Location: Andes, Ecuador.
Height: 5,897m AMSL
Date Summited: December 15th, 2013, at 6:15am (ECT) – local time
Friend André Simoneau and I regrouped once again for an expedition, this time to the Ecuadorian Andes, climbing a series of volcanoes including: Illiniza Norte, Illiniza Sur, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. Because of permit issues and regulations on Cotopaxi, we hired the legendary local guide Ivo Veloz.
Cotopaxi is the second highest mountain in Ecuador. It is an active volcano that is covered by one the of the most beautiful glacier found in Ecuador. We climbed Cotopaxi in difficult conditions: fierce winds and low visibility owing to heavy snowfall. We left camp at midnight, and with the conditions not improving through the night, we had to halt the climb to take shelter from the wind, and we found the perfect place in a wide crevasse. As the sun rose, visibility was still poor, but the wind dissipated. In sum, it was a difficult climb owing to the conditions, but the summit view at the summit was rewarding, with a clear blue sky and solid layer of clouds below. A moment of serenity was found at the summit. We had summited three mountain peaks, one of which nearly a 6,000m, in four days. I would like to thank 438 Squadron for their support in this expedition.