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Ecuador Dec 2006
Climbing DTEND;TZID="Eastern":20061223T200000
DESCRIPTION:I cannot fall asleep due to the altitude. Secret Garden is clean but the rooms are noisy. The storage is free. We eat breakfast (2$p) tasty and filling and go to visit thE city. Old city is full of xmas shoppers. The new city is empty. We arrange a guide for lliniza Sur @ Gulliver, they have 1 mnt guide and are flexible (it's for Fri). We test icecreams @ Augustino, fish@mercado, bowl of fruit@fruteria: all deliciuos! Bummer: we forget about emergency fuel for the stove - ther is a ferreteria ner Mercado Centralo but closed. Drink beer @ SG

DESCRIPTION:From sg we saw teleferiqo open at 9am. Taxi (2$ to the peaje) and car itself (4$p) let us start walking @1045. At 4100m we both felt shortness of breath, j felt weaker and I was ok - I tried to do 30 pumps just for fun of it (j called me superhuman...). We did the summit of machu pichincia (4690m) in and back in 4h, the path was obvious to some point but later, in cloud, less - I saved a gps track. It was worth it, for nice views and acclimatization. We took a bus(1$p) to the tram which took us (.25$p) to plza grande. Had for lunch peanut soup w tripes and potatos (2.60$p)- delicious! Run to sg and picked up bckpcks from storage, took taxi to terminal(2$) but driver explained it's faster to jst jump to the bus on a strees. We asked to be dropped after the peaje de Machiachu (1.50$p). We walked in darkness (have headlamp ready!) and rain .5km to the hostel. Got just in time for xmas dinner at 8pm (12$p). Met Troy & ? They will try el corazon on tue so we'll share the ride (15$) and they'll guide us (already tried 2ce!). So at hostel told they only allow guided climb on chimb but we suspect scam. There is some cell reception so I can check email.

DESCRIPTION:Breakfast was too small (we recommend byob). After long talk about mountains w rob and troy we moved to the farm's backyard and practiced ropes under watchful eyes of the locals. J and m went jogging at1am and some exercices (beware of dogs!) Order lunch asap as it arrives 1h later. Analysed ign map of corazon and entered few wpts from the grid. Just relaxed and surfed free internet. A woman from guided trip got symptoms of AS. Talked logistics for illinizas w joe(guide/mngr)

DESCRIPTION:Rained all night. Woke up at 6am to leave with car (15$) at 7am for corazon. We are in great shape! We made our own breakfast. The car took us to a spot below the usual one (5$) as road was slippery. It was misty/rainy all day. No views except on the descent. At estancion we shopped for 1$ (banana, pasta, tomatos) and asked if possible to get a ride to ppgyo (4$). Cooked great pasta dinner at rob's.

DESCRIPTION:As we arranged a guided climb of Illiniza Sur (160$p) we get a ride to La Virgen. The trail is a mere 850m alt gain on a sandy road which becomes a path (take right on the bifurcation). The hut (10$p) is small and cosy but quite humid. The best bunks are over the kitchen. We had something warm and went to Iliniza Norte. We walked in fog. After the rocky ridge we got on snow (ice axe was useful). We reached the cross after 2h10min. On the way down we had some views. The hut was full by night.
SUMMARY:Illiniza norte

DESCRIPTION:Wether has deteriorated into rain and snow. Spanish guys who wake up at2am did not go anywhere. It rained all day. Sat all day at the gas heater. Took a nap. Met dimitri he's a fun guy. At around 5pm our guide came with food (!!!). Abrahamforever2/at/hotmail.com
SUMMARY:Illiniza Hut

DESCRIPTION:Wake at 3am to a clear starry sky. Started at 418am slowly and kept the rythm through rocks and snow. The guide took a route between the Direct (which has only rocks these days) and the Normal. We climbed on rocky edges of crevasses. The guide clipped into a cordellette on the rock once and put a picket on descent once. Great views on Norte, and clouded Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. The Russians followed our prints. Got to the summit at 730am. Took turns to take the pictures. The hutkeeper who went with us dropped his axe to a crevasse and the guide had to rappel (body-belayed) to get it. Came back to Papagayo at 1pm with the guide and Troy who did Illiniza Norte on the day before. On the way, shopped some food in the store in El Chaupi. Spent afternoon cooking soup/drinking beer in the garden and firing the fireplace.
SUMMARY:Illiniza Sur

DESCRIPTION:We arranged a ride from papagayo for 4 (25$, it's a good deal) at noon. The park itself is beautiful, Iceland-like experience. The mountain is free of clouds and looks fantastic. The parking lot is full of local turists. The climb to the hut is short but sandy 35min. We decide to "sleep" at the refuge, otherwise we could not use the lockers and gas (which fit 2 packs). We cook freeze-dried food and go take a nap from 6pm to midnight, the hut is noisy but with earplugs and face mask it's ok. Most parties have a guide.

