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!!!

Jonathan, Sandee and Jaime on the summit with smiles!

Jonathan and Sandee celebrating their summit success!

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