Rucu Pichincha
Summit: 15, 696

Something I've always wanted to do is summit Rucu, but I've never been willing to set aside a whole day to do it. Having my work designate a day just for this made for a perfect first time up it! About 25 of our students went (we had a few sick ones) and for the first time in LLI history, all 25 who started summitted! It took about 8 hours because of staggering between groups but it was an absolutely beautiful, energizing, connecting and persevering 8 hours! I stayed with the front group the whole way through, which was unintentional at first, just because I'd almost always rather push myself a bit faster to get somewhere quicker than pick the "slow and steady" option. I loved forming a little group that went up together and sticking with them through some frustration at having to slow down and wait for the rest of the group. Things I won't forget: being huddled and cold at the top next to sick Lucy while we both just waited to get the greenlight to start back down, lunch at the caves and some ridiculous laughter trying to pee in the brush with EBB, so many good conversations getting to know Noe (this was the start of our mentoring relationship), getting to know Ethan and Tanner through their drive to compete and lead, clapping for the last few (Bryan, Vicki, Bri and Mel) as they summitted, Mel rocking a tampon up her nose for her nosebleed, watching Joel in disbelief whether it be the fact that he climbed in slip-ons, ate cold spaghetti noodles out of a ziploc for lunch or only brought one small water bottle for the whole trip.

 

 

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