Monday, February 28, 2011

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition #6: Dispatch 9 – Resting for Chimborazo Summit Climb

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 28, 2011
Benno called at 6:28pm Ecuador and US Eastern time with this message:

"Hello Everyone,  We are now at Estacion Urbina getting ready for dinner.  This is an old train station, now a lodge.  There's hardly ever a train as you can see by the comfort level of sleeping on the tracks.  

This morning we slept in late.  It was very mice.  We had a good breakfast, took our time packing, and then headed south.  In the early afternoon we had a great lunch in Ambato at a steak house (We still have big appetites after Cotopaxi!), and afterwards we drove up here on the flank of Chimborazo.

Chimborazo is in the clouds this afternoon, but that's opretty normal.  The mornings have been consistent;ly clear and the afternoons have been consistently cloudy.  It works out great for our climbing.

After breakfact tomorrow we will leave for the one-and-a-half-hour drive to the trailhead for Chimborazo.  It will be about an hour on a paved road and then a half hour on a good dirt raod.

From the end of the road we'll hike about 45 minutes to the upper hut.  We'll be carrying our full packs up to the hut, but aside fromthat tomorroew is going to be pretty easy and will feel more like a rest day than anything else.

Snow conditions are currently quite good on Chimborazo  The snowpack is stable the the rockfall  has been stopped by the good snow coverage.  So I think our timing is excellent.  This whole trip has worked out very well so far for good conditions.

We'll call tomorrow and let you know how we are doing."

[At this point we spoke to Bob and read him the messages.  He gave the following message:]

"Thanks for the messages!  We appreciate them.  We're doing well and looking forward to summiting Chimborazo.   

in terms of details, the food and lodges have been great.  All's been smooth.  It's great being out of the city and not having access to technology.  No TV and we're not spending time checking the Internet (though I did last night and looked at the messages on the blog!).  It's been good to be away from technology.

Today was relaxing.  We had great steaks at Ali's in Ambato.  Really tender!  And we had a little pizza for an appetizer – very resheing to have something so familar.  We've been drinking a lot of water.  We did have a celebratroy beer after Cotopaxi.

In the last two places where we've stayed they gave us fruit juice that's warmed up and with a little rum or something like that in it.  it's very tasty.   It gives a good kick, but we're going very easy on the alcohol beause of the altitude.  We'll wait 'til after chimbo and then have some  fun.  

Everyone else is doing great.  Sam is feeling strong and did great on Cotopaxi.  Everyone's heathly and in good spirits and excited about dong Chimborazo together.  OK.  We'll talk to you tomorrow with more messages."

Chimborazo - Urbina


Lisa said...

To All, Good luck on the last climb. May the weather be in your favor and the winds light. We will be praying for a successful trip. Love, Bob's Mom and Dad

Unknown said...

Hey Bob.. Good luck on the big climb of your trip!

Bob Gay said...

Bob and Group, Wishing you much success in your last climb. The mountains keep getting bigger and bigger and you all seem to take them in stride! It will be good to see you again to hear all your stories and see your photographs. Mom and I looking forward to that. I am sure a family party will be the right place for that to happen. Good luck and God's speed on your last climb, as always our thoughts and prayers are with you! Love, dad