Entries By leon davis

Ecuador: Grom & Team Summit Cotopaxi!

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

100% on the Cotopaxi summit!  Everyone is safe back at the hacienda.  Once we are back in Quito, we’ll check in again.

Congratulations team!

RMI Guide Casey Grom

December 18, 2014 - The RMI team on the Cotopaxi summit! Photo: Casey Grom Cotopaxi summit with the entire RMI team. Photo: Jaime Avila

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3

So glad to hear everyone made it.

Great job Team.

Looking forward to seeing you back home.

Daddy

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Posted by: Roger Osmun on 12/19/2014 at 4:01 pm

Congrats….great photos and blog. And hugs to Jared from Maine.

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Posted by: Crystal on 12/18/2014 at 4:51 pm


Ecuador: Grom & Team at the Base of Cotopaxi

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hello again everyone.

We’ve spent the last two days relaxing in Chilcabamba and are finally ready for our next climb. The team packed up this morning and headed closer to Cotopaxi. Our home for the next few hours is another nice hacienda call Tambopaxi, and sits just a short distance from the base of Cotopaxi and will be our launching point for tonight’s climb. Our plan is to wake up around 10pm, have a quick breakfast and hopefully be out the door close to 11. Then we’ll hop in our bus and drive to the base of the mountain where we’ll begin our climb.

Based on how well this group did on Cayambe, I’m guessing it will take us around seven hours to reach the summit if all goes well.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Photo: Linden Mallory

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2

I’m with you in spirit. Stay strong on the climb. best of luck, you guys and gals, you can do it.
Love you Sydney, take care of them Casey… read more

Posted by: Roger Osmun on 12/17/2014 at 9:11 pm

Go Team!Thinking of you all as you make for the summit.

Doug - be safe and climb with grace.
Love, Belladonna

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Posted by: Donna on 12/17/2014 at 5:58 pm


Ecuador: Grom & Team Spend a Relaxing Day at the Chilcabamba Eco Lodge

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hola from Ecuador!

Things are great here on the equator. We had a fantastic climb on Cayambe in the most amazing weather I’ve ever had. We started our climb by waking up at 11pm to ensure we had plenty of time for the day ahead. Everyone did a good job of getting ready in our tiny hut that was a little cramped for the 11 of us. Once the team was ready and had plenty of fresh coffee we were out the door at midnight as expected. The weather was clear and calm all night which was perfect, and the team saw dozens of shooting stars and even an amazing lightning storm far off over the Amazon. We made our way steadily up the mountain climbing close together and stopped for short breaks every hour to eat and drink. The sun rose shortly before we climbed the final steep section where we took a little time to snap pictures and put on our sunglasses. We summited just after 6am with the entire team and spent about a half hour enjoying the unbelievable view we had. Not a cloud in the sky and all of the mountains in view, it was spectacular to say the least.

The descent went relatively smooth and before long we were back at the hut tired but very happy. We took a short break then packed up all of our gear and then headed south to the always wonderful food and hospitality of hacienda Chilcabamba. Check it out for yourself.

After some much deserved and needed sleep the team spent the day relaxing around the hacienda. Everyone enjoyed the day watching the endless hummingbirds visit, playing lots of cribbage and a few of us went on a short horseback ride in the countryside.

Everyone is in great spirits and looking forward to another good night of sleep before tomorrow night’s upcoming climb.

Buenos noches from Ecuador!

RMI Guide Casey Grom

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

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3

Hunny, you have this! Listen to your body and be safe. It’s okay to take things a bit slower for extra precaution. I can’t wait to hear how it went… read more

Posted by: Liz on 12/17/2014 at 6:13 am

What a great post!!
I hope Dale got on a horse (he’s never ridden one before!) Enjoy Cotopaxi, team!
Erin

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Posted by: Erin on 12/16/2014 at 11:52 pm


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

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 18,997'

Quick note from RMI Guide Casey Grom on the Cayambe summit:
100% on top! 

Once the team is back to camp, Casey will send photos and a dispatch.

Congratulations to the Team!

12/15/14- RMI Ecuador Team on the Cayambe summit! Photo: Casey Grom Views from the Cayambe (Ecuador) summit. Photo: Billy Nugent

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4

Great work Gang! What a view. Glad to hear everyone made it up and back. Now rest and get ready for the next one.