DESCRIPTION:At midnight the hut wakes up. We eat breakfast and gear up. We are the last to leave at 115am. It's easy to follow ~100 people making their way up. We quickly start overtaking the ropes as we travel unroped until 5500m. Snow's great. We pass Robert and Troy. We rope up on the first bridge. Most of the way the climb is illuminated by the moon. The last section is steeper and I unrope to catch beginning of the sunrise at 545am. Surprise: there are only about 10 people on the summit! Views are breathtaking, sky's blue, it's just cold and windless (apparently very rare!) The crater's edge is steaming. The descent is straightforward but I shred my pants on iced snow when I try glissading. Many people are tired and cook at the refuge. We make pasta which tastes great at 8am and lounge before the hut. We realize we run to the summit and down on 1/2 snickers each. The caretaker is unpleasant so we give up on arranging a taxi (35$) with him and go down to the parking to try our luck there. We get a ride (35$...) on a jeep and visit a laguna on our way to ppgyo with a couple on their honeymoon. Get a better room at ppgyo (10$p) and recover.

DESCRIPTION:Spent a day recovering/resting. Trained prusiking up the rope and rapelling single strand. Got caught in the 2pm's rain (unusually heavy!). We had the entire farm to ourselves. After the late lunch sat at the firestove and spoke w the owner about the history of ppgyo, galapagos, healthcare in ec.

DESCRIPTION:Got great breakfast at ppgyo ("continental 3$p). Transfer from there to Chimborazo is 80$ so we decide against it. Leave at 11amWaited long time for a vbus to riobamba so got bus to Ambato ($2p) and then to ribamba (1$p). In Rio a guy wanted 13$ to get us to the al centro.... We get a ride for 2.5$! Have problems getting $$$ from an atm, call the US bank, finally the boss of the bank allows us withdraw 200 at the counter. Get a pizza as everything closes at 3pm. We find great panneria ($1.2/10) and supermarket (russian vodka 3$). Arrange a ride at JV 30$. Talk about business in equador (min $10k). We arrive after an 1h ride to the carell hut at 730pm. See the mnt in full moon.

DESCRIPTION:Woke up to nice vista on the summit. Met tony in the lower hut. Hiked 900m to the whymper hut. Ascended first 200m to check on glacier conditions (w Tony). During the dinner at 5pm met again Mike and Freddy (oh my god!!! Freddy is 87) Fog.

DESCRIPTION:Woke up at 1130pm and left the hut with Tony at 1245am. We had full moon and it was quite warm. Started climbing w tony but after a while tony shot ahead and finished few hours before us (tony is 50). The climb was simple with just few steep and iced parts. We could follow the trail except the mixed morraine at the begining and the end of the climb. We reached ventimilla summit at 645am and the whymper summit 45min later. On our way down we saw local indians praying just beneath the glacier's wall ("rockfall danger"). Tony will be repeating the climb with his partner Mike. We left the hut at 230pm to avoid 10$p park entrance fee. Walked the park's road and got 10$ "camioneta" ride to riobamba. Got through Ambato to Banos (1.25$p+.80$p). Stayed at sla de bagnos. Got a fantastic room (ask for F!) with a balcony for 24$. Delicious argentinian barbacue at Quilombo.

DESCRIPTION:Wake up at 6am. Recovered from climbing in banos calientes y frios (there are 3 pools) with a view of a waterfall. Breakfast at Isla de Banos (great juices). Rent bikes and pedal down the "waterfall road" in the direction of Puyo. Hike up the paylen del diable and cloud forest in machay. Stopped at checkpoint in Mera and take bus to banos. The bike ride was mostly downhill but after rio negro there are some good climbs. Cena at Casa Hood (ok, but Quilombo was better). Exhausted we watch movie ("Van Helsing").

DESCRIPTION:Took a bus from banos to quito (3.4$p). Found a place to sleep in marsical (iguana lodge - has a kichen but very noisy until 3am; 8$p). Had lunch at ... (Okay but no ecuadorian feel). Shopped at Supermaxi (very well stocked; 930am-8pm, 2pm on weekends). Wake up at 4am to catch the flight (allow AT LEAST 2.5h before your flight as things go slowly...it's worth having exact amount for the exit tax)

Posted by michalp on Monday, 26 March 2007 (06:11:43) CEST (78 reads)
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Flying: Flight Lesson 3
Learning to fly Another lesson in Cessna 152, 94247, May 17, 9am

Weather: 17 10:53 NE 8 10.00 Mostly Cloudy BKN022 79 65 62% NA 81 30.15 1020.8

Got to the airport 10min in advance... I really wasn't sure it was going to happen as I drove through patches of beautiful fog on I-278.... But at the airport, sky looked clear above clouds!

