Tag: Stratovolcano

Things couldn’t have gone better for the first 2017 Baker climb! With a very good forecast of clear sky, warm days and freezing temps overnight we were happy. We walked in our first day and set up camp and had great views of Mt. Baker from the Hogback camp. With plenty of running water nearby and dry tent sites we were happy campers. We did some training on campsite selection, how to keep a clean and tidy camp and went over some knots all while gazing up at the mountain and our intended climbing route. After dinner we went to sleep in preparation for a fun day of training higher up on the mountain. We rose in the morning to more beautiful weather and great snow conditions, soft around camp and firmer up high for good cramponing. We spent the day going over efficient walking and climbing techniques, rope handling and management, self and team arrest as well as some fun facts about glaciology, navigation and weather. Still being early in the afternoon we decided to take a walk up higher on the mountain and see our entire climbing route as well as take in the beauty of Mt. Baker along with the impressive Black Buttes. We put all of our newly acquired skills to use in roping up and climbing up steep terrain to the Black Buttes camp at around 8000ft. We made a hasty descent back to camp with plenty of time to play a couple rounds of Mountain Bocce ball with rocks and discuss the plan for our climb early the following morning. With a planned climbing time of around 2:30am we cooked an early dinner and tried our bast to sleep with the sun in the sky, never and easy task!

As planned, we woke up around 2am, had a quick breakfast and prepared for our summit bid. The morning was moonless and beautiful as we slowly began our ascent, each of us finding our rhythm in our breaths, focusing on the beams of our headlamps. Around 5am the sun began to rise allowing us to trade our headlamps for sunglasses and sunscreen and see how far we’d come. Only a few other climbing parties were climbing and it was a treat to feel a bit of solitude on the mountain. At around 7am we climbed to the top of the Pumice Ridge and traversed out onto the Roman Wall, the final steep headwall before the plateau of the summit. We hustled our way up the 1000ft headwall and it gradually eased off giving way to the lunar like summit plateau. With not a breathe of wind we strolled across the plateau to the small bump called Grant Peak that is the true summit. With all the up over with, all we had left was the down, we celebrated cautiously knowing we had to come back all the way we’d climbed up and knew the warming temps were going to make for mushy snow. After summit photos, hugs and some water and food we headed back down. The descent went as smoothly as the climb and with only 2 short food and water breaks we found ourselves happy and tired back at our tents where we relaxed and drank more water with our cheese, salami, crackers and apples. That night we slept like baby giraffes as they would say on Mt. Kilimanjaro! The next day we leisurely packed up our things and started our final stretch, back down the trail to our cars where we could truly celebrate a successful trip. As we changed out of our climbing clothes and into the clothes of flatlanders we drove home feeling tired but accomplished in a well executed climb. It was great.

Sid Pattison

Instagram @sid_pattison

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Mountain bocce at our camp

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Skier hiking up

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Final steps up the Roman Wall

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Summit!

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This past week our climbers had an action packed two day climb of Mount Rainier in Washington State. Starting at an elevation of 5,400 feet at Paradise our team, led by Garrett Madison, made the three hour ascent with gear to Camp Muir (10,188). Camp Muir is a high altitude refuge for all climbers and provides a staging point between the Muir Snowfield and the Cowlitz Glacier.

After setting up camp and eating a delicious dinner, our climbing team prepared for the long night of climbing ahead. After waking up at 11pm to a full moon, we gathered our gear and roped up before heading off toward the summit. As the hours passed we worked our way across three ladder crossings over large crevasse’s. Nearing the summit we were pleasantly warmed up by the sun breaking over the distant horizon with a spectacular red and orange sky.

All members of our team successfully made it to the summit and had a wonderful time on the mountain. We look forward to returning to Mount Rainier again in 2017!

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Our summer 2016 climbing programs here in the Pacific Northwest are off to a great start with another beautiful summit of Mt. Baker! This 3 day climb takes you to the top of an active glaciated stratovolcano in the North Cascades of Washington in the United States. At an elevation of 10,781ft (3,286 m) our climbing team reached the third highest point in Washington State with views of many of the notable mountains scattered across the horizon.

