Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition #6: Dispatch 10 – At the Whymper Hut on Chimborazo Poised for a 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
March 1, 201
1 Benno called at 7:16pm Ecuador and US Eastern time with this message: 

"Hello from Chimborazo

We are now at the upper hut on the flank of Chimborazo at 16,400 feet.  We have a very beautiful sunset right now.   The mountain is clear and there’s no wind – truly perfect conditions.

As you know we were at Urbina last night.  We had an easy morning and were able to enjoy perfect views of our mountain.  It was cloudless and clear, so we saw lots of detail on the peak.


After breakfast we decided to drive into the big town of Riobamba; it's a nice place to look around.  We visited the main square, a couple of churches, the railway station, and some people used the Internet.

It's a pretty busy place.  Good architecture, nice urban landscapes (including some palm trees!), and good people watching. 

Later we drove up to the lower hut on the mountain and met the other two mountain guides on our trip there.  They brought fIt got pretty cloudy during our hike up, but later it cleared off completely again.  It's very exciting for everyone to see the mountain up close!

Our team has already gone to bed because we are going to get up at 11:00pm and leave by midnight on the climb.  If all goes well, it will take us about eight hours to reach the summit
There's only one other rope team here at the hut, so we are basically going to have the mountain entirely to ourselves.  That will be an amazing feeling on this huge mountain

OK.  Time for me to go to bed too.  Thanks for the messages and good wishes.  We'll call you in the morning from high on the mountain and with luck it will be from the summit.  We will see!   Ciao Ciao."


Emily said...

Here's a little inspiration for you and your fellow climbers when you reach the top!

“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vintage point.”
- Harold B Melchart

Keep climbing!!
Love, Emily

Bob Gay said...

Awesome climb guys! Your mountain climb all this past week have been very impressive. We have all been able to follow your every step with Sam's GPS and for that we need a shout of thanks to Sam! And of course we also enjoyed the numerous Dispatches! Modern technology has truely made the world smaller. As I write this you are nore than 1/2 way up Chimborazo and I am happy for your success! Best wishes for the rest of your climb to the top and then down, as well as the rest of you trip. May you all have a save flight home. Bob's dad

Lisa said...

To All, Checking your progress this AM. We are becoming proficient using the satelite imagery. You appear to be arriving at a hugh fissure near the top. Keep going. I hope I catch the summit at work. Love, Mom G

Annie Donnelly said...

Good luck Matt!!! I think you are already up and climbing. Brrrrr. Thinking of you. Wish I was there! The pictures are beautiful. Love you!
Be safe, Annie

Annie Donnelly said...

BTW I especially love the pics of the llamas! Have a great climb!

Bob Gay said...

Wow, looks like you made it! Following your route on Sam's GPS was again amazing! Had a hard time sitting at my desk doing work, without checking your status every 10 minutes! And now you have conquered your final mountain in Ecuador! Congradulations to all! Please enjoy the rest of your time in Ecuador, eat and drink well, and have a save trip home. We'll all be waiting for you and all the stories I'm sure you'll be bringing back with you. Thank you too to your two guides for keeping you guys all safe these past weeks! Bob and Lisa Gay