Awesome climbs in a beautiful country with an amazing guide and stellar team!
Year of Expedtion: 2018
I climbed Cayambe and Cotopaxi in Nov 2018 with CTSS. Not my first climb with Mike Hamill as guide but my first climb with his company. Right from the start Mike was available to answer any and all of my questions which I really appreciated. The logistics of the trip were also seamless. Accommodations and food both on and off the mountains were outstanding and the local guides that CTSS partners with are amazing. Ecuador is a beautiful country that should be on everyone’s bucket list and the climbs of Cayambe and Cotopaxi, while not technical, were sufficiently challenging to make for rewarding summits. I would highly recommend CTSS – 5 star all the way!
Top notch expedition from start to finish
Year of Expedtion: 2019
CTSS and their logistics partner TAG Nepal put on an amazing expedition, all the way from the insulated basecamp tents to the calibre of the climbing Sherpas to the high end oxygen systems. Basecamp was extremely comfortable with padded dining chairs, carpet, and heating, thick mattresses in the personal tents, and then there was the huge chillout tent known as the Big House. For those with extra Dollars an upgrade to exec level tents was possible bringing the comfort level up another notch. Intermediate camp 2 facilities also provided that little bit of comfort, with an insulated dining tent, decent food and a great placement high up in the Western Cwm. The higher camps were as expected, the Sherpas making sure that we wanted for nothing. Accurate weather forecasting ensured we eventually made the summit and as usual the highly qualified Sherpa team were faultless throughout. In my case, requiring a helicopter evac, the guiding team did everything necessary to get me off the mountain and on to Kathmandu for treatment. Wouldn’t hesitate to climb with Mike Hamill and CTSS in the future.
Year of Expedtion: 2020
Guides were professional but had to work hard to move a large (10 people + 2 guides) group considering clients being overloaded with inappropriate heavy inadequate gear and food. 1. Group pressured to reduce personal gear weights yet packs were overloaded with group gear, primarily food for December 2020 and 2021 expeditions. Significant amount of condiments (mustard, sirracha etc) hauled to high camp will be of no use because it will be frozen. 2. Needed more and better stoves as 4+ hours per day was dedicated to melt snow for the group size. And only one person could melt at a time. Coleman car camp stove hauled to Camp 1 barely got the job done (wrong equipment for the job). Thank goodness the weather was nice! MSR stoves at high camp were old and needed cleaning with bad plungers. 3. Food when it was provided (breakfast in the afternoon and dinner after midnight) was mostly inedible due to type of meals and poor stoves. 4. Car camp tent at base camp and camp 1 was inadequate equipment not to mention embarrassing plus cold, slick inside. 5. Fixed line travel was inefficient due to too heavy of packs (some members carried 75-85 lb packs) and too long between breaks.