Pat Timson, a highly accomplished alpinist, guided this climb and was able to share over 25 years of experience as our climbing team made their ascent to the summit of Mt. Baker.

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Congratulations to our Ecuador Volcanoes team for their successful Whymper Peak Summit today at 6,268 m (20,564 ft)!! Luke, Zack and Estalin have reached the summit of Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak! Chimborazo’s location along the earth’s equatorial bulge makes its summit the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center (aka closest to the sun). This challenging climb with many technical challenges provided spectacular views across the many glaciated peaks in the Andes mountain range. Today on this crystal clear day, we could see Colombia in the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Our team is now back in Quito where they enjoyed their celebration dinner. Estalin, Luke and Zack are enjoying their last couple days in the capital city of Quito, experiencing the rich culture and beautiful Spanish colonial architecture.

Thank you Estalin Valladolid for the beautiful photos across Ecuador and great leadership throughout! Cheers team!

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Luke and Zack starting to walk to Base Camp Stubel near Chimborazo.

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Rise and shine! Alpine start on Chimborazo summit day.

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Luke and Zack on their final push to the summit of Chimborazo!

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Last steps to the summit of Chimborazo, in the background you can see Veintimilla Summit at 6,230 m (20,440 ft).

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Whymper summit at 6,268 m (20,564 ft) In the back on the right you can see Cotopaxi!

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Cloud layers rolling in over Luke and Zack.

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Descending from Veintimilla Summit at 6,230 m (20,440 ft).

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Descending from the summit of Whymper peak, the background Ilinizas,  Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Antizana.

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After the summit of Chimborazo, Luke Zack, and Estalin eating rabbit and guinea pig in Quito.

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After a good nights rest in the city of Hacienda Guachala, Luke, Zack and Estalin departed toward the mystical cloud forests of the Imbabura Volcano region. The team had a wonderful day exploring this inactive stratovolcano in northern Ecuador and successfully navigated their way to the summit at 4,630 m (15,190 ft). Imbabura Volcano has not erupted for at least 14,000 years and provides explorers a beautiful landscape to acclimatize and view the fields of ash from thousands of years ago. Luke and Zack practiced their glacier skills yesterday on the base of Cayambe and prepared for the summit push today. Stay tuned!

Estalin continues to share beautiful photos of the team’s journey through Ecuador. Enjoy! 🙂

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Luke is very happy upon reaching the summit of Imbabura Volcano!

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Quick photo as the team begins the trek toward the summit! 

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Luke putting his rock climbing skills to use, don’t look down! 

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Zack traversing his way through the rock formations on Imbabura Volcano:

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Luke smiles for the camera as he makes the last few steps to the summit!

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Summit of Imbabura at 4,630 m (15,190 ft):

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Today the Madison Mountaineering team made another acclimatization climb to the summit of Ruku Pichincha Volcano at 4,698 metres (15,413 ft)! This was the teams third successful day trek as they continue to adapt to the elevation gain in the Andes. These peaks were visible from the nearby city of Quito where the expedition began. Weather today was partly cloudy with breaks in the clouds throughout the afternoon. The team is now in route to Hacienda Guachala near the town of Cayambe. This colonial town is known as the oldest hacienda (Spanish for estate) in Ecuador, with structures dating all the way back to 1580! Tomorrow the team will be making another day hike to Imbabura and continue this epic journey. Onward!

Interesting Fact about Pichincha Volcano: On May 24, 1822, General Sucre’s southern campaign in the Spanish-America war of independence, came to a climax when patriot forces defeated the Spanish colonial army on the south-east slopes of this volcano. The engagement, known as the Battle of Pichincha, secured the independence of the territories of present day Ecuador.

Beautiful photos from our expedition leader Estalin below! 🙂

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Team starting the trek to Ruku Pichincha:

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Lunch break with a pretty epic view! 

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Traversing rocky terrain:

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Luke resting before the last step to the summit:

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Last push before the summit!

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Summit of Ruku Pichincha Volcano at 4,698 metres (15,413 ft):

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Making our descent through the clouds:

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Luke enjoying the moment! 🙂 

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