Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition: Dispatch 4

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition: November 26- Dec 10, 2010

Lead Guide: Pepe Landazuri
Climbers: Diane Evans, Robert Krueger, Timothy Pattee, John Stephenson, Scott Curtis.

Pepe called Tuesday November 30 at 4:45pm Ecuador (and US Eastern) time with the following update:

"We are now at the Cayambe hut, and we have some news for you.  We have decided to climb tonight because the weather is perfect and the climbing conditions are perfect.  It has been good and cold, so the snow is nicely frozen. 

This team is strong, and they all want to take advantage of these conditions.  So today we practiced skills on the glacier, tonight we had a great dinner (lasagna!!), and now everyone is heading to bed.  We'll only get about 3 hours of sleep.  We're going to get up at 11:00pm and leave at midnight to get the frozen conditions on the whole climb.  We hope to be on top for the sunrise over the Amazon Basin!

Right now it is perfectly clear  We had a gorgeous sunset, and even though it is dark now, we can see the mountain very clearly, and we can even see Antisana and Cotopaxi.  It's really perfect.  And the stars are our like crazy.  You can always see a lot of stars here when it is clear because there is no light from human settlement and because the atmosphere is thin and there is no pollution.  People who haven't seen stars before at high altitude can't believe how many they are. It's eight or ten times as many as most people have ever seen, not twice as many, so it's a very fun experience.  

OK, time for me to go to bed too.  We will try to call you from the summit.  I am going to take both the satellite phone and my cell phone, so I know we will get through.  So we'll call early and then again in the evening.

Talk to you soon!"

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