The FBO was closed and the instructor was not around... He showed up a bit late and he was expecting already preflighted plane (a surprise to me...). I did the preflight on my own (insert: wide grin!) while he cleaned the winshield. We talked about winds aloft (needed to XC flights); I learned what the digits after AO2 are in the METAR (temperature in thousandths of C, and altitude in mb, which, I correctly guessed, is for Euro pilots).

Taxi: As usual had problems with taxiing @ 1000rpm - I just do not feel those goddamit breaks Smile Note to myself: be delicate stepping on them as Carmen does not enjoy the plane shaking! All the time I am under impression I go too fast, but apparently that's the way it is - going slowly fouls the plugs (bleh!). Also, the trick to turn is to apply rudder in steps: full left - center - full right.

I did my first comms: "Solberg traffic, Cessna 94247, backtaxi to runway 22, Solberg". Backtaxi was okay but why did we turn around right at the end of runway?

Takeoff: I rotated too late, at 65 Sad should apply pressure at 50kt to rotate at 55kt (and checked everything in green, and apply FULL THROTTLE!!!).

This time we flew around the clouds and it was very cool! We had a layer at roughly 1700ft, which we I had to fly on the top of. Super cool. Air was very smooth, no turbulence.

Pitch-Power-Trim: this is to climb: first pitch to the desired pitch attitude (glance at the attitude indicator). then adjust power to the desired climb rate (do not exceed 500ft/m), then trim down. In climb press on the right rudder; more when turning right, less when turning left. For whatever reason (have to check this one) left turning tendency is constant. To level off initiate 10% before desired level.

Turns: note to myself - be more aggressive and always apply rudder in coordination. Actually, on 10-20deg turns I really "felt" the coordination and it was a "good feeling"... a pleasant feeling. (CFI also demoed really uncoordinated position, it felt like a "vomit" position Smile Note: a nice 30deg turn can be easily judged by looking at the Cessna's wing strut - when parallel to ground you have the right bank angle! End the turn 10deg before desired course.

The descent: I got lost in my head (information overload?) but I was flying very well (hey he was even impressed by coordination!). I learned how to reduce throttle - do not watch the rpm - just listen to the noise change. I liked this a lot. Note: remember to reset the gyro before tracking to the airport.

I knew where we were (above the reservoir) because I learned the Google Map of the surroundings by heart Smile but then, in cloud I could not locate the airport - so he use VOR to find where the airport is. I flew the left pattern with few adjustments... the checklist went like a blur... (note: 3 trim rotations down! do not reduce power to back throttle...) I then did an attempt to land Very Happy

Next time (5/31) : preflight check winds aloft forecasts. Get a real logbook. Bring books. Do not fixate on a one instrument, keep scanning. Ask why noone else was flying while we did fly (with so many clouds...).

Posted by michalp on Monday, 18 May 2015 (02:44:52) CEST (74 reads)
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Flying: Lesson 2
Learning to fly May 3, Cessna 152 N94247

Weather: 03 13:53 Vrbl 5 10.00 A Few Clouds FEW095 79 34 80 49 20% NA 78 30.05 1017.6

Next time remember to get to the lesson.5h in advance! And bring the logbook! Anyway....

We did a long walk-around (we cleaned the windshield; in vertical or horizontal strikes...). We followed the checklist rigorously. There were 2 screws that popped; we screwed them back in. Wings had some small dents apparently from hangar accidents. That was okay (what to look out is big dents or bends in the metal).

On taxi I got stressed when the (ancient...) headset stopped to work... I could barely hear the instructor....frustrating...He asked me to call the CTAF but I could not understand what I was supposed to say. Taxiing went a bit better than the last time... note to myself: slow down (=pull throttle) before breaking.... I find the break pedals hard to reach/find.

Flying was bumpy again. Again, I had hard time keeping the altimeter in check but, on the bright side, I was coordinating a bit better. We were supposed to fly the N94247 for refueling but had no time in the end. He demoed slow flight at the back side of the power curve (where ones adds power and adds back pressure to reduce descent rate). It seems this zone starts behind 65kt and goes down to 46kn.

I got to land it. The final was steep and I found myself trying to pull up. Bad!

