Friday, December 28, 2012

#7 - Ecuador High Altitude Expedition - Dec. 14th- 28th, 2012

Climber: Michael Radin (Lynnwood, WA)

Guide: Jose (Pepe) Landazuri


Pepe called on Dec. 27th with the following dispatch: "Michael and I went up to the hut on Chimborazo and encountered the first cloudy weather of the trip. When it cleared partially, we inspected the route and found that is was very icy and that there was too much rock fall.  

Together we decided it was best to not make the climb.  So we headed to Baños to enjoy the hot springs.  This is a warmer climate.  The town is on a river which cuts one of the routes down to the Amazon.  It's a warmer climate here and very nice.  Today [Thursday] we are going to drive back to Quito and possibly climb Rucu Pichina in the afternoon or Friday morning.

We are sorry not to try Chimborazo, but we are very happy to have succeed on two of our three goals.  We are definitely having a good time!  It has been very beautiful in Baños.  That's all the news for now except that we are eating very well.."

Monday, December 24, 2012

#6 - Ecuador High Altitude Expedition - Dec. 14th- 28th, 2012


Climber: Michael Radin (Lynnwood, WA)

Guide: Jose (Pepe) Landazuri

"Hi, this is Pepe calling from Ecuador! 
Today Michael and I climbed Cotopaxi. We had a really nice climb the weather was spectacular and conditions were ideal for climbing.  We left camp at 1 and made it to the summit at 4:30, so it was a very, very good time, very, very fast. Only 3.5 hours to the summit. We got down in one hour, and now we are enjoying the Hacienda Cienega. I love this old colonial hacienda! 

I never get tired of coming here. Michael is enjoying it too, it's a wonderful place for resting today after an early morning climb. Tomorrow we are going to leave at ten to drive to the Chimborazo National Reserve.  We are tired and are going to rest, but tomorrow we are excited to be going to the south. Climbing Chimborazo will be an excellent finish for this already highly successful trip."


#5 - Ecuador High Altitude Expedition - Dec. 14th- 28th, 2012

Climber: Michael Radin (Lynnwood, WA)

Guide: Jose (Pepe) Landazuri


Pepe called with this dispatch Sunday morning, December 23. “Hello again from Ecuador.  After our success on Cayambe, we are taking a couple of days to rest and relax.  We are based at Tambopaxi Lodge, and from here we have a clear view of majestic 19,248-foot Cotopaxi, our next goal.  

We are going to do a little hike today to a lake with great views of Cotopaxi, and late in the afternoon we will move to Jose Ribas hut at the base of the climbing route.  Again we we have a midnight wake-up call and a 1am departure for the summit.


The weather continues to be excellent.  We have clear skies today and last night there was a fairly full moon.  That will be handy in our ascent.  If it is clear, we probably won’t need to use of headlamps! 


So we hope to summit Monday, and we’ll give you a call as soon as we can after the climb.  Wish us luck and talk to you soon!”
 

Friday, December 21, 2012

#4 - Ecuador High Altitude Expedition - Dec. 14th- 28th, 2012

Climber: Michael Radin (Lynnwood, WA)

Guide: Jose (Pepe) Landazuri

“Hi again. This is Pepe calling to let you know that we succeeded in climbing Cayambe! We started climbing 1AM this morning and made good time all the way up the route. We arrived at the summit at 7AM.

The weather has cooperated beautifully for us, and the conditions for cramponing were excellent. We’re back at the hut resting and having some things to eat and soon we will be leaving and heading down to Hacienda Guachala.

Tomorrow we may go to a hot springs. We’ll decide in the morning, but basically tomorrow will be for resting and reflecting on today’s accomplishment. We are looking forward to our next climb of Cotopaxi, but for now, we are enjoying today’s success! We will probably call tomorrow and let you know what we are doing. But we are happy and feeling really good! Bye for now.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

#3 - Ecuador High Altitude Expedition - Dec. 14th- 28th, 2012

Climber: Michael Radin (Lynnwood, WA)

Guide: Jose (Pepe) Landazuri



“Hi – This is Pepe calling from Ecuador again.  Yesterday [Monday] we climbed Guagua Pichincha (15,670 ft /4,775 m).   The weather continued to be excellent, and all day it was clear and sunny.  Really perfect!  It was possible to see into the crater of Guagua – and that is not a common thing.  Usually it is choked up with clouds – they just gather there and hang in it.  But today we had great views and we could see smoking fumaroles – we got some great photos of it.

After climbing Guagua Pichincha we headed north to an area near the base of Cayambe, which will be our first major summit. Our base is Hacienda Guachala, a beautiful place where it’s easy to get a good rest and enjoy excellent food.  Tomorrow after a late breakfast, we will drive up to the hut on Cayambe, leaving at about 10:00 am.  It will be another perfect step in acclimatization.

The big local news is that the volcano Tungurahua is erupting again.  It is well to the south, but I think we may see some ash during our climb because the winds are south to north.  It was quiet for quite a few months, but it’s getting busy again.  Our main hope is that the ash doesn’t blow to the west and give a new coat to Chimborazo.  That mountain needs to keep the snow and ice that it has, and whenever there is an ash deposit, it speeds up the melting because the dark ash absorbs a lot of energy.  So we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Today [Tuesday] we drove to the Cayambe hut and then hiked higher up to about 16,000 feet or 49000 meters.  We went to the edge of the glacier and enjoyed the views and gained the benefit of being a little higher briefly to continue our gradual acclimatization.  It was a very nice hike on a beautiful day!

Tonight we had Chinese food for dinner with great vegetables, delicious sauce, rice, and a little meat.  Peaches were our desert – very refreshing!

Tomorrow we will practice snow and ice climbing skills on the glacier in the morning and early afternoon, and then rest in the afternoon and have an early dinner as we get ready for a midnight wake-up for our climb of Cayambe (18,997 feet / 5790 meters).  OK – We’ll try to call in an update tomorrow – Wednesday.  Bye for now!”

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#2 - Ecuador High Altitude Expedition - Dec. 14th- 28th, 2012

Climber: Michael Radin (Lynnwood, WA)

Guide: Jose (Pepe) Landazuri

6:56 pm Dec. 16th.

