Tuesday, January 24, 2017
2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition (January 20 - February 3) - Dispatch 4
January 23rd Dispatch
Mark Choroser, Stephen DelGreco, Blaine Cochrane, Samuel Westerfield, Stephen Hufford, Rod Lloyd Williams, Donna Klecka, Brian Fay, Sean Mcllvenna
Guide: Jeremy Devine
Jeremy called at 3 pm Pacific time / 6 pm Ecuador time with the following update:
We had another good day together. After a really good night’s sleep at Hacienda Guachala and an easy morning, we made the drive up and along the lower flanks of Cayambe to the refugio. We were able to drive all the way to the hut.
It was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed views of the entire mountain. I think everyone was impressed with the scale of the glaciation.
After a tasty lunch of potato soup and sandwiches, we went on a short walk above the refugio. We spent about three hours up and down and went all the way to the lower lobe of the glacier.
Here’s Sam who will give you some more detail:
Hi! We’re having a fantastic trip!
The hacienda last night was amazing. I've lived in Quito since August – I’m a student at the University of Oregon, and I’m down here studying Spanish. I've seen a fair amount of the country including the area near Chimborazo, but never close to one of the big peaks like we are here. Cayambe is amazing, and this whole area is one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Hacienda Guachala really took me by surprise. I think I read that it’s the oldest hacienda down here. It looks somewhat rustic and certainly historical on the outside, but it’s luxurious on the inside.
And the food was great! Actually I have to say the food on the whole trip has been great, both the meals the guides have made for us and the restaurant and hacienda food we have had.
We had tremendous views yesterday on the Pichincha climb, and today as we drove up we had beautiful views of Cayambe. We could see our whole route, and the guides described where we’ll be going and what the route is like in different parts.
We enjoyed today’s hike. Everyone was excited to get to a little higher altitude and also to get a good close-up view of the glacier. It’s really impressive!
That’s about it from me. Here’s Jeremy again:
Tomorrow we'll work on skills on the lower part of the glacier, and the weather forecast continues to be for good weather, so it ought to be nice up there.
We've got great folks on this trip, and everyone is enjoying each other’s company.
We all felt the elevation a little on Pichincha yesterday but felt good heading down. And everyone felt good last night at Guachala, today on the hike, and at the rufugio. So our acclimatization schedule is going very well – very successfully.
It looks like Cayambe is in really good shape. All the mountains got a lot of snow a week ago, and it appears to be consolidating very nicely. There's definitely a lot more snow on the mountain this year than the same time last year, so the climbing season should last nicely with routes in good shape.
We’ll give you an update tomorrow.