Posted by michalp on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 (12:03:41) CEST (78 reads)
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Flying: The First Real Lesson
Learning to fly First flight instruction lesson...at N51 Solberg
30min flight in Cessna 152 N714YH (see cockpit)
Weather: 26 13:53 Vrbl 3 10.00 Overcast OVC075 61 29 62 48 30% NA NA 29.66 1004.3

1) Walk-around - from pilot's seat clockwise: (a) wings: check screws (4) in ailerons, counterweights (3), surfaces for deformation, leading edges, windshield, 3 point fuel check (dump some fuel in the bottom one), check tire pressure (press with foot), traces of oil under the place, check min 4gallons of oil is present, 5gl for x-country, check fuel level (we had 7gl R+8gl L)
2) pre-takeoff: check seat all the way to the back; tighten seat belts; prime when it is cold; before start pull throttle 1/4inch (extend the finger, and pull back 1/2nail)
3) takeoff: mixture rich; roll at 50
4) flying notes: holding horizontal when the curving scratch is on the horizon, turning: do not be timid; on together off together; no more than 30deg (note to myself: "don't become gauge-happy"); apply rudder smoothly when ailerons are deflected; apply back pressure to maintain altitude
5) landing: trim for descent (2 trim rolls); get to pattern alt. (1200AGL for N51) and let the CFI land Smile

Posted by michalp on Monday, 27 April 2015 (03:12:58) CEST (98 reads)
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Posted by michalp on Thursday, 10 December 2009 (19:39:54) CET (76 reads)
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Avg Min/Avg Mean/Avg Max/Min Min

1. Patagonia (March)
Temp: Punta Arenas, Chile 56 °F/50 °F/43 °F/ 35 °F


2. Penisula Valdes (March)
Temp: Trelew, Ar 79 °F/65 °F/53 °F/ 39 °F

3. Bariloche/Lake District (March/April)
Temp: 66 °F/ 54 °F /41 °F /28 °F

4. Mendoza altitude of 760 meters/Los Arenales (April) 2500m
Temp: 80 °F/ 67 °F/ 55 °F/35 °F

La altura (>2500m) hace que puede hacer frió. Aunque el clima seco hace que uno puede escalar allá en invierno sin nieve, hay que ir preparado para fríos intensos.

Because the campground is situated in Arenales to 2500 mts. on sea level, even in summer, should take warm clothes, a sleeping bag for each five degrees, and sunscreen;
[Visto que o local do acampamento em Arenales está situado a 2500 mts. sobre o nível do mar, mesmo no verão, deve-se levar roupas quentes, um saco de dormir para uns cincos graus, além de protetor solar]

5. Easter Island,Chile (April/May)
Temp; 76 °F/ 72 °F/ 67 °F/ 55 °F

6. Atacama (May) - Calama / El Loa, Chile
Temp:71 °F/ 56 °F/ 40 °F/ 32 °F

7. Salar de Uyuni (May) - Potosi, Bolivia
Temp: 58 °F/ 46 °F / 34 °F / 28 °F


8. Cordillera Real (May/June)
Sleeping bag Rated to at least 10-20º F.

The trekking season in Bolivia lasts from the end of April (the last month of the wet season) through to mid-October (by which time the rains have returned and hiking becomes more difficult due to muddy trails and snowed-in passes). In the highlands, where our trip takes
place, day-time temperature will range from 10 to 25°C, and fall as low as -10°C at night.The weather tends to be dry, clear and stable providing ideal trekking/climbing conditions. The snow conditions also tend to be stable, being firm packed, making for ease of travel and navigation. La Paz and Lake Titicaca also follow similar weather patterns, with warmer, clear days, little wind and cold nights.

PII = Chachacomani / two or three 17,000 to 18,000-foot summits in the Condoriri Lake District and either the North Ridge or steep East Face of Huayna Potosi. With strong teams, this may include an ascent of Cerro Condoriri, a sustained and exposed climb on one of the most beautiful summits in the Andes.
P3: Illimani

On the trek of Part I, temperatures will usually range from a low of 25F at night (at our highest camp) to highs in the day of 40F to 70F. There is little difference in the equipment needs between Parts II and III. Even if you do not plan to participate in Part III (the ascent of Illimani)
you will still need to bring all the items on the following list. The ascent of Illimani, however, tends to be about 5 to 10 degrees colder than the climbs undertaken during Part II. This, in combination with the wind which often blows from the Altiplano and across the west face of Illimani, makes Part III somewhat colder than Part II ascents. You should be particularly careful that your boots are adequately warm and comfortable in temperatures as low as 0F. During Part II, night time temperatures can drop to the lower teens at our high camps.
Daytime summit temperatures vary greatly. On a still, sunny day it can be well above the freezing point, but when the weather is windy and the temperature drops into the teens, the climbing can be very, very cold. At our base camps temperatures invariably drop below freezing at night,
but usually warm up into the 40's or 50's during the day. Once or twice every year a storm drops several inches of snow at the level of Lake Titicaca.

9. Lake Titicaca (June) - Juliaca, Peru
Temp:61 °F/ 41 °F / 24 °F /10 °F



Posted by michalp on Thursday, 10 December 2009 (15:07:34) CET (115 reads)
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