The team had a fantastic climb on Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador! The weather was beautiful. According to our guiding team: “It does not get any better than this”. The night was windless and starry, the snow conditions were good. The sunrise was unforgettable and the morning enjoyable. The Stubel glacier variation to the normal route kept the group safe from rock fall. The climber to guide ratio of one to one allowed the climbers to perform at their own pace and rhythm. Most of them got to the main Whymper summit, some to the Veintimilla summit. One team member broke a personal high altitude record without reaching the top and another climber got quite high on the mountain but a cold prevented her from going higher. Congrats to them all!
The team is traveling back to Quito. They are all safe and sound. This marks the end of a successful winter season in Ecuador. Thanks much to all the Alpine Ascents climbers, guides, office and field staff! It is all about team work.
See you in the 2019 Summer Season in Ecuador.
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All the best!
Hello family and friends!
The team attempted Cotopaxi last night. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate this time. The climbers were going strong, feeling well acclimated, braved the wind up to about 5.500 meters / 18.000 feet but since their technical clothing and climbing gear was getting covered with a thick armor of ice and the wind was getting stronger and stronger, they decided that it was unsafe to continue so they turned around. Safety first.
Anyway, they are motivated and looking forward to attempting the highest mountain in Ecuador: Chimborazo. Wish them luck with the weather!
We will keep you posted!
Team 5 “Fuego”
The team had an amazing climb on Cayambe! The weather was good and all team members had a great time. They started the climb at midnight in a starry night, scrambled the rocky step, roped up and negotiated the glacier to get to the “Picos Jarrin” rock outcrop. Everyone was doing well and feeling acclimated. They kept on climbing and right below the summit plateau could enjoy a beautiful sunrise. The Alpine Ascents rope teams overcame the last difficulties and reached the summit (5,789 m/18,993 ft.) to enjoy an awesome 360 degree view from up there: a sea of clouds was covering the Amazon Rain Forest and the Andean valleys below, Cotopaxi and Antisana were peaking through the clouds, a big cloud of ash coming from Reventador (the most active volcano in Ecuador) could be seen to the east. It was fantastic! Big congrats to all the climbers!
Eight out of nine climbers reached the summit. One climber decided to be conservative and turned around after reaching 18,000 feet. Good job everyone!
It is worth mentioning that Alpine Ascents has had five groups during the 2018-2019 Winter Season in Ecuador and all the teams have reached the summit of Cayambe.
The team traveled to the Yanacocha Lodge after the climb, had lunch there and are currently enjoying thick air at Colonial Hacienda Pinsaqui where they were invited to “crash” a wedding party. Team 5 “Fuego” is experiencing the full combo in Ecuador! Cheers!
Team members send their best to family and friends.
Today, we hiked up the beginning of the glacier on Cayambe located at an altitude of 16,100 feet to review skills and acclimate. We practiced self arrest, flat footing cramponing techniques, front pointing, glacier travel and crevasse rescue. The team had lots of fun and nobody struggled with the altitude. We returned to the Yanacocha Lodge late in the afternoon tired but satisfied. We are all feeling optimistic. We had dinner in a nice atmosphere and after that Roberto motivated us with his rock climbing training routine. Tomorrow we will prepare the climb of the third highest mountain in Ecuador: Cayambe. Wish us luck!
We will keep you posted.
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Team 5 “Fuego”
Today we went on a short acclimation hike the top of “La Virgen” high pass ( 4,391 m / 14,406 ft). Everybody performed really well as usual.
“Fuego” which means “Fire” in Spanish was chosen as the name for the team. Don’t ask me why 🙂
Then we continue traveling and visited the “Quitsato Project” located on “The Middle of the World” a place where the Equator line passes.
We had lunch at Cafe de la Vaca Restaurant and sirloin hamburguers were the choice of most of the team members.
Our bus driver Patricio demonstrated his driving skills along the bumpy road that goes up to the brand new Yanacocha lodge (3,652 m / 11,982 ft) where we are staying for two nights. We watched a beautiful sunset from the lodge.
After having dinner, we reviewed some basic glacier travel skills inside the lodge and went to bed. Everybody is doing well and feeling excited about reviewing skills on the Cayambe glacier tomorrow!
Stay tuned please!
Best to you all,
Team 5 Fuego
Jose Luis was superb and played a huge role in making the expedition so enjoyable. He obviously has outstanding abilities and is a great teacher. He is very patient and loads of fun to be with.