Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November 2015 Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition, Ecuador – Dispatch 4

Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition

November 20 - 29, 2015

Lead Guides:
Jeremy Devine
Romel Sandoval

Climbers:
Catherine Hibberd
Graham Keene
Richard Long
Melissa Lopez-Worm
Hernando Madronero
Jason Muise
Thomas Worm
Hallie Zolynski
Andrew Zuehlke

Received on November 26, 2015
"It's evening here again and we are about to turn in for the night as soon as we finish dinner. We had a great day of skills practice on the glaciers near the refugio today learning and practicing how to self arrest, cramponing techniques, and rope team travel.

Toward the end of our skills practice we got a little bit of precipitation, it has since ceased but is still somewhat cloudy. After our session on the glacier we returned to the refugio for a lunch of hot soup and sandwiches. The afternoon was spent organizing our gear and resting up for tomorrows summit climb. Everyone is still going great and feeling good.

The plan for later tonight/tomorrow is to have an alpine start getting up at 11pm, so that we can be climbing by 12pm round trip; we are aiming for a 10hr climbing day. Despite the precip earlier today it is colder than the past few days at this time, with calm to light winds; should make for good firm climbing conditions tomorrow.

We'll check in when we return from our climb, night!'

Jeremy Devine



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 2015 Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition, Ecuador – Dispatch 3

Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition

November 20 - 29, 2015

Lead Guides:
Jeremy Devine
Romel Sandoval

Climbers:
Catherine Hibberd
Graham Keene
Richard Long
Melissa Lopez-Worm
Hernando Madronero
Jason Muise
Thomas Worm
Hallie Zolynski
Andrew Zuehlke

Received on November 24, 2015

"It's 6pm or so here, we are at the Cayambe Refugio (15,092 ft / 4600 m). This morning we woke up at the Guachala Hacienda and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and morning. We left the hacienda about 9:30 am by bus to head to Cayambe.

A few kilometers before the Cayambe Refugio the road became too bad to continue in the bus. We transferred our equipment to a 4x4 truck, and enjoyed a mellow walk the remaining few kilometers arriving at the refuge a bit after noon. At the refugio we enjoyed a lunch of hot potato soup and sandwiches before going for another acclimatization hike. 
Everyone did great on the hike going up to about 15,900 ft / 4846 m, the highest so far. No headaches from the altitude, and everyone is feeling good. 

Back at the refugio we organized and prepped our climbing equipment, for the skills practice we have planned for tomorrow. We are planning an early start and and early finish to tomorrow allow for enough sleep before the alpine start on summit day.

The weather is still fairly cloudy but we did get some views of the expansive glaciers on our hike. Those of us from the Pacific North West feel right at home in the silence of the clouds. The forecast looks to be on the upswing so I am hopeful for clearer weather in the coming days.

Dinner is almost ready and we are looking forward to it; quinoa soup with vegetables, and pork for those of us that eat meat.

Talk to you in a few days!"

Jeremy Devine


November 2015 Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition, Ecuador – Dispatch 2

Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition

November 20 - 29, 2015

Lead Guides:
Jeremy Devine
Romel Sandoval

Climbers:
Catherine Hibberd
Graham Keene
Richard Long
Melissa Lopez-Worm
Hernando Madronero
Jason Muise
Thomas Worm
Hallie Zolynski
Andrew Zuehlke

Received on November 24, 2015

Breakfast in the cobbled courtyard at the historical Hacienda Guachala est. 1580 
"We had a wonderful, relaxing evening at Hacienda Guachala after our climb of Gua Gua Pichincha. Dinner was exceptional with local specialties, including a dish of Trout with shrimp sauce. Our walk back to our rooms was on cobblestones passing horses allowed to roam freely around the property. Our rooms were converted from the original horse stables and heated by open fireplaces. All in all a very restful evening before our ascent to the Cayambe Refugio today. Here's a photo from this morning."

Jeremy Devine


Monday, November 23, 2015

November 2015 Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition, Ecuador – Dispatch 1

Cayambe – Antisana Skills Expedition

November 20 - 29, 2015

Lead Guides:
Jeremy Devine
Romel Sandoval

Climbers:
Catherine Hibberd
Graham Keene
Richard Long
Melissa Lopez-Worm
Hernando Madronero
Jason Muise
Thomas Worm
Hallie Zolynski
Andrew Zuehlke

Received on November 23, 2015

"Over the past two days we went to the Otovalo market, and hiked Cerro Pasochoa (13,776 ft / 4199 m) to acclimatize. On November 21, on our way to the Otovalo market we saw many people walking on pilgrimage celebrating the feast day of the Lady of Quinche (Nuestra SeƱora de la Quinche). The Lady of Quinche is revered for providing protection against encounters with the Andean bears.

Everyone is doing great, we just came down from our acclimatization hike on Gua Gua Pinchincha (15,696 ft / 4784 m). There was some rain on the way down but we were able to see Antisana (18,827 ft / 5740 m). We are headed to the Hacienda Guachala for the night. Tomorrow we are headed to Cayambe (1896 ft / 5790 m) and expect to have better weather."

Jeremy Devine


Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 Lamoshe Skills Expedition - Dispatch 4

Lamoshe Skills Expedition - Sichuan, China

October 20 - November 2, 2015


Guide:
Chad Cochran


Climbers: 
Jose Recio
Jean Dominique Perret
Mitchell Dow Williams



Email received November 1, 2015

Good evening,

Late last night I arrived back in Chengdu. As I mentioned before in my last correspondence we had to abort from our original objective due to the hazards of the approach (a large Boulder field where the movement skills of the group were not up to traversing the mike of exposure safely). I also recently got word that the approach coulier has a significant rock fall hazard and is more of a dodging game. We put multiple other options on he table for the rest of the trip including climbing some of the stunning alpine ridges that adjoin the valley base camp is in, trekking to a remote monetary at the base of gongs Shan, glacier and climbing skills, or going to Tagong a nearby Tibetan sanctuary that contains high alpine prairies.


Jose caught a cold when we moved up to our camp 1 and needed to rest a day or two. We spent the first day traversing one of the scenic alpine ridges above camp reaching a new high of the trip 4900 meters. The next day his cold took a turn for the worse and we rested in camp going over crevasse rescue and ascending a rope on a near by boulder. Our last day below Lamoshe we spent exploring a neighboring valley we could hike to from base camp. We hoped to reach a glacier that we could see from our previous venture but were turned around by time and a impending snow shower that dusted camp through the afternoon and evening. The following morning, October 31st we broke base camp and headed to a local Tibetan hostel that sported a glass room facing the mountains. The evening was spent with new friends enjoying traditional yak meat, various root vegetables, and yak butter tea. November 1st we parted ways and I headed back with the escort and interpreter to Chengdu.


Although we did not reach the summit we have experienced a remote and amazing section of Asia only wetting our taste buds for further adventures around these ancient lands.

I look forward to seeing you all on my return

Chad