MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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December 30, 2011

Ecuador School and Volcanoes Expedition together for Caymabe summit tonight

The Mountain Madness Ecuador Climbing School Expedition has moved from the cities to the mountains and will attempt their first big peak tonight.

Here's Tino's lates report:

The team is now joined by our Volcanoes Expedition climbers that have been acclimatizing while the school team was getting instruction. We've been busy everyday, but we still are not exactly roughing it yet.  We have moved from hotel to hacienda to hut and along the way enjoyed rich culture, great food and awesome atomsphere here in Ecuador.

After a day hike acclimatizing on Rucu Pichincha, an extinct volcano towering at an elevation of over 15,000 ft above Quito, our team moved out of Quito and deeper into the highlands of Ecuador.  First stop along the way, the market in Otavalo, known as one of the world's largest open air markets.

On the way to Cayambe, our first mountain objective of the trip and site of the climbing school, we stayed at the historic Haciendas Pincaqui and Guachala before heading up to the mountain hut, situated at 15,200 ft.  After 4 days of glacier school covering skills from basic self arrest to complex pulley systems for crevasse rescue, as well as ice climbing, the team was ready for a shower and some thicker air.

We headed back down to Guachala, where we have met the rest of the Mountain Madness team joining us for the Volcanoes Expedition.  Much needed rest was had in the comfort of the hacienda and we are preparing to head back up to Cayambe for the summit attempt tonight.  Weather seems to be working in our favor as, after nearly a week of wet and windy conditions, the clouds are clearing and winds subsiding.  Wish us luck!

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