ecuador, south america. portrait of climbing partner and wild man, ben boykin. we’d spent days traveling to illiniza, cheaply, and had finally arrived at the park, only to find that our long walk in, (4-5 hours, uphill) was actually a wet slog as weather had moved in and made everything either wet or very damp. when we finally made the mountain hut, there was no one there except the caretaker and 1 other resting climber. for 3 days we hunkered down and waited for a break in the weather. eat. sleep. backgammon. pull-ups. pushups. finally day 4 saw clear skies by 2am. up at 4am and off to the summit in a light alpine style race to beat the weather. we stopped short of the summit for a few minutes, and ben was gazing at the top. 3-4 frames later and we were off. we did top out and made it back down shortly after dark. he may have been pondering quito at this point!