Congratulations Squid. I knew you could… read more

Posted by: Roger Osmun on 12/15/2014 at 6:20 pm

Love the pictures—hanging out on some clouds! Enjoy the next one and be safe! Go Dale!! Erin

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Posted by: Erin on 12/15/2014 at 11:36 am


Ecuador: Grom & Team Ready for Cayambe Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,300'

Hello again everyone,

All is well here in Ecuador. We had a slight technical issue yesterday which delayed our ability to send a dispatch.

So let me bring everyone up to speed. Yesterday we checked out of our warm and comfortable hacienda and made our way to the famous Otavalo market. It’s the largest market in Ecuador and one of the largest in all of South American. The team spent a few hours negotiating the endless maze of goods for sale and worked on our bartering skills- some did better than others. :)
After everyone satisfied their shopping desires we headed uphill towards Cayambe, our first major climbing objective. The road to Cayambe is long, rough, and an accomplishment in itself. We were amazed that our bus was able to make it so far on what is clearly a 4x4 road. There were several times I was sure the mud was going to win, but somehow Hector, our daring driver was able to make it through. We hiked the final hour to the hut at Cayambe to help with our acclimatizing and spent the remainder of the evening relaxing.

Today the team woke early with a big breakfast and plenty of coffee. We then hiked up to the start of the glacier which is about an hour away, and spent a few hours refreshing our skills for tomorrow’s climb. While out on the glacier we were not only amazed at the beautifully clear day, but also incredibly lucky to see a condor soaring not far away! Once back at the hut we reviewed the plan for the upcoming climb and got everything packed up and ready to go. A special thanks to Leon for whipping up one heck of a nice meal for everyone.

The team is off to bed now as we are waking early for tomorrow’s climb. Wish us luck!!!

And one more thing… Keep your cell phones handy tomorrow morning. One lucky trivia winner will be making a satellite call from the summit if all goes well.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Otavalo Market, Ecuador's largest outdoor market. Photo: RMI Collection Otavalo Market in Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom Cayambe Climber's Hut. Photo: Nick Hunt

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4

Good luck tomorrow! Sending good vibes from Cali. Go Dale!!!
Love, Erin

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Posted by: Erin on 12/14/2014 at 7:54 pm

So glad you all had good weather today! Hope it continues on for the summit!! Glad to see an update and that besides updating the blog there haven’t been any… read more

Posted by: Liz on 12/14/2014 at 7:32 pm


Ecuador: Grom & Team Arrive in Otavalo

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hola from Ecuador!

Today the team left the busy city of Quito and headed north to the much smaller and far more rural town of Otavalo. We were hoping to do a acclimatization hike on a small mountain called Fuya Fuya, but due to a little rain, thunder and lightning, we opted for a little acclimatization while eating pizza! And based on what happened to all the pizza, it was a huge success.

It was an enjoyable drive along the Pan-American highway through the Ecuadorian countryside. We passed many farms magically perched on hillsides and what seemed to be endless rose plantations. We spent the remainder of the afternoon playing cards, reading, taking naps and a review of all the gear we’ll need for our upcoming climb. We are currently relaxing in the comfort of La Casa Sol.

Everyone is doing great and looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew.

The team having dinner in Otavalo, Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom

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3

Go Team! Wishing all a safe and successful climb.

Go Doug- be safe and climb with grace…is that all you’ve got!:)
Love, Belladonna

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Posted by: Donna on 12/14/2014 at 8:25 am

Hey team, I hope you had a wonderful day. Send us updates when you can. Go Dale!!
Love, Erin

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Posted by: Erin C on 12/13/2014 at 11:00 pm


Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Team Acclimates in Quito

Posted by: Leon Davis, Casey Grom | December 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 9,350'

December 11, 2014 - 6:57 pm PT

The team here in Ecuador got their first taste of altitude today, on the hills that surround Quito.  This morning we rode the teleferico to 13,000 feet and began our trek up Pichincha on the rutted trails that wind up to its rocky 15,000 ft summit.  It was a day to pressure our bodies into absorbing the thin atmosphere and experience the weather patterns that commonly occur here.  So the last half hour of our descent was a mixture of rain and hail and by 2:30 the team was drying off in the hotel and relaxing before dinner.  This will be our last evening in Quito and our trip commences north towards Cayambe.

RMI Guides Leon Davis & Casey Grom and Team

The RMI Ecuador Volcanoes team on the summit of Rucu Pichincha.  Photo: Casey  Grom The RMI Ecuador team making an acclimatiztion hike on Rucu Pichincha near Quito, Ecuador.  Photo: Casey Grom

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4

Hope all is well. Looking forward to seeing some summit photos. Stay safe gang, Love you Syd.
Looks like Christmas back home.

