Cayambe, Dec 2nd
We arrived and immediately took the largest room in the refuge – long room with 4 bunk beds for the 8 of us (we picked up Nacho our local guide in Quito). The place was quiet when we arrived, but then really picked up – lots of teams coming in to attempt Cayambe.
Unbeknownst to us a couple put a mattress on the floor (that is how tight the space was). So as we had our dinner and chilled (we watched Vertical Limit – and Barry who worked on the set for 10 months gave us all the inside scoop), the main room started to empty as people tried to get a few hours before their summit attempt. This meant that when we went into our room it was pitch dark and none of us had set up for the night. Suneet and I got giggling at the absurdity – in particular because she was on the top bunk, no ladder, sleeping bag not out, etc.
Fractured night of sleep as multiple groups were up at midnight to start the climb. Dale watched the headlamps slowly snake up the mountain.
Today, Dec 2nd, for us was more training and acclimatization – we hiked up to the glacier and started to refresh or learn (first time crampons – Suneet, Perry, Farid) crampons, ice axe, roping (short and glacier travel). It was awesome.
Ascent – 500m
Altitude – just peaked over 5,000m high!
Distance – 8 km
Came back to Refuge – hot potato soup, trout, and rice ready for lunch!!
Now we are just chilling, crib playing, book reading, music listening………and of course we have started the “hearts” card marathon……