Hello family and friends,
Team Chiripa made it again!!! This time to the summit of Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador.
We started the climb at midnight from the Whymper hut. Keeping a slow and steady pace, Team Chiripa zigzagged up the scree to get to the beginning of a terrace where we put crampons on and roped up into seven rope-teams. We moved up to the terrace and traversed leftward and then rightward to get to the northwest ridge above and to the right of the large rock outcrop called “The Castle”. It took us two hours and thirty minutes to get there. It was a beautiful but cold starry night. The entire team was very motivated, determined and moving efficiently. After following up the “El Castillo” ridge for some hours, the teams started to arrive to the Veintimilla summit from where we had awesome views of the sun rising over a sea of clouds projecting the shadow of Chimborazo to the west. We could recognize Cotopaxi and Antizana in the distance. After taking a break to enjoy the panorama and rest, we headed for the Whymper summit which we reached in about 20 minutes. It felt great to find ourselves standing on the furthest point from the center of the earth and the closest one to the sun. We congratulated each other and took plenty of pictures. Then it was time to go down. From the Castle rock outcrop, we followed a different line for the descent to avoid rock fall and safely arrived to the Carrel hut by 10:30 am. The Abraspungo Hostelry felt like heaven after the climb: plenty of hot water, good food and soft beds were waiting for us.
The next day, during the drive back to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, we could see the big volcanoes one last time including an eruption of Tungurahua. We did some souvenir hunting in the afternoon and had our farewell dinner with the Alpine Ascents staff at a nice restaurant.
We are sad to have to say good bye to Ecuador tomorrow but are looking forward to our reencounter with our loved ones back home.
Farewell from Team Chiripa. Till our next adventure.
PS.- Team Chiripa was the third Alpine Ascents team of the season to reach the summit of Chimborazo. Big congrats to all the teams for their efforts and accomplishments.