Tag Archive for: Andes

On the summit of Cotopaxi!

Today our Ecuador Volcanoes team capped off the expedition with a fantastic summit climb of Ecuador’s second highest mountain, Cotopaxi (5897m/19,347ft)!  Lead guide Estalin Suárez calls in with the happy news:

Hello, this is Estalin calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes expedition.  I’m very, very happy with the news that today, July 31st, we got the summit of Cotopaxi volcano, which is 19,400 feet in elevation, with Mr. Kevin Gary!

Yesterday we started at midnight, and it took us about eight hours to reach the summit and then a little bit more than three hours down.  We had an amazing, amazing view of all the volcanoes around.  The weather was incredible – almost no wind, very clear, a little bit cold (but just that, it was okay).  The condition of the snow was perfect.  So, we had a great, great experience on the mountain.  Mr. Kevin is very happy that we were able to reach the summit of Cotopaxi!  With this, we finish our expedition.

Again, I’m very, very happy to announce the news of our summit success on Cotopaxi and we’re ready for the next expedition!

Okay, bye.

Alpine start on Cotopaxi

Alpine start on Cotopaxi

Dawn on Cotopaxi

Dawn on Cotopaxi

Beautiful climbing conditions on Cotopaxi

Beautiful climbing conditions on Cotopaxi

Climbing Cotopaxi on a bluebird day

Climbing Cotopaxi on a bluebird day

Heading up Cotopaxi

Heading up Cotopaxi

Amazing views from high on Cotopaxi

Amazing views from high on Cotopaxi

Nearing the Cotopaxi summit

Nearing the Cotopaxi summit

Climber Kevin G. celebrates reaching the summit of Cotopaxi

Climber Kevin G. celebrates reaching the summit of Cotopaxi

Happy climbers on the summit of Cotopaxi!

Happy climbers on the summit of Cotopaxi!

Cotopaxi summit with perfect conditions

Cotopaxi summit with perfect conditions

Cotopaxi from the air

Cotopaxi from the air


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Summit of Illiniza Norte

Today our Ecuador team topped out on the 16,813 ft. (5126m) summit of Illiniza Norte as they continue their acclimatization.  Here’s lead guide Estalin Suárez with a recap of the day:

Hello to everybody!  This is Estalin calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes expedition.  Today we got the summit of Iliniza Norte, which is 16,800 feet.

We got a great, great day – beautiful weather, very clear.  We started very early in the morning.  We could see the sun rise along the avenue of volcanoes in Ecuador.  Very, very happy we got finally good weather on this expedition.  Now we are at the lodge just resting after our good lunch as well and yeah!

Tomorrow we are going to just have a rest day and then get ready for the big one!

Okay, bye!!

Climber Kevin G. ready to head out

Climber Kevin G. ready to head out

Sunrise climbing on Illiniza Norte

Sunrise climbing on Illiniza Norte

Sunrise on the Avenue of Volcanoes, Ecuador

Sunrise on the Avenue of Volcanoes, Ecuador

Morning alpenglow

Morning alpenglow

Sunning views of Ecuador's volcanoes

Sunning views of Ecuador’s volcanoes

Climbing on Illiniza Norte

Climbing on Illiniza Norte

Summit success on Illiniza Norte

Summit success on Illiniza Norte


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

On the summit of "El Corazon!"

Today, the team climbed another eroded and extinct volcano, “El Corazon,” located about 40 km southwest of Quito. The name Corazon means “heart” in Spanish and is said to refer to the two gullies on the north west slopes which, when seen from the distance, appear to join together in the shape of a heart. While the weather has been challenging thus far, the team has kept high spirits and looks forward to the days ahead! Lead guide, Estalin Suárez, check in with today’s dispatch:

Hello! This is Estalin calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador volcanoes expedition – today is July 27th.

We, Mr. Kevin Gary and I, climbed El Corazon volcano which is 15,700 feet. We didn’t have much luck with the weather – it was cloudy, a little bit rainy, and even some snow, which is very very weird for this mountain! We actually got a lot of snow on the way up, but it was okay! It was challenging and we had to push a little bit harder, but finally we got the summit! It was a nice climb – a little bit different with the snow. We’re still motivated. Hopefully the weather improves the next few days.

Now we’re at the lodge just resting and waiting to have dinner! Hopefully tomorrows weather will be better. Bye!

Ascending the snow covered slopes of Corazon.

Ascending the snow covered slopes of Corazon.

Rope team navigating the challenging weather on Corazon.

