Monday, December 5, 2016

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition (December 2-16) - Dispatch 1

December 5th Dispatch

Guide:  Fredy Tipan

Climbers:  Mike S.Andrew F., Deli F., Jacques P., David F., Patricia A., Galen P., Jeffrey S.


This is Fredy calling from Ecuador.  We’ve just finished our third day of the trip, and everything is going great!  This is a really nice and motivated group of people, and we've been having a lot of fun together.

Most folks arrived on Friday, and Saturday morning we had a nice breakfast together at the hotel and did a program orientation.  After that we headed north to the equator and then continued to the town of Otavalo where we went to the huge market.  

The market was a really fun cultural experience. It was super busy with locals.  Most of the people shopping there are from surrounding villages.  They come in to town once a week and they dress in traditional clothing, so their shopping and their traditional clothes are very interesting for our team to see as our climbers did their own shopping.   And we had a delicious Ecuadorian lunch!  Everyone seems to like the food here!

So that was Saturday, and the last two days we have used for acclimatization hikes.  Yesterday we climbed Pasochoa (13,776 ft / 4199 m), and today we climbed GuaguaPichincha (15,670 ft / 4776 m).  The group summited both peaks without any problem.  Everybody is acclimatizing really well on our schedule, and we haven't had any altitude illness issues.  Judging by each person's adjustment so far, I think they will all do very well on the major climbs!

Here is Jeffrey who will add a few words to our report:

Everything is going really well. I’m from Chicago, which essentially has no elevation, so this trip has been intense for me, but good. I’m nervous about our next climbs, but also looking forward to them.  The guides are fantastic and so are the team members.  In addition to the climbs, we’ve been enjoying the Ecuadorian culture.  The landscape is absolutely breathtaking!  We’ve had good weather, overall.  A light rain seems common in the afternoons here, and we had just a drizzle, today.

Here’s Fredy, again:

Tonight we will head to Hacienda Guachala, below Cayambe, which will be our first big climb.  The hacienda has a very nice, countryside atmosphere, and the food is terrific.

More news tomorrow if we can make the connection.  We’ll be traveling to the hut on Cayambe at 15,250 feet (4648 meters) and starting our glacier skills training.  Wednesday we’ll do more training to make sure everyone is prepared, and Thursday we’ll climb Cayambe!  We'll call each afternoon if we can make the connection.

Bye for now!

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