December 2, 2010
Well, the team is back in Quito winding down after 2+ weeks here in Ecuador. As you know we got shutdown during our first two weeks here but we came on strong these last two days with summits of Illiniza Norte and Illiniza Sur!
Iliniza Norte was a great climb (both times) loaded with different technical challenges. The summit was rocky but we all found a spot to enjoy a few moments on a well deserved summit. As we took in the views, watching the clouds roll in and out, we spotted our next objective: Iliniza Sur.
The line we wanted to climb on Illiniza Sur was steep and we anticipated needing to use some running belays and perhaps a fixed line near the summit. The team was up for the challenge. We woke up at about 1:00am, were walking by 2:30am and were standing on the summit at 6:00am, just in time for an amazing sunrise, which we all enjoyed tremendously since we haven’t seen much of the sun these past couple weeks.
What a climb! Sometimes the climb itself is so much fun that the summit gets overshadowed by the journey, which as a guide, is a great feeling! After the team hit the summit and looked around, they asked Romulo and me, “Is this the summit?” which was to say, “This is fun as hell, can’t we keep going?”. On top with nowhere to go but down, we headed back to the hut for a hot drink and our ride back to Quito.
What’s left? Pizza, beer and a little storytelling of course before we all head home tomorrow.