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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 a day of being tourists, there’s actually a very important objective being achieved here – acclimatization. Sitting at 9,350’/2850m this is the first chance we get to get the legs moving while our bodies adjust to the altitude.

Rucu Pinchincha hiking with Alpenglow Expeditions
Hiking Rucu Pinchincha – into the clouds!
Summit of Rucu Pinchincha
Summit of Rucu Pinchincha

Heading Higher

After a super fun day of exploring Quito, the next day the team headed up higher to Rucu Pinchincha. Incredibly situated, this 15,406’/4696m peak is a short gondola ride straight out of town. Once at the top of the gondola the team hiked for a few hours to reach the summit. Some chose to rope up and do some rock scrambling while a few other decided to keep it mellow and hiked around to the top where they met the team. This is another critical mile marker during our climbing school as we get a chance to see how everyone is acclimatizing. We’re happy to report everyone feels great!
The road to Cayambe

Testing oxygen saturation
Checking oxygen saturation on Fuya-Fuya

On the way to Cayambe the team did another acclimatization hike to continue building there resistance to high altitude. They were greeted with beautiful tall grass, and a bit of cloudy weather keeping the temperatures cool. At some point along the way they stopped to test their oxygen saturation making sure everything was going according to plan. All good results here!

Fuya Fuya lake views
Descending from Fuya-Fuya

First Mountain – Cayambe

The team is now on Cayambe. They have chosen to focus on building their climbing skills while on the glacier, instead of motoring straight for a summit. They all felt that they would rather work on their glacier travel skills and climbing technique in preparation for the next two big objectives – Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. They will spend a few days on Cayambe honing these skills and taking full advantage of their guides deep knowledge of mountain travel.