chimborazo’s grand south face.
We awoke to a foggy morning and continued to relax in preparation for a difficult 24 hours. Some members of the team practiced crevasse rescue on the porch while other’s just chilled out, enjoying the views and some local wildlife.
In the afternoon we made the two hour trek to high camp and are settled in at our highest sleeping altitude - 17,400’. Tonight we will get an alpine start and hope for good weather on our summit attempt!
RMI Guide Dustin Wittmier
Best of luck for a successful climb and cooperative weather!
Posted by: Karie Seubert on 1/23/2022 at 10:11 am
Climb Strong Team!!! Sending Prayers for Strong Lungs and Legs!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/23/2022 at 3:03 am
January 20, 2022
Last night we lied in bed awaiting an 11pm wakeup for a Cotopaxi summit attempt. But the winds picked up and the roof could be heard shaking and whistling all night. At the sound of my first alarm, myself and the other guides went outside to find high winds and a sideways drizzle. We then went on shifts checking every 30 minutes and hoping for improvement, but to no avail. By 3am we decided to call it and everyone was able to sleep in. The crew was certainly disappointed but still in good spirits. What helped was seeing all the people who did attempt last night return soaked and covered in a layer of half inch ice, having failed to make it to the summit. It was truly a sight to see.
After departing the hut we made the short drive out of the park and are enjoying a wonderful evening at La Cienega, one of the finest haciendas in Ecuador. We took advantage of a sunny afternoon to learn some rope skills and are looking forward to the rest of the evening in this beautiful and historic hacienda.
Thats a bummer the mountain did not give you good weather. But what ever weather you get is always a cool experience!! All the best on your Big mountain Dustin and Kevin!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/21/2022 at 3:38 am