Tag Archive for: Ecuador

Jeff, José, and I have made a safe and successful ascent of Cayambe volcano! After we finished our acclimatization hikes near Quito we departed for Cayambe hut at an elevation of 15,250 feet. After a hour of driving from Hacienda Guachala we took our expedition vehicle across rocky and steep terrain toward Cayambe. The hut was beautifully located and provided spectacular views of the mountain. After three days of glacier training we prepared our gear and left at 11pm for the summit. After 7 hours of climbing we made it over the last crevasse and to the top on a crystal clear day just as the sun came up over the horizon. We were the first climbing team to reach the summit 🙂 We had an amazing adventure and thank our guide José Luis for his expert guidance and support! I will be posting additional photos from our expedition to the Madison Mountaineering Facebook page!

Onward!

-Andrew Tierney

Photos taken below by Andrew Tierney using a GoPro Hero 4 Black and iPhone 6. Enjoy! 🙂

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Dinner at Hacienda Guachala. The Hacienda Guachalá is known as the oldest hacienda in Ecuador, and the most important hacienda until the middle of the 20th century. The oldest buildings date from the year 1580!

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Breakfast with a view at Hacienda Guachala.

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Middle of the World!

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Happy Birthday Jeff! 🙂 Mountain Birthday’s are the best!

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Jeff with Cayambe in the background!

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Glacier training on Cayambe.

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Ladder training in preparation for Jeff’s upcoming Everest ascent!

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Andrew enjoying the fixed ropes and ladders on Cayambe!

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Jeff preparing to cross the ladder.

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Andrew on the summit of Cayambe!

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Jeff on the summit of Cayambe! Rise & Shine!

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Spectacular sunrise across Ecuador!

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Cayambe Hut

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Cayambe Volcano

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Last sunset before we made our ascent!

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Yesterday Jeff, José, and I summited Pichincha in record time and enjoyed panoramic views of Cayambe, Cotopaxi (active), and many other notorious mountains across Ecuador. Once we reached the summit at 15,700 feet we had lunch and continued to acclimate as we prepare for the journey to Cayambe hut today. After our climb we checked out of our hotel in Quito and drove a short distance to Hacienda Guachala, a famous establishment that dates back to 1580! As we fell asleep we enjoyed a warm fire in our room and woke up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee on our patio. Today we will journey to the Cayambe hut and begin to review the technical skills that we will need for the climb. Service will become harder to find but I will try and update the blog as soon as I am able. Onward!

-Andrew

 

Photos taken below by Andrew Tierney

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Bouldering across a rock field as we make our way up Pichincha.

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Jeff and José Luis climbing up the last few steps of Pichincha!

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Jeff and Andrew at the summit of Pichincha (15,700 feet).

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Beautiful views looking over the city of Quito from Pichincha!

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Today Jeff Glasbrenner and I explored the rolling country side and completed acclimatization hikes near Quito. We cruised to the top of Pasochoa at 13,860 ft and bagged another nearby summit as well. After a day of hiking we explored the beautiful city of Quito where we saw the historic sites and had an authentic Ecuadorian dinner in town. Tomorrow we will continue to acclimate to the altitude with our amazing guide, José Luis, and climb Pinchincha at 15,700 ft. The weather is beautiful and our team is very excited to begin our journey to Cayambe in the days to come.

To the top!

-Andrew Tierney

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Photos taken using DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone and GoPro Hero4. Enjoy!

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Virgin of El Panecillo overlooking the city of Quito

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Church of San Francisco

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One of my favorite shots looking over the city of Quito!

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Basílica del Voto Nacional – Quito

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Rolling layers of fog made for a beautiful picture here from the summit of Pasochoa (13,860′).

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Jeff and I taking our first summit photo! More to come!!

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Our adventure rig for the week!

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Climbing down from Pasochoa over the rolling hills outside of Quito

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Palace in the Plaza Grande

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Church of La Compañía de Jesús

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Today our Ecuador climbing team had a relaxing day on Quilotoa Lake, a water-filled caldera that is also the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. The day was filled with gorgeous panoramic views and blue skies as Estalin, Luke and Zack prepare for the ascent of Chimborazo tomorrow! Tonight the team will be organizing gear and preparing for the next day’s climb to our high camp on Chimborazo. On summit day, the team will begin to climb before dawn, and reach the summit of Chimborazo (20,560ft) shortly after sunrise with good weather conditions. The summit of Chimborazo is the closest point to the sun and provides climbers a spectacular mountain top view!

Estalin Suárez Valladolid continues to share his beautiful photographs shown below of this amazing journey through Ecuador! Enjoy 🙂

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Our team waiting for lunch, Luke looks hungry!

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Luke and Zack enjoying the descent!

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Luke and Zack spending time exploring near Quilotoa Lake!

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Luke and Zack taking in the beautiful country side near Chimborazo!

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Team bonding at the lodge!

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Stunning view from Quilotoa Lake, only a day of relaxation before Chimborazo!

