October 24, 2010
Ecuador Mountaineering School on Cayambe
We are closing in on the opening day of the Ecuador climbing season! Our guides in South America are excited to prepare for a great season atop the volcanoes. We've got awesome treks and climbs up peaks such as Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Chimborazo, Antisana and Illiniza. For those of you who missed out on the mountaineering courses in the Northwest, there is an amazing opportunity abroad with our Ecuador Mountaineering School.
One of our guides in Ecuador, Gaspar Navarrette, has been with Mountain Madness for nearly 10 years. His climbing routes come from the volcanoes of Ecuador, where he began climbing at the early age of 12. Over the course of his climbing career, he has summited most of the Ecuadorian volcanoes, and even holds the record for first ascent of some of them. The most remarkable of first-ascents he accomplished was the South Peak of Antisana during the course he taught in the 2005 Mountain Guides Training when he was in charge of the Ecuadorian Mountain Guides School.
In 1998, Gaspar was a member of the Ecuadorian expedition to Bolivia, and he has returned every year since for more climbing expeditions. Some of his first ascents include peaks in Bolivia while working with the Bolivia Mountain Guide School in 2000.
South Summit of Antisana
When not in the mountains, Gaspar's attraction to horses has landed him a job leading horseback riding trips for the past three years. When Gaspar was 14, he moved to the countryside of Ecuador in the Cotopaxi Province where he lived on a farm with his uncle's family. There, his love for horses increased and have allowed him to remain outside in the wilds when not on Mountain Madness trips.
Another client favorite in the Ecuador mountains is Oswaldo Freire. Some of you may remember his name from our previous blog posts this year, as he was our lead guide for three successful summits of Mt. Elbrus several months ago. Ossy is currently in Nepal, where he will be ascending Pumori, marking the last big climbing trip during what has been a whirlwind big year for him.
Ossy leading clients up the slopes of Mt. Elbrus
Earlier this year, Ossy spent the 2010 winter season in Ecuador. He led climbers on Aconcagua, including the ascent of the immense 9,000 foot South Face. From there, he headed to Central Asia to summit the difficult Khan-Tengri (7010m). This was his second 7000 meter peak of the five in the former Soviet Union that lead to the coveted Snow Leopard status.
After Pumori, Ossy will head home for some R & R before he leads the Ecuador trips from November to January and Aconcagua in February.
Join Ossy and Gaspar to hear their tales from on-high starting this November. Call us to find out how you can join them in South America!