Ecuador High Altitude Expedition:
Climbers: Tim Turay, Kat Lange, Stuart Lowden, Tamsin Ainscow, Ahmad Baasiri, John Davis, and Ruth Hartmann.
Lead Guide: Pepe Landazuri
December 26, 2010
We had the Institute's best two cryptographers work on this recording, and they found the following. Parts of the recording were totally obscured because of the sound of the wind passing over the satellite telephone's microphone.
"Good morning friends and family at home or wherever [you are. We are] happy to tell you that we are calling from the summit [of Cotopaxi. We just arrived here at] 6:24am. The climbers are getting out a few quick snacks while [I call you with our news. It is] very cold and very windy up here on the summit.
[We left this morning at midnight] so we did it in six and a half hours. That is good time under any conditions and [especially today in such difficult conditions it is] excellent time. All five climbers made it with [the three of us guides. They all did ] a great job. As the two of them planned, Stuart and Kat [are not with us but they are here] in spirit. We want them with us on Chimborazo and that is the plan. So we [are congratulating Tim,] Tamsin, Ahmad, Ruth, and John. This is so great!
It's really windy. Here . . .
'Hi this is Ruth. It's windy. [We are] exhausted today. I’m really tired, but we made it. We’re stuck in a whiteout and high winds, but we are on top. [This is one] of the hardest [things I have] done. We all have frost on [our clothes. Everyone] is happy, cheerful as ever, [but we're hoping that the] sun will come [out and we get some ] warmth on [the way down.]
[Then a male climber came on and we were able to get very little our of the recording:]
'Merry Christmas. [a, b, and c I am] thinking about you.' "
The group should have gotten back to the hut by 10:30am, where they would have had an early lunch and a little rest before packing up and making the short descent from the hut the the AAI vehicle. They then would have driven out of the national park and traveled south a little on the Pan American Highway to reach the road to Hacienda la Cienaga (below), where they will be eating very well and spending the night in comfort.
At the hacienda they will meet guide Henry Moyer and climbers Natalie Garner and Ty Speer who will be coming off of Antisana today.