Another Romp Up Guagua Pichincha (15,728 Feet)

Where: Ecuadorian Andes
When: January 2, 2009
Partners: DB & Andy MacClure

Approaching the summit

I'd been up Guagua Pichincha, the 15,728-foot highpoint of the massive Pichincha volcano hovering over Quito, Ecuador back in 2005. This time, I returned with Andy and DB for a traverse over the summit to its neighboring summit, Padre Encantado (15,390 feet). Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned...
Fun scrambling just below the summit

With such warm and pleasant weather thus far on our visit to Ecuador, the three of us showed up wearing little more than sweatshirts. Then we found the mountain socked in and temperatures in the teens. But up we went...miserably cold.
On the summit

Reaching the summit, we had 50 feet of visibility, blistering wind, no views of our intended traverse route, and no clue. So we called it a day and headed down. None of us were in any mood to celebrate Andy's highest summit to date and DB's second highest.
Outta there...!

Returning to our hired driver, we learned (as we were heading down tight, precipitous switchbacks in the mountain road) that his truck had some steering problems. When we finally saw that the front, driver tire was literally falling off the vehicle, we hopped out and hoofed it the rest of the way down the mountain to catch a ride in the village of Lloa.
Our stroll toward Lloa

Nice going, Vic!