Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November/December 2015, Ecuador - Chimborazo, Dispatch 2

Guide:

Jeremy Devine

Climbers:

Catherine Hibberd
Graham Keene
Richard Long
Jason Muise
Hallie Zolynski
Andrew Zuehlke

Evening update from Jeremy

Baños de Agua Santa 5:00pm local time

"We made our summit attempt on Chimborazo last night. We woke at 10:00pm and had a quick breakfast and were out the door at 11:00pm. The Refugio was in a thick cloud layer and we hiked the first hour in without being able to see the stars, finally broke through and could see the entirety of the mountain and night's sky. We put on crampons and started to ascend the snow and frozen sand slopes of the normal route. As we gained elevation the wind increased to the point of knocking us off balance slightly, you had to lean into the wind in order to stay stable.

My rope team gained the upper ridge at 5400 meters/ 17,000 feet in intense wind, we hunkered down in an alcove for around 40 minutes waiting for the team behind us to arrive. Upon arrival of the second rope team, we all agreed that continuing in the high winds was a bad idea. From the alcove on the ridge we
 started our descent back to the Refugio arriving around 6:30am, safe and sound.

Although unsuccessful at attaining the summit, we all felt we made good decisions and stayed safe. Over some hot drinks and food we decided as a team that we would not make another attempt on Chimborazo. Factors leading to that decision included the amount of energy expended on this attempt, the good chance for high winds to continue, and the desire to enjoy our last couple days in Ecuador relaxing together as a team.

We left the Refugio at 11:00am and arrived in Baños de Agua Santos "Baños" in the early afternoon. The city is very friendly, and appears to have many activities such as rafting, horseback riding, hiking, etc. Some folks are planning on trying to take advantage of these activities tomorrow. We're having dinner together tonight at 7:00pm. Friday morning we head back to Quito. I'll send in another update tomorrow about our day in Baños.

Take care to everyone following our trip."
Cheers,
Jeremy

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