Posts Tagged ‘Quito’

Ecuador – Day 10 – Guagua Pichincha Hike and Quito’s Marascal District

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

A Fruit Stand
A Market on Outskirts of Quito

Pichincha Hut and Basalt Crag
The Guagua Pichincha Hut (14,900 ft) and nice looking Basalt Crag (climbable?)

Quito Beer
Enjoying a beer in the Marascal District

On our last day in Ecuador, we drove back to Quito, from the lodge, Cuello De Luna. As we neared Quito, we drove through a large farmers market. Then, we headed to the town of Lloa, to do a cool down hike near Guagua Pichincha. After the hike, we drove to the Marascal district in Quito, where Rafael’s shop is, to walk around and have dinner. A ride to the airport was arranged for after dinner, so we had the evening to be tourists.


Ecuador Day 6 – Rucu Pichincha (15,413 ft)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Guagua and Rucu Pichincha Map
The Map

TeleferiQo in Quito
Riding the Gondola (TeleferiQo) in Quito

Rucu Pichincha: A Lovely Ridge Hike
The Approach. It starts on the ridge, then it climbs ever steepening terrain until the last wee bit is 3rd class. The summit is in the clouds, left of frame!

Tilden Stepping up on Rucu Pichincha
Third Class Section…Most Fun bit, but unfortunately only 10 minutes!

Rafael and Tilden on Rucu Pichincha
Rafael and Tilden Enjoying The Summit

For our 3rd mountain, we climbed Rucu Pichincha. It is a unique ascent because it is very close to Quito and the trip starts with a ride on the Gondola! From where we got off on the Gondola, it took us 2 hours and 50 minutes to summit and just under 2 hours to get back.

It’s a great half day acclimatization. While the navigation and hiking is relatively easy during the ridge traverse to the peak, the ascending of the peak itself is not for the beginner. There are cliffs surrounding the entire base of the mountain. Thus, it’s really important to go with a guide on this mountain, or be in the company of an experienced mountaineer who is already familiar with the peak. Clouds are pervasive threats to navigation and the terrain at the top is steep and chossy!


Ecuador Day 2 – Quito Walking Tour

Friday, November 21st, 2014

On my first full day in country, I decided it would be cool to do a walking tour of Quito. It wasn’t until the afternoon, so I had plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely morning. Around 9am, I went downstairs to check my email using the hotel computer and I met a nice 20 something named Adam, from Perth, Australia.

Adam was about to start a 55 day tour of South America and had the morning free, while he waited to meet up with his tour group. So, we both decided to grab some coffee and walk around a bit.

San Francisco Monastary
The San Francisco Monestary

Enjoying a Break on the Steps of San Francisco Monastary
On the steps of the San Francisco Monastary

San Francisco Square
San Francisco Square

Commercial District Workers Protest
On our walk, we ended up in a square where there was a demonstration by a united group of workers who were on strike from their jobs in the commercial district. (more…)

Ecuador Day 1 – Denver to Quito

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Tilden and I had been talking about climbing some mountains in the Alps. When we started looking at the pricing, we decided to switch to Ecuador. From Tilden’s work at the travel agency in Boulder, he knew quite a bit about the trip and set us up with some good rates on a fully guided tour. So, we made the deposits and before we knew it, it was time to climb!

At the Houston Airport
Here I am waiting for my flight to Quito, at the Houston International Airport. The flight to Quito was 4.5 hours, so I made sure to eat a good meal before I got on board.

When I arrived in Quito, it was very late at night. I had arranged for a driver to pick me up and take me to the hotel San Francisco. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the hotel. The drive wasn’t bad, but the old road was chewed up in many spots. The driver assured me that by next year, they would be opening up a direct highway from the airport to downtown Quito, which would have brand new roads!

Hotel San Fransisco
The Hotel San Francisco is a charming hotel right in old town Quito. It has a lovely garden patio area with lots of plants and flowers. It also had 2 computers with internet for use by the guests and wi-fi for those with their own devices. (more…)