Mark and Estalin hiking around Laguna Cuicocha

Our Ecuador Volcanoes team continued their acclimatization today with a hike around Laguna Cuicocha just west of Otavalo.  They enjoyed some really good weather with some cooling clouds but no rain.  It was a nice, relaxing hike over six hours between 3000 and 3512 meters (over 11,500 ft. MSL).  The views of Laguna Cuicocha are beautiful all the way around the looping trail.

Everyone is feeling good and getting stronger at altitude.  Tomorrow they will hike Imbabura volcano with a summit over 15,000 ft.

Acclimatizing around Cuicocha Lake

Acclimatizing around Cuicocha Lake

The crater lake of Cuicocha set among volcanic mountains

The crater lake of Cuicocha set among volcanic mountains


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

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Estalin and Mark hiking on Fuya Fuya

Today our second Ecuador expedition (of four in a row), got going with the team making the drive up from Quito and starting out with their acclimatizing on the extinct volcanic peak, Fuya Fuya (~14,000 ft.) just south of the town of Otavalo.  Everyone is feeling good – healthy and strong!

Tonight they will spend the evening at the Hacienda Pinsaqui before another great day of acclimatizing as they get ready for the first major volcano climb of Cayambe.

A beautiful view of Mojanda Lake

A beautiful view of Mojanda Lake

Reaching the top of Fuya Fuya

Reaching the top of Fuya Fuya

Mojanda Lake

Mojanda Lake


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

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On the summit of Chimborazo

With the Chimborazo summit success yesterday, our very successful Ecuador 16-day expedition concluded today and everyone is headed home safe.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides this final dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ecuador Volcanoes program.  Yesterday we summited Chimborazo, the highest volcano, highest peak in Ecuador, and closest point to the Sun, furthest point from the center of the Earth as well.

We had a great climb, concluded a wonderful program here in Ecuador – three volcanoes, three summits (!) and we’re all heading home safe.  It’s been a wonderful trip!

Heading up Chimborazo

Heading up Chimborazo

Dinning at Chimborazo's high camp

Dinning at Chimborazo’s high camp


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Summit of Cotopaxi

Congratulations are in order to our Ecuador team as they made a fantastic ascent of Cotopaxi.  Here’s expedition leader Garrett Madison‘s recap of the day and what’s next:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes program.  Today’s January 6th and we were fortunate and lucky to have climbed Cotopaxi today, Ecuador’s second highest peak, with great weather, fantastic conditions on the mountain, both route conditions and weather.  We had views of Cayambe, which we climbed a few days before, and also of Chimborazo, our next objective, Ecuador’s highest peak and the furtherest point from the center of the Earth.

We came down to the Tambopaxi Lodge here in the national park, had a restful afternoon, a nice dinner, and now we’re getting ready for bed for some much needed sleep.

Tomorrow we’re off the Baños for a couple days of rest in the thermal hot springs and then off to Chimborazo!  All’s well here in Ecuador!

Cotopaxi climbing

Cotopaxi climbing

Nearing the summit of Cotopaxi

Nearing the summit of Cotopaxi

Garrett Madison on top of Cotopaxi

Garrett Madison on top of Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi summit team!

Cotopaxi summit team!

Heading down from the top of Cotopaxi

Heading down from the top of Cotopaxi


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Summit of Cayambe

Congratulations Ecuador team on yesterday’s summit of Cayambe (5790m/18,996ft)!  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, called in this expedition dispatch with the details of the climb:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in for the Ecuador Volcanoes team in Quito, Ecuador.

We just climbed Mount Cayambe yesterday – over 19,000 ft.  It was a snowy day.  We were in the clouds most of the day and then had a view near the top on New Year’s Day.  It was a full-on climb!  We had some snow, a little wind, but we made it and got back down to the hut last night, celebrated, spent the night there at 13,000 ft. in the Cayambe Hut.

Today we drove back to Quito for a brief rest.  The day after tomorrow, we’re going to make our way towards Cotopaxi.

Everyone’s doing well!  We had a great first climb.  Happy New Year 2021!

Cayambe Hut - Refugio Ruales Oleas Bergé

Cayambe Hut – Refugio Ruales Oleas Bergé

Climbing Cayambe

Climbing Cayambe

Getting above the clouds on Cayambe

Getting above the clouds on Cayambe

Celebrating summit number one - Cayambe

Celebrating summit number one – Cayambe

Enjoying the Cayambe Hut

Enjoying the Cayambe Hut

Sunset on the Cayambe Hut

Sunset on the Cayambe Hut


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

On the summit of Imbabura

One last day of acclimatization hiking around Otavalo before the team heads to Cayambe tomorrow.  Garrett provides the details of today’s hike up the Imbabura volcano:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ecuador Volcanoes program.  Today we hiked up the volcano Imbabura – 15,000 ft.!  It was a beautiful hike up this inactive stratovolcano in northern Ecuador.  It hasn’t erupted in over 14,000 years, but its intermittently capped with snow – no permanent glaciers.  Very fertile slopes around Imbabura.

