Friday, February 25, 2011

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition #6: Dispatch 5 Cayambe Summit Climb & Success!

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition

February 18 to March 4, 2011
Climbers: Sam Kisson, Robert Gay, Tom O’Connell, Dennis Uhlir, Matt Donnelly
Lead Guide: Benno Schlauri
Assistant Guide: Ramiro Garrido
February 24, 2011
Benno called at 8:00pm Ecuador and US Eastern time with this message:

"Hello again.  We summited Cayambe today.  We are very excited and pleased about this success.  I am sorry I didn’t call from the summit!  I forgot the sat phone down at the refuge and feel bad about that!

But, we really had a good day today. Four team members made it to the top. Sam got up almost to the top, he was about 500 feet away but he was so exhausted he just had to turn around.  He did great, is doing fine, came so close!

We got up at 11:00pm after a short sleep, started at exactly midnight, and it took about eight and a half hours to get to the summit. That is a little slower pace than usual, but this teram is steadily getting stronger, and I think everyone will have a little easier time on the next climb, Cotopaxi.

Today was gorgeous. We didn't have any wind at all, and we had clear skies the entire way!  Wow it was great to be up high.  Everyone was so happy!

Friday we are driving south to go to Cotopaxi. We’ll stay for one night at a lodge near the mountain and then move up to the hut at the base of the mountain.
Our plan is to climb Saturday night, Sunday morning.

Dyan at the AAI office has read me all the messages that friends and family have written on the dispatch blog.

The group is sleeping right now, but I’ll pass on the messages as soon as they wake up.  They will enjoy the messages very much.

OK, that's it for now.  We are happy and healthy and have had an excellent experience on this beautiful mountain.  We'll mostly be resting and enjoying the beautiful countryside, but I'll try to call Friday with a little update.  We plan to eat well and rest well!  Bye for now."

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