Tag Archive for: Ecuadorian Andes

Baños de Agua Santa, Ecuador

Our Ecuador Volcanoes team spent the day having fun and resting up in Baños in preparation for the expedition’s culminating climb of Chimborazo.  Here’s today’s expedition dispatch from Terray Sylvester, expedition leader:

Hello, this is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes expedition. It’s February 1st.  Today we’re resting in preparation for our ascent of Ecuador’s highest volcano, Chimborazo.  We are in the town of Baños de Agua Santa, which means Baths of Holy Water.  It’s a hot springs resort town at the foot of an active volcano.

We spent all day resting.  We started out the day by doing a one-kilometer long zip-line high above the Rio Pastaza which flows down into the Amazon basin.  Then we checked out the biggest of, just one of dozens of, waterfalls that are in the area.  We did a swing which sent us pretty high above the cloud forest.  It was pretty exciting.  Then we came back to Baños, back into town to have lunch and now we are just resting.

We’ll get to bed and wake up early for our drive through Riobamba and then over to the foot of Chimborazo and our hike up to our high camp, which is at 17,500 ft.  We should have cell reception and, of course, satellite comms from high camp tomorrow, so I’ll be in touch then!

One of the many waterfalls around Banos

Checking out the wallfalls of the Rio Pastaza

Mary Lynne and Jonathan enjoying the scenic waterfalls

The amazing sights of Banos, Ecuador

Ready to do some zip-lining!

Swinging high above the cloud forest


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 guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

The Ecuador Volcanoes team enjoying Lake Quilotoa

After yesterday’s summit of Cotopaxi, the Ecuador Volcanoes team spent the day sight-seeing and relaxing at Lake Quilotoa and Baños.  Here’s expedition leader Terray Sylvester with today’s expedition dispatch:

Hello, this is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes expedition.  It’s January 31st.  Today is one of our two rest days before we climb Chimborazo, the highest volcano in Ecuador.  That summit day is planned for Wednesday.

So, today we woke up in Chugchilan in our hacienda.  We had a nice breakfast there and then we drove to Quilotoa which is a spectacular crater lake southeast of Quito.  We had lunch there and admired the view.  We also spent some time browsing through a local handicrafts market.

Now we are in Baños, which is a hot springs resort town right at the base of a 16,000 ft. active volcano called Tungurahua.  We’ll have dinner here and we’ll spend two nights here in town.  There are a lot of spas around, zip-lining, waterfalls tours, and other activities to do.  So, we are looking forward to relaxing and then on Tuesday, we’ll drive towards Chimborazo to head up to high camp.

So all is well and I’ll be in touch tomorrow with another update.

Quilotoa is a 3 km/1.9 mile-wide water-filled caldera and has accumulated a 250m/820ft deep crater lake

Quilotoa is a 3 km/1.9 mile-wide water-filled caldera and has accumulated a 250m/820ft deep crater lake

Comfortable rest day

Comfortable rest day

Good eating in Ecuador

Good eating in Ecuador

Enjoying lunch on a beautiful rest day

Enjoying lunch on a beautiful rest day

Lovely hacienda

Lovely hacienda


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 guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Climbers on the summit of Cotopaxi in Ecuador

Congratulations to our entire Ecuador Volcanoes team for reaching the summit of the second-highest peak in Ecuador, Cotopaxi!  Here’s the details from expedition leader, Terray Sylvester:

Hello, this is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes expedition on January 30th.  Over the last two days we had a great climb on Cotopaxi, the second highest volcano in Ecuador.  It’s 19,347 ft. (5897m).

Yesterday we went up to the Jose Rivas refuge at 16,000 ft.  In the evening, before going to bed, the clouds opened up and we had great views of alpenglow on Antisana and Cayambe.  We started climbing at about midnight and we had just great weather.  We climbed under a full moon with perfectly starry skies and then got to the summit with beautiful blue skies and headed back down.  The whole climb took a little less than nine hours, which was just a great time.

Now we have made our way to the little town of Chugchilan where we checked into our hacienda.  Tomorrow we are looking forward to exploring the crater lake Quilotoa and heading on the the hot springs town of Baños.  We’ll be in touch!

Enjoying the José Ribas Refuge at 4800m/15,750ft

Enjoying the José Ribas Refuge at 4800m/15,750ft

Heading up Cotopaxi!

Heading up Cotopaxi!

Above the clouds and going for the Cotopaxi summit

Above the clouds and going for the Cotopaxi summit

Climbers on the summit of Cotopaxi in Ecuador

Team on the summit of Ecuador’s Cotopaxi (1/30/2021)

Specular ice formations on Cotopaxi

Specular ice formations on Cotopaxi

The happy descent on Cotopaxi

The happy descent on 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 our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

There is no connectivity currently for our Ecuador Volcanoes expedition team, but our expedition leader, Terray Sylvester checked-in today with a quick inReach satellite communicator message:

Hello from Cotopaxi. We’re sipping coca tea in the Jose Rivas Hut (4855m/15,928ft) and resting before beginning our climb around midnight.

