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South America, Ecuador, Chimborazo

Chimborazo. After a week and three camps, Ted Liston, Paul Emerson, Troy Reiner, and I reached the summit of Chimborazo (20,563 feet) on April 1 by Edward Whymper’s original southwest route. As far as we can tell, no one has ever repeated this original route (Whymper’s second route is apparently close to the present Red Walls route). By comparing an illustration of the southwest route in Whymper s book (Travels Amongst the Great Andes of the Equator) with present views one can see that much snow has accumulated in the intervening 92 years. Near our second camp we discovered a cairn in a spot which corresponded to the location of one end of a triangulation line set up by Whymper. It was a delight to follow in the footsteps of this grand master of mountaineering. While in Ecuador Paul Emerson and Troy Reiner sweated their way to the lip of the crater of Cotopaxi and traversed around to the highest point.

Carl Smith