Ascent of Volcán Cotopaxi on 2014-01-06
|Others in Party:||Mr. Wymore|
|Date:||Monday, January 6, 2014|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||19347 ft / 5896 m|
Ascent Trip ReportGreat climb of Volcán Cotopaxi with good friends and fellow peakbaggers Jobe Wymore, Donovan Lynch, and Sam Grant. To my good fortune, these guys are some of the strongest mountaineers around, in addition to being extremely enjoyable and gracious teammates.
Jobe made arrangements with the local Quiteño guiding outfit High Summits. Highly recommended. The forces of chance allowed us to draw upon the experienced services of ASEGUIM-certified senior guide Franklin Varela and assistant guide Nicolas Andrade, both having been hand-selected by Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa to guide him up Cotopaxi just a few months prior to our ascent. We acclimatized by summiting Panecillo, Ungüi Norte, Quilotoa's crater rim, Pasochoa, Guagua Pichincha, and Illiniza Norte during the previous week.
Summit day brought freezing rain, sleet, and moderate winds. In spite of this, our team was as strong as Franklin had predicted: we were one of the last teams out of the Jose Rivas climbing refuge, but the second one to reach the summit. The ascent was perhaps too quick, as it was still dark on top and any anticipated views of the crater remained elusive. No matter. Aside from the lack of daylight, the weather wasn't compliant. Racing clouds, fog, and sleet prevailed.
This was a significant experience for me, having aspired to climb Cotopaxi some 36 years earlier. I attribute my success first and foremost to my teammates, second to our outstanding guides, and finally to my support crew at home - The Awesome 9 TEBJTOKLA.
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