Sounds like good living!  Godspeed team as you make your way tonight to Ecuador’s second-highest point, the 5897m / 19,347 ft. summit 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 our guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Krisli enjoying the summit of Illiniza Norte

Acclimatization wrapped up today with a successful climb of Ecuador’s Iliniza Norte (5126m/16,813ft).  Next up is Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.  Here’s guide Terray Sylvester’s recap of the two-day climb of Iliniza Norte:

Hello!  This is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes expedition on January 28th.  We are just about back to the parking lot after successfully climbing Iliniza Norte over the course of two days.

Yesterday we hiked up to the New Horizons Refuge (Refugio Nuevos Horizontes) at just about 15,500 ft. (4724m) and had a restful night there plus a great dinner of fried trout and guacamole and soup and fresh pineapple.  Then we woak up early this morning – a couple of hours before dawn – and climbed up to the summit of Iliniza Norte, which is 16,800 ft. (5126m).  It’s the eighth highest peak in Ecuador.  It was a great climb, the clouds parted and gave us views of three of Ecuador’s major volcanoes:  Antisana (5704m), Cayambe (5790m), and our next objective, Cotopaxi (5897m).

So now we are right on scheudle to be back at our hacienda for lunch.  We will relax the rest of the day and then tomorrow we will drive into Cotopaxi National Park to begin our ascent.  We’ll be in touch!

Photos by Terray Sylvester @terray_s

Misty conditions on the hike up to Refugio Nuevos Horizontes on Illiniza Norte

Heading up to Refugio Nuevos Horizontes on Illiniza Norte

Enjoying the comforts of the Refugio Nuevos Horizontes at 15,500 ft. elevation on Illiniza Norte

Pre-dawn start for the Illiniza Norte with the lights of El Chaupi and Polivio in the distance below

Heading up Illiniza Norte

Woohoo!  Summit of Illiniza Norte!

Woohoo!  Summit of Illiniza Norte!

Krisli soaks it all in on the summit of Illiniza Norte

Topping out on Illiniza Norte

Cokie surveys the commanding view from the top!

So many Ecuadorean volcanoes in sight.  Cotopaxi, you are next!


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 guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Climbers topping out on Corazón

On day three of our 12-day Ecuador Volcanoes expedition, the team continued their acclimatization by climbing the Corazón volcano (4790m/15,700ft).  Here’s expedition leader, Terray Sylvester with today’s audio dispatch:

Hello, this is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes expedition.  We are back down at our hacienda in El Chaupi after successfully climbing Corazón volcano today.  That was another beautiful acclimatization hike.  We started out through the lush Ecuadorian highlands, just like yesterday.  This was a fun climb because we gain a rocky ridge about half way up, and some scrambling and a little bit of rope work took us up to the summit at 15,700 ft. (4790m).

Then we returned down to hacienda and the team just finished enjoying a soak in the jacuzzi and some time in the sauna and now we are all just sort of relaxing and waiting for dinner.  So another good acclimatization ascent!

Tomorrow we head up to the refuge between Iliniza Norte and Iliniza Sur where we will spend the night before climbing Iliniza Norte the following day.  So, we’ll be out of touch for a little less than 48 hours until we come back down to El Chaupi and have access to Wi-Fi and cell reception yet again.

Getting going up Corazón

Deep into the mist on the slopes of Corazón

Damp, misty, rocky ridge to the summit of Corazón

Happy Corazón summiteers with a canine friend

Enjoying another great day out acclimatizing


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 guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

Guides and clients with Madison Mountaineering climb mountains and travel in Ecuador, between January 24 and February 4, 2021.

Our third Ecuador Volcanoes expedition of the season kicked-off today with all of the team arrived in Quito and already tackling their first acclimatization climb.  Here is expedition leader, Terray Sylvester with today’s dispatch:

Hello, this is Terray calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Ecuador Volcanoes trip.  The whole team arrived safely and smoothly in Quito over the last couple of days and today, January 25th, we left Quito and did our first acclimatization ascent on the old, extinct volcano Pasochoa – it’s a couple of hours south of Quito.  The climb went well, went up to the summit at 13,700 ft.  It was a peaceful, beautiful walk through the very lush Ecuadorean highlands here.

Then we drove down to the little town of El Chaupi where we just had a great dinner at the Chuquiragua lodge and now we are going to get to bed early in anticipation of an early start tomorrow for our second acclimatization ascent – that will be another extinct volcano called Corazón.  We’re all looking forward to the two main objectives on our trip, which will be Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.  Those are the two highest points in Ecuador and they are two of the world’s most famous high altitude volcanoes.

So, all is well and we’ll be in touch!

Guides and clients with Madison Mountaineering climb mountains and travel in Ecuador, between January 24 and February 4, 2021.

Heading up Pasochoa for some acclimatization

Guides and clients with Madison Mountaineering climb mountains and travel in Ecuador, between January 24 and February 4, 2021.

Crossing the beautiful heathered slopes of Pasochoa

Guides and clients with Madison Mountaineering climb mountains and travel in Ecuador, between January 24 and February 4, 2021.

Happy guides and happy climbers on their way up Pasochoa

Guides and clients with Madison Mountaineering climb mountains and travel in Ecuador, between January 24 and February 4, 2021.

Krisli, Jonathan, Mary Lynne, and Cokie on the summit of Pasochoa with guide Estalin Suárez


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 guide’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions

Instagram:

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:

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

Instagram:

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

Instagram:

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: