After a determined start Team Despacito was forced to turn back after a storm pushed through the Andes on Wednesday morning. The team awoke to lighter winds at the Tambopaxi lodge, and after breakfast made their way to the base to start the attempt based on a good forecast. Immediately after reaching the parking lot they knew were in for a long night with the team having to start the initial approach to the refuge battling 30-40mph winds. Strong precipitation, along with freezing conditions, started to take its toll on the climbing gear, but the team battled on and by the time they reached the third stop the team was hoping that Cotopaxi / ‘Mamacita’ would relinquish and give them a gap in the storm and allow them to pass.
With Ecuador’s ‘secret weapon’ (Nicolas Miranda) the team continued to push. As other climbing teams turned back, Team Despacito struggled on wanting to see if things would ease at higher altitudes. Ultimately the storm proved too dangerous and the team made the decision to turn back. After a tricky a decent, in worsening conditions, the team arrived back to lodge with equal disappointment AND excitement having experienced a great mountaineering test. The team remains in good spirits and will move on to Chimborazo to assess the summit bid later this week.