Shawn Connor

It's day two of our trip on the Ecuadorian mountains. Today was our first
acclimatization trip up Pasocha at 4200 meters. Unfortunately, the weather
really didn't make for the best possible conditions. It pretty much rained
for the duration of the hike and only let up after we came down from summit.
The rain had turned the trail pretty much to mud, which made for some funny
moments. Thank God for trekking poles for balance.

We started our trip by meting with our driver around eight in the morning.
The ride took about an hour and a half to reach the trailhead. The trail
begins at 3,345 meters and the summit is around 4,200 meters. Total walking
distance was around 10 Kilometers *estimated(.. The entire duration of this
hike was around six hours at a leisurely pace with a 20 minute lunch on the
summit to enjoy the view of the clouds.

All in all, it was great way to get an acclimatization walk in. Gives you
a chance to shake the webs out and get a feel how the altitude is around the
Equator. Funny, from my experiences in Europe, at 4000 meters, there's
nothing but snow, ice and rock. Here, the temperature was 45 degree's
fahrenheit, with lots of grass.

Walking up to the summit from the trailhead gave an interesting
opportunity to see the different plant life zones. At the trail head, a
little of there jungle can be perceived through the bamboo and other plants,
Further up the trail, the bamboo things out and changes to forestry with
pine tree's and typical Ecuadorian mountain forest. After the forest, it
all changes to grass lands all the way to the summit.

Now, after a six-hour hike near 4000 meters, Jeff and I are ready to enjoy
a good Ecuadorian meal in of the many restaurants in this section of Quito.

Quito and beyond.
Shawn Connor
11/10/2006, Quito, Equador

This is Shawn reporting from Quito, Ecudar. What a great town. A good
mixture of new and old in South America. It reminds me a lot like any other
major city with a polution problem. The continual smell of exhaust combined
with the occasional smells comig out of diferent restaurants. The sounds
of people speaking a language you can´t understand. Just the occasional
word here and there. The roar of diesel engines, the whine of small cars
honking horns maddly at each other. I love this place.

As for the sights, like I said earlier, a mixture of old and new. In the
Northern part of town is all the new buildings that hold the charm and
convinience of any other modern citys: good retaurants; great places to
relax, drink a beer, and people watch while reading a book; evening clubs
blaring the best electronic beats to be found or listen to local bands
ranging from the lastest pop to spanish love songs sung by a lone guitarist.

The southern part of town still retains it´s colonial appearances. Many
churches and buildings stand testiment to the Spanish influences. The main
cathedral has many obvious Europen influences. So, it was of great interest
to see the inside. Just as grand and beautifulas any major European
Cathedral (beside Notre Damn and Colonge).

Tomorrow we start the actual reason why came here; to climb. It´s all fun
and great to hang around in a major city to experience th eculture and
people. But, the real appeal for us is the mountains.

We start with an acclimatization climb up Pasocha (4200 meter). I´ve been
informed this is more of a "nature" walk than an actual climb. This
mountain is only located less than two hours by truck from here. The actual
climb/hike is only four or five hours. So, this will make an easy
acclimatization hike.

Afterwards, we head off to Ilinizia (5,116 meters), followed by Cotopaxi
(5,97 meters) and finish off with the big one, Chimborarzo (6,310 meters).
Between Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, we will have on rest day to enjoy the
sights, sounds, and flavor of that town.

I could go on and on, but Jeff is patiently waiting for me so we can have
dinner. We spent the whole day walking around Quito acclimatizing to the
9,400´of elevation. Hope fully, I will be able to post another letter sonn
to keep you all informed. This is Shawn Connor signing off...

Fall time...

Were busy with the development of the new website, and much more. The transition into winter has been really beautiful this season here in Colorado. Loads of snow above 9000 feet, and the trees mainly Aspen's have been beautiful this year.

We will be kicking off the New Year with a great line-up of Avalanche courses, new ski tours and other great programs for winter.

We are still very busy guiding rock as the cool days and sunshine have helped extend the season.

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]


Powered by XJournal