Yesterday was a big day for all of us up on Chimborazo and thankfully the near perfect weather allowed us to stand on top! All in all our summit day took 13 some hours round trip including a deceptively difficult two-hour walk across the summit plateau from the Veintimilla summit to the barely higher Whymper summit. Riddled with deep trenches and fantastic snow mushrooms, what should have taken no more than an hour was a brutal two hour jaunt back and forth. We were fortunate enough to enjoy perfectly calm winds and clear skies on top, which made it not so bad. We even got to peep some views of Cotopaxi smoking in the distance before gearing up for our descent. We were greeted warmly back at the Estrella de Chimborazo where we ate a celebratory dinner and promptly crashed in their cozy beds. Right now we are on the bus headed back for Quito where we hope to have one last celebratory dinner as a team before at least half of us head for the airport to catch a red-eye flight home. All in all it was a quite an adventure and I’d like to thank the team for rolling with the punches the whole trip and hanging in there til the end. And I’d also like to thank the other guides, Chase, David, and Diego along with Victor, our driver, for all the help along the way.
Until next time…
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. We’re about to actually hike on down to the bus. We had a safe and successful climb to the summit today. Just about perfect weather most of the day. That’s all I have to report. Long, long day- everyone is super tired but definitely big smiles on our faces. As we were just talking about this, it totally rethinks our whole trip down here. That’s all I have for now. Signing off and we’ll check in again tomorrow evening at the end of the trip.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in post Chimborazo summit.
at around 17, 500 feet. I’m up here with all the team everyone is doing extremely well, and we’re even enjoying the semi-decent weather. We are in the clouds but the wind is calm and it’s not raining, so compared to what we’ve been dealing with so far this trip we will take it! The team is just resting after our hike up here and pretty soon we’ll be eating some tasty Mountain House freeze dried dinners and getting to bed early so we are in a good position to get up in the middle of the night tonight and take a crack at the summit. Hopefully I’ll be giving you a call next from the top of the mountain, but if not we’ll check in or if you know how it went.
That’s all for now, bye!
RMI Guide Billy Nugent calling in from High Camp on Chimborazo
The team enjoyed a nice night at the Chuquiragua Lodge where we were able to dry out, get a good night’s sleep, and even practice some anchor equalization and crevasse rescue in the courtyard. Victor, our driver, showed up around noon to join us for lunch and we’ll be heading out soon for a night at Estrella de Chimborazo before starting up on the mountain in earnest tomorrow…
The “improving trend” turned out to be a bunch of baloney and shortly after finishing my dispatch last night the starry sky clouded over and began to steadily pour almost without relent. We woke in the morning and the steady downpour had not begun to show signs of letting up. The team decided over breakfast that with the zero probability of climbing Antisana, that our best move was to pack up and hike out and hopefully dry out at a hacienda. So here we are, some time on the road later hanging up all of our gear to dry yet again at another hacienda this time at a scenic spot at the base of the Illinizas. Despite the tough weather the gang is doing our best to have fun and enjoy the Ecuadorian countryside. All this traveling has been fun but we’re hoping to get in a little more legit climbing before our trip winds down.
and are about to enjoy our first night in tents. The weather currently has cleared significantly and the wind has calmed to nearly a standstill but things weren’t looking so good for most of the day today. Rain plagued our spirits for most of the drive from Guachalá to Antisana and while setting up tents in a bit of drizzle we weren’t so sure that we were going to be so lucky. Knock on wood. Hopefully this improving trend will continue and we will get to take an honest shot at the summit. But first tomorrow calls for a day trip up above our camp to the glacier where we hope to practice our crevasse rescue among other technical skills before returning to camp on the eve of our climb. We enjoyed a tasty spaghetti dinner and are now all tucked in in anticipation of tomorrow’s early rise.