This is Pepe calling again. Today Michael and I climbed 13,776 - foot Pasochoa. The weather was just perfect. Everything was clear – Cotopaxi. Cayambe, Antisana — and we had spectacular views.

Michael is very, very fit! Usually this hike takes 4.5 - 5 hours, but with Michael it took less than 3 hours. So we came back very early and had lunch just as we came off the peak.




Because of the speed we had extra time, so in the afternoon we went to a hot springs where we enjoyed a pretty scene and relaxing hot springs at different temperatures. What a great follow-up to a hike or climb!

After that we headed back to Quito. Michael is looking forward to another great diner and a good night’s sleep before we head to our next big objective, Guagua Pichincha (15,670 ft /4,775 m) on Monday morning. That hike will push his acclimatization along very nicely. Michael has been doing well with the altitude, so this should be a perfect next step for him. OK – I’ll call again sometime tomorrow to let you know how it went. Bye for now from sunny Ecuador!”




#1 - Ecuador High Altitude Expedition - Dec. 14th- 28th, 2012

Climber: Michael Radin (Lynnwood, WA)

Guide: Jose (Pepe) Landazuri

Pepe called on Dec. 15th with the following dispatch:


“This is Pepe calling from Ecuador with the first dispatch for the Ecuador Volcanoes expedition with Michael Radin. Today we went to the Otavalo Market north of Quito. We enjoyed exploring the market and its huge range of products for sale – some for tourists but lots of things for the indigenous peoples of the surrounding countryside. We had lunch there and then visited lake Cuicocha.




The weather was perfect, and from a high ridge above the lake we got great views of Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Antisana. Michael was very happy and took lots of photos of the mountains. The atmosphere was really, really clear, and the mountains just seemed to jump out at us. I think the people on the mountain summits were very happy!


We had a really nice chicken dinner in Quito when we got back prepared with local herbs and vegetables. Really good! We’re going to meet at 8 in the morning and then head to our first major acclimatization hike on Pasochoa. That’s the news for now!”

.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - Part 2 - November 2nd - 16th, 2012


Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt

Guide Gaspar Navarrete called on Nov 15th, 2012 with the following dispatch:

It was a very good day. We took it easy. Jenn and I went to check out some of the beautiful waterfalls here in Banos. We hiked a little bit in the cloud forest and rain forest. Joe didn’t want to go to waterfalls so he went for 5 hour bike ride on a country road where there is great scenery and not much traffic. 

After our afternoon adventures we went to dinner. Tomorrow we will head back to Quito and arrive around lunch time. I’ll call in the afternoon to let you know how the trip finishes.

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - Part 2 - November 2nd - 16th, 2012


Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt

Guide Gaspar Navarrete called on Nov 15th, 2012 with the following dispatch:

"This is Gaspar calling. We climbed chimborazo yesterday. We reached the summit in cloudy snowy conditions. We were actually really lucky because there was a big German team ahead of us who broke trail all the way to the summit. We had a lot of fun, but are very tired. This third peak really took a toll on the team and left us pretty exhausted but we made it nonetheless.

The weather was very wet and challenging in the morning. We almost turned back but managed to soldier on and were rewarded with a break in the weather. The stars even came out for a bit. Just before the summit the clouds rolled back in and we were unable to see from the summit but we were still thrilled to be on top. After summiting we headed down to the refuge where we had a really good soup for lunch.

After lunch we drove two hours down to Banos where we had an excellent Italian dinner; pizza, spaghetti, etc. Today we will go on a waterfall hike and Joel is planning on doing a Mtn Bike RIde."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - Part 2 - November 2nd - 16th, 2012


Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt


Gaspar called late Monday night with the following message:
"This is Gaspar calling from the slopes of Chimborazo.  People were understandably tired from the Cotopaxi ascent, so today we had an easy day.  After a good night's sleep and an easy morning, we drove to a lodge on the flanks of Chimborazo.  Oh I should tell you – we did some more horse back riding.  This team has done more horse back riding than I have ever experienced in past trips.  Being really fit of course helps a lot! 

Everyone is doing great.  Tuesday we are driving to the lower refuge on Chimborazo and then probably hiking to the upper hut.  Our team should be rested, and I know they are prepared for this big climb.

The mountain is in good condition right now, and we are very excited about that.  Everything is in good shape, and the weather looks like it will continue to be good.

I won't have good reception at the refuge so I will call when I can but I'm not making any promises when exactly that will be.  We will send you an update as soon as we are able to do so.  Bye for now!"

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - November 2nd - 16th, 2012


Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt, Jennifer Hale, Joseph Hale


Guide Gaspar Navarrete called at 4:30pm (PST) on November 11th with the following dispatch: 

"Today we reached the summit of Cotapaxi. Two climbers, Jen and Joel summited today. 

After leaving Cayambe refuge we headed to Hacienda Porvenir. We had no communication service there, so I didn't call from the hacienda, but we had a very nice stay there.  Some of us enjoyed horseback riding on our day off. We used some different muscles than we have been using in the moutnains!

Yesterday we hiked to the refuge on Cotopaxi and after a good dinner, we headed to bed early to get some rest before another alpine start.  We left the refuge at 1am this morning and summited about 5:30am. We made very good time.  Jenny and Joe did really well but needed to stop at 18,537 feet / 5650 meters due to fatigue. They descended back to the refuge and after a break and some food they headed back to Quito as planned to get ready to fly home.  I think they had a great trip.

After summiting and descending we headed back to Puerto De Luna. I just woke up from a well deserved nap  (I slept for 4-hours after lunch) and Jenn and Joel are still sleeping. I will wake them up for dinner soon. 

Tomorrow we will head to Chimborazo area. We are looking forward to good weather like we've had in the last week. I will call again to report our progress.

We all had a great time on Cayambe (on which everyone summited) and on Cotopaxi.  All four members of our team heave been really great people to climb with.  It's been a lot of fun together. "

.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - November 2nd - 16th, 2012

Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt, Jennifer Hale, Joseph Hale

Guide Gaspar Navarrete called at 8:22 am PST on Nov. 8th with the following dipatch:

Hi it's Gaspar calling from Cayambe. We reached the summit 1 hour ago. Now we are just below the summit enjoying shelter from the wind, changing clothes, and having a drink.

