Friday, July 14, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 30 - July 14) Dispatch 5

July 13 Dispatch:

Climbers: Jonathan Myers, Sandee Myers

Guide: Jaime Avila

Hola from Quito!


I'm sorry for being a bit late with this message, but yesterday we had kind of a long day!!!

We are happy to tell you that we summited Chimborazo under challenging conditions, then made a safe descent to our high camp and then down to the hut, and then drove from the base of the mountain to the beautiful sub-tropical town of Baños. What a day!

We made a high camp, as I previously mentioned we might to. On summit morning, we woke up at around 2am, but seeing that the weather was clear and very cold, we decided to leave a bit later than usual. We had this option open to us because we established such a high camp – it was at 5300 meters / 17,400 feet – definitely higher than normal and making our summit day a little shorter.

We wanted to wait a little longer to avoid the coldest temperatures of the night and get the benefit of the sunrise and its warmth before being extremely high on the mountain.

After a light breakfast we were ready for our climb! It was wonderful to have the clear skies, and we were fortunate to have just a light wind. We left camp at around 3:15 am and found the climbing condition in the first hour of our ascent a bit difficult due the snow conditions: a thin crust and sugary snow make our progress a bit slow and hard.

Once we were on the ridge, conditions were better in the snow pack, but it was still very cold at about -10°C or 14°F. We stopped a few times to add extra layers, as well as for snacks and drinks.

In the end the ascent required 6 hours and 45 minutes to get to the summit. The day remained clear with a bright and warming sun sun bright, but still cold – about -15°C / 5°F on the summit

After a short break we took a couple of pictures and started to head down.

The descent was easy due the cold conditions. We had good footing on the snowpack the whole way.

Once in high camp we rested for abut an hour and waited for our porter who was s great help to us in aid in load carrying to and from the high camp.

Driving to Baños was kind of long journey after the climb, but we didn't care, since we knew there was showers, lots of rich air (!), and great food!!!

So we are relaxing in the beautiful town of Baños on a river that created an access valley to the Amazon Basin. There palm trees add lots of flowers in turn, so it feels truly refreshing and in contrast the the alpine zones where we have been spending a lot of our time.

After an easy afternoon, evening, and morning here, we will leave for Quito where we will have our final dinner together before saying good bye for now.

We are very happy. What a great way to end our trip – with the summit of Chimborazo!

That's all for now!!!
Jaime

Jonathan, Sandee and Jaime on the summit with smiles!

Jonathan and Sandee celebrating their summit success!



2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 30 - July 14) Dispatch 4

July 10 Dispatch:

Climbers: Jonathan Myers, Sandee Myers


Guide: Jaime Avila

Hello Again!


We attempt Cayambe Saturday night, but the weather stopped us. We had great hopes for this climb because the forecast was showing low winds and mild temperatures, but everything changed on the mountain!!!


We left the hut in the middle of high winds. They were blowing all night, and we want to give it a try in case conditions got better as we got closer to the morning.

We made it to the glacier but that was it. The winds were just too high. I have to say, each member of our team worked really hard and did a great job coping with the winds. They were great. But because we saw no signs of improvement with the weather, we knew the route was not at all practical that day. We stayed warm, but that would have been much harder to accomplish high on the mountain where the winds were undoubtedly worse.

After the climb we had some more food and a nap and then headed back to Quito in the early afternoon. And last night we had dinner at a local food restaurant, Mama Clorinda, and my daughter Tamia joined us!!! It was a lot of fun. The restaurant offers some traditional Ecuadorian food, so it's fun to sample some unusual dishes. They do a great job!

Now we are driving (with Sandee and Jonathan) towards the hut on Chimborazo, (Hermanos Carrell), and we are planning to do an acclimatization hike tomorrow. And there's a chance we will do some ferrying of gear to a high camp to make our summit day shorter and easier. This is a huge mountain, so sometimes that is worth the effort. If we do that, we will move up to the camp on Wednesday and climb for the summit on Thursday.
As you know, phone reception can be poor over there, so, it's most likely that you will hear from us on Friday night!!!!
We are hoping we will have some good news for you along with a summit pic!!!
All the best,
Jaime


Monday, July 10, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 30 - July 14) Dispatch 3

July 8th Dispatch:

Climbers: Jonathan Myers, Sandee Myers, Calvin Hartman

Guide: Jaime Avila

Jaime sent an email June 8 with the following update:

Good Morning!

The Internet and cellular transmissions have been very difficult down here, and I’m sorry not to be able to reach you earlier.

Here below are some photos of Fuya Fuya.

It was an easy hike of a good length, and we enjoyed it! Mostly is was walking and a little scrambling higher up, but we used a rope for protection on the last part just below the summit. It was a little windy once again. We had some good views, especially of the lake below us and across some beautiful flowing grasslands that are typical of this area.

After the climb we went back to Otavalo where we stopped for lunch at a nice pizza and sandwich place. We were all very hungry!!!!

We went back to our hotel, and after a shower and a short nap, we went out to have dinner in a kind of Italian-Ecuadorian Restaurant. The food was really good, everyone agreed!!!

Now, we're having breakfast and about to leave La Casa Sol. Everyone is in good spirits and ready to go back to Cayambe, where we hope the weather help us this time.

We’ll be back in touch on late on Sunday the 9th or on Monday.

Hasta luego!



Three of us heading up towards Fuya Fuya.

A second view with two of us far left and another lake way below us.

On the summit of Fuya Fuya and great to be there!




Thursday, July 6, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 30 - July 14) Dispatch 2

July 6th Dispatch:
Thursday 4 pm Pacific time

Climbers: Jonathan Myers, Sandee Myers, Calvin Hartman


Guide: Jaime Avila


Hello again from Ecuador,

We are back in town after a very windy night at the hut on Cayambe!

We didn't leave the hut at all because it was way too windy. We woke up at 11 pm according to our plan to eat a breakfast and begin our climb at midnight in order to have the coldest conditions possible on the mountain for good cramponing on the glacier.

