- Melissa Arnot
- Alex Barber
- Gabriel Barral
- Jake Beren
- Zeb Blais
- Katie Bono
- Anne Gilbert Chase
- Sean Collon
- Leon Davis
- Elias de Andres Martos
- Cody Doolan
- Paul Edgren
- Mark Falender
- Leah Fisher
- Eric Frank
- Steve Gately
- Josh Gautreau
- Thomas Greene
- Casey Grom
- Dave Hahn
- Walter Hailes
- Tim Hardin
- Mike Haugen
- Andy Hildebrand
- Mike Hinckley
- Joe Horiskey
- Nick Hunt
- Tyler Jones
- J.J. Justman
- Levi Kepsel
- Mike King
- Adam Knoff
- Katy Laveck
- Ben Liken
- Josh Maggard
- Paul Maier
- Linden Mallory
- Lindsay Mann
- Andres Marin
- Jeff Martin
- Erik Nelson
- Billy Nugent
- Brent Okita
- Logan Randolph
- Tyler Reid
- Dave Reynolds
- Kel Rossiter
- Geoff Schellens
- Shaun Sears
- Garrett Stevens
- Jason Thompson
- Mike Tomlinson
- Mark Tucker
- Mike Uchal
- Pete Van Deventer
- Alex Van Steen
- Ed Viesturs
- Maile Wade
- Mike Walter
- Seth Waterfall
- Solveig Waterfall
- Peter Whittaker
- Win Whittaker
- Bryson Williams
- Dan Windham
- Robby Young
Posts from 02/2012
Yesterday was a rest day in the colonial town of Puebla. This is a fun day for the team, one where everyone gets a chance to explore the town a get taste of this beautiful Mexican city. We reconvened at dinner to share the day’s exploits. Trips to the city’s fort, churches, shopping and general exploration were the missions recounted at dinner. Now it’s off to Tlachichuca, where we will rig for our attempt on Orizaba. The weather looks more promising today, and we all hope it holds and improves for another few days. Wish us luck amigos.
RMI Guide Jake Beren
Hello from Karanga Camp,
The team is doing great and we are happily nestled in at Karanga Camp. The weather has been having a hard time making up it’s mind the last few days, and today was no different. The mornings start out clear, but by mid-afternoon, the clouds roll in and stay around until dinner, and then it clears out again. Fortunately, there has not been much rain and the trail conditions have been great.
This morning when we got up, every trekker in camp was looking up at the Barranco Wall. It would be hard to miss this almost 1,000’ wall rising up towards the sky, but it is when you see the first few porters working their way up the trail is when you really take notice. You can hear the nearby groups talking about the Wall followed by “we have to climb up that”. The vantage point from camp makes the trail appear to be near vertical, but once you start the climb, it is very straightforward trail. In fact, most find it a lot fun and our group cruised right up it.
With most of the elevation gain for the day done while climbing the Barranco Wall, it was easy hiking the rest of the way to camp. We had a spaghetti lunch waiting for us when we arrived and then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. Now it’s time for popcorn and tea.
We are all excited to be moving up to our high camp tomorrow and will check in from there.
RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team Simba Sita
On The Map
Jambo from Barranco Camp,
Everybody did extremely well today on our move to Barranco Camp. It was the longest and hardest day so far of the trek, but the team was more than up for the challenge. We started at 12,500’ this morning, with clear skies and a magnificent view of the mountain. But this was short lived as the clouds soon took over and stuck with us for the rest of the day. We even had a little rain as we approached Lava Tower Camp, our high point for the day at 15,200’. The clouds parted briefly so we could see Lava Tower and a glimpse of the Western Breach Wall. But more important than the view, was the fact the team was strong and handled the altitude well. It was downhill from here and we made great time descending down almost 2,500’, the entire amount of elevation we had spent the better part of our morning climbing up. But that is why today is so important for our acclimatization, and will pay big rewards on our summit day.
Tomorrow we tackle the Barranco Wall, and will check in from Karanga Camp.
A few comments from the Team -
Cal and Grayson - We will not fail.
Pam, Jaiden, and Carson - Miss you and love you.
Susan, Jennifer, and Craig - Still standing
RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team Simba Sita
On The Map
Posted by: | February 16, 2012
Categories: *Guide News
RMI Guide Gilbert Chase has been guiding for RMI since 2010. An accomplished rock and alpine climber, Gilbert’s winter is busy travelling the world on climbing and skiing adventures. We caught up with Gilbert after her recent Aconcagua Expedition to hear about the climb.
RMI: It’s been a busy start to the year for you with an Aconcagua Expedition and a Rainier Expeditions Skills Seminar - Winter. Tell us about it!
