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summit of ecuador cotopaxi on school trip with mountain madness

Ecuador School Summits Cayambe!

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Ecuador Moun­taineer­ing School team in the midst of their expe­di­tion. Six of our nine clients reached the sum­mit of Cayambe this week­end and are already look­ing for­ward to their sum­mit attempt of Cotopaxi! 

Cayambe acclima­ti­za­tion hike (from pre­vi­ous expe­di­tion). Javier Mora photo

Jaime Pol­litte checked in over the week­end to give us the scoop on the group so far. 

The trip has been great so far! The clients are over­whelmed with the lux­u­ry of the accom­mo­da­tions. Our South Amer­i­can adven­tures start­ed out with a tour of the beau­ti­ful city of Quito, begin­ning with the giant Vir­gin Stat­ue that over­looks the city. We also vis­it­ed the stun­ning Igle­sias de la Com­pa­nia Catholic church and two pop­u­lar squares, Plaza de Inde­pen­den­cia and Plaza San Francisco. 

Our team was anx­ious to set out on our first acclima­ti­za­tion hike the next day. We start­ed with a gon­do­la ride up some 1000 meters and then on foot to the sum­mit of Rucu Pich­in­cha. Our first test of the Ecuado­ri­an Andes alti­tude left every­one exhaust­ed and hap­py to dive into bed at the Hacien­da La Carriona.

Otava­lo Mar­ket (from pre­vi­ous expe­di­tion). Javier Mora photo

Before mov­ing up into the moun­tains, we got to enjoy a deli­cious tra­di­tion­al lunch at La Maque­sa in the Otava­lo Mar­ket before hik­ing up to the beau­ti­ful crater of Lago Cuic­ocha (or Guinea Pig Lake, appro­pri­ate­ly named for the local tra­di­tion­al cuisine). 

After com­plet­ing our skills train­ing, we were joined by the oth­er mem­bers of our Ecuador Vol­ca­noes team and we head­ed off to our first sum­mit attempt: Cayambe! On Sun­day morn­ing at rough­ly 7am, 6 of our team mem­bers reached the summit!”

MM guides Sebas­t­ian Car­ras­co and Oswal­do Freire at the sum­mit! Sebas­t­ian Car­ras­co photo

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Joaquim, Luiz Ernesto, Farkas, Eri­ka, Kurt and Fran­co for a great first sum­mit! Also, con­grat­u­la­tions to Claire and Kei­th who reached 5100 meters before they were turned around. We wish them luck as they look for­ward to their Cotopaxi ascent. We also wish Matt, who stayed in camp, a speedy recov­ery from a stom­ach ill­ness. Stay tuned for more updates!

It’s my third trip with the Mad­ness and the stan­dards keep sur­pris­ing me!” ~ Joaquim O.