When we went to bed it wasn't bad outside, but as time passed, the wind started to blow harder and make an interesting howling noise that keep us awake for a while.

So as planned, we woke up at 11pm and went out to check the weather, knowing beforehand that wasn't good. Jonathan joined me and agreed the wind was too much to begin the climb. Back inside, we discussed the conditions and decided to wait for two hours to check again and make a final call.

After the two hours the wind keeps blowing and howling, and we had another good conversation with Jonathan, Sandee, and Calvin, along with Marco the assistant guide. In the end, we all agreed that climbing in those conditions wouldn't be easy and would most likely be very uncomfortable.

We could go up a little ways to see how the team deals with the challenging conditions and see if anything changes, but there was a consensus among the climbers that they were there to enjoy themselves, not to prove they could be miserable and still be OK.

So we went back to bed after officially deciding to do a "Plan B".

Besides going back to bed at 2 am (a very nice idea), the second part of "Plan B" was to not return to Hacienda Guachala but instead to stay at La Casa Sol just outside the town of Otavalo.

So after breakfast at the normal breakfast time, we drove down from the Cayambe highlands and stop for a short hike to Peguche waterfall.



After that, we continued on down from the highlands towards Otavalo and La Casa Sol. Long story short, everyone kind of feel in love with the place. It is beautifully designed and a very comfortable place to relax.


Outside our rooms at La Casa.

Part 2 of "Plan B" is climbing Fuya-Fuya tomorrow. At about 14,000 feet, it’s just a small peak by Ecuador standards, but it will keep us moving and acclimatizing, plus we hope to have some nice views of Lake Mojanda and Cayambe.



Part 3 of our "Plan B" is going back to Cayambe with the hopes of having better weather and making the climb. This time of year the weather is normally good, so we have reason to be optimistic.

We’ll call Sunday or Monday and let you know how everything goes.

Hasta pronto!

PS: Below are some photos from earlier in the trip.


Up in the clouds on the summit of 15,413-foot Rucu Pichincha (Jonathan, Sandee, Calvin, Jaime).





Calvin, Sandee, and Jonathan on our acclimatization hike on Cayambe. We’re looking forward to being on the glacier in the background when we return!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 30 - July 14) Dispatch 1

July 4th Dispatch

Climbers: Jonathan Myers, Sandee Myers, Calvin Hartman

Guide: Jaime Availa

Phone call from Calvin Hartman:

Everything is going well down here, and we are enjoying Ecuador a lot. There is wonderful scenery everywhere we go and beautiful mountains.

The physical workout is harder than I expected, but it's been fun. From the hiking we've done so far, I am already in better shape and feeling good.

Our first big hike and scramble was on Pasachoa (13,776 ft), and though it was a work-out for me I really enjoyed it. It's beautiful countryside and we saw almost all of Ecuador's big peaks very clearly. It was a beautiful day and the views were remarkable.

We also had a good time on Rucu Pichincha (15,413 ft)
. There was more scrambling on that peak. We had good views at first but then climbed up into the clouds or fog and our view was blocked.

We're at Hacienda Guachala now below Cayambe at 9199 ft. It's a very comfortable place and the food's been every good. Pretty soon we will leave and head up to the hut on Cayambe, which is our first big climbing goal. We'll work on skills on Wednesday and make our summit on Thursday.

Jaime says we're going to make a stop at a local store from some snacks and then in a few hours, we'll be up at the hut at an elevation of 15080 ft. We'll call in a couple of days with an update.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 16 - 30) Dispatch 6

June 29th Dispatch

Climbers: Kirsty Ross, Timothy Szwarc, Philipp Eglseer

Guide: Estalin Suarez

Phone call from Timothy Szwarc:

Hello! We are all doing very well! We are so happy about our successful summit of Chimborazo yesterday! Today we are in Baños. We spent the day driving around, sightseeing and visiting the breathtaking waterfalls around the city.

I wanted to say that Estalin was a fantastic guide and great person to have show us around the cities as well as the mountains.

This will be our last dispatch, as we are on our way to Quito now and will be departing heading home tomorrow.

Thank you for a wonderful expedition!


2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 16 - 30) Dispatch 5

June 28th Dispatch

Climbers: Kirsty Ross, Timothy Szwarc, Philipp Eglseer

Guide: Estalin Suarez

Phone call from Elstalin:

I wanted to call and let you know today’s climb went great!

Today we had our last day on the mountain, and it was a great day.   The whole group was able to reach the Whymper Peak Summit on Chimborazo (20,548 ft)!  The weather was still not very good today, so we didn’t expect to summit, but the group worked hard and were in good spirits.  We made steady progress, at each rest stop we felt good about continuing, and we went all the way.   Everyone was so excited to be on top and – at the furthest point from the earth's center.

Now everyone is safe and happily resting in the beautiful, semi-tropical town of Baños.  We are really tired but very happy and ready to celebrate the summit.  We will spend one more day here in Baños, basically having a relaxing day and making visit to some of the beautiful waterfalls around this area.

It's been a great experience together.  Thanks for following our adventure!


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 16 - 30) Dispatch 4

June 27th Dispatch

Climbers: Kirsty Ross, Timothy Szwarc, Philipp Eglseer

Guide: Estalin Suarez

Kristy called this morning with the dispatch for Day 12:

We just wanted to give you a quick update from our trip. I think last time we spoke, we were at the hacienda after climbing Cayambe. Since then we made an attempt on Antisana. We had beautiful views of the mountains from the camp. The night was clear to start off with, but then the weather came in towards the summit, so we were not able to reach the summit. But we all agreed it was for the best. We were still able to climb to about 5200 meters (17,061 feet), so it was a very good climb.

We are now on our way to the Chimborazo hut. The weather is still cloudy, but we are hoping for a good break on Chimborazo so we can attempt the summit.



Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 11 - July 1)



Guides:

Richard Riquelme
Wyatt Evenson
Max Lurie

Climbers:

Carlos Barquet
Christopher Eubanks
Emal Ehsan
Huachao "Mike" Chen
Jeff Burkard
Peter Blackshaw
Sophie Hilarie
Timothy Switzer



Team 6 guide Wyatt Evenson called in. The team was hunkered down at 14 Camp (14,200') over the past several days, resting and preparing their High Camp strategy. They have been met with great weather, starting with their arrival to 14 Camp to their most recent update. The weather has been clear and sunny, with few clouds and very low wind. The team trained with fixed lines to prepare for the steeper sections of the mountain as well as resting for the next push. They were able to make a cache at 16,200' above the fixed lines. Over the weekend they also celebrated Sophie Hilarie's birthday! Happy Birthday from AAI to Sophie! What a way to spend it, on one of the most impressive mountains in the world! A delicious meal of pasta and garlic sauce was made by chef Max Lurie...though they were unfortunately out of creme brulee for Sophie...The team has one more rest day built in before they try and make a push for High Camp, weather dependent.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 16 - 30) Dispatch 3

June 22nd Dispatch

Climbers: Kirsty Ross, Timothy Szwarc, Philipp Eglseer


Guide: Estalin Suarez


Estalin called this morning with the dispatch for Day 7:

We wanted to give you a call and let you know that we had a very good day of climbing and that we were successful in reaching the 18,997-foot summit of Cayambe!

Everyone did a great getting up to the top. We had better weather than the last couple days, but still a little tricky with the wind. But each climber did a great job with their layering and stayed warm. Overall, we would have to say that everything went perfectly.

And we had a good time in the process. We are having a good time together on the mountain and off!

We will call again tomorrow.


2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma


Lead guide Andy Stephen checked in to let us know that Team 5 has descended back to 14 Camp, and the weather is beautiful! They hope to descend back to basecamp tonight and fly out the following day to Talkeetna, or as soon as the weather permits. Thanks very much everyone for following their progress!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 16 - 30) Dispatch 2

June 21st Dispatch

Climbers: Kirsty Ross, Timothy Szwarc, Philipp Eglseer

Guide:
Estalin Suarez



Timothy called with the dispatch for June 20th and 21st (Days 5 and 6 of the Expedition):
Hello there!

Everything is going really well!  We tried calling yesterday but couldn’t get a signal.  We’ve been waiting out the weather inside the Ruales­ Berg­ Orleas Refuge on Cayambe for the past 2 days.

Weather for tomorrow looks okay, but we’re not really sure what to expect.  Regardless, we will make our summit attempt tonight and into tomorrow.  We don’t mind taking a chance on the weather for one day.  If we get our gear wet, we’re heading back to town tomorrow where we can dry off, so we’ll be okay.

Everyone is super excited! We have great group of climbers, and Estalin has been an excellent guide.  During our stay at this hut, Estalin has been doing a great job teaching us skills.  He has also been showing us pictures of previous Cayambe climbs and getting us very excited for our summit attempt tomorrow.

We'll try to give you an update tomorrow.


2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 11 - July 1)



Guides:

Richard Riquelme
Wyatt Evenson
Max Lurie

Climbers:

Carlos Barquet
Christopher Eubanks
Emal Ehsan
Huachao "Mike" Chen
Jeff Burkard
Peter Blackshaw
Sophie Hilarie
Timothy Switzer



Wyatt Evenson called in briefly around midnight. The team is still at Camp 11. They were hoping to move to 14 Camp earlier but they were met with even more snow. The weather is supposed to improve throughout the day tomorrow and the plan is to try and make the move to 14 Camp within a few hours.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma




Lead guide Andy Stephen called in with great news! The weather was beautiful and clear yesterday morning, allowing the team to successfully summit! Way to go Team 5! Our thoughts and well wishes are with them. Team 5 wanted to thank everyone for their support and encouragement throughout the entire expedition. They are now safely down from the summit at 17 Camp and will be updating us on the progress of their descent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 16 - 30) Dispatch 1

June 19th Dispatch

Climbers: Kirsty Ross, Timothy Szwarc, Philipp Eglseer

Guide: Estalin Suarez


Kristy called and Monday evening (June 19) with the dispatch for June 18th and 19th:

Hello, this is Kirsty from the Ecuador Volcano Expedition. We’re having a great time! Yesterday we climbed Cerro Pasochoa 4300m. Today we did Rucu Pichincha 4700m via the Paso de La Muerte, also known as the passage of death. So, we feel very equipped for any adventures we come across on the bigger mountains later. That’s all for now. We’ll check in again tomorrow.


2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma


Lead guide Andy Stephen checked in. The team is still waiting at 17 Camp, taking today to rest and acclimatize wile they wait for a weather window to make their summit attempt. They checked out views from the Diving Board, ate, drank water and slept. Everyone was excited for grilled cheese for lunch and freeze dried 'delights' for dinner! The team hopes to make a summit bid either today or tomorrow!

Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma


Lead guide Andy Stephen checked in from High Camp last night. They had a very windy start to the day that cleared later in the evening, with the clouds breaking, allowing the sun to shine through. There were some swirling clouds on the West Ridge, which Andy noted is one of the coolest features on he route. The team did a great job and will be resting tomorrow, taking the opportunity to snap some classic photos on the Diving Board which is a cool feature right outside of camp.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 11 - July 1)





Guides:


Richard Riquelme
Wyatt Evenson
Max Lurie


Climbers:


Carlos Barquet
Christopher Eubanks
Emal Ehsan
Huachao "Mike" Chen
Jeff Burkard
Peter Blackshaw
Sophie Hilarie
Timothy Switzer


Team 6 guide Wyatt Evenson called in. The team had a large amount of snowfall, accumulating about two and a half feet, on Friday night at Camp 2. Due to the snowfall and cloudy weather they decided not to back carry early in the morning. Once the weather cleared enough later in the day, around 1:00pm, they were able to make the trip down to retrieve their cache at around 10,000ft.


