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!

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