Ecuador Climbing School Photo Journal The first “big mountain experience” of the expedition was Cayambe (shown here). The team chose to focus on building their climbing skills while on the glacier, instead of motoring straight for a summit. In preparation for the next two big objectives – Cotopaxi (shown here) and Chimborazo, the team worked on skills including cramponing techniques and proper ice axe use. The team also worked on how to pack a summit pack, tying climbing knots and hitches, roping up for glacier travel and rappelling. Although much of the time spent on Cayambe was brutally wet and windy, the team was greeted with a huge rainbow stretching across the landscape when the weather cleared. Sometimes it’s the most hard-fought days that become the most memorable! Beyond learning the essential skills of traveling in the mountains, the Ecuador Climbing School is an opportunity to observe the intricate details and textures of the Ecuadorian landscape. Shown here: Chuquiraga Jussieui, known as the flower of the Andes. At lower elevations (up to 14,000′) it’s is a favorite of the local hummingbird population.