MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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March 2, 2014

Getting Primed for Climb in the Ecuador Climbing School

Today, we came down from Cayambe after four days of an intense Ecuador Mountaineering School. This time, Liina, a dentist from Finland, and John, an engineer from Oregon, joined our trip. They came not just for the opportunity of attempting three of the highest volcanoes in Ecuador, but also to learn the fundamentals for enjoying the mountains with safety.

Joshua Jarrin photo

Everything started with the acclimatization when we visited the old and new parts of Quito at an average of 9000ft. After that, we climbed Ruco Pichincha as our first hike where our participants had a great opening push successfully reaching the summit. For this part of the trip, we alternate a hard day with an easy one, in order to adapt our bodies to the altitude. Following that idea, after the summit of Pichincha we visited the market of Otavalo, where the worst of the clients' problems was choosing the right color of handicrafts for their friends and family.

 

Joshua Jarrin photo

Once on the mountain we started with cramponeering techniques and proper use of the ice axe. They learned that having a proper technique is the best way to prevent accidents and travel glaciers efficiently. After a full day of practice, we moved on to the possible problems that could happen while we climb high mountains. What if I slide down? What if my partner slides down? What if I fall into a crevasse? What if my friend falls into a crevasse? With that, Liina and John learned how to arrest a fall, self arrest, self rescue, and the necessary anchors for these activities. 

 

Joshua Jarrin photo

 

Joshua Jarrin photo

With all these concepts learned we went to the Glaciar Hermoso to get ourselves in trouble. That was the third day. Five hours of steep and broken ice put us at 5100 meters of fun. But we still had one missing factor to be included; practice all that in the dark. So today, we woke up at 3am and went for our last day of practices to part of the normal route by the starlight. I was glad to know that they are already mastered how to rope up, put on their crampons, how to be efficient on the transitions and knowing that if the weather cooperates we will be reaching summits in the coming days.

 ~ MM Guide Joshua Jarrin

Joshua Jarrin photo


 
Joshua Jarrin photo