Friday, December 18, 2009

Running, cycling and grocery cart racing

Got our photo in a local sports magazine at the finish of the half marathon. Translation goes something like: Ramon and Carla were happy to finish the race by trading places with their rapidly aging father who could no longer keep up with the rest of the field. "We chucked him in the chariot, gave him a soother to suck on so he'd stop whinning and pushed him into the finish."
The Vogel family stayed with us for a week. They are cycling from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, all of the Panam highway. If their twin 11 year old boys are successful, they will be in the Guinness world book of records for the youngest to have done so.
Check out their blog on
Ramon finally fell of his bike...swerved at high speed going downhill and fell on his face. Would have been much worse without his helment! The fat lip lastest 3 days.
Cart racing in the grocery store! Look out shoppers!
Another Ecuadorian painting.

Carlita at 1.2 years

Carla walking...with the help of a fence

Monday, December 7, 2009

Illiniza Norte 5126m and Corazon 4788m

On the summit of Illiniza norte looking south to Illiniza Sur....200m higher ....a steep glacier climb up to 70-80 degrees in some sections.

mountains.href="">Up to the refuge between the two
Route follows ridge to the right.

Illiniza sur

Cotopaxi in the early morning.
looking back on Illiniza norte and sur the next morning.
Corazon...for it's supposed heart shape....the objective for the day.
Lobo de Paramo....Alpine wolf track

A family with two young kids being guided TV any day.

Local rancher
Painting of Cotopaxi

Some awesome scrambling over the weekend! Iliniza Norte, which I’d climbed 14 years ago, is 5126m with an 1100m vertical gain and Corazon, at 4788m and a 900m vertical gain. Both are only an hour or so out of Quito along the Avenue of Volcanoes. Went with Javier Herrera who is a guide and owner of: (Interesting to read about the wide array of experience the guides have) A top notch organization.

Javier wanted to scout out a new route on Corazon and meet the new caretaker of the hut on Illiniza. While we were climbing, his guides would call him from other peaks, letting him know that they had summited Cotopaxi with 4 clients and were on route on others etc. Odd to be in contact with climbers on other mountains with such ease. Great to make a new friend with whom I have much in common…...young family (Ramon will be joining his son Inti, in Nursery in January), running, cycling (he’s 7 time national road champion and gold medal winner in the pan am games for Ecuador) and of course, our love of the mountains. I'm sure looking forward to many more climbs here in Ecuador! Any frozen Calgarians want to join us?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


The Mariott's "public" playground lobby

Trashing the Marriot

Hmmmm what mischief can I get into now?
CBuilder "Bob" and his carboard play house at home. And learning to share it with Carla.
Ramon was a wee bit scared of this tall dude.

We should have brought our swim suits....nobody would have bothered us.

My cousin Dario.

Went up to Quito on Saturday...watched a parade and then went for lunch at the Marriot. Awesome buffet! Kids chucked food all over, while dad tucked into 6 pcs of pumpkin pie and about as many pcs of apple pie. Ramon loved the fist sized prawns. A trail of "destruction" followed as we toured the hotel....petals pulled from roses, crapping on the carpet, kids crawling on glass tables and toilet paper placed in the wash cloth baskets. Well here you put your TP in the basket beside the toilet, so you don't plug up the fragile plumbing...but at the Marriot...the baskets were for dirty hand/face clothes. Didn't want Ramon to start putting the TP in the toilet and confuse the poor kid, and risk plugging up our home plumbing in the process! And a kid size urinal....we just had too much fun :)
Besides, the place was so empty...I'd like to think that by not cleaning up after ourselves that we keep people employed. I mean why take your tray to the garbage bin in fast food places? Amazing how they've trained the public to do that!