We got back down this evening, had a nice dinner here at the Hacienda Pinsaqui for our last night.  Tomorrow we’re gonna pack up and drive to Cayambe, up to the mountain hut on the volcano and get ready for our first glaciated climb.

All’s well here in Ecuador!  We’ve been having a great time and are excited to head to our first mountain soon.

Acclimation hike on the Imbabura volcano

Acclimation hike on the Imbabura volcano

Nearing the summit of Imbabura

Nearing the summit of Imbabura


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Laguna Cuicocha, Ecuador

Our Ecuador team continued their acclimatization today with a hike around Laguna Cuicocha just west of Otavalo.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, has today’s dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ecuador Volcanoes program.  Today we hiked around Lake Cuicocha and it was nice weather, we got to see the lake and some nice views overlooking the hills around including the summit we did yesterday and tomorrow’s objective as well.  Another great day here acclimitizing in Ecuador.  We’re staying at the Hacienda Pinsaqui, which is a great accomidation.

We are excited for tomorrow’s hike and then heading over to Cayambe, the first glaciated volcano in our program.  Everyone’s doing well and all’s good here in Ecuador!

Acclimatization hike near Laguna Cuicocha, Ecuador

Acclimatization hike near Laguna Cuicocha, Ecuador

Hiking around Laguna Cuicocha, Ecuador

Hiking around Laguna Cuicocha, Ecuador

The view of Laguna Cuicocha, Ecuador

The view of Laguna Cuicocha, Ecuador


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Laguna de Mojanda, Ecuador

Our Ecuador team has jumped right into their acclimatization after just arriving in Quito last night.  Garrett Madison provides a recap of the day:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in the Ecuador Volcanoes climb program.  Today we left Quito in the morning and drove to our first acclimatization hike, Fuya Fuya, and we hiked up to 14,000 ft. (4275m).  Day one!  Wow, really strong crew.

And then we came to Hacienda Pinsaqui, an old hacienda here in the countryside of Ecuador, and had a nice evening cocktail, some music, and a nice dinner.  Looking forward to a good night’s rest and tomorrow we’re heading off for another acclimatization hike.

All’s well here in Ecuador.  We’re very excited to be here with our good friend and local guide, Estalin Suárez, and heading to Cayambe soon after.


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Today we kick off our final expedition of 2020 in the capital city of Quito, Ecuador.  Expedition leader, Garrett Madison, provides this initial Ecuador Volcanoes expedition dispatch.  We hope you will follow along.

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ecuador Volcanoes program.  Today we are meeting in Quito, Ecuador.  I’ve just arrived and tomorrow we are heading out to the small town of Otavalo and going for our first acclimitization hike up to about 12,000 ft. (3658m).

Our first volcano that we are heading towards is Cayambe (5758m/18,891ft).  And then after Cayambe, we’ll come back to Quito for a couple of nights and then head off to Cotopaxi (5897m/19,347ft) and then Chimborazo (6310m/20,702ft), the highest peak in Ecuador and the closest point to the Sun.

We’re looking forward to a great trip here in Ecuador with Todd and Jen.  We’ll get started here tomorrow.  All’s well!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Ojos del Salado

The team reached the summit of Ojos del Salado this morning, the highest volcano in the world (#1 in the Volcanic Seven Summits), the second-highest mountain in South America (#2 in the Second Seven Summits), and Chile’s country high point (6893m/22,614ft)!  Congratulations team!  Great work.

Here’s expedition leader, Garrett Madison with the happy news direct from the summit via satellite phone:

Hello!  This is Garrett Madison calling in for the Ojos del Salado expedition team.  Today’s December 16th and we have summitted Ojos del Salado, about 22,600 ft. and change or, I think, 6,893 meters.

Team members that made it up here today would be Jenn, Ted, Ryan, Jean Marie – our local guide, myself, and Chase!  We had a great climb, nice weather – it was cold starting out and cold during most of the day, but sunny, not many clouds, not much wind.  Could ask for a better day up here.  Great views all around.

We’re up here at the top of the mountain and Chase and I are the last ones up here, about to head down – back towards Acacama Camp [base camp] where we are going to sleep tonight.

It was a beautiful climb.  Glad that we came here to Chile.  A wonderful experience all around.  We’re looking forward to checking-in soon.  Thanks!


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map: