Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Ecuador High Altitude Expedition #1 – The Hermann Family – Dispatch 4
This is Pepe calling – now from the Cayambe refuge. We had a leisurely breakfast this morning, and then left the hacienda at about 10:00am for a two-hour drive up the mountain, and then a one-hour backpack up to the big hut on the side of Cayambe. We’re at about 14,100 feet here.
After we arrived, we reserved our spots in the hut and then went for a hike. We went up to a little over 16,000 feet, and everybody felt OK. I think each person on this team is a good acclimatizer.
We are just finishing dinner, and we are standing outside the hut. OK, here is Mark.”
“Hello to everyone back home. We are happy to be here at Cayambe Refuge. It’s quite a spot. We are just finishing dinner – it was fantastic. Pepe is an incredible cook!
Everyone is supper happy; they been joking around all through dinner and kidding each other a lot. We are having a blast, and everyone is feeling confident and good.
The van ride up here freaked the girls out a little. It’s a pretty ‘dramatic’ road, but the driver was incredible. Very careful, very skilled. All went well.
Wendy felt a little off on the hike this afternoon, but felt fine by the time we came back to the hut. I felt kind of crappy after we got back to the hut, but once I ate something, I felt a lot better.
It was cloudy this morning and we actually had a little drizzle when we were moving up to the hut, but it got nice on our hike up the lower part of the mountain in the afternoon. We had really good views of most of the mountain – we couldn’t see the very summit, but we could see just about all of our route. Very impressive and we are excited to be giving it a try in a couple of days.”
[At this point, we read Mark the messages from Sarah, Barb, and Nick. He was surprised to get them and thought it was great. As soon as he was done, was was going to head into the hut and “recite them as accurately as I can.” The messages definitely got him laughing!]
“Tell folks, ‘Thanks for the messages.’ It’s really fun to hear from people back home. Great to be in touch even here, way up in the mountains.
I’d like people to know that right now we’re outside the hut and it’s perfectly clear. I’m looking down on the City of Quito which is in the far distance, and the lights are twinkling. The atmosphere is so clear here; it’s great. OK, we’re going to finish up desert and head to bed soon. We’re all looking forward to practicing skills tomorrow. We’ll call tomorrow in the evening. Thanks for the messages and bye for now.”