Saturday, January 8, 2011

No Major Updates - Waiting in Quito

We have been having some less than ideal weather on the mountains. Parofes left Thursday morning for the Ilinizas, but snow trumpted his summit efforts. I stayed in Quito, taking a rest day. My heels were swollen from 3 mountains in four days, so I lounged around reading a Dean Kootnz book and relaxing. Like I said, no real news.

On Friday, I met an American at the hostal who had been traveling through Central America and had just gotten to Quito. She was planning on going out to Mitad del Mundo, the site built up over where the equator is supposed to pass. We caught an early bus out to the main terminal and caught a connecting bus from there. Mitad del Mundo was interesting enough; they have an small museum with info on Ecuador´s indigenous populations. We stopped for a light lunch, a waffle with fruit, whip cream, and ice cream, before heading back into Quito. Once there I took some time to get my logistics all arranged for meeting up with Earth Treks. While at the hostal planning this, I bumped into a group of Americans I had met the week before; they had just gotten off Cotopaxi (succesful summit; the weather has broken). They told me an ET group had summited too! Low and behold, a little research and I find out that Chris Warner and some other ET group is down here right now. I surmise it´s a private Wharton Business School group... Anyways, bumped into Parofes that evening. He had been turned back by snow at the paso de muerte (the pass of death, which is exactly as it sounds). He will be making an attempt at Cotopaxi on Sunday/Monday; best of luck to him.

Parofes and I are arranging our attempt on Cayambe, the country´s most dangerous peak. The current plan is that we will join his buddy, a local guide with 10 successful summits on Cayambe, and make a three-person alpine ascent. We will likely organize on 16th, leaving that evening, and attempt the summit in the wee hours of the 18th. Very excited, very hopeful that we can pull it off!

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