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Ecuador November Trip Dispatch

Alpenglow has seen two expeditions head to Ecuador this November with the first team exiting the country late last week and a new one arriving on Sunday. While Cotopaxi (19,347 ft / 5,897 m) is in the middle of an eruption cycle spewing ash and smoke out of its crater we’ve made slight changes to our itineraries and have enjoyed putting our skills to the test on the nearby Cayambe (18,996 ft / 5790 m). 

Team #1 – Bill and Michael

The father and son duo of Bill and Michael arrived in Quito (9,350 ft / 2,850 m) on October 31 and were greeted by our perpetually stoked lead guide, Jaime Avila. After touring around town a bit to take in the culture and begin getting used to the altitude, the team found themselves on their first acclimatization climb just outside of town on the peak of Rucu Pinchincha (15,969 ft / 4,784 m). 

While the climbing was easy on this first climb, the air was feeling thin and the team decided to head back the next day for another round of acclimating. Day two was much better and the team climbed the technical route through the clouds on Rucu. After their decent the team headed to the refuge at the base of Cayambe for a night of rest before another day of training on the glacier. 

Summit day came with a bit of weather but the team decided to head up and take a look around. Unfortunately the weather didn’t want to play along but the team continued to work on skills learned throughout the last couple of days. Disappointed with the sting of not summiting the team is fired up on the techniques they learned in the beautiful mountains of Ecuador.

Team #2 – Steuart and Graham

The team of Steuart and Graham arrived November 8 at 4am and after just 6 hours of rest they were off for an acclimation climb on the nearby Imbabura (15,190 ft / 4,630 m). The team is going with the Rapid Ascent system and has been sleeping for 4 weeks in hypoxico tents to prepare. The hard work (sarcasm) of acclimating while asleep at home has paid off big time and the team cruised to the summit of Imbabura in 2:15! Super fast!

The stoked team is reporting a little weather during their first climb of Imbabura but they are digging the atmosphere created by the swirling clouds, saying it’s “Lord of the Rings” style. 

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After a night of rest the team packed up and headed up to the refuge on Cayambe. They are currently having a skills day on the glacier preparing for the summit push in the next 2 or 3 days. We’ll provide an update as soon as the team reports in. 

We wish them good luck and good weather!