Team Blasic Ecuador Expedition Update

On Thursday we drove from Quito up to the hut at the base of Cayambe, a beautiful volcano covered in glaciers and snow rising to 18,996 ft in the central Andes of Ecuador.  The weather was beautiful and we had great views of the mountain as we drove up the rugged 4wd road 1.5 hours up to the hut at 15,200ft.   That afternoon we prepared our climbing gear and packed our packs for a 1 am alpine start for our climb of Cayambe.  The wind was calm and skies were clear when we went to sleep…
That night as we woke up at 12am to prepare, we could hear the winds outside of the hut, and stuck our heads out to find snow falling sideways.   It did not bode well for our summit attempt, but after waiting a bit, we started up the trail towards the glacier at about 2:15 am just to see what we could see and to hope for improving weather.
As we climbed above the hut and into the full force of the wind, we pretty quickly realized that the weather was not going to improve and we would have to retreat back to the hut.   We settled back in at about 3:30am, after our adventure into the weather and slept until the sun came up.  The weather never improved, and our drive back down the road to town was an adventure with snow making the already treacherous road a bit more exciting.  After descending from Cayambe, we drove to the historic and beautiful Hacienda Pinsaqui where we spent a lovely night.
The other news that greeted us when we awoke on Friday morning was of the eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano, which was our next goal.  Cotopaxi is closed to climbing now after the eruption, so we are now working on coming up with a new plan for the next few days before heading to the final volcano, Chimbarazo later in the week.
Pictures to come…
Bill Allen – Hacienda Pinsaqui, Ecuador
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