Sean Kristl's Posts

School is in session – Ecuador Climbing School

Class is back in session in beautiful Ecuador! Our entire team arrived 5 days ago and since then everyday has been filled with exploring, acclimatizing and now they are moving on to the meat of the expedition – mountain climbing.

First Day in Ecuador

Our first full day is always spent exploring the sights, sounds and smells of one of the most gorgeous high altitude cities in the world. Quito is known for its vibrant culture and our team was treated to some traditional Ecuadorian music in the streets of the colonial section of town. While this might seem like…

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Summit Push Begins Tomorrow!

The whole gang is together now at ABC on Mount Everest. Lots of chatter this morning between guides and sherpa finalizing summit plans. LAST MINUTE UPDATE FROM CHAD PEELE: “Jaime the team and I are launching tomorrow morning after bfast for our push with a summit date of the 16th!!” So it’s official – the summit push is on. The teams are bedding down for their last night of good sleep for awhile. We’ll update when they wake up.

Final Plans Being Made

Everest + Cho Team leaving EBC on their way up to ABC.

During this final stage, the guides…

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Aconcagua Update: February 1, 2018

Cumbre!!

We’ll go with the most exciting news first – this morning at 10am local time we had 4 members of our climbing team summit Aconcagua. Conditions were breezy up there but winds were noticeably less than forecasted. Our teams are psyched they stuck it out and pushed up the mountain looking for that coveted summit window, and they sure did find it!

The Final Push

Prior to the successful summit push this morning, the climbing team made solid moves from camp 1 to camp 2 on January 29th, with everyone feeling pretty good as the altitude progressed. They spent two nights at…

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Aconcagua Update: January 27, 2018

We last left off with the team heading to Camp 1 on Aconcagua. That day Adrian’s team made it up in a peppy 3.5 hours. The next team followed up with a nice time themselves, 5 hours to camp 1 and everyone feeling good. Our porter team keeps treating us well, and the climbers were super happy to see a spread of charcuterie for lunch upon arrival. Weather for the climbing that day was perfect – sunny and calm in the morning while they made their move. The wind decided to pick up in the afternoon though and was at…

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Aconcagua Update: January 24, 2018

Just a few short days ago, our team of 6 coalesced in Mendoza from various parts of the U.S. and South America. The lead guides for this group are the one and only Adrian Ballinger who is working alongside the man the myth the legend, Jaime Avila. Dinner of course was delicious as it always is in Mendoza accompanied by world class Malbec wines. The easy going atmosphere wouldn’t last long though as the next day the team was in a shuttle heading towards the town of Penitentes where the plan was to hitch a ride with the local helicopter to base…

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Glacier Day on Cotopaxi

Our Ecuador climbing team is chugging along and making great progress on both acclimatization as well as learning the necessary glacier travel and climbing skills. Our lead guide in Ecuador, Jaime Avila reports that the mountain has recently been covered in clouds in the morning, and is clearing by mid morning.

Jaime will be evaluating conditions starting tomorrow morning (December 7) and may make the call to begin climbing right away so the team can climb and summit with stunning and clear views. If the weather and conditions are not looking favorable, they will wait until tomorrow night and make their ascent…

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Off to a Great Start in Quito, Ecuador

Photos: Jaime Avila
Our Ecuador Climbing School expedition team arrived safely in Quito yesterday and enjoyed a city tour. Not only is Quito at high altitude (9,350′ / 2850m) it is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Today the team acclimatized on Rucu Pichincha. Instead of heading straight to the mountain like our Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent expedition team, they will spend a few days in and above Quito acclimatizing before heading to Cotopaxi National Park. Rucu Pichincha stands at 15,413′ / 4698m’ and is an incredible day of hiking with a little bit of rock scrambling to get the…

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The highest active volcano in the world

Lead guide Jaime Avila and Scott Ullem standing on the summit of Cotopaxi (19,347′ / 5897m) shortly after the team topped out. All the hard work of training and pre-acclimatizing paid off as this was only Scott’s third morning spent in Ecuador. Incredible effort!

It’s definitely unique to see climbers with respirators on the summit of Cotopaxi, but the sulfurous fumes coming from the caldera make them a necessary piece of gear to stay strong and healthy for the descent. Not to mention it makes for a cool photo!

Cotopaxi is the world’s highest active volcano, and…

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Sunrise Summit on Cotopaxi

Text & photos: Sean Kristl

“Cumbre for all! What an incredible climb, 7 hours up, we were motoring! The whole team crushed it (Jaime, Peter, Scott, Sean, Topo), more stories to come!”

 

Stay tuned for more photos and updates for their Rapid Ascent climb of Cotopaxi (19,347′ / 5897m)! And for questions on any of our expeditions or courses please contact us at info@alpenglowexpeditions.com and 877-873-5376.…

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Cotopaxi skills training and prep

Text & photos: Sean Kristl

Day 3: “Rest day today in the incredibly beautiful Tambopaxi Hostel. Breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs and good bread fueled us up for a little more skills training outside the lodge. Topo will be joining us later this afternoon. We’ll eat dinner with him, rest for a few more hours and leave the comfort and warmth of the hostel around 11pm. Climbing starts at 12am!!”

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for more updates on their climb of Cotopaxi (19,347′ / 5897m)! And for questions on any of our expeditions or courses please contact us…

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