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!"

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