We had a 100% success rate today. ("Thank you Gaspar! that was fun." and "Yeahhhh!" yelled by climbers in the background). Now we are heading down the mountain, we will take about 2 hours to get back to the refuge. I'll call this afternoon to let you know how it went.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - November 2nd - 16th, 2012


Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt, Jennifer Hale, Joseph Hale

Gaspar called at 7:15pm Ecuador time on November 7th with the following dispatch: 


"Hello everyone.  We just finished dinner, and in a few minutes, we will be getting ready for bed.  In the morning, we will be setting out to climb 18,997-foot Cayambe.  We will be getting up at midnight for breakfast and beginning our climb at 1 am in order to get the most frozen conditions possible on the glacier for easy climbing..

Yesterday we hiked part way to the hut for acclimatization and then practiced some skills in the area of the hut.  Today we went to the lower glacier and had some good snow and ice skills practice.  We found a big crevasse and had a nice variety of gradients on which to apply the climbing and movement skills.

The weather looks good.  Last night and this morning it was a little cloudy, but now it's nice and clear. We had a beautiful sunset and had views of Antisana and Cotopaxi to our south.  It's really beautiful here.

So everybody is feeling good at this altitude.  They all ate a good dinner - we had two kinds of fried rice - vegetarian and one with chicken.  Good spices and herbs and vegies - very tasty.  And we had chocolate cake for desert, and that was a big hit.  So with good acclimatization, skills practice, and cake, we feel we are ready!

We'll call you after the climb as soon as we have good reception.  Wish us luck – talk to you tomorrow!"

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - November 2nd - 16th, 2012


Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt, Jennifer Hale, Joseph Hale


Gaspar called at 7:12pm on November 5th with the following dispatch: 
 
"Today we had a great time climbing Guagua Pichincha high above the city of Quito. Everyone was feeling good
and the weather was really nice this morning with clear skies and sun. We made good time on the ascent and had lunch on the summit. We spent quite a bit of time on the summit just hanging out so the group could be exposed to the altitude and acclimatize as much as possible. We had good views From Cayambe in the north then down the chain of Antisana, Cotopaxi, the Illinizas, and Chimborazo. There were some thin high clouds in the afternoon, but the views of the peaks remained very clear.

We came down at an easy pace and then drove all the way to Hacienda Guachala near Cayambe. We just had a really nice dinner and are watching a little light rain fall. it started around 4pm. We are not worried about the rain though because It’ started around 4 pm. We're not worried. It's pretty common to have a little afternoon rain followed by clearing in the evening or night a clear skies in the morning. I am sure from the forecast that it will be clear again tomorrow morning like it was today. We should have a nice hike to Cayambe hut. Everyone is feeling good so we are excited about tomorrow, and we will call you sometime tomorrow night."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - November 2nd - 16th

Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt, Jennifer Hale, Joseph Hale

Guide Gaspar Navarrete called on November 5th at 7am with the following dispatch:

"Yesterday we had a good climb of Pasachoa (4200 meters / 13,780 feet), and everyone did very well. The weather has been great, so our views of the surrounding countryside and of some of the big peaks have been excellent.  We're all enjoying ourselves a lot.

Last night we stayed at the Pichincha refuge, and we are heading up to climb Guagua Pichincha now. My reception is poor here right now so I don't want to say more. I will call you when we return this afternoon.  Bye for now!"

Note to readers:  If you would like to leave a message for a member of the group, enter it on this blog.  The next time the team has internet access, they'll be able to read the messages.  Also note that during the potions of the trip when they do not have internet access, and on those occasions when they call via satellite phone during business hours at our office, we will read the messages to them and take down and publish any they may have for you.

Ecuador - High Altitude Expedition - November 2nd - 16th

Guide: Gaspar Navarrete

Climbers: Joel Dice, Jennifer Engelhardt, Jennifer Hale, Joseph Hale

Guide Gaspar Navarrete called on November 3rd with the following dispatch:

"Today we went to the Otavalo Market. Saturday is the biggest day for this market, so we got a taste of all that it has to offer.  There's a huge array of products - many for tourists but also all the fundamentals that are needed for life here, so it provides a good insight into culture and the traditional styl;e of life in Ecuador's countryside. Everybody enjoyed the market and did some shopping.

All of our team members are doing well and feeling strong, and after the market we went for a short hike to a waterfall. Today was a good start for everyone on their acclimatization, and I would say everyone is doing very well and feeling good. 

In the evening we had a slide show and tomorrow we will be heading out to climb Pasachoa. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mt. Goode and Boston Basin Circuit - 8/20 - 8/26

Guide:  Justin Wood

Climbers:  Ryan Cooper, Mark Peterson

Justin called in at 1:05 today to try and give a dispatch, but he was cut off before he could get much out.  (This will happen periodically as clouds move overhead and satellites move out of position for transmissions.)

Justin, Ryan and Mark are heading out from Cascade Pass and looping around to climb the Northeast Buttress of Mt. Goode.  They are planning to climb tomorrow, then continuing the horseshoe on around to the Buckner - Booker col and then down into Boston Basin, where they plan to climb Sahale Peak, and either Sharkfin Tower or Forbidden Peak.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bolivia Part 3 - 8/8-11 - Dispatch #14

Guide: Alasdair Turner
Clmbers: Walter and Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called at 2:15pm Pacific Time on August 10th with the following dispatch:


We didn't make it back to La Paz tonight.  No, it's not another sickness or disaster.  This place is just so amazingly beautiful that we decided to stay another night.  We are staying in a hotel on the side of a cliff looking out over the coca fields.  We are trying to make up for a the other misfortune we've had to deal with this trip by lounging by the pool.  Tomorrow we'll head back to La Paz to finish up the trip.

Sections of the Corioco Road, described in yesterday's dispatch

View from the town of Corioco

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bolivia Part 3 - 8/8-11 - Dispatch #13


Guide: Alasdair Turner
Clmbers: Wlater and Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called at 1:30pm Pacific Time on August 9th.

The team finished mountain climbing and elected to end their trip with a non-mountaineering bang. Today they rode mountain bikes down the Coroico Road, sometimes referred to as "the most dangerous road in the world."

The Coroico road is actually two roads, one of which is "the most dangerous" and the other which is a normal two-lane road. Few cars now travel on the dangerous side of the canyon and so mountain bikers regularly descend the road from a 16,000-foot summit all the way down to a deep jungle at 7,000-feet. And honestly, on a mountain bike it's not that dangerous. It's little more than a logging road cut into the side of a hill.

Alasdair and team descended the road into the jungle and are now in Parucu. They are going to spend the night in tree-houses amongst the monkeys and parrots before returning to La Paz.

Alps Haute Route Trek - 7/28 - 8/7

Guide: Jeff Reis

Trekkers: Jacob and Leanna

Jeff Reis sent this final dispatch to conclude the ten day trek on 8/8: Trekkers Jacob and Leanna enjoyed spectacular scenery and a variety of flavors of ice cream and chocolates in the Swiss alps last week. 



 We saw awesome glaciers and icefalls, rugged peaks, high alpine lakes on most every day as well as wild ibex and chamois at times. 




 Spending every night in small hotels or mountain huts, we were served delicious meals and mingled with other hikers from all over the world. Most days were physically demanding so we had to load up on sweets and local cuisine daily.



Monday, August 6, 2012

Bolivia Part 2 - 7/28 - 8/6 - Dispatch #12

Guide: Alasdair Turner
Climbers: Walter & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called in at 11:45AM PST on 8/6 with the following dispatch:

We just got back to the hotel from climbing to the summit of Huayna Potosi, but with just one of the group made the summit. We left together, but about halfway up the Meanwells got sick and had to turn around. It looks like they might be getting the crud that everyone else had. So Neal and I took our time getting to the summit. Since I didn't have the chance to acclimatize earlier on with the rest of my group, I had to rely on Diamox to help on the way up, but in the end we got to the summit feeling really well.

 Climbers descending the ridge on Huayna Potosi

One thing we did differently from the other groups is that all the other teams left at 1 am this morning, but we didn't leave until 4 am because I didn't feel there would be any change in the snow conditions. Everyone else turned around due to high winds, but by the time we got up there the winds had died down and the snow conditions were still fine. We definitely did not regret it, and it was a really good summit day. Looking in to the jungles was just a cloud layer as far as the eye can see, all the way out to the ocean. It stretched past Brazil on one side and on the other side is desert. It was pretty stunning.
Neil on the 45 deg. slopes near the summit

We're going to rest in La Paz today and tomorrow, and then head up another mountain, but not sure yet what the next objective is. We'll talk it over within the group and let you know in the next dispatch. Stay tuned!

 Alasdair and Neil on the summit!

Bugaboos Climbing - 7/30 - 8/7 - Dispatch #5


Guide: Andrew Yasso

Climber: John Holden Gibson III

Andrew called at 6:14 pm PST on Aug. 5th with the following dispatch: "This is Andrew calling from the bugaboos. There are light fluffy clouds in the skies but primarily it’s blue skies above us. The sun is setting in behind Bugaboo spire and we just had a fantastic day of rock climbing in this gorgeous alpine environment.

We climbed McTech Arete on Crescent Spire today. A three star climb, Holden did awesome and climbed the whole thing. Superb rock climbing in a fantastic alpine setting! We sat on a ledge for little bit and remenisced about our trip. It’s been an absolute blast.

We are sitting here making dinner tonight using up all the rest of our fresh ingredients. Garlic, onion, potatoes, and some vegetable korma (an Indian dish). This will be our last day here. We’ve got some weather coming in, so we’re going to pack up and head back to Bellingham. Then for our last day we’re going to head up to Squamish and “send the gnar as holden said” (reports Andrew laughing).

We’ll just do some more rock climbing and get in as many pitches as possible. We’ve just been having way too much fun. We got some looks today as we rolled into camp today giggling and laughing. I guess we're just giddy from such superb conditions and climbing. Anyway, we’ll see you all soon.

Bolivia Part 2 - 7/28 - 8/6 - Dispatch #11


Guide: Alasdair Turner

Climbers: Walter & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called at 10:38am PST on Aug. 5th: Hola Senoritas! It’s Alasdair. I’m calling from high camp on Hauyna Potosi. We cruised up here this morning. Things are going great everybody’s feeling good. Amazingly enough I’m actually feeling good now too, it appears I’m over my sickness. Walter, Reis and Neil are the three climbers left on our team who didn’t get completely destroyed by this flu bug.

We are gonna climb tomorrow morning. We’ll probably get up a little later than everybody else up here. Maybe 3 or 4 am. We’ll give you guys a call monday morning call from the summit hopefully. Talk to you later!

Bugaboos Climbing 7/30 - 8/7 - Dispatch #4


Guide: Andrew Yasso

Climber: John Holden Gibson III

Andrew called at 7:23 pm PST on Aug. 4th with the following dispatch: It's Andrew calling as I sit outside the tent right now with a belly full of delicious vegetables, onions, and couscous. I’m looking at the golden light setting on all the granite spires around me. The sun’s behind Bugaboo spire right now but it’s casting a bit of sun on crescent and east coast spires.

We had an awesome day today we climbed Snowpatch Spire to the summit via the Buckingham Route: The Enjoyable Way. That’s actually the name. It was quite enjoyable. We had the route to ourselves all day and we were in the shade which was quite nice. The sun can be brutal up there. But then we were in the sun for the Rappels which was kind of nice cause we had all the climbing out of the way. Man that route really sticks ropes. Hard to not get a rope caught on that one. We actually found a rope on route. I thought maybe it was a fixed rope but it was a full 60 meter rope so we coiled it up and.... (interference and call dropped)



(after a couple tries he got through again)


Tomorrow we’re climbing McTech Arete on Crescent Spire, it’s a 5.10 route, we’re going to push ourselves a little bit. It’s a shorter route but harder climbing and Holden really wants to give it a go. It’s a three star route too, they only go to three stars here so that’s as good as it gets. It should be stellar Bugaboo classic. After that we’re gonna re-assess and see about doing another route or maybe we’ll bail and head to Squamish if the weather deteriorates.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bugaboos Climbing - 7/30 - 8/7 - Dispatch #3

Guide: Andrew Yasso

Climber: John Holden Gibson III

Andrew called in at 3:45 on 8/3 with the following dispatch:

Yesterday we reviewed rock rescue and crevasse rescue techniques and got dialed in on our glacier travel.  We played hide and seek all that day with the weather.  We had an ever-changing mixture of rain, sun, drizzle, snow, and clouds.  We're glad we picked it as a rest day because we woke up today at 6 am to beautiful, clear skies and knew it was going to be an amazing day.

We got geared up and headed towards Pigeon Spire which is up and over the Bugaboo - Snowpatch Col.  As we approached the glacier, the sun was rising perfectly on time and it was a picturesque view.  The West Ridge of Pigeon Spire is an amazing route and we have tons of photos that we can't wait to share.  The experience and the climbing are both awesome.  There were a few other parties on the route but we never felt crowded.  There was even a group of climbers who were staying at a lodge nearby who were helicoptered in to the base of the ridge, climbed the route and then were helicoptered off the summit.  It was crazy to see, and I imagine it was really fun, but I bet we had a better experience than them overall with the beautiful hike in that we got and the amazing scenery!

On the way down we scoped out a possible route on Snowpatch Spire for tomorrow as we continue on our quest to tick off a route on every peak.  For dinner tonight we are looking forward to some thai peanut noodles in our gourmet "Applebee camp."   That's it for now, we'll talk to you again soon!

Bolivia Part 2 - July 28th - Aug. 6th - Dispatch #10

Guide: Alasdair Turner

Climbers: Walter & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Robert is heading home as his condition is not improving. I'm feeling marginal which is an improvement but I'm still experiencing stomach cramps. Simply eating and walking today is a huge improvement.

I'm expecting Neil, Walter and Reis to return to La Paz tomorrow with Juan. We will then get a rest and head in Sunday to climb Huayna Potosi. I will call over the weekend to let you know our plan. I'll call from the summit on Monday if we get there. Things have mellowed out a little bit with the weather so hopefully conditions will shape up well for us as we set our sights on Huayna and Illimani.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bugaboos Climbing - 7/30 - 8/7 - Dispatch #2

Guide: Andrew Yasso

Climber: John Holden Gibson III

Andrew called at 9:30pm PST with the following dispatch: Yesterday we climbed Crescent tower. The route is called "Ears Between" the direct route in 8 pitches, there are basically two granite donkey ears topping the route and we were able to summit the east ear. The route has a couple really cool airy spots where you have to step out over open air to transfer past a chimney or traverse to the next line, while mostly moderate in grade it was really exciting.
It was a great day the weather report was not great but it ended up being great weather. From the top we had a great view of Howser towers, pigeon spire and some of the other peaks in the area that you can't see from camp.

The descent took us as long the ascent. There was still snow on a lot of the rappel stations so we had to improvise some. We had a beautiful descent on the snow and passed several amazing glacial tarns. They were a stupendous deep blue color that you would never find anywhere else.

My favorite part of every trip is dinner though. Last night we had some excellent white and yellow cheddar Annie's mac and cheese. We added some Hempler's sausage with some salsa and a little carrot (because we care about our health up here!) Basically, I'm teaching Holden how to cook for college up here. No Ramen for us.

We also got a weather breakdown from the climbing ranger. As predicted today has been windy after rain all night last night and a little rain today. So, we're taking a rest day today and work on skills. Then the next four days we have a high pressure system forecast so we plan to hit it hard with full engines tomorrow.

We're going to try and tick off a route on each of the big towers. Pigeon, Snowpatch and Bugaboo. Our other goal is to eat everything we brought in here. Currently we are eating well and are the envy of all those around us. Our giant tent and solar panel and virtual multi-media center are keeping us pretty comfortable around camp.

Holden wants to say thank you to his parents and grandma for giving him this opportunity, and Andrew is likewise grateful for this opportunity to be spending time in such an epic place. It's actually really amazing to see granite in every direction. Surrounded by glaciers and incredible alpine terrain. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bolivia Part 2 - July 28th - Aug. 6th - Dispatch #9



Guide: Alasdair Turner


Climbers: Walter & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)



Alasdair called at 2:20pm PST on August 1st with the following dispatch: Robert and I are back in La Paz to recover from this terrible flu bug. The rest of the group, Walter Reis and Neil left at 4am to climb Pequeno Alpamayo with our second guide, Juan. They will climb a couple more things whatever looks good based on the snowfall we've had and then they will come out on Saturday. We hopefully will head back in to climb Hauyna Potosi, sometime after that. Assuming I'm recovered by then.




Bugaboos Climbing - 7/30 - 8/7 - Dispatch #1

Guide: Andrew Yasso


Climber: John Holden Gibson III






Andrew called at 7am PST on 8/1 with the following dispatch: On Monday we drove up the Trans-Canada highway which has to be one of the most beautiful. The highway parallels a river for a few hundred miles. It took us 10 hours to get to the Bugaboos trailhead from Bellingham. We had a luxurious sleep in the back of my truck. Tuesday morning, after wrapping my truck in chicken wire to protect the wires and brake lines from porcupines and critters that like to chew on them, we started with our plan to carry two loads in. We hiked in the gear first then came back and hiked in the food. We hiked in once and stopped in at the Conrad Kain hut and checked in with the area custodian. It’s about 3.5 miles to camp so it was a strenuous 10.5 mile day. We got our second load and then litterally got into our camp about 15 seconds after the rain started. Since we’re basically base camping for the next week we decided to plan on being comfortable so we have have a nice big Hilleberg tent that’s the envy of all the other climbers walking by.

We spared little on the food end too. Last night we made an awesome dinner; burritos with fresh avocado, salsa, and cheese. Last night it was an exciting night of wind, rain, and thunder. Today we are going to attempt crescent spire. It’s one of smaller peaks near camp. It’s still around 700 - 800 feet but it’s about 30 minutes from camp. So, with the potential for afternoon showers again staying close to camp on a route that’s more readily retreated is optimal.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bolivia Part 2: July 28 - August 6 - Dispatch #8


Guide: Alasdair Turner

Climbers: Walter & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Dennis Boyle (Pennsylvania), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called in at 11:45 on 7/31 with the following dispatch:

Hey this is Alasdair.  The whole group went up to ice climb today, but Robert and I came back early because we felt so bad.  But at least those guys got to get on some ice today. Tomorrow, we're going to send the Meanwells and Neil to climb Pequeño Alpamayo with Juan.  Hopefully I might feel better after that.  Robert's been sick since day two, and neither him nor I are getting much better.  Juan is doing a great job of keeping everyone together and keeping the trip running for the other climbers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bolivia Part 2: July 28 - August 6 - Dispatch #7


Guide: Alasdair Turner

Climbers: Walter & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Dennis Boyle (Pennsylvania), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called in at 9:30 on Monday morning with the following dispatch:

Hey, it's Alasdair here.  It looks like it's my turn with the flu.  There is only 1 person left who hasn't gotten this flu and hopefully he doesn't get it.  Since I can't really move much, I turned my tent into a bird blind and am shooting pictures of birds.  Juan has the group up on the glacier doing some skills.  We can't go up much farther right now because of weather.  There are some pretty high winds and zero visibility. 

Hopefully I feel better this afternoon, and maybe go climb some frozen waterfalls later and then climb something more substantial soon, probably Pyramid Blanca on Wednesday.

On a side note, another group tried to climb Piqueno Alpamayo, but couldn't get to it because of the lack of visibility.  Hopefully we have better luck!

Bolivia Part 2 - 7/28 - 8/6 - Dispatch #6

Guide: Alasdair Turner


Climbers: Walter, Stacy & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Gabrielle Zartman (Arizona), Dennis Boyle (Pennsylvania), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called at 2:45pm PST on July 29th with the following dispatch: Today the group went to climb Pico Austria without me, because I had the flu. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow so I can actually do some teaching. The weather is still pretty unsettled here, lots of clouds lots of fresh snow up high. That's about it, I'll try and call with a better dispatch tomorrow.

Bolivia Part 2 - July 28 - Aug. 6 Dispatch #5


Guide: Alasdair Turner

Climbers: Walter, Stacy & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Gabrielle Zartman (Arizona), Dennis Boyle (Pennsylvania), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called at 2:04pm July 28th with the following dispatch: Today we left the hotel at 8am and went to Lake Titticaca. We got on the boat with high winds which made for large waves and very scary conditions on the lake. But the driver seemed confident so we rallied on only slightly concerned about ending up in the drink. But we made it! Now we are at the trailhead for the Condoriri region. We plan to head in, set up camp, and hike Pico Austria tomorrow.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bolivia Part 1 - July 21 - 27 - Dispatch #4


Guide: Alasdair Turner

Climbers: Walter, Stacy & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Gabrielle Zartman (Arizona), Dennis Boyle (Pennsylvania), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)



Alasdair called at 2:00pm July 26th with the following dispatch: We are back in La Paz. It seems like this flu bug has finally run its course with everyone. I do think we are all grateful to be back in town though. Today was just a little bit of a trek to reach the bus stop at Plaza de LLamas. We came out a little early so the group could recover a little more and then we will all head in near Condoriri for a final trekking day together.

There are huge storm clouds sitting over Illimani and the cordillera. Worse than I've every seen. So, we are watching and hoping that they clear up before we head in there. Bolivia typically has excellent weather so we are not anticipating that this storm will stay for long. 



Bolivian Night Sky: Alasdair Turner

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bolivia Part 1 - July 21 - 27 - Dispatch #3

Alasdair Turner called at 1:20pm PST with the following dispatch: We are hanging out at a lake called Laguna Juricota at about 15,290 feet after a long day. It's an absolutely gorgeous lake. We look up the lake at Condoriri.

Today we passed over two 16,000+ foot passes. It looks like everything is coming together for this trip now. The team is mostly recovering from our bout with illness and we did okay today. We are going to head out to La Paz tomorrow.  Tomorrow we've got a few more miles out of here. We have one more "low pass" to go over just below 16,000 feet. We will finish tomorrow by going down through plaza de mulas to lago tuni.

Today was a good day. It was actually quite a difficult day. The two passes were hard but having had this flu bug really worked us.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bolivia Part 1: July 21 to July 27 - Dispatch #2

Guide: Alasdair Turner

Climbers: Walter, Stacy & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Gabrielle Zartman (Arizona), Dennis Boyle (Pennsylvania), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair called at 10:00 PST on 7/24 with the following dispatch:

Unfortunately, we have been hit with a 36-48 hour flu bug.  We are on the trek, trying to move while dealing with the maladies of this bug, but it has been difficult.  We are headed down to another lake tonight and are looking forward to a nice trout dinner and a calm night.  It feels a bit cooler here this year than it has on previous trips, but we are still enjoying shorts and T-shirts.  Hopefully we will all recover soon, get back on track and be able to enjoy the rest of the trip.  I'll talk to you again soon!

Bolivia Part 1: July 21 to July 27 - Dispatch #1

Guide: Alasdair Turner

Climbers: Walter, Stacy & Reis Meanwell (Wisconsin), Robert French (Arizona), Gabrielle Zartman (Arizona), Dennis Boyle (Pennsylvania), Neil Rosenberg (Illinois)

Alasdair emailed us Sunday night (7/22) with the following dispatch:

Today was a great day! We spent some of the morning and early afternoon wandering the markets of La Paz. Sundays are fairly quiet in La Paz with the exception of weddings, and we came across two today. There is not much doubt that the people of La Paz know how to 'throw a wedding.' They are really colorful, and a lot of people get involved. Weddings are very much about community here.

 We then went to El Alto for the world famous Cholita Wrestling. The Fighting Cholitas are a group of female lucha libre wrestlers. The Cholitas were the subject of an award-winning 2006 short-subject documentary, The Fighting Cholitas. This was an experience like no other and quite possibly the most entertainment I have ever had for $10.

We are back at the hotel now after a good dinner here in La Paz and tomorrow morning we begin the trek along the base of the Cordiella Real. Talk to you then.

Aymara women in the wedding party.
 

Wedding procession in La Paz with the women in front,
then the men, then the band in the rear (in red).

Panorama of La Paz with 21,201-foot Illimani in the distance.



Friday, June 29, 2012

Denali Team 7: June 10 to June 30 (private) - Dispatch #19



Guides: Richard Riquelme, Ben Gardner, David Farkas

Climbers: Guy Munnoch, John Moorhouse, Andrew Jenkins, Andrew May, Sid Ratnavelu, Graham Dawson, Jeremy Middleton

Richard called at 5:20 PST on 6/29 with the following dispatch:

Hey we are out in civilization now!  Just calling to make it official.  We got to town about 2 hours ago and now we are all getting ready to go to the pub and dinner.  Everybody is calling home, getting showered up, and ready for some food!  Thanks to everyone for the great experience.  We'll be home soon!
 

Denali Team 8: June 10 to June 30 - Dispatch #24

Guides: Andrew Yasso, Mary Harlan, Paul Rosser

Climbers: Geoff Strommer (Oregon), Jennifer Logan (UK), Paul Davies (UK), Steven Hart (Florida), David Chambers (Texas), Brian Roark (Texas), Virginia Cross (Australia), Selina Dicker (UK)

Andrew called at 3:05 PST on 6/29 with the following dispatch:

This is Andrew calling form team 8 and we are back in Talkeetna!  Three hours ago, we were sitting on the glacier, some were sleeping, some were playing frisbee, some were playing Uno.  Then we got a 10 minute warning that the plane was on it's way, so we had to pack up quickly and get the heck out of there. Three planes showed up to take everyone from Teams 7 and 8 and all the remaining gear from the season.  

I'm sitting here now and it's a nice sunny day in Talkeetna, and everyone is getting things sorted with their travel and lodging before parting ways.  Everyone from the two teams are all meeting up for dinner and we're going to take Talkeetna by storm!  We are all looking forward to food that doesn't come out of a bag (or eventually go back in one, for that matter!)

Thanks to all of you for rooting us on and giving your support along the way, and we will be home soon!

Denali Team 8: June 10 to June 30 - Dispatch #23

Guides: Andrew Yasso, Mary Harlan, Paul Rosser

Climbers: Geoff Strommer (Oregon), Jennifer Logan (UK), Paul Davies (UK), Steven Hart (Florida), David Chambers (Texas), Brian Roark (Texas), Virginia Cross (Australia), Selina Dicker (UK)

Guide Andrew Yasso called at June 29th at 8:45am PST with the following dispatch: We sat around yesterday and the weather at base camp improved and it was sunny and beautiful which is all the more harder to deal with when the mountain passes still have bad weather and planes still can't fly in. I think everyone was dying for another freeze dried meal so we had the chili mac with beef; Again! Personally, I was looking forward to breaking the 40 day mark on the mountain this season. Mary really wanted to listen to another day of Paul's snoring, and Paul thinks the comforts of civilization are for weaklings; he might just camp here until next season.

Regardless, the airstrip officially opens in 10 minutes. However, we'll have to wait for word from the flight coordinator that they're coming. If they are coming we get a 45 min warning to load up and dash over to the loading zone. That's always exciting! I'm going to go organize gear and think optimistically about the perfect flying conditions we appear to have.

Messages:

Virginia would like her parents to contact her friend in Cali and let her know that she may not make it by Sat. She will call from Talkeetna

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Denali Team 7: June 10 to June 30 (private) - Dispatch #18


Guides: Richard Riquelme, Ben Gardner, David Farkas

Climbers: Guy Munnoch, John Moorhouse, Andrew Jenkins, Andrew May, Sid Ratnavelu, Graham Dawson, Jeremy Middleton

David called at 2:40 PST on 6/28 with the following dispatch:

Hey there!  We just wanted to call in with a quick update - Teams 7 and 8 are down on the Kahiltna, and now we are just waiting for the weather to clear so we can get picked up.  Everyone is safe and sound, and we hope to be back in Talkeetna soon!

Richard called back a little while later to add that everyone would like to send their condolences to the families of the Japanese climbers who were lost in the avalanche on Motorcycle Hill.

Denali Team 8: June 10 to June 30 - Dispatch #22


Guides: Andrew Yasso, Mary Harlan, Paul Rosser

Climbers: Geoff Strommer (Oregon), Jennifer Logan (UK), Paul Davies (UK), Steven Hart (Florida), David Chambers (Texas), Brian Roark (Texas), Virginia Cross (Australia), Selina Dicker (UK)

Guide Andrew Yasso called June 28th at 10:30pm PST with the following dispatch: Well we packed up to leave and then some really nasty wind and snow came in and we considered delaying our descent but after a bit of deliberation we decided the weather was manageable and headed out. We descended beginning at 9pm (10pm PST) and made a 12 hour, on the button, push in really poor conditions to base camp. All our efforts have led us to a wonderful cache with some bonus provisions but, unfortunately, no possibility of flying off the Kahiltna today. We might get lucky today, but it looks like we'll be flying off tomorrow most likely. The cloud ceiling is really low right now so we're just hoping for some break in the weather so we can get our feet on some dirt. I'll probably call later today when the group is all together so we can send some messages back and forth, and I will most definitely call when we reach Talkeetna.

Denali Team 7: June 10 to June 30 (private) - Dispatch #17



Guides: Richard Riquelme, Ben Gardner, David Farkas

Climbers: Guy Munnoch, John Moorhouse, Andrew Jenkins, Andrew May, Sid Ratnavelu, Graham Dawson, Jeremy Middleton

Guide Richard Riquelme called June 27th at 5:53pm PST with the following dispatch: Hi this is Richard, I'm finally able to call. The SAT phone was not getting through the clouds or too busy to connect most of the day. 

Tonight we will be moving down to the airstrip. Hopefully we will get to 7800 feet, have nice meal and a nice nap, and then continue to the airstrip which right now is the operating strip. Maybe by Thursday in the afternoon we will be able to fly out if there's a break in the clouds. So, that's it, we'll give a call tomorrow to keep you updated as we go down.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Denali Team 7: June 10 to June 30 - Dispatch #16

Richard Denali Team 7: June 10 to June 30


Guides: Richard Riquelme, Ben Gardner, David Farkas

Climbers: Guy Munnoch, John Moorhouse, Andrew Jenkins, Andrew May, Sid Ratnavelu, Graham Dawson, Jeremy Middleton

Richard called at 3:00pm PST with the following dispatch:


We are happy to have made it to the 14,000' camp and now that we are here it is a sunny day!
(phone call cut off at this point...)

Denali Team 8: June 10th - 30th - Dispatch #21

Guides: Andrew Yasso, Mary Harlan, Paul Rosser

Climbers: Geoff Strommer (Oregon), Jennifer Logan (UK), Paul Davies (UK), Steven Hart (Florida), David Chambers (Texas), Brian Roark (Texas), Virginia Cross (Australia), Selina Dicker (UK)

Guide Andrew Yasso called June 27th at 10:20 pm PST: 

Message from an anonymous climber on the team who hijacked the phone: Dear friends and family it's been snowing for three days and it's not the pretty stuff of christmas cards. The enforced incarceration has brought out the best in our guides who are sharing the responsibilities of scavenging food, rescuing, and babysitting us admirably. Although, their mountain fashion can be questionable at times; shorts can be just too short sometimes. 

If you haven't already noticed we are stuck. We can't go up and we can't go down so we are considering hiring a chinook (helicopter) to evacuate ourselves. Whoever told us there was a bar up here was lying. Camp 14 is nothing like a ski resort and the stories of Fresh Alaskan Salmon are all lies. There are no single men here and the women are scary. Two of the group have gone stir crazy, one has become a recluse and the other three can only communicate in "UNO" language. Things got so bad two days ago we considered a cous-de-tas, however, the guides brilliantly averted this with some cheese quesadillas and hot cocoa. Denali: we are looking forward to seeing you on our descent and hopefully never seeing each other again. Lots of love team camp 3/4. P.S. don't believe a word of Andrew's dispatches none of us are enjoying dragging a sled up a mountain.

Andrew's Dispatch after recovering the phone:
It looks like the weather has cleared momentarily and it doesn't look like it has snowed as much as we thought so hopefully we will be able to descend half the mountain this afternoon while snow conditions are stable. We will build a camp half way most likely and then wait for colder temperatures to complete the trek on the lower glacier. Hopefully this plan will dissuade any further attempts of a cous and it appears I can't control the weather but in the future I'm going to try harder. Here's to safe travels and hopefully we'll be talking to you soon.

Denali Team 7: June 10 to June 30 (private) - Dispatch #15


Guides: Richard Riquelme, Ben Gardner, David Farkas

Climbers: Guy Munnoch, John Moorhouse, Andrew Jenkins, Andrew May, Sid Ratnavelu, Graham Dawson, Jeremy Middleton

Richard Riquelme called June 26th at 9:39pm PST with the following dispatch: Howdy Howdy, this is Richard and team 7 at 14,200 feet. We had a window to move down and we took it.

I have a lot of people here who want to send some messages home. 

-It's Andrew May from weather my favorite thing.


-Jeremy Here: Well this is the bigger part that counts but I'm not sure the crew are convinced


-Greg Olsen to family: Tumbled down from 17,200 to 14,200, literally, but we're on our way back.


-From Guy to Katy: The weather window you talked about sadly occurs to us is closed.


-From John Millhouse to Karen: The first prize went to somebody else this time. But we're down safely and missing you very much. Message to Zach: good luck on your big competition night.


Okay that's it that's all. I'll call you tomorrow on office time. Hopefully you guys have good things for us and hopefully we will be able to fly out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Denali Team 8: June 10 to June 30 - Dispatch #20


Guides: Andrew Yasso, Mary Harlan, Paul Rosser

Climbers: Geoff Strommer (Oregon), Jennifer Logan (UK), Paul Davies (UK), Steven Hart (Florida), David Chambers (Texas), Brian Roark (Texas), Virginia Cross (Australia), Selina Dicker (UK)

Andrew Yasso called June 26th at 12:37pm PST with the following dispatch: The weather allowed a short break last night so Paul and I were able to rush up the fixed lines and retrieve our cache. Which is a great thing because with impending weather moving in we're glad to have our cache and all of our food and supplies back and now it's just a matter of making a reasonable exit strategy. We don't really want to descend through avalanche terrain so in a little bit we're going to check with the National Park service and get as much of a conditions report as possible and if it seems like things are stable we'll try and move through tonight to get to base camp. With the weather down there no groups are flying off the glacier but, as they say up here you can't fly off the mountain unless you're at the airstrip. But for now being in snow here is better than sitting in rain down there. We'll let you know if we're moving down tonight when it's cooler. Otherwise we'll be hanging here waiting for conditions to improve eating fat, having fun playing lots of UNO. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Denali Team 8: June 10 to June 30 - Dispatch #19

Guides: Andrew Yasso, Mary Harlan, Paul Rosser

Climbers: Geoff Strommer (Oregon), Jennifer Logan (UK), Paul Davies (UK), Steven Hart (Florida), David Chambers (Texas), Brian Roark (Texas), Virginia Cross (Australia), Selina Dicker (UK)

Andrew Yasso called at 5:30 pm PST with the following dispatch:

Well, we thought we could extend our stay on the upper mountain and wait out the weather.  No luck, we're still getting hammered.  Right now there are no teams moving up the mountain.  Lots of tent time these last few days.  We're reading books, watching movies on the iPhone, and playing games.  We've also made a game of avoiding the consumption of freezed dried food.  Right now our plan is to grab our cache above the fixed lines tomorrow or the next day and then begin our descent. 

The whole team is disappointed that the weather hasn't allowed us to go higher, but that is part of the game in the mountains.  The weather rules the day.  Everyone here truly deserves the summit and has made a tremendous effort.


Everyone is looking forward to moving again and we all have our fingers crossed for a weather window that will allow a descent and an on-time return to Talkeetna.


Here are a few messages for the folks at home:


Celina - "Hi Amy and Bryony.  Did my parking permit arrive?  Hope you haven't burned the house down.  Looking forward to rose' upon return."


Paul Davies - "Claire - No summit, trying to get out on time.  Love, Paul."


Steve Hart - "Don't expect me home soon.  Weathered in at 14."


Ginny - "Fighting in the shade.  Love to you all."


Paul Rosser - "Hello to my family and friends."