The Ecuador Gold Mine (photos)

This is an area our athlete Steven Lozano just found.

“We found the tresure of Ecuador!!! Columnas de Tangan. Its basalt splitter cracks, untouched. … There are three walls: Upper wall, Cascada wall and the lower wall, so there’s a lot to be done, plus trail work.”

If you’re curious about Steven’s time in Ecuador, here’s a write-up from a while back.

We have tons of exotic fruits here, one of my favorites is a Taxo. It looks like a mini-banana, and inside it has little egg-like things. I call it my Ecuadorian energy bar!

Everything in Ecuador is so healthy and beautiful, rich in vegetation; this makes cleaning a route very dirty work. At first I got to cleaning with brushes and bars to remove big blocks and we got so dirty! I have learned that I need full eye protection and a mask, since when I’m hanging from a line, the dirt goes in every way.

To me, the most interesting animals are the dogs, hahaha. They have their own life here; they roam the streets and fields as if they live just like us, freely. The spiders are huge, but we have not encountered many of them. I have only seen one scorpion, but have heard stories of climbers cleaning routes and being stung. I also definitely lose sleep because of little mosquitoes that buzz in the night and leave nasty little bites that sting when you itch.

I have met many climbers and all motivated. I met Juan Gabriel in Cojitambo and Chevy Crespo in Quito, both super-talented athletes and all around good people. Plus, there are more locals in the Quito area who are super strong and know the areas like the back of their hand. They show me so many new areas that have so much potential, including my good buddy Javier Salas.

Since I first arrived in Quito, I went straight to work and started in the Vertigo climbing gym. I quickly asked if I could volunteer in there a few days a week to set routes in exchange for being able to climb.

Recently I have felt beat down from lots of climbing and working in the gym. So, I’m deciding to go to the beach and catch some waves and relax for about 7 days. The beaches here are beautiful, the water is warm, and the surf is fun.

Recently, we went down and found a splitter crack area that reminds me of Trout Creek, but has a 100 meter waterfall splitting the wall and placed in the jungle! This place has potential for at least 60 cracks, its going to be amazing!

I’ll keep you all posted on the results!