This time will be my time! After 4 attempts without summit the 5th shall be a special one: full moon, birthday and daylight ascent.
No. 1, October 2013 – altitude approximately 6.100 m, I knew I could get to the summit, but I also knew that the descent would be the hell, so I decided not to summit that time.
No. 2, December 2013 – spontaneous approach, high camp at the “castillo” – 5.400 m, altitude sickness due to lack of acclimatization, at 5.800 m the decision to go back.
No. 3, May 2014 – many people attempted Chimborazo that night, we were in good shape and reached the “corredor” quite quickly, we put on our crampons and then a “rock shower” started. It was impossible to access the mountain via the standard route, we were forced to go back.
No. 4, June 2014 – camp at the lagoon, conditions seemed ok. We had dinner and prepared for a rest. A tremendous blizzard surprised us, it was a horror to get our things packed. Once again we left the mountain.
No. 5, September 2014 – winds are still heavy on Chimborazo, chances don’t seem to be the best, but I’m almost desperate to finally summit Ecuador’s highest mountain, so we decide to give it a try. Saturday and Sunday, September 6 & 7 are reserved for acclimatization. I camp at 4.800 m, 2 horrible nights, windy and with some signs of altitude sickness … each night I eat at least 200 g of sand, which the wind brings into my tent. The days lovely, blue sky only little wind, nice temperatures, perfect for 2 acclimatization hikes along the old “Whymper” standard route, and I feel good.
Monday is rest day, we visit Salinas and Guaranda, enjoy delicious meals and relax. On our way back the mountain seems to be in perfect conditions. Our approach: a daylight ascent. We stay one night more at Casa Condor, get up at 3 o’clock, have breakfast and drive up to our starting point at 4.800 m. The standard route via the “corredor” is not possible due to rocks falling down, so we have to take the longer route accessing via the ridge of the “castillo”. At 04:10 h we start. It’s a clear night, the full moon and the stars shine our way. It’s not even very cold or too windy, but it will be a long ascent!
Step by step we go higher, break of dawn and soon we see the mountain in front of us. The hours fly. Daylight motivates but at the same time the view of the never ending path is hard. I set myself a limit – 14:00 h, if we don’t reach the summit by then we go down (we are at 5.800 m) – the answer: “this time you won’t go back without summit”. No further comment, we continue. The last part is incredibly hard. More than one week nobody summited. The penitents are high. Jaime cuts them down. We get closer and closer to the summit. It’s amazing! 10,5 hours and finally we reach Chimborazo Ventimilla. I’ve never felt like this before. I can’t even describe it. Joy, happiness, relief and satisfaction replace all other feelings, it’s marvellous! First summit higher than 6k, 32nd birthday – can you imagine any better gift????
… W E S H A R E Y O U R P A S S I O N A N D R E A L I Z E Y O U R D R E A M S …