The team took a weather day on Camp two (aka Camp Misery as Wyatt endearingly referred to it) the next day, making a trip to Windy Corner to stash their cache at 13,400ft. Richard made an awesome dinner of rehydrated peppers and other delicious sides when they arrived back at camp. Everyone was able to enjoy the beautiful view to the south of Mt. Forker, the Kahiltna Dome and many other awe-inspiring peaks through the Kahiltna pass. The plan tomorrow is to move to Camp three at 14,000ft. They will let us know as soon as they reach their next camp! Everyone on Team 6 wishes their father a happy fathers day!

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17)



Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent


Lead guide Paul Ivaska called in briefly. The team unfortunately had to pack up at high camp and head down this weekend. They were unable to make a summit push due to deteriorating weather. Everyone made it down to Camp 3 successfully, and then to basecamp.

Friday, June 16, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24) June 15th



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma



Team 5 guide Eric Shaw checked in from 14,000' Camp! Yesterday the team got a cold and early start around 7am. They spent the first several hours climbing in the shade in single digit temperatures. They were fortunate enough to catch the sunrise over the West Buttress just as they reached the fixed lines. This made the rest of the day much more bearable for the team during their crossing of the Bergschrund and climbing to their cache around 16,000ft. Regardless it was a hard day! Eric stated that as usual Team 5 rose to the challenge and everyone was at Camp in great time at 2pm. The weather looks positive and the team hopes to make a push for High Camp today, and weather permitting, for a summit attempt this weekend!

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 11 - July 1) June 15th



Guides:


Richard Riquelme
Wyatt Evenson
Max Lurie


Climbers:


Carlos Barquet
Christopher Eubanks
Emal Ehsan
Huachao "Mike" Chen
Jeff Burkard
Peter Blackshaw
Sophie Hilarie
Timothy Switzer


Team 6 guide Wyatt Evenson called in. They have made it to Camp 2! The team had left their previous camp at 5am that morning, and were ready to go after a good move day breakfast of granola and breakfast cookies. They arrived at Camp 2 around 12:30. Richard then cooked up a good meal of chicken, raisins and veggies to 'fend off the scurvy' as Wyatt joked. Tomorrow the plan is to do a back carry to pick up the cache they left yesterday. This will put them in position to prepare to move to 14,000 Camp. The weather is starting to deteriorate a little bit. They started off with sunny skies with a few clouds to now full on snow that is supposed to move throughout the weekend. Just shows the variety of weather in the Alaska range!

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17) June 15th



Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent


Lead guide Paul Ivaska called in. Team 4 is still at High Camp waiting for a weather window. It has been too windy and cold to make an attempt for the summit, but they hope to have a clear window tomorrow. Tomorrow will be their last opportunity to make a push for the summit! Lets send them our best wishes!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 11 - July 1)



Guides:


Richard Riquelme
Wyatt Evenson
Max Lurie


Climbers:


Carlos Barquet
Christopher Eubanks
Emal Ehsan
Huachao "Mike" Chen
Jeff Burkard
Peter Blackshaw
Sophie Hilarie
Timothy Switzer


Team 6 guide Wyatt Evenson called in. The team is at Camp 1, having successfully cached just below Camp 2 today (around 10,000ft). The warm temperatures made them a little slow coming back, but they were sill able to accomplish their goal in around 6 and a half hours. Wyatt cooked everyone up a dinner of pasta and pesto, and finished up with some cookies. It was a big day, especially with the teams first big haul having to carry a majority of their food, so everyone is pretty tired. The plan is to get some sleep tonight and make the climb to Camp 2 tomorrow. They hope to arrive by mid evening.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17)



Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent



Guide Paul Ivaska called in at 1:30 on Wednesday. The team is still at high camp. There was a large amount of evident snow transport that signified strong winds, so the team made the decision to stay an extra day at high camp. The plan at this point is to wait for a clearing in the weather to make a push for the summit.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 2 - 16) Dispatch 2

Climber: Alexander Pancoe

Guide: Diego Zurita

Alex called late on Tuesday to report that they didn't summit Antisana because there was so much new snow and some avalanche danger higher up on the mountains. There usually aren't any or many climbers on the mountain when we climb Antisana, but yesterday there were a lot.

Alex said the other climbing teams all began their climb an hour before Diego and he set out, but they were ahead of everyone in less than two hours. Alex said, "I guess we are more fit than we realized." It sounds like they were sprinting up the mountain!

They decided to turn back at a point somewhere over 17,000 feet, and the other groups followed their decision. Alex said, "There was far more snow than we expected. From the precipitation we had the day before, we thought there would be some new snow, but there was a surprisingly big accumulation. Diego says it is totally unusual for this time of year. We were punching through pretty deep."

Before signing off he said the skies were clear and the winds were about 35 mph. They checked the weather report, and it looked like their best window for Chimborazo would be Wednesday.

Alex called again today (Wednesday, June 14) to say they had changed their plans. "We are doing fine, but the weather forecast for Chimborazo is terrible for the summit attempt days, so we decided to change our plan and instead climb Illiniza Norte. The weather at Chimborazo was predicted as rain for a few days, but last night the forecasters changed it to snow. That's good for the glaciers but not for our ascent! The weather around Illiniza Norte is supposed to be better, so we'll see what we find there and make the most of it."

"We spent yesterday in beautiful Baños, enjoying the semi tropical surroundings and visiting a beautiful waterfall. Pretty different from where we have been climbing! We spent the night in Baños last night and have just arrived at the base of Illiniza Norte. We will camp tonight and make the summit attempt tomorrow. We will call you again once we are back in Quito. We're having a great time, and that's the main news for now."

