Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 20 - 29, 2015 Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition, Ecuador - Dispatch 5

Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition

Lead Guides: Jeremy Devine and Romel Sandoval

Climbers: Catherine H., Graham K., Richard L., Melissa L., Hernando M., Jason M., Thomas W., Hallie Z., Andrew Z.

Recieved on November 26, 2015

Negotiating some rock scrambling on our
approachto Glacier Hermoso (Beautiful Glacier)
"I'm excited to be making this dispatch once again from Hacienda Guachala after a very long summit day on Cayambe. We had an early dinner at 5:30pm last night so we could get to bed for a few hours before our wake up time of 11pm. There were a few other teams preparing for their climb as well so the Refugio was bustling. Some hot drinks and breakfast food fueled our team as they finished last minute tasks. We struck out at midnight sharp to a spectacularly clear sky.

We could not have had better weather for our summit day. But it wasn't just the good weather that made the day special, it was all the amazing things we got to see on the way.

There was an electrical storm far to the west that lit up with flashes of lightning. The full moon was also brilliantly bright, almost making our headlamps unnecessary. We could see some of the brightest stars including the Big Dipper, Orion, and Southern Cross constellations. But the most brilliant star wasn't a star at all. Around 5am Venus rose above the summit. The planet was so bright many of us thought it was a climber's headlamp that had reached the summit early.
AAI Climbers Graham and Jason 
Approaching the Summit

Teams arrived at the summit between 7 and 8am with brilliant 360 degree views. The volcanoes of Ecuador are not surrounded by mountains but lower rolling hills. This gives a greater sense and appreciation for just how high we climbed.

Our teams descended quickly and arrived back at the Refugio between 11:30am and 12:30pm. It was a very big day and we're all excited for a good nights sleep. This climb certainly goes down as one of the best glacier climbs I've ever done. A beautiful day on a beautiful route.

Tomorrow we visit the Equator and travel to Hacienda Guetala close to Antisana for the evening. I'll send an update from our travel day tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone following us from the US!"

Jeremy Devine

Ecuadorean IFMGA Guide Freddy Tipan and his team of Cathie and Richard reaching Cayambe' Summit

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