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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 Rapid Ascent Expedition

Text & Photos: Sean Kristl

Day 1: The team arrived safely in Quito (9,350′ /2850m), already pre-acclimatized for the Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent expedition.

Day 2: “Awesome training today on the glacier. We went over crampon and ice axe skills, and pushed up to touch 17k. Everyone is in good spirits, and no issues with the altitude.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For questions on our Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent Expedition or any of our expeditions and courses please contact us at info@alpenglowexpeditions.com and 877-873-5376.

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South America Climbing Season Coming into Focus

The cold temperatures of fall here in the northern hemisphere reminds us that the Aconcagua climbing season is coming into view. This season Alpenglow Expeditions has eight different expeditions to South America – 2 in Ecuador, 1 in Patagonia, and 5 separate teams heading to the tallest peak outside of Asia, the one and only Aconcagua. We love this time of year as our South American expeditions are truly special to our entire program.

Ecuador is Next on the tick list…

Our first team arriving in Ecuador aims to climb Cotopaxi (conditions dependent, more on that in a moment) in 5 days…

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A snapshot of Ecuador, Part 2

 

 

Dawn found us high on the mountain. The last several hours had been filled with the rhythmic crunching of crampons, interspersed with stories of past adventures and thoughts of the route to come. The angle of the ice and snow demands good crampon technique, and my team is showing me that they were paying attention during the training the day before.

 

 

 

 

By the time the sun hits us, we were at the base of the summit headwall. The morning light rejuvenated the team, along with some hot tea and snacks. The challenge…

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A snapshot of Ecuador, Part 1

While I have climbed and guided all over the world, I had never visited the high mountain world of Ecuador. Even before the wheels of the airplane touched down, I had an idea of what was to come. The lush, green valleys of the Quito area are surrounded by multiple massive peaks, cloaked in thick blankets of ice and snow. The flight was quick and easy, with no significant time change from the west coast.

My friend and our senior guide in South America, Jaime Avila, met me at the airport and soon we were cruising towards downtown Quito and…

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Earthquake in Ecuador

As you have likely heard, the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck along the coast of Ecuador on April 16 has put the coastal regions and the country in a state of disaster. Our logistics and guide team based in Quito are reporting that all is well in the capital although the strong shaking for almost a minute was terrifying. Quito lost power in parts of the city for some time but all has been restored. The part of the country sustaining the most damage is Portoviejo (about 250 miles west of Quito) with as many as 370 buildings destroyed.

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Rapid Ascent in Ecuador

Our second team of the month in Ecuador has successfully summitted Cayambe in short order. The team of Steuart and Graham along with guides Adrian and Jaime crushed their summit push in a blistering 4 hours and 30 minutes. Their feat is all the more impressive considering that the team arrived in Ecuador early Monday morning and touched the summit a short 4 days later.

Are these guys super human? Of course not. They’re just like you and me. Work and family at home in the states keeps them busy Monday through Friday. Using our Rapid Ascent system of home…

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Cotopaxi: Top 5 Things You Don’t Leave Home Without

With a challenging climb ahead, the last thing you need are logistical problems like taking the wrong gear. Looking down on the world from the summit of Cotopaxi will be the experience of a lifetime. With a little bit of preparation, you can avoid problems and have a fantastic trip. We want to share our top five things that we won’t leave home without when going climbing in Ecuador.

Broken-in Boots

Buy your boots and wear them in (even if it’s just around the house) before you head to Ecuador.

Recommendation: La Sportiva Batura 2.0Keep Reading...