Posted on Friday, 13 February 2015 . Permalink
Following on from his climb of Everest and completion of the Seven Summits in 2012, Alpine Exploratory team member Pete Ellis has been out in the mountains again. This time, a two week trip to Ecuador climbing volcanoes, the principle aim being to climb Chimborazo, 6268m. Due to the equatorial bulge, this summit is the farthest point from the centre of the earth, approximately 2km further than the summit of Everest.
Pete Ellis at the summit of Chimborazo
After a 3 day acclimatisation trek, Imbabura, 4634m, was the first volcano to be tackled. Being without glaciers, this was relatively straightforward with some simple scrambling being the only technical difficulty. This was following by the glaciated Cayambe, 5790m, in poor weather. Whilst the rest of the group had a rest day in Quito, Pete took himself off to climb Pichincha, 4784m.
The final two peaks involved 11pm departures and climbing through the night to make the best of the snow conditions. Cotopaxi, 5896m, was done in another night of poor weather: low cloud and strong winds resulted in the climbers being coated in a thick layer of ice. The reward came on Chimborazo, with perfect climbing conditions for the 1500m ascent: a full moon and many stars visible, including the Southern Cross and The Plough. After 7 hours climbing, the summit was reached just as the sun was rising above the horizon, and another climbing ambition was realised.
Summit view! On Chimborazo
Tour du Mont Blanc (Guided) - join Pete on the TMB from 31 August to 14 September 2015