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.