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Entries By jess matthews

Ecuador Volcanoes: King & Team Arrive at Cayambe Hut

We had a pleasant morning leaving the town of Otavalo with a quick walk to see a large waterfall and then an hour checking out one of the oldest markets in the Andes. The rich colors of locally grown crops and woven textiles were flanked by food vendors, jewelry booths and the occasional used hardware and home goods vendor.

The drive to Cayambe brought us through winding roads with green pastures that climbed up the lower flanks of the volcanic mountains. We met one of our local guides, Jamie, who has worked for RMI on many trips. The 4x4 ride up to the hut was without incident and we arrived to an welcoming hut for a light lunch. The clouds have been hanging low this whole trip and we have got a few views of the glaciers but none of the entire glaciated volcanoes that dominate this area. The Team is currently resting and hanging out after a short hike up to about 15,700’. Tomorrow we sleep in a bit since all we have to do is our climbing school and organize for the climb. Thanks for following along.


RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Ecuador Volcanoes: King & Team Reach Summit of Fuya Fuya

We said goodbye to Quito this morning and made our way north out of the city. Patchwork buildings turned to patchwork farms and lush green at every turn. We eventually made our way up a cobblestone road to start with our day’s objective - an acclimatization hike on Fuya Fuya. Our arrival on the shores of Laguna de Mojanda had everyone excited to get out of the bus and get moving. We hiked for the next couple hours through the tall grass accompanied by our local Ecuadorian guide, Pablo, and found ourselves perched on the eastern summit of Fuya Fuya feeling strong at almost 14,000’. The clouds and rain were kind to us on our ascent as we took in some amazing views of the lake and surrounding hills. The rain finally caught up with us, but only briefly as we made it back to our shuttle only a little damp and headed downhill. We’re now enjoying hacienda life tucked into a eucalyptus grove in the hills above Otavalo. Tomorrow we’ll visit the most famous Indian market in Ecuador to explore and shop, then point our shuttle southeast in the direction of our first big objective. The team is feeling strong and excited to make the switch to climbing mode. We’ll check in again tomorrow from the lower slopes of Cayambe! 

RMI Guides Mike, Jess and Team

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Ecuador Volcanoes: King & Team Check Out Quito and Hike Rucu Pichincha

This is Mike checking in for the Ecuador Team. Apologies for missing yesterday, we just had to much fun getting to know each other and walking around Quito. We went to the equator and watched a bunch of parlor tricks relating to the Middle of the Earth. We also learned about the art of Amazonian head shrinking. We concluded the day walking through the beautiful streets and plazas of Old Town which was built in the mid 1500’s.

This morning we met up with one of our Ecuadorean guide,Pablo, for an acclimatization hike on Rucu Pichincha. We rallied up in taxis to the teleferico (gondola) which takes you to 13,500’. The views of the greater Quito valley were spectacular. From there we hiked to 15,700’ and got some views but we were mostly in the clouds with cool temperatures. The goal today was to stretch the legs and lungs a bit and just get out to see the beautiful Ecuadorean countryside. The trail wandered through grassy slopes and a lot of flowering shrubs.

Everyone is back at the hotel for some rest and packing. We will head out tomorrow for another day hike and travel towards Cayambe for our first climb of the trip. Thanks for following along

RMI Guide Mike King

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Posted by: Bernie lanigan on 12/5/2019 at 4:09 pm

Mt. Rainier: Five Day Climb Reaches the Summit!

After two days spent on the mountain the Five Day Climb reached to summit of Mt. Rainier early today. RMI Guide Jess Matthews called in as the team was on the descent. The team has had great weather while on the mountain, and everyone has climbed strong. They will return to Paradise this afternoon. Congratulations team!
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Mt. Rainier: Windy Summit for the Four Day Climb

RMI Guides Christina Dale and Jess Matthews and led the Four Day Climb to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. Jess reported steady 25 - 30 mph winds from the summit. The teams are making their descent to Camp Muir where they will rest, refuel, and repack before continuing their descent to Paradise. We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford this afternoon. Nice work teams!
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Congratulations to all!!  We are looking forward to seeing you at Paradise!

Posted by: Delene gillespie on 8/1/2019 at 8:39 am

Mt. Rainier: A Summit for the Five Day Climb!

