We woke to a starry sky and calm winds last night, perfect conditions for our summit attempt on Chimborazo. We had altered our plans because the volcano Tungurahua, to the east of Chimborazo, was spitting out ash two mornings ago. So, instead of establishing a high camp in tents, we attempted our climb from the lower climbers’ hut. We had our work cut out for us, with about 5,000 vertical feet of climbing, and a circuitous route to avoid the current rock fall hazard on the normal route up Chimborazo. Fortunately the weather cooperated all day for us, and we had a very strong and experienced team, and we were able to summit Chimborazo! We had a very, very long day of hard climbing. We started climbing in the dark, and got back to the climbers’ hut a few hours after dark. We encountered steep and firm climbing conditions on Chimborazo, which made climbing and descending particularly slow as we had to concentrate on good cramponing and climbing techniques for hours on end. Our team proved up to the challenge, and we climbed safely the whole day. In the end, it was one heck of an adventure.
We’re headed back to Quito now, and we should be at our hotel just slightly after noon. We’ll have plenty of time to enjoy leisurely walking around the city (after a much anticipated hot shower!) before we have a celebratory dinner tonight. Then it’s back to the old US of A on our respective flights tonight and tomorrow.
WOW!! Nice job team! Way to go! Wishing the whole time that I was there with you!
Congrats to all of you!
Sounds like a heck of a climb!! Can’t wait to hear all about it!
Posted by: Anthony Tarantino on 7/16/2013 at 11:48 am
Hey Jeff, congrats on Chimbo! Sounds like you had another tough one, can never take the easy way, huh?!
Your Argentinean tent mate.
Posted by: Greg Barber on 7/16/2013 at 8:54 am
Mike Walter called today at 11:15am PST. The nearby volcano Tungurahua erupted yesterday. They are OK and received some spectacular views from the event. Tungurahua is on the opposite side of Chimborazo relative to the groups camp. While there was a lot of ash wrapping Chimborazo yesterday it is all below them in the clouds today. Mike and team are preparing for their summit attempt later tonight/early tomorrow morning. Mike said he will do his best to call from the summit. Wish them luck!
Anna, I heard that only two of the team summited. Did not hear which two. It was a very long ascent, 10hrs and another 9 to get back down. All made it back to camp. They are on their way to Quito now, so I am sure you will hear soon.
Posted by: Paula Hall on 7/16/2013 at 6:38 am
It has been 48 hours since i last heard about our climbing team. Are there any family members who have heard from them? I would appreciate an update,
Thank you Anna Satterfield
Posted by: Anna Satterfield on 7/16/2013 at 5:44 am
After a relaxing stay at Hosteria La Cienega, we’re travelling south towards our next climbing destination, Chimborazo. At 6,310 meters, Chimborazo is the highest peak in Ecuador and higher than any peak north of it in the Americas. Due to the earth’s equatorial bulge, Chimborazo also holds the distinction of being the point on the earth that’s closest to the sun, and the point furthest from the center of the earth. Chimborazo will definitely test this team’s mettle over the next few days of climbing.
We will head out tomorrow morning and establish a camp high on the flanks of Chimborazo. We plan to climb on Monday morning and return to camp that same night. We call in to let you know how our climb goes. But tonight we’re resting in beds again in the beautiful lodge, Estrella de Chimborazo, with great views of the mountain.
Enjoy every minute. Stay safe and know we are all thinking of you. Joan
Posted by: Joan on 7/14/2013 at 3:30 pm
anxiously awaiting an update and wishing you all the best
Posted by: Paula Hall on 7/14/2013 at 6:59 am
We spent the past two nights camped near the base of Antisana, at an altitude of around 13,500’, getting ready for our summit bid. Last night we woke well before midnight and were pleased to find a starry sky with calm winds. The climbing on Antisana was very enjoyable, weaving in and out of crevasses and climbing steep slopes, all on consistent snow for cramponing. Everyone did very well, but as our altitude increased throughout the climb, so did the wind speed. Very strong winds and moisture were streaming in over Antisana from the Rainforest to the east and far, far below. The winds were consistently blowing 30mph with much higher gusts, and it made it challenging to stand up, much less climb a volcano that is well over 18,000’ in height. We climbed strong but the winds proved too much, and we turned around about 500 meters shy of the summit.
We all arrived back at camp safely and packed up our tents and now we’re headed south. Our first stop, tonight, will be the historic Hosteria La Cienega. Hot showers, warm beds, and delicious food awaits our team as we will take a much needed rest day tomorrow.
That’s all for now. We’ll be in touch again tomorrow!
RMI Guide Mike Walter
great effort to make that summit. best of luck with weather tomorrow. can’t wait to hear from you brother Bob
Posted by: Karen Deeds on 7/13/2013 at 9:09 pm
We’ve been enjoying the natural hot spring pools in Papallacta, even if it is a bit rainy. Yesterday we took an acclimatization hike up to around 14,500’, but only stayed out for about an hour and a half, as rain, snow, and wind drove us back to Papallacta. We’ve been sleeping at 11,000’ in Papallacta, so we’re definitely acclimating to the high altitude.
Today we’re off to base camp on Antisana, where we’ll set up tents and establish camp for two nights prior to our summit bid. We’re all looking forward to getting deeper into the mountains…
So incredibly proud of the entire team, and our guys, John and Ryan! Your commitment to this expedition is so inspiring. Stay safe!
Mom and Alessia
Posted by: Alessia Satterfield on 7/12/2013 at 11:30 am
so sad for you guys. darn winds that just wouldn’t ease up enough to let you make this summit. Glad you all are fine and made it back down safely. squeezes!
Posted by: Paula Hall on 7/12/2013 at 7:54 am
Our climbing team has all arrived in Ecuador, and we just got back from our first acclimatization hike up Rucu Pichincha, a 15,400’ volcano outside of Quito. Now we’re traveling to the town of Papallacta, well-known for its natural hot springs, for another acclimatization hike.
Everyone is doing great with the rapid increase in altitude, but we all felt the thin air and were huffing and puffing up above 15,000’.
Thanks for checking in. We’ll be in touch…
On The Map
What a great blog. Makes me a little less frightened to get all this information. Good luck tonight. Please be careful and come home !,
Posted by: Barbara on 7/14/2013 at 9:06 pm
Keep us posted! Be careful, enjoy and tell my brother Bob to we are all thinking of him!!!!!Joan
Posted by: Joan on 7/9/2013 at 8:52 am