Monday, December 27, 2010

Illiniza / Antisana Expedition: Dispatch 2

Illiniza / Antisana Expedition: 
Dec 17-31, 2010

Climbers: Natalie Garner, Ty Speer

Lead Guide: Henry Moya

Henry called with this update at 4:15 pm Ecuador and US Eastern time:

"Hello, this is Henry calling to give you an update on our trip.   We just got back down from our ascent of Antisana, and today we are having a relaxing time, visiting a market, eating, and doing more relaxing.  The weather was challenging on Antisana and very unusual for this time of year.  It was cloudy, foggy, and windy. 

In the whiteout, I used my altimeter a lot, but in some familiar areas it did not seem to give me the right readings.  Regardless, we found our route just fine and made it to the false summit and to within probably 30 meters of the true summit.  But the wind and visibility made it very difficult especially near the summit, and we decided to stop at that point.  I feel like Natalie and Ty certainly climbed the mountain successfully.  And it was in challenging conditions.  Such low visibility!  Anyway, we made a good decision and headed down, and the descent went just fine.   Natalie and Ty did a good job with their equipment, so we stayed comfortable enough despite the conditions.  Remember the saying, "there's no bad days in the mountains, just bad equipment."  Well we had a good day despite everything!  These guys were great.

Tomorrow we are going to start our last climb, Chimborazo. We’re going to meet up mid-day at the refuge with Pepe’s group, and we are looking forward to seeing all of the climbers in that group.  We were with them at the beginning of our trip and really enjoyed them a lot.  

We are looking forward to Chimborazo.  It's a big, beautiful mountain and hopefully weather and conditions will cooperate to give a chance to make another good climb together.  

We're doing very well and send a warm hello to family and friends at home.  I'll call you in a couple of days to let you know about our progress.  Bye for now."

[below the mountain on foggy days and on better days]

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