RMI Guide Jess Matthews and the Five Day Climb reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning with perfect weather conditions. The team reported warm temperatures and zero wind. After spending some time celebrating on the summit the team began their descent to Camp Muir shortly after 9:00 AM. The team will be back in Ashford this afternoon. Congratulations climbers!
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Congrats! We left some beer in Ashford for you guys to celebrate with. :)

Posted by: Derek Hertel on 7/8/2019 at 9:29 pm

Congratulations team!!! So excited for you!

Posted by: Kris Ramilo on 7/8/2019 at 7:38 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Climb Teams Summit on July 3

The Four Day Climb Teams for June 30 - 3 July reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning led by RMI Guides Eric Frank and Jess Matthews. The teams reported windy conditions and a cloud cap. They began their descent from the crater rim around 8:15 AM. The teams will return to Camp Muir for a short break before continuing down to Paradise. Congratulations to today's Summit Climb teams!
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YAY!! Congrats to my forever best friend for reaching one of your life long dreams!! I am a super proud wife!!

Posted by: Alina Millard on 7/3/2019 at 2:16 pm

Whoo hoo! Guess 3rd time was the charm. :) Congrats to Kyle and the whole team! Love, Diane and Sasha
PS Someone tell Kyle we are headed to Snow and Bench Lakes Trail- will be back at Paradise by 1 PM.

Posted by: Diane on 7/3/2019 at 10:27 am

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Teams Turned Back by Snow Conditions

Today's Mt. Rainier Four Day Climb teams turned around at 12,600' today due to avalanche danger. RMI Guides Tyler Jones and Jess Matthews and their teams enjoyed a beautiful morning on the mountain but conditions just didn't allow for them to ascend higher. The teams will be returning to Paradise later this morning and we look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.
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Super proud of y’all! Enjoy those views! Thankful for the awesome guides!

Posted by: Rachel on 5/27/2019 at 8:39 am

Cotopaxi Express: Whittaker & Team Return to Quito, Depart for Home

Thursday, January 10th, 2019 10:00 pm PT It always seems to happen so fast. At the beginning of the trip our big objective felt far away, and each day brought anticipation of the new sights and experiences Ecuador would provide. But as soon as we pointed our crampons downhill from the summit, everything seemed to fast forward. Before we knew it we were gathered together in a warm, dry lodge with cold beers in hand at the base of Cotopaxi deliriously recounting the previous (beer-less and not very warm) 12 hours. Refreshed from deep sleep, and with the help of coffee we began to retrace our route back to the city. Cobblestone roads transformed into pavement, and conversation wandered to flight itineraries and last chances to purchase souvenirs. Then just like that we were back in the heart of Quito amidst the sights and sounds of city life wondering if our climb was really just a dream. After arriving, we visited a nearby artisan market and some headed to explore the old town. We gathered one last time tonight for a celebratory team dinner - we couldn’t leave without eating more empanadas! By now we’ve all started making our way home to loved ones armed with stories of adventure and visions of ones to come. Thanks for following along! RMI Guides Peter Whittaker, Jess Matthews and Team
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Cotopaxi Express: Whittaker & Team Reach Summit of Cotopaxi

La cumbre! We’re happy to report that 100% of our team stood on top of Cotopaxi at 6 am this morning! After two days of downpours, we slung our packs on just after midnight and stepped outside to see the lights of Quito glowing in the distance - the clouds had broken! Alas, it wasn’t long until a chilly wind decided to follow us as we climbed toward 17,000’ and the clouds came rushing back in. Fortunately it was short-lived when we got above the clouds at 19,000’ to see dawn on the horizon and a clear shot to the summit. After 5 hours and 45 minutes of climbing we stepped up onto the crater rim. We didn’t get the spectacular view of the crater we were hoping for (we did get the pungent smell of sulfur, though!), but a lot had gone right for us and we were psyched with our team’s effort to tag 19,348’! Mission accomplished. We said goodbye to our Ecuadorian friends and guides, Nacho and Jaime, this afternoon and will head back to Quito tomorrow morning for a final celebration before hopping on flights back to our hometowns. RMI Guides Peter Whittaker, Jess Matthews and Team

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Big congratulations to the whole team !!!!

Will the friends in NY WA beieve this adventure ?

Did Steve have the NBBJ flag ?

Posted by: Bob & Jan McConnell on 1/9/2019 at 10:04 pm

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