posted in: Uncategorized | 1
There’s a lot that goes into climbing a mountain as tall as Chimborazo. Here Richard is seen putting in the work on Pasochoa. There’s a lot of acclimatizing that needs to be completed. This was our first volcano.
My previous post discussed our success on Ruccu Pichincha. This photo illustrates our climb to high camp on Chimborazo. It sits at 17,500 ft. We were feeling pretty good.
Enclosed are the peaks that we ascended prior to taking on this, the tallest in Ecuador.



Ruccu Pichincha

Cotopaxi (16,200 feet of it)

San Juan Achontilado.

Base camp.

this distance is wrong, it was over 3 miles to 17,600 feet.

We set off at midnight for the summit of Chimborazo. Once again Strava was wrong here on this one. I turned around at over 19,000 ft.

Strava and garmin failed me bigly here. Along with my body. I have several theories about this. One is that I did not fully get acclimated on pasachoa due to having to descend with a client. The other is that I did not take any altitude medicine. Ordinarily I do not take altitude medicine. And I seemed to be acclimating really well. But as we slept in the high camp I woke up with a terrible headache. It was soon accompanied by nausea. This was classic a cute Mountain sickness. I still suited up and pressed for the summit, along with members of my team Richard Dan Emily and Chris. We all had private guides. My Guide from two years previous, Christian, took me on a sporting route up the via ferrata. The weather was fantastic and windless but that was soon to change. Snow moved in as we crested the peak of those metal ladders. And transitioned to the glacier. Here I caught up with the rest of the team. Richard was having trouble with his crampons. Cris was still struggling with a chest infection that dogged her throughout the journey. Emily and Dan were well ahead of us. As we slogged up in the middle of the night in the cold temperatures, wind increased. And snow peppered our faces. This was proving to be a tough endless slog. As I gained altitude my nausea took over. The dry heaving I had done in the morning after breakfast was now uncontrollable. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this. I’m usually able to push on through it. But here on the side of this mighty Mountain my guide gave me that look. The same one I have given other people that I’ve led up mountains. We still had a thousand vertical feet to go. And my body wasn’t having it. I descended and wished Chris and Richard the best of luck. They were in the hands of more than competent guides.

It took a couple of hours to get back to advanced base camp. There, I laid in a sleeping bag very altitude sick. I watched our team trickle back in. Dan Emily and Richard reached the first summit of Chimborazo. Although not the true summit of this peak it is over 20,000 ft. And that is quite an accomplishment. I’m proud of their determination.

Richard battled his way to the top.
I’m very proud of the entire team.
every member of my team reached a new personal altitude record. (Except for Howard and I who had been higher on Aconcagua and elsewhere).

we did so much more down in Ecuador though.

we battled the elements, our bodies but pushed on
we had fun.
Riding horses through the paramo was exceptional.
Base camp was luxurious and comfortable.
Plenty of good food and drink in town.
Waterfall hikes were a bonus.
It was an adventure. And I’m thankful to have had such a good team.

  1. Martin Hunley

    What a great adventure. So much to be thankful for on this expedition; people, friends, mountains and etc.

    Thanks for putting this together and the enthusiasm to reaching the top!!!