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24) June 12th



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma




Team 5 guide Andy Stephen checked in on June 12th. The team had a successful day retrieving their cache at 13,200ft after enjoying a delicious breakfast of eggs and bacon. Camp was filled with swirling clouds and light fluffy snow They practiced fixed lines in the evening in preparation for moving farther up the mountain. They had a calorie rich lunch of Cheesy bread and an equally rich dinner of Shandy Mac Supreme. The plan for tomorrow is to put up a cache after the fixed lines at 16,000ft. Tomorrow is forecasted to be a beautiful day in the Alaska Range!

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 11 - July 1)

Guides:


Richard Riquelme
Wyatt Evenson
Max Lurie


Climbers:


Carlos Barquet
Christopher Eubanks
Emal Ehsan
Huachao "Mike" Chen
Jeff Burkard
Peter Blackshaw
Sophie Hilarie
Timothy Switzer


Team 6 guide Wyatt Evenson called in...The team has made it to Camp 1 (around Ski Hill at 7,500ft). Yesterday was their heaviest day in terms of gear load, carrying all the necessary equipment from basecamp to Camp 1. It took everyone about five hours to get to Camp 1. They arrived around 1:00pm and spent the rest of the day attending to and maintaining camp. It had snowed quite a bit over the past few days which resulted in the team digging a bit more than they would have liked! They had a delicious meal made by Max Lurie of chicken, couscous, sun dried tomatoes and hummus. Everyone was sent to bed with a bag of Oreos for dessert! The plan for tomorrow is to cache below Camp 2 at around 10,000ft and then return to Camp 1. The day after if the weather holds the team will make the push to Camp 2, taking their journey day by day.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17)



Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent


Paul Ivaska called in from High Camp around noon. They moved yesterday through slightly windy conditions from Camp 3 to High Camp. The team is resting and getting acclimated, and everyone is doing well despite the slight wind in the weather. It looks like the wind has diminished at the summit and will hold out for the next couple of day so Team 4 hopes to make their summit push tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma


Team 5 guide Andy Stephen checked in last night. They successfully made it to Camp 3 at 14,000ft! their patience at Camp 2 was rewarded with a move day. There was luckily no wind around Windy Corner as they made their ascent, and with the temperatures agreeable and the sun covered only by a thin layer of cloud it made for a good day. Everyone is excited about having the best day of the climb yet!...And naturally very tired! Tomorrow the plan is to sleep in and then head back down to 13,200ft to retrieve their cache. Dinner tonight was a Thanksgiving theme with no cheese!

Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 6 (June 11 - July 1)

Guides:

Richard Riquelme
Wyatt Evenson
Max Lurie

Climbers: 

Carlos Barquet
Christopher Eubanks
Emal Ehsan
Huachao "Mike" Chen
Jeff Burkard
Peter Blackshaw 
Sophie Hilarie
Timothy Switzer

Denali Team 6 guide Wyatt Evenson called in from Basecamp, giving the last first dispatch of the season! The team flew in yesterday around 3:00pm and kicked off the evening with a delicious dinner of veggie burgers with a side of pringles and salad. Everyone was able to get a good nights rest and had a great start to the morning with a breakfast of bacon and eggs, just the protein needed to start their journey up the mountain. Today will be a training day reviewing crevasse rescue and sled rigging. The team will be on a night schedule and will start walking tonight, with their first objective to get down to Heartbreak hill around 2:00am. They will then take a right turn on the Kahiltna and make their way to Camp 1. There are a few heavy hearts and some frowny faces as Wyatt noted...probably due to the night schedule...but he is confident he can turn those into smiles within the day. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition and Chimborazo Extension (June 2 - 16) Dispatch 1

Climber: Alexander Pancoe

Guide: Diego Zuirta

Diego and Alex called to give us updates on their private Cayambe + Antisana + Chimborazo climbing program. We spoke with both Diego and Alexander, and they sound like they are having a great time together.

Alexander said that he felt the altitude during the first day of acclimatizing in Quito, but he's been feeling good and very strong since waking up on Day 2. He said he loved walking around Quito with Diego and seeing its diverse cultural aspects: “It's a fantastic city and everyone should visit!  I’m enjoying the architecture and really enjoyed the market and shops.”

Yesterday they did their first acclimatization hike on Cerro Pasachoa, and Alexander said he has no issues with the peak’s 13,776-foot altitude.

There were a lot of laughs during the call and some funny feedback from Alexander:
1) Diego won't let him eat a guinea pig until the last day because he doesn't want Alex to get sick during the trip [this is a joke because we have never known anyone to get sick on this dish which is always referred to as the “local delicacy”].
2) They don't have sugar-free red bull, so Alex has been on a sugar high for the last three days.
3) They have apple flavored Gatorade in Ecuador - which Alexander has declared “my favorite souvenir so far!” He plans to bring some home, we think as a bit of a status symbol.

They called again just after coming off of Cayambe to report that they had successfully reached the summit! Alex was feeling so good at altitude that he skipped the extra day built into the itinerary for further acclimatization. He went from sea level to 19,000 ft in four days and felt quite good. He says it must be at least partly due to Diego being a great guy to climb with (!) but also added that it really helped to do the warm-up climb 15,413-foot Rucu Pichincha.

Diego summarized the ascent by saying, “Cayambe was in great shape. It was a little windy for us but not bad, and the snow conditions were perfect. Alexander was really strong, and we made a pretty fast and very efficient climb.”

Before and after the climb they stayed at beautiful the Hacienda Guachala and Friday night they were planning to stay at a different hacienda closer to Antisana, their next objective. Saturday the plan was to go to the base camp of Antisana and then begin their ascent that night at about midnight. It rained a little Thursday afternoon, so they were expecting at least a little new snow on the route. As a final note, Diego said it’s been pretty windy over the last week or so but seems to be getting back to a more normal pattern. He said the last few days have been totally calm, so they are hoping for good weather on Antisana.






