We came, we saw, …..we went inside for a warmer coat, then we conquered!!

22nd September, 2015 | by | general

22
Sep

We arrived at the Cayambe refuge late on Friday after a long journey on a road through the mountains. Now when I say a “road” it was probably more like a combination of different sized rocks all slung together. The route was unreal often close to the edge of high cliffs and only passable by 4×4 or off road motorbikes. As the weather was closing in we settled into our accommodation for the night, which we quickly began referring to as “the fridge” or the “cowshed”. This was a wooden hut with no heating and electric only occasionally via a petrol generator. We tried to sleep on two long shelves with 5 of us sleeping above the other 5. The following day we started our training with the use of crampons and ice axes. Led by two of our guides Nico and Jose, two very experienced guides and mountaineers who we had already come to trust and respect. They soon had us all prancing around doing a variety of exercises to build up our confidence in the crampons. If you imagine line dancing… Read more

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Fuya Fuya 4275 Metres

18th September, 2015 | by | general

18
Sep

We made our way today out of Quito and headed up to the Cayambe area. On the way we stopped at the equator line where the three Amigos grabbed a quick photo opportunity. After a 3 hour drive we arrived at the base of our next challenge, the Fuya Fuya Volcano. Our start point was at the edge of a stunning mountain lake called Lagunas Mojanda that would easily rival the Lake District for natural beauty. The climb was along a thin winding path that gradually got steeper and steeper eventually turning into a scramble as we got to a saddle just under the summit. Here led by our guide George we all participated in an ancient South American Mountain Ritual called the Apacheta. This involved us all selecting a stone, the size of the stone meant to reflect the size of your sins. (Joe’s was practically a bolder Val, so I dread to think what he has been up to) Then whilst facing the Cayambe Volcano we had to blow over our chosen stones and some mountain flowers three… Read more

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4696 Metres and a Marriage Proposal

15th September, 2015 | by | general

15
Sep

Before I tell you all about today’s adventures I want to publicly thank Joe for posting the least flattering picture in the world of me yesterday. I also want to reassure our readers that I am not 9 months pregnant… It was I assure you just a very bad angle!! Revenge will be mine Joseph watch your back!!! Today we took on Ruco Pichincha Standing at 4696 m or 15,406 feet above sea level. Today’s climb was a massive increase in altitude from the previous day and the climbing was pretty relentless. Once we got over 4000m even moving slow and steady the air was so thin we all quickly realised that walking and talking at the same time was maybe not such a great idea. The terrain was mostly on steep sand covered paths, which turned later into loose shingle which was very precarious and incredible hard to traverse. This part of the climb was probably even harder than the last two hundred metres which was scrambling over a sheer rock face. We were all pretty… Read more

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