A chance meeting at Refugio Carrel on Chimborazo on the evening before our second ascent reminded me of another favourite climb in Ecuador a few years earlier. It was a climb that produced a unique video that lives long in the memory.Read more
Did Edward Whymper make the first ascent of Carihuairazo?
Nobody knows if Edward Whymper made the first ascent of Carihuairazo in 1880. Nor was Whymper very sure himself. He made an ascent of a summit, but whether it was the main one is open to debate. In this post I examine the evidence.Read more
Undiscovered Ecuador: Cotacachi and the Guinea Pig Lake
In the process of editing my new book about Chimborazo, I’ve had to chop the following excerpt. But it’s an interesting read, about a couple of places in northern Ecuador that are rarely visited by tourists, but should be: the mountain Cotacachi and its picturesque crater lake.Read more
Humboldt and Boussingault on Chimborazo: how high did they climb?
How high Humboldt and Boussingault climbed on Chimborazo has been the subject of much debate. When Edward Whymper made the first ascent in 1880, he was baffled by their descriptions of the climb. So what happened, and how high did they really get?Read more
A short scramble up Rumiñahui, the stone-faced Inca warrior
Rumiñahui is an extinct volcano 14km north-west of Cotopaxi, Ecuador’s highest active volcano. Rumiñahui the mountain is named after Rumiñahui the Inca warrior, whose name translates as ‘stone face’ – as appropriate a name as any for this particular mountain.Read more
Cotopaxi, a short climbing history: a teaser from my next book
Last Friday I reached the summit of another metaphorical mountain. After seven months of intensive scribbling I finished the first draft of my next major book. There’s a little way to go before it’s ready for publication, but here’s a teaser to whet your appetite.Read more
Chimborazo Sea to Summit Challenge: the videos
It’s that time again, when I show off the latest videos I’ve cobbled together in the garden shed with a pair of scissors, a roll of sellotape, and some sticky-back plastic. These ones cover our Chimborazo Sea to Summit Challenge last autumn, when we climbed Chimborazo, starting from sea level on push bikes.Read more
Sea to summit on Chimborazo, part 3: the climb
We had cycled from sea level at Guayaquil and circled Chimborazo on foot, climbing Carihuairazo on the way. It wasn’t the most direct way, and there may not be many others who follow in our footsteps, but it had been fun. We had just one more task to do: to climb to the summit.Read more
Sea to summit on Chimborazo, part 2: Carihuairazo and the circumnavigation
We had already cycled around the south side of Chimborazo. The next stage was to complete the full circuit by trekking around the northern side to Carrel Hut on the west. Just for good measure, we planned to pop up an extra peak, 5020m Carihuairazo, on the way.Read more
Is this the world’s first ascent of Chimborazo from sea to summit?
On Wednesday, Edita and I reached the 6310m summit of Chimborazo for the second time. We climbed via the Whymper Route on the southwest ridge, which traverses across the west face to join the Normal Route that we climbed lastRead more