Hey this is Doug, this is the cybercast for Wednesday, I believe it’s January 15th. Happy to report that yesterday on the 14th, Randall, Haley and I successfully summited Cotopaxi (which comes in at 19,400 feet)! Bill decided to sit this one out, he wasn’t feeling well.
The day actually started, the climb started the night before, when we hiked up to the refuge, which is the shelter (at about 16,600 feet) that was about an hour hike. We had dinner around 6:00, went to bed around 7:00, woke up at 12:00 midnight, had some more food, and put on all of our climbing gear and headed out for the summit about 1am. Had amazing weather for the first hour, clear skies, tons of stars, full moon. That only lasted for about an hour, and then as we gained altitude, clouds rolled in and the wind picked up. And for the remainder of the climb, both to the summit and back, we had steady wind at about 25 miles an hour, with gusts probably close to 50 mph. So that combination, with all the snow that had fallen in the last few days on the mountain, made it very difficult. But nonetheless we powered through it, we all summited. Unfortunately we did not have the views that we were hoping for on the top of Cotopaxi, because you can see for about 50 miles on a clear day. But clouds were still there, snow was blowing. We were really exposed, so most of us only spent a few moments on the summit, took a couple of photos, and then headed back to the refuge.
After that we climbed back to the parking lot and then we took a ride and spent the day at a beautiful hacienda. It’s about 300 years old, beautiful gardens, beautiful building. We’re just now packing up and we’re going to do a tour of some Incan ruins and head to another hacienda a little bit closer to Chimborazo, which is our final climb and the tallest mountain in Ecuador (at just under 21,000 feet).
So we’re enjoying our days of rest. Today will be dedicated to rest as well. And then we’ll start focusing on Chimborazo tomorrow I guess. I think that’s about it, I’d like to thank our guides, Jose Luis, Nicholas, and Robin, they did a great job getting us to the summit and back in one piece. It was a very challenging climb, but it was a great climb nonetheless and everybody is doing well.
Stay tuned for the next cybercast, thank you.