Cordillera Blanca 2018, Death & Failure

Planning my return to the Cordillera Blanca, something in my gut felt off a few weeks before heading out. So much so that a month before flying out I dramatically reduced the length of my trip without really any good reason. Maybe I felt that my success rate of 100% in South America the previous [...]

El Altar, The Italian Route

I knew that the trek in would be interesting when we stopped by a hardware store in Quito to buy rubber boots. We also made a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up 30 liters of water as the Campo Italiano has only a trickle of running water. It seems hard to believe at face value, but because the camp sits on a ridge, very little of the glacier melt is directed its way. Yet another reason wonder why this climb is unpopular, I guess.[...]

Illiniza Sur

Illiniza Sur, Illiniza Norte’s far less popular yet much more difficult sibling, was our main objective.  Up until 2009, there were two routes up Illiniza Sur, with the most popular route being La Rampa.  As of 2017, La Rampa is pretty much just a melted out rock shooting gallery, so we would be using the other route.  Funnily enough, nobody really seems to remember what the current route used to be called back when there were two routes.[...]

Illiniza Norte

Upon gaining the ridge we were presented with an amazing view of Illiniza Sur, our primary objective. The day was beginning to warm up, and the skies were clear. Climbing in Ecuador comes with the expectation of bad weather, so I was super happy that the mountain gods seemed to be on our side. [...]

Ecuador the hard way

Upon arriving back to Ecuador for the second time, now few years later, I had all the same levels of excitement as the first, but with something very different in mind.  Technical climbs.  However, because of how poorly the technical climbs of Ecuador are documented, I had really very little idea of what I had ahead of me.[...]