Rope team navigating the challenging weather on Corazon.

Climber, Kevin Gary approaching the summit!

Climber, Kevin Gary approaching the summit!

Cumbre!

Cumbre!


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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

Instagram:

Acclimatization hike in Ecuador! Dark, but beautiful skies up above!

Our Ecuador volcanoes expedition has begun! Today, the team started the acclimatization process, reaching the summit of Pasochoa at 13,779 feet. Lead guide, Estalin Suárez, check in with today’s dispatch:

Hello! This is Estalin calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes expedition – today is July 26th.

We just started the acclimatization process with the summit of Pasochoa volcano (4200m/13,779ft) which is 13,800 feet. So, we had a nice hike, even though the weather wasn’t that good – a little bit cloudy and we got some rain at the summit. But, it was good, it was good.

Now we are in a nice lodge just resting and getting ready for tomorrow. So, that is it for today!

Guide, Estalin and climber, Kevin on the summit of Pasochoa!

Guide, Estalin and climber, Kevin on the summit of Pasochoa!

Climber, Kevin on Pasochoa.

Climber, Kevin on Pasochoa.

Among the clouds during todays acclimatization hike in Ecuador.

Among the clouds during todays acclimatization hike in 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 our daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing.

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:

Atacama Refugio

Readying for Ojos del Salado, today the team drove from their camp at Laguna Verde up about 3,000 ft. higher to the Atacama Refugio at 17,250 ft. (5256m) which serves as the Ojos’ base camp.  Being the only team there, they enjoyed the peaceful serenity of an amazing sunset after a great dinner.

Tomorrow the plan is to move to Refugio Tejos at 5825m/19,110ft. aka high camp.  Wind conditions are favoring a summit attempt on Wednesday.  Climb on!


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:

Today the Ojos del Salado team made one last acclimatization hike.  Leaving camp along the shores of the Laguna Verde, they drove by 4×4 up to 16,234 ft. to start their hike climbing along the Chile/Argentina border to the summit of Nevado San Francisco – 19,744 ft.  Whew!

After descending to the trailhead and driving back to camp, they were rewarded with a soak in the natural hot springs next to the lake.  Tomorrow will be a rest day at Laguna Verde and Monday, they will move to Ojos del Salado base camp with the 4×4’s.  The summit bid is planned for Thursday.  Stay tuned!


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:

Ojos del Salado Moving Day

Today the Ojos del Salado team made the 105 mile (170km) drive along Maricunga salt flat then continuing across the high plateaus to reach Laguna Verde where they will camp for three days near a hot spring.  Next up is an acclimatization climb of Nevado San Francisco (6016m/19,738 ft)!


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:

Today the team acclimatized by hiking Cerro Doña Inés.  Garrett Madison provides the details via satellite phone:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ojos del Salado team in Chile – in the Atacama region.  We had a great day today!  We arrived yesterday, all together, in the Copiapó airport and drove out to our first camp here at the [Pedernales] Salt Flats.

Today we went for an acclimatization hike.  We climbed the nearby peak, Doña Inés – about 16,700 ft. (5095m) at the summit.  About a 2,000 ft. elevation gain, amazing that we could drive up to over 14,500 ft. to start our hike which is higher than Mt. Rainier, the highest peak in Washington state (USA).

Everyone’s doing great!  It’s sunny here, a little windy in the afternoon, and we’re looking forward to nice dinner tonight.  Then tomorrow we’re going to drive all the way to Laguna Verde, the green lake, and hopefully get to check out the hot springs, as well.  We’ll be there for a few nights.

So, all’s well here in Chile.  We’re having a great time and looking forward to getting closer to Ojos!


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:

Team in Copiapó and ready to head out to the mountains!

As the Ojos del Salado team arrives Copiapó and heads off the grid today, expedition leader Garrett Madison makes use of the last bit of Internet connectivity to provide this expedition dispatch:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Ojos del Salado expedition team.  Myself and Jenn, Chase, Ted, Ryan, and Krisli are all here in Copiapó.  Some of us arrived last night, some today and we’re headed off towards our first camp on Ojos del Salado at about 11,000 ft. (3,353m) today.

We will be without Internet likely for the next 10-11 days, as there is no cell signal and no Wi-Fi up on the mountain.  So, we’ll be communicating with our Garmin inReach and looking forward to some great weather, some amazing views, and watching the partial eclipse on December 14th.

We are excited to be heading off shortly here to the salt flat camp and working our way higher on the mountain and returning in about 10 days.


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: