Summit of Cayambe - 18,996'

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ProfetaP
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Summit of Cayambe - 18,996'

Post by ProfetaP »

Cayambe has two Refugio’s, a low and a high one. The high one sits at 15,092 feet (4,600m), and was built in 1981. It doesn’t have great plumbing (you can’t flush tp..), but it does have that mountain charm to it. The lower Refugio sits around 13,000 feet, is brand new, and is so much nicer. It has showers, toilets that you can flush tp, a fireplace, and even wifi!

I took on Cayambe on January 29th, 2024. We started our summit push around a wake-up time of 11 pm and boots around the ground around midnight. It was a beautiful night and rather warm for the time of year, as I started out with a sun hoody and a Patagonia R1 over it. I didn’t throw on my Atom LT hoody till around the 3rd break (17,000 feet), and then my hard shell & parka till about the last break before the summit. The weather on the summit was around 20 degrees with 20mph winds.

Overall, the volcano was not very difficult or technical to climb. In fact, it is rather a straightforward hike, just steep once you get on the glacier. Even with the little amount of snow (it was extremely dry) and the glacier fully exposed, I wouldn’t say there was much crevasse risk until closer to the summit. We went ahead and did a running belay at one point (you can see in the photo below because of the massive crevasse below), but not necessary if you take it slow and make deliberate moves.

The stats -Cayambe is the 3rd highest volcano in Ecuador at 5790m (18,996 feet). I must highlight altitude affects everyone differently. I felt so good the entire time, but one gentleman in his 40's pushed to the summit and when he got there he didn't know who people were. He also just laid down and we had to force him to eat and drink... It was kinda wild to experience.
9 hours of hiking time (The speed was so slow compared to what I am used to - but I felt incredible the entire time, even at the summit)
Roughly 5 miles & 3,900 feet of elevation gain.

We also took on Antisana, on Feb 1st. We started our summit push around a wake-up time of 10 pm and boots around the ground around 11pm. The weather was rather warm again as I started out in the same layers as Cayambe, but there was quite a bit of cloud cover towards the summit of the mountain. One thing I quickly realized is that Antisana has a lot more crevasse danger (at least that can be seen), and slightly more technical in places. We actually had to use our ice axes to assist us in ascending and descending, and went on belay the same times. As we continued to climb the mountain, the cloud covered us and began to sleet. We decided to push through for a couple more hours, but around 17,200' the guides decided to call it and turn us around. They were worried about the cloud cover and the difficulty to navigate through the crevasses. Unfortunately, as we got to the base of the volcano, the ski's cleared up and it ended up being a blue bird day... Guess I will have to go back to take on Antisana one day.

Next peaks -
Bolivia in early June to take on Illimani and Huayna Potosi
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ProfetaP
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Re: Summit of Cayambe - 18,996'

Post by ProfetaP »

More Photos! Idk how to add them to the main post....
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nyker
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Re: Summit of Cayambe - 18,996'

Post by nyker »

Pretty cool. Congrats on the summit!
That last black and white photo is pretty eerie.
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Scott P
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Re: Summit of Cayambe - 18,996'

Post by Scott P »

Nice!
I'm old, slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
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Chicago Transplant
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Re: Summit of Cayambe - 18,996'

Post by Chicago Transplant »

Nice job, congrats! I really liked the snow formations on Cayambe, the rime ice on the summit felt like walking on clouds! We stayed at the higher hut which was not too bad, but definitely a more primitive feel.
"We want the unpopular challenge. We want to test our intellect!" - Snapcase
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TheRealRooster
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Re: Summit of Cayambe - 18,996'

Post by TheRealRooster »

Congrats on the trip and summit, OP! That's an awesome program that RMI runs, and Dustin is good people for sure!
ProfetaP
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Re: Summit of Cayambe - 18,996'

Post by ProfetaP »

TheRealRooster wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2024 8:25 am Congrats on the trip and summit, OP! That's an awesome program that RMI runs, and Dustin is good people for sure!
Appreciate that! You are not wrong, Dustin is a phenomenal person and guide. Only thing wrong with him is he thinks Washington is better then Colorado... lol
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