2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24) June11th

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma

Lead guide Andy Stephen checked in. Team 5 was hunkered down at Camp 2, taking another rest day, due to high winds and a wintry mix of precipitation. Andy said the team is just excited to be in the big mountains, and the day was spent eating, sleeping and joking around. They were hoping for better weather tomorrow morning, which is predicted to be nicer, that will allow them to get a cache in at 13,000ft. Guide and 'chef' Shaw conjured up a delicious dinner of beans and naan for the team.

Today Team 5 was "able to get out of the swampy, soupy and warm weather of Camp 2" at 11,200ft and get their cache in at 13,200ft. Andy stated the climb up to that elevation was exciting, full of weather, wind and cheese. Everyone is excited to have made it higher and can't wait to make another push to Camp 4 tomorrow. Dinner is provided courtesy of Chef shandy, who is cooking up a fine meal of burritos with salsa. They send their best wishes and hope that we are having just as good a time following along as they are on beautiful Denali!

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17) June 11th

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent

Lead guide Paul Ivaska called in again with an update from Camp 3. Everyone is doing well, however Team 4 is still at Camp 3 at 14,000ft, waiting for the weather to clear. The weather has been too poor for them to make the move to High Camp. The weather is looking promising tomorrow, and they hope to make a push then.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21 - June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead guide Andrew Yasso called in from relatively sunny Talkeetna! They left camp 3 the previous day at 14,000ft at 11pm the and made it into basecamp at around 10-11am in the morning, a solid 12 hour move. Andrew had mentioned different 'e' words in his previous dispatch, but to describe the final push down to basecamp he used the word 'eventful'. With difficult travel, open crevasses and other challenges everyone still worked hard, stayed together as a team and managed all events with a laugh and a smile. Solid teamwork! The team is now letting their gear dry out in Talkeetna, happy to be back and looking forward to a shower and one of their last team dinners together. Thanks for following everyone! 

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17)

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent

Lead guide Paul Ivaska called in. Team 4 is currently at Camp 3 waiting for a weather window to get their cache in at the 16,000ft ridge. Once they get that in they will be prepared to make the push for high camp. They ran into Team 3 on their way down, everyone seemed to be doing well and in high spirits. At this point they are playing the waiting game, trying to hold out for a moment of good weather.

Friday, June 9, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma


Lead guide Andy Stephen checked in. Team 5 is having a snow day at Camp 2 and enjoying a breakfast of pancakes and sausage. The team will spend the day improving camp, going through snow school and will be spending time preparing for their continual push up the mountain. They are hoping to cache as soon as possible but it depends on what the weather brings over the next day or so. Tonight 'Mike McChef' will be cooking up a meal of dunkaroos parmesan (Thats even a mystery to us at the office!) but it will have plenty of cheese and good calories to fuel the team for their climb. At this point everyone is excited to return to a normal sleeping pattern.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21 - June 10) From June 8th *Update*



Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey



Team 3 guide Andrew Yasso called in this morning from High Camp. Sadly the winds were too high and weather too inclement this morning to allow the team to make a final push from high camp to the summit. This is the final call for team 3, and now they are waiting for a weather clearing to begin their journey back. Everyone gave it their absolute best shot, and we are proud to say that everyone worked very hard, came in well trained and well prepared, and it was only the weather that prevented them from summiting. Currently the team is hunkered down in their tents waiting to make the descent to Camp 3. The plan is to make their way to basecamp by Friday afternoon and fly out to Talkeetna Friday evening, but they will take their time in order to have a safe and steady journey home. Andrew stated that with mountains it sometimes unfortunately just boils down to the weather...We appreciate the support, and thank you so much everyone for following Team 3!

*Update*
Lead guide Andrew Yasso called in with an update on the progress of Team 3's descent. The team has made it down to 14 Camp from 17,000ft safe and sound. Everyone is sharing a hot meal and hot drinks with Team 4, who is graciously sharing their cook tent! The goal is to get around Windy Corner and make it to basecamp tonight, if not basecamp then at least to Camp 1. The weather is calling for some wind and rain, but if it clears enough the team will make the push to basecamp tonight. The trip was eventful, educational, epic, exciting...and a number of other 'e' words the team threw around to express their feelings and experience from spending the past several weeks on the mountain. This just goes to show how quickly spirits can be lifted when in good company in the mountains, even after a descending from a long journey. A lot of smiles can be seen and laughter is happening, pre-final decent, which just goes to show what an awesome team we had! Thanks again for following, and wish us luck on the final descent!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma


Team 5 guide Eric Shaw checked in today. The team had a relatively relaxing day resting and fueling at Camp 2. they made a short trip back down to retrieve their cache at 10,000ft that they had left two days ago. They are looking forward to a middle eastern themed dinner tonight. The weather has been a bit windy with a light dusting of snow. The team will take the next 24 hour off to rest before continuing their push to Camp 3.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21 - June 10)



Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey


Team 3 guide Andrew Yasso called in this morning...."Hello everyone this is Captain Andrew speaking from AAI flight 3, we are at a cruising altitude of 17,200ft. Sorry about that turbulence we experienced this morning, the high winds have kept us in our seats. But we have removed the fasten seat belt sign and everyone is moving around....snacks and refreshments are being handed out...and we are hoping to have a smooth flight here on out. We are going to cruise through the rest of the day here at 17,200ft hoping that tomorrow we gain some altitude up to 20,320ft...." And thats as far as the analogy goes from captain Andrew...


The team is at 17,200ft taking another rest day. The high winds and cold temperatures earlier this morning required that the team stay put for today. The weather cleared later in the day and temperatures rose around 2:30pm allowing for some movement and activity around camp. Andrew has said that their slow and careful ascent and team work has really paid off, and that he is incredibly proud of how well the team has handled their journey up to 17,200ft. Not taking the phrase lightly, Andrew has said everyone is in incredibly good spirits, as you can probably tell from the relayed dispatch introduction. With one more day tomorrow they hope to make the final push to the summit.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17)



Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent


Denali Team 4 guide Will Nunez called in. Today the team went over fixed lines in preparation for putting up a cache in at 16,000ft. The team is doing well and relaxing at their camp at 14,000ft.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21 - June 10)



Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey



Lead guide Andrew Yasso called in from High Camp (17,000ft). They woke up to high winds that unfortunately hindered the team from pushing forward. They were able to utilize the additional time to maintain and reinforce their camp or 'fortress'. The team is trying to stay active to help with their acclimatization by moving around camp and prepping for the next few days. They have plenty of food for the next several days and are hoping to find a weather clearing to leave High Camp and move forward.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)



Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma



Lead guide Andy Steven checked in this morning letting us know that the team was able to get their cache in at 10,000ft yesterday. They experienced low visibility but Andy said the temperature was great for climbing. Everyone is doing well and they were able to make a successful push to Camp 2 at 11,200ft with clear skies. The weather was clear at Camp 2 giving everyone beautiful views which helped boost morale. The team is excited to have a relatively relaxing day back carrying their cache and sleeping as much as possible. The team is "slamming" some pasta for dinner...and the meal is getting rave reviews.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17)



Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent




Lead guide Paul Ivaska called in...The team made it to Camp 3 at 14,200ft. The weather yesterday morning was looking unfavorable but a small window allowed them to make the push from Camp 2 to Camp 3 successfully. They arrived at camp late but the team did very well setting up camp. They had dinner and went to bed late, but everyone was able to have a leisurely start the following morning with a good breakfast of pancakes and sausage. The team will go pick up their cache at 13,500ft today. Tomorrow the plan is to practice some fixed lines and get their high camp meals organized. Afterwards the team will wait for a weather window to put their cache in at 16,000ft.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3) from May 29th

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow


Monday, June 5, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma

"Hi, this is Andy from AAI Denali Team 5, writing in to report our progress- we arrived at Camp 1 (7,800ft) this morning after flying into Base Camp (7,300ft) yesterday afternoon. The weather for the move was great, and the team did really well. We ate sandwiches from a local Talkeetna restaurant for dinner. Tomorrow we will sleep through the day and put in a cache at 10,000 ft tomorrow night if the weather holds."

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21 - June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead guide Andrew Yasso called this morning. Team 3 is making their way to High Camp (17,300ft) right now. They have a small weather window and are looking to make their summit attempt on Tuesday! They have about 3 days worth of food in case they need to wait out some weather. Very exciting for his team and as Andrew said "this what we all came here for". Let's wish them all luck and hope we hear good news in the coming day.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 5 (June 4 - 24)

Guides:

Andy Stephen
Mike McCartan
Eric Shaw

Climbers:

Bo Stern
Charlie Farhoodi
Dan Breye
Jo Bradshaw
Linda Blakely
Timothy Wright
Vasyl "Bill" Radzevych
Zoltan Torma

The first post from Team 5 is a good one! They are in the air and made it to Kahiltna Base Camp (7,300ft). We look forward to hearing from them more throughout their expedition. Here is a photo of the team outside K2 Aviation in Talkeetna, AK.



2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21 - June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Team 3 has cached above the fixed lines (16,200ft) and is back at Camp 3 (14,200ft). The team is enjoying a rest day today and eating some good food before they make their move to High Camp (17,300ft). Winds are pretty strong up high but are likely to subside by Monday.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17)

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent

Team 4 has made it to Camp 2 (11,200ft). They will "back carry" today (pick up their cache they left at 10,000ft). After that, the team will make their cache near Windy Corner (13,500ft) and. Everyone is doing well and is in high spirits with that good weather.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition (May 28 - June 17)

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Climbers:

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent

Team 4 has successfully cached below Camp 2 (10,000ft). The weather has been spectacular on the lower mountain which has made move days very comfortable and not too cold. The team is moving to Camp 2 (11,200ft) today and will make their cache plans for Windy Corner and moving to Camp 3 (14,200ft).

Friday, June 2, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttres Expedition (May 21 - June 10) from June 2nd

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Team 3 enjoyed a beautiful day at 14 Camp/Camp 3 (14,200ft). The plan is to make a trip up the fixed lines tomorrow and cache around 16,200ft. AAI guides also gave everyone a fun treat of visiting the "Edge of the World". An incredible view point and 7,000ft drop from the spot. AAI Climber Anya Jones passed along this photo to her husband David and sent it to AAI. Someone will be updating their profile photo.




2017 Denali West Buttress Team 2 (May 14 - June 3) Summit Day

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Lead guide Chad Cochran messaged us saying that Team 2 has summited! They are packing up at High Camp (17,300ft) and will be making their way to a lower camp and then out to the airstrip. Congrats to the team!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition (May 19 - June 2)

Full Course Dispatch

Climbers: Stefan Nel, Patrick Mitchell, Helen Petersen, and Jason Schocker

Lead Guide: Fredy Tipan
_____________________

Fredy emailed his last dispatch for this trip shortly after their return from Chimborazo.

On Saturday, May 30th, we started our day by having a delicious breakfast at La Estacion Urbina, a hostel located on the eastern flank of Chimborazo. At 9am, we started our journey by loading the truck and driving to the Chimborazo basecamp.

Fredy called to give us recap on the program through their successful ascent of Antisana.
We’ve been having a good time together as we have hiked and climbed through a variety of conditions. Everyone is doing fine and I know each person has been enjoying Ecuador a lot.
We had a good day on our first acclimatization hike on Cerro Pasochoa, at 13,776 feet.

Each climber on our team did an awesome job up there, despite that being their first day over 10,000 feet. They were feeling good and strong, and I only took us two hours and twenty minutes to gain the 1,876 feet required to summit to summit this great little mountain.
Once on the summit, we enjoyed lunch and the great views of all the nearby and not-so-nearby high summits. We took some good photos and then headed down. I have to tell you, Patrick, Jason, Helen and Stefan didn't even sweat on this climb. I was impressed! They were great.

We did another warm up climb on Rucu Pichincha, at 15,400 feet and then headed on to Hacienda Guachala below our first big peak, 18,996-foot Cayambe. Everyone enjoyed being at the hacienda and appreciate the good food.

The next day we drove to the hut below Cayambe. The weather was kind of tough there – very windy. We decided to give the climb a try and just see how far we could get, and we made it to a little over 17,000 feet. Unfortunately the wind was remaining high, and is was hard to stand up with some of the gusts, so of course we decided to call 17,000 feet a perfect place to turn around and head back to the hut! I know the team members were proud of what they were able to accomplish under challenging conditions. Each person was so motivated despite the weather. I was very impressed!

Patrick came on the line to give a recap: “The trip has been a lot of fun. We really enjoyed the acclimatization hikes on Pasachoa and Pichincha – good hiking and good views. And being at Hacienda Guachala was really nice. Quite the historical place and very comfortable! Cayambe was quite an adventure. The winds were pretty nasty – steady at 25 and occasional gusts up to fifty! But we all did fine and were very happy about getting to 17,000 feet!”

We stayed at Hacienda Guachala before and after the Cayambe climb and then another hacienda in the Antisana Reserve area. We had an easy day to rest up from Cayambe and get ready for Antisana.
_____________________

We received a later call that was hard to understand because of poor transmission, but the news was that the team had summited the 18,891-foot Antisana, had descended the mountain, and was heading for the town of Ambato. The team was looking forward to another good rest before heading on to attempt Chimborazo.
_____________________

We drove up to the Carrel hut at 15,748 feet and hiked about 30 minutes to the Whimper hut at 16,404 feet. Everyone was feeling well rested, well acclimatized, and highly motivated for the climb ahead.

The next day, Sunday, May 31st, we started our climb at midnight. After preparing our gear, we began our climb towards the Castle Ridge at 18,000 feet. When we reached the Castle Ridge one of our team members started to feel the altitude, and we decided to split the rope teams to allow the stronger climbers to keep climbing.

At 7am in the morning, we reached Veintimilla summit at 20,561 feet, and the wind started to blow harder. One climber decided to stay on the Veintimilla summit instead of pursuing the Whymper summit, because of the high winds.

So then two of us made the trek across the huge summit plateau to the highest summit of Chimborazo, the Whimper summit, at 20,702 feet. The crossing wasn't too difficult, and we reached the summit by 8am. We celebrated our successful climb, took some pictures, returned to the Ventilmilla summit, and the headed down to the hut.

After some more to eat at the hut and a little rest, we hiked down to our vehicle and then drove across Ecuador's central valley (between the two parallel rows of Andean peaks) and then dropped off the eastern side and descended to the semi-tropical town of Baños. Baños is a charming town located in a tropical forest area that provides an ideal place to rest and relax after our climbs.

All our climbing team members were incredibly happy and content about our very successful trip. We've had a great time on the peaks down here over the last two weeks, and we hope to climb together again in the future! That's all the news for now. Thanks for following our climbing trip in the high Andes!


2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition (May 21 - June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Team 3 has made it to Camp 3 (14,200ft). They had perfect weather after a rough start but now are in good to position to wrap this expedition up in style. The team made a very strong move after caching at Windy Corner (13,500ft) and then moving to 14 Camp the next day. Great work! They will retrieve their cache today and start thinking about a High Camp cache strategy.


2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 2 (May 14 - June 3)

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Chad Cochran sent an inReach message last night reporting that Team 2 has made it to High Camp (17,300ft) and could very well be going for the summit right now! Hope to hear from them again tonight with good news. We will keep you posted as the day goes along.

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 4 (May 28 - June 17)

Guides:

Paul Ivaska
Jim Mediatore
Will Nunez

Craig Hacket
Jan Schmidt
Amanda Richmond
Kjetil Moen
Christian Rudloff
Gus White
Andrew Sargent

Lead guide Paul Ivaska called in this morning. Very sorry for the delay in dispatches for Team 4. The team was delayed a few days flying into Base Camp and there have been some SAT phone issues in getting calls to AAI. But those have been resolved and they will be checking in daily from here on out. Paul called to report that the team has made it to Camp 1 (7,800ft) and are looking to put in a cache around 10,000ft below Camp 2 today. Everyone is doing well and finished a delicious dinner. The weather in the Range is improving after a rocky May.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21 - June 10) from May 30th

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Team 3 has successfully made it to Camp 2 (11,200ft) under the first blue skies they've had the entire trip. Not only did they do that, but they also made their cache at Windy Corner (13,500ft). The plan is to rest everyone and get some good food and move to Camp 3 (14,200ft) today.



2017 Denali West Buttress Team 2 (May 14 - June 3) from May 30th

Guides:

Chad Cochran
Jeremy Devine
Zach Lovell

Climbers:

Roxanne Litynska
Dennis Ougrin
Cormac Gilligan
Delfino DiMascio
Catherine Hibberd
Philip Purdy
Georg Molnes
Eric Tutterow

Team 2 is prepared to move to Camp 4 (17,300ft) also known as High Camp. The plan was to move yesterday but it started snowing around midnight which delayed the plans. Hopefully they are moving to High Camp right now and hope to hear from them this evening.

Monday, May 29, 2017

2017 Denali West Buttress Expedition Team 3 (May 21- June 10)

Guides:

Andrew Yasso
Will Gordon
Calvin Morris

Climbers:

Anya Jones
Dave Nelson
Deanna Brubaker
Greg Andersen
Igor Kropotov
Janet Joy Lee
Karen Nelson
Renaye Dickerson
Rhiannon Brey

Lead guide Andrew Yasso called in. The team is still hunkered down at Camp '1.8' (9800') due to some unfavorable weather. The plan is to make a push for Camp 2 tomorrow, wile taking every safety precaution possible. Andrew articulated that weather is part of climbing, and when the weather is good the team will climb and when it isn't the team will rest. Today was another rest day. However motivation is high and the team is eager and excited for the push to Camp 2.