Sunday, July 23, 2017


swat in airplane

What If This Happened in Your City?

Passengers board a plane and are ready to depart but are then told the flight is cancelled due to bad weather. The cabin door is opened and everyone is instructed to de-board the plane. 

But outside the sky is clear and the day is beautiful. 
Some passengers call relatives and hear reports of beautiful weather in the destination city.  Passengers begin to grumble and ask the obvious question -- why cancel the flight when the weather is perfect in both places?  The only answer they get is a repeated instruction to get off the airplane because the flight has been cancelled. Passengers begin boo-ing and making catcalls. The cabin crew demands everyone leave the aircraft immediately but no one budges. It becomes clear - all of the passengers are refusing to get off the airplane. They demand the flight proceed as originally scheduled.

If this happened in your city, what do you suspect would happen next?
I will not speculate, even though I could.
I can only tell you what happened on July 22nd in Ecuador's capital city when this exact scenario played out --- 
--- the airline gave in, closed the cabin door, and reinstated the flight as originally planned.
Here's a photo of that flight upon arrival at its "bad weather" destination in Cuenca.

jet landed in cuenca

If this were your city, what would happen next to those passengers?
I will not speculate, even though I could.
I can only tell you what happened in Cuenca --
the passengers disembarked and went about their day;
some of them took the time to go to airport administration to register a formal complaint against the airline. 
The people felt empowered to stand firm for what they believed in.
And the government, airport, and airline authorities were willing to engage the people in a manner that respected the people's voice and had the wisdom to de-escalate to a resolution.

There were no SWAT teams in sight.
No elevated threat levels.
No airport lock downs.
No sensationalized media reports that nearby neighborhoods must "shelter in place."
No shock grenades.
No pepper spray.
No zip-ties of hands and feet.
No indictments for federal felony crimes.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Cajas at 14,200 ft.
Hiking the Cajas can be relaxing or adventurous. The other day a good friend and I discovered the adventurous when we decided to blaze a new way back to the road. Instead of doubling back the way we came once reaching the target upper lakes at 13,000 ft, we decided to try a return via the ridge line to the east. Our plan was the cross the far ridge line and exit through the next valley. The only problem was, no matter how far down the ridge line we went, there didn't seem to be a reasonable way back down. We ended up traversing the whole ridge line at the 14k ft. level for several hours looking for a way back down. For added interest, there was a strong icy wind blowing out the east the entire time. Late in the afternoon, far past the time when we could have doubled back the way we came without leaving us up there in the dark, we decided the only way down was to tackle a steep slope. Luckily for us, the fog and drizzle didn't move in until we got back down to the road. We started the hike at 7:30am and was at it continuously except for 5-10 minute breaks until 6pm.

Ridgeline in Cajas

Rocky Ridge

View from Edge

Panorama


Coordinates and Elevation