LSC Ecuador Mountaineering 06
April 2, 2006:
Hello everyone. Presumably, if you are viewing this page you have been invited to by a member of our Lyndon State College 2006 Ecuador Mountaineering expedition. This expedition dispatch page is intended to update the friends and families of our expedition members. Our hope is that we can share the spirit of our adventures with you. We will be updating this page as regularly as possible given the geographic and technological constraints of our expedition. Please stay tuned for images, text, and audio recordings throughout our ten days here.
Our team members are: Brad Allain, Lauren Jenks, Jameson Kneeland, James Mann, Jon Sanborn, Meg Skidmore, Jason Smith, John DeLeo (faculty), Kelley Rossiter (leader), and Austin Paulson (leader)
We arrived in Quito, Ecuador yesterday after a long day of travel on American Airlines. My friend and longtime in-country partner, Ramiro Donoso, was there to meet us and shepard us to our hotel, The Magic Bean. After a late dinner and welcome we retired for a great nights sleep.
Today, fueled by the best coffee in Ecuador and fresh squeezed juices we commenced with a discussion of Expedition Behavior. Our goal was to identify lines of behavior that would help us all achieve the most from this experience. I’m happy to report that good thought by all team members contributed to the success of this discussion. We really appear to be on the same page and are supportive of both individual and group stated goals.
The afternoon was a great, shared experience learning about the history and culture of the city of Quito and Ecuador in general. We were able to learn a lot from our city tour guide, Gloria, about the colonial architecture, indigenous peoples, religion, economy, and geopolitical situation in her country.
We are all in good health and are allowing our bodies to acclimatize to Quito’s 9000’ elevation. Several days of light activities and technical skills training around the Quito area will help us develop more red blood cells for efficient oxygen transportation at higher altitudes. Over the course of the next few days we will climb to higher elevations in the surrounding mountains (upwards of 15,500’) to prepare our bodies and minds for a move to mountain hut at the base of Cotopaxi, our primary climbing objective for this expedition. The amount of usable oxygen per breath at this elevation is 50% of that at normal living elevations, thus the need to acclimatize. After two additional training days on mountain and glacier hazards, roped team travel, cravasse rescue, and work with ice axes we will attempt to climb to the summit of this 19,448’ peak. We will provide updates of these day when possible.
We are grateful to all the support our friends and families have provided to make this expedition possible. We hope that you will enjoy following the experience and sharing in the adventure. Please stay tuned for more. Austin Paulson