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A short walk up to Cerro Chalata near Chimborazo lodge.

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Summit of Cerro Chalata at (4,230 m/13,874 ft)!

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Today our Ecuador climbing team had a relaxing day on Quilotoa Lake, a water-filled caldera that is also the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. The day was filled with gorgeous panoramic views and blue skies as Estalin, Luke and Zack prepare for the ascent of Chimborazo tomorrow! Tonight the team will be organizing gear and preparing for the next day’s climb to our high camp on Chimborazo. On summit day, the team will begin to climb before dawn, and reach the summit of Chimborazo (20,560ft) shortly after sunrise with good weather conditions. The summit of Chimborazo is the closest point to the sun and provides climbers a spectacular mountain top view!

Estalin Suárez Valladolid continues to share his beautiful photographs shown below of this amazing journey through Ecuador! Enjoy 🙂

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Our team waiting for lunch, Luke looks hungry!

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Luke and Zack enjoying the descent!

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Luke and Zack spending time exploring near Quilotoa Lake!

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Luke and Zack taking in the beautiful country side near Chimborazo!

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Team bonding at the lodge!

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Stunning view from Quilotoa Lake, only a day of relaxation before Chimborazo!

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A short walk up to Cerro Chalata near Chimborazo lodge.

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Summit of Cerro Chalata at (4,230 m/13,874 ft)!

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Congratulations to Luke, Zack and Estalin for successfully making it to the Summit of Cayambe Volcano at 5,790 m (19,000 ft)! Cayambe Volcano is located in the Cordillera Central, a gorgeous range of the Ecuadorian Andes in northern Ecuador. Our climbing team came together as a team and safely pushed through the clouds all the way to the top of this Holocene compound volcano! Prior to this exciting summit push our team was able to relax and enjoy the scenic city of Otavalo surrounded by the peaks of Imbabura 4,630 m (15,190 ft) and Cotacachi 4,995 m (16,388 ft).

Now back in the city of Hacienda Guachala, the team is resting before departing for Estrella del Chimborazo Lodge at 4,000 m (13,125 ft). Estalin, Luke and Zack will organize gear and prepare for the next day’s climb to our high camp. Stay tuned!

Estalin’s photos are shared below, enjoy!

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We stopped at the monument called the Mitad del mundo (middle of the world) that is said to be the “only real” statue located right on the equator!

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The indigenous Otavaleños are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool (that is sometimes as black as a raven), which are sold at this famous market in Otavalo city. Luke and Zack were able to find beautiful souvenirs here!

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Luke and Zack enjoying the local cuisine in downtown Otavalo. They needed all the energy they could get before making the summit push to top of Cayambe!

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Our team stayed safe and worked together as a team to make the successful push to the summit!

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Luke, Zack and Estalin posing for a summit shot at 5,790 m (19,000 ft) on top of Cayambe!

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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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Yesterday our Madison Mountaineering team in Ecuador made it to the summit of Pasochoa!! Pasochoa is an extinct volcano with amazing views and is located in the Ecuadorian Andes. This initial acclimatization hike is the first of many as the team continues to adapt to the high altitude Ecuador volcanoes. At 8:30 am the team started the trek toward the summit of Pasochoa Volcano at 4,200 meters (13,860 feet). The weather was enjoyable with a few clouds throughout the day. Luke and Zack made amazing time on this first hike and trekked up and down of the mountain in four hours and sixteen minutes! The team then made their way back to the hotel for a good nights rest. Tomorrow Luke and Zack will depart the hotel and hike up Pichincha at 4,784 meters ( 15,700 feet).  Stay tuned as the expedition continues, beautiful pictures below!
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Luke and Zack starting the way up in the middle of the Andean grassland:
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Lunch break selfie 🙂

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Luke and Zack viewing the beautiful volcano crater:

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The final push to the summit of Pasochoa Volcano at 4,200 meters:

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Summit of Pasochoa volcano:

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The Madison Mountaineering team is preparing to depart for the highest peaks in Ecuador. At the summit of Chimborazo, we will be at the farthest point from the Earth’s surface! Located in the Andes mountain range this inactive volcano is believed to have erupted around 550AD. The Ecuador volcanoes offer a magnificent climbing on high altitude glaciated peaks. During this expedition we have ample time for technical skills review with the team. During this process our knowledgable guides will be able to share tips and mountain wisdom with the group. The volcanoes the team will be traveling to are located just outside the capital city of Quito. With Quito as our base, we ascend these Ecuadorian giants, and rest between climbs in Hacienda style lodges that provide an outstanding relaxation and dining experience. Our camps on these volcanoes are either European style mountain huts or tent camps. Reaching a altitude of over 20,000ft on Chimborazo, the views from the summit will be nothing short of spectacular! Past trips have explored to nearby Cotopaxi, yet in recent events mother nature has called and this volcano is now active. Needless to say we will be keeping our distance and monitoring the volcanoes activity.

Ecuador Volcanoes