Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ecuador High Altitude Holiday Expedition: Dispatch 9 and Antisana/Illiniza Expedition: Dispatch 3:

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition and Antisana/Illiniza Expedition: 

Dec 17-31, 2010
High Altitude Expedition climbers: Tim Turay, Kat Lange, Stuart Lowden, Tamsin Ainscow, Ahmad Baasiri, John Davis, and Ruth Hartmann.

Illiniza / Antisana Expedition climbers: Ty Speer and Natalie Garner.

Lead Guides: Pepe Landazuri and Henry Moya

December 28, 2010. Pepe called today at 4:30 pm Ecuador and US Eastern time.

"Hello!  It's Pepe!  We’re calling from 5,000 meters [16,405 feet] on Chimborazo right now.  Tonight is the big night – our whole party is going to try to reach Chimborazo's 6310- meter [20,703-foot] summit!

With our two AAI teams now united [the High Altitude Expedition and Antisana / Illiniza Expedition],  we have a grand total of nine climbers and six mountain guides.  Everyone is doing really well.  Our team did absolutely a great job on Cotopaxi and Henry's team members were outstanding on Antisana.  With such a strong combined team, we have a great chance to summit.  Everyone is feeling really strong and totally ready for this ascent.  The acclimatization process has gone perfectly, and everyone is very fit and ready.  

We plan to wake up at ten o’clock, and try to be out and climbing by 11 pm.  We talked to another party that came down from the mountain today.  They got to about 6,000 meters [19.690 feet] but had to turn around because of the fresh snow.  Right now, it’s completely clear, and I can see the part of the climb that is most difficult. The ridge looks a little icy, so that will slow us down a little, but basically the mountain looks in very good shape.  

Right now, everyone is having a big meal.  I don’t want to pull them away to talk on the telephone because I want them to be well fed and rested for the big night.  Tomorrow we’ll be back down to Banos, so we can exchange more personal messages then.  We'll obviously be sure to call and let you know how our climb went.

We're excited and ready to go.  Wish us luck!"

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