Daddy

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Posted by: Roger Osmun on 12/14/2014 at 9:00 am

Looks like you’re all doing great! Good luck on the volcanoes. Go Dale!!!

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Posted by: Erin C on 12/12/2014 at 5:46 pm


Ecuador’s Volcanoes: Team Explores Quito

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 9,350'

Hello-
Everyone has safely arrived here in Ecuador and are doing well after the long flights. We started our day with a team meeting where we did a round of introductions and discuss our upcoming program. Shortly after our meeting we headed out to explore this beautiful old city with our tour guide Edison. He took us to visit the basilica and the old part of town dating back to the 1600’s. We made a stop atop a hill that overlooks the city called La Panacea, and took in the view of this long and narrow city of over 2 million.
We then made our way north to visit the equator which gives Ecuador it’s name. There’s a small museum there with a few interactive displays that amused us. But most importantly we stood on the equator itself!
After our brief visit we made our way back to our hotel in downtown Quito where we took a break before heading to dinner. The team opted for a place called the Magic Bean that’s known for its tasty food and fresh juices.
Everyone is doing well and looking forward to getting a little exercise tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The Ecuador Volcanoes December 9th team explores colonial Quito and visits the middle of the world.  Photo: Casey Grom The Ecuador Team on hill top above Quito.  Photo: Casey Grom

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8

Great week at the beach. Hope you are staying warm, Courtney! We are thinking of you always.  Love,  mom

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Posted by: Susan Allen on 12/14/2014 at 6:51 am

Diego (from Ecuador) says you have to try lechon or hornado if you get a chance!

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Posted by: Liz Dean on 12/12/2014 at 12:28 pm


Cotopaxi Express: Team Reaches Summit!

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

Late Thursday afternoon we made final preparations to our climbing kit and sat inside the Tambopaxi dining room watching a light rain fall across the plains surrounding Cotopaxi.  We had an early dinner and retired to our bunk rooms at dusk for a few hours of rest before the evening summit departure.
At 10:00 pm we woke and ate a light breakfast in the dark dining room before loading our gear into Victor’s bus and taking it up the rocky road to the base of the Refugio.  We hiked in relative silence through a misty cloud to the glacier, put on our crampons and roped up.  A little new snow had fallen but the climbing route was still visible and we began our climb at 16,300’. 
Hour after hour we climbed the unrelenting steep slopes, pausing for breaks where we could find a relatively flat place.  At 8:00 am we surpassed the final steeps and stood atop the 19,348’ volcano.  It was a taxing climb for the team with many altitude records achieved and much to be proud of. 

Tonight we enjoyed each others company over dinner and drinks at La Cienega and in the morning we will sleep in and explore this beautiful and historic Hosteria before returning to Quito for the anniversary fiesta of its founding.  Good night from a very tired and happy Ecuador team.

RMI Guides Leon Davis & Casey Grom

The RMI November 29th Cotopaxi Express Team on the summit of Cotopaxi (19,348ft) on December 5, 2014.  Photo: Casey Grom

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3

So happy you achieved your goal Richard and team. Can’t wait to see you!

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Posted by: Stacey Cost on 12/6/2014 at 10:00 am

Richard and team, Congratulations on your spectacular achievement! Jenny

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Posted by: jenny cooper on 12/6/2014 at 7:35 am


Cotopaxi Express: Davis, Grom, and Team Prepare for Cotopaxi

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Thursday, December 4, 2014 3:25 pm PST

Buenos tardes (good evening) everyone!

Today the team spent the day resting in preparation for tonight’s climb. The day was mostly filled with reading, waiting on the wifi, exploring the grounds near the hacienda, and a world championship of cribbage, where Leon and Topo were crowned. We also took a ride to visit a ancient pre-Incan ruin, and a beautiful hidden spring.

We spent the afternoon discussing our plan for tonight’s climb and have everything squared away. The team is very excited and looking forward to tomorrow, or perhaps I should say tonight, as we’ll be getting up very early.

On another note, we had a trivia challenge today and the winner will receive a free one minute satellite phone call from the summit if all goes well. So for those of you out there following our blog, keep your phones handy tomorrow morning! 

Wish us luck!
RMI Guides Casey Grom, Leon Davis, and crew

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2

Was up a 2am sending good thoughts toward Cotopaxi. Hope you all summit and that Richard won the trivia contest!

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Posted by: Stacey Cost on 12/5/2014 at 4:02 am

Topo and Leon?  This team has the BEST guides!  Good luck team!

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Posted by: Meredith on 12/4/2014 at 10:07 pm


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