After finishing a great trip to Mexico’s Volcanoes SMI guides April Mayhew and Kurt Wedberg flew from Mexico City to Quito, Ecuador to guide climbs on the volcanoes located within this beautiful equatorial country. Gary Maxwell, Jairo Marin, and Kelly Tucker rendezvoused in Quito, which is at an elevation of 2800m/9186 ‘. Acclimatization was the first order of business. The team took a couple of hikes on peaks outside of Quito where we were treated to beautiful vistas of the Ecuadorian countryside. We also attended an intense soccer game between the national teams of Peru and Ecuador. After a couple good days of acclimatization we then headed to Illiniza Norte.
The climbing on Illiniza Norte is mainly scrambling over rocky terrain. Ropes are used for safety. Negotiating the upper reaches of the mountain required picking our way up excellent hand and foot holds on steep terrain with moderate exposure in spots. The route was fun and offered a great sense of accomplishment. After this climb the team would be well set up for climbing Cotopaxi in a couple days!
A few pictures are below. The entire Ecuador photo gallery can be found here: Ecuador’s Volcanoes November 14-24, 2011