February 13, 2012
With spring just around the bend here in the U.S., weather is changing in South America as well, bringing a close to the winter season for Aconcagua and Ecuador.
Our last Aconcagua Polish Traverse team reached the summit of the highest peak in South America on Sunday, ahead of schedule as predicted! They departed from their high camp, or Cholera Camp, and reached the 22,841 foot summit at 11:30 in the morning. Ossy reports, it was a "100% successful expedition!" They were lucky to have reached the summit during a 10 minute clear window before the snow started to move in. They are resting in Base Camp today and will head out tomorrow. Congratulations to Ossy, Ryan, Jeroen and Ed!
Clouds above Aconcagua. Mountain Madness photo
As I am sure everyone is home resting up from their exciting adventure in Ecuador, Sebastian follows up with the last update of the Ecuador Glacier Mountaineering School and their summit on Chimborazo:
"After Cotopaxi, we drove south to Urbina, where we spent the night. The next day, we moved to Chimborazo's second hut at 16,400 feet. Our first summit attempt was cancelled by bad weather, a couple inches of new snow and wind! The next day, we stayed at the same hut to rest, read and play games. That night, we got up at 11 p.m. to the wind blowing outside but luckily clear skies. As we climbed up the mountain, the wind decreased but the precipitation started, forming an ice layer on top of us. Luckily, this didn't last very long.
"At 5:19 a.m. myself, Bryce and Barbara reached the Ventimilla summit. As we started walking towards the Whymper summit, we watched as the moon set and turned a vibrant orange. We reached the highest summit of Ecuador at 5:55 a.m. and were back in the hut by 8:30!!
"I want to thank the whole group for such a great trip, even if the weather was not the best. I hope to see you in the mountains again!"
~ MM Guide Sebastian Carrasco
Chimborazo. Mountain Madness photo
One last Ecuador School and Volcanoes Expedition to depart later this February. But have no fear! The Ecuador climbing season returns in July! Get your spot on one of our schools or expeditions and see the beauty that the Ecuadorian Andes have to offer.