It has been a very busy start to 2012 for me. I flew down to Mendoza, Argentina at the start of January for my first Aconcagua Expedition. It was a great trip overall. Working with such a great group of folks as well as guides made the trip a very memorable experience. I had spent time in Argentina many years ago, so I was very excited to get back down there and check things out again. Both the mountain and the culture are beautiful and I highly recommend this trip for anyone who wants a challenging but wonderful mountain adventure mixed with great local flavor.
I flew back to the states around the 1st of February and within a couple of days I was driving out to WA for a Winter Expedition Skills Seminar on Mt. Rainier. We had high hopes of a winter summit with a high-pressure system in the forecast. However, the reality of winter on Mt. Rainier with high winds and lots of precipitation kept our team at Camp Muir. Despite the bad weather, spirits were still high and we had a great week on the mountain teaching and learning skills to prepare us for future trips. Trying to do crevasse rescue in 40 mph winds with no visibility proved very challenging and very fun for most.
RMI: Aconcagua marked your first International Expedition for RMI, what were you’re initial impressions of Aconcagua?
Overall, I thought Aconcagua was a beautiful mountain. At 22,840’, it rises out of a colorful river valley to sit high above the surrounding mountains. I am a rock climber at heart, so for me all of the rock on the mountain, although not very good, was amazing. I was constantly looking for different cracks or faces that I could come back and climb. While we were on the mountain, it snowed almost every other day so there was a fresh coat of paint making the mountain look even more striking. I think even more than the mountain itself, I loved the local culture that surrounds every inch. Plaza Argentina, which is our Base Camp, is filled with local porters and cooks making a living by way of the mountain. It is such a unique and cool place to experience.
RMI: How do you think Aconcagua compares to Denali?
I think Aconcagua and Denali are very similar in many ways. I think Aconcagua is a good first step if people want a little more experience before Denali. Aconcagua is a big expedition but still with a few luxuries, such as great dinners at Base Camp and mules carrying our gear into Base Camp. Summit day on Aconcagua is a long and tiring day that requires not only physical but mental endurance. For me, the weather on my Aconcagua Expedition was way better than Denali, so that made life much easier. We had a pretty warm summit day, although still wearing down pants and down parka, but it is all relative when climbing in the mountains.
RMI: Did you find any big difference between guiding an international expedition and guiding here in the U.S.?
For the most part, guiding internationally and guiding stateside are very similar. The principles of guiding are the same no matter where you go. I think logistics can be the hardest part of an international expedition, especially when speaking a foreign language. On our expedition, we had an issue with delayed luggage and many phone calls with the local airlines that made our lives much more difficult. However, once on the mountain, I felt at home and comfortable working with clients.
RMI: What recommendations do you have for climbers looking to head to Aconcagua?
The route we climb on Aconcagua is not a technical route so I do not feel people need a lot of climbing experience before heading on this expedition. Obviously the more time spent in the mountains makes any expedition easier, but everything can be learned while on this mountain. I think being in the best shape of your life is a necessity, as we are carrying heavy loads most days and climbing at high altitude. Being in great shape makes life easier while climbing a mountain, because it is one less thing to think about and allows you to enjoy the experience that much more. I think everyone who is interested in climbing big mountains should head down south to Aconcagua. Not only is it a beautiful, big mountain, but the local Argentine people and culture make this trip very rewarding. Eating amazing beef while drinking a glass of tasty Malbec at 14,000’ after a day of climbing…what more can you ask for?
RMI: What will you definitely bring next time you return to Aconcagua?
My thermos goes with me on every expedition. It is great to have a hot drink whenever I want and not have to wait for the stoves to boil water at 19,000’. Also I bring my approach shoes on the mountain with me so I can get out of my boots after a long day of climbing. A good book and iPod go a long way as well especially when you are tired of talking with your tentmate about the weather. I pack pretty light so I can’t say there was anything extra I brought.
RMI: Do you have a favorite memory or moment from the Expedition?
On the long two day walk out from Base Camp, we got some local beta from the Arrieros [local muleteers] about a short cut that would save us a few miles. Although the short cut was a lot more beautiful and exciting it was definitely not shorter - in fact I think it was probably longer. We had to cross a river at some point on our trek out and our “short cut” took us through a very swift thigh deep section of the river. Most of the folks in our group stripped down to their skivvies to wade through the ice cold water. It was a hilarious scene that provided us with a good amount of comic relief for the day.
RMI: What does the rest of your winter look like?
In two weeks, fellow RMI Guide Jason Thompson and I are flying over to France to ski and climb for a few weeks. We are going to meet up with RMI Guide Tyler Jones who is ski guiding over in La Grave for the winter. We will be skiing and climbing in La Grave as well as Chamonix. They are having an amazing winter so far over in that area so I am super excited to ski some super good powder and climb some sticky ice. We fly back to Montana at the end of March and I will be ready to hang the skis up and dust off the rock climbing shoes. Hopefully, I will head down to the desert for a few weeks of rock scrambling and warm sunshine.
RMI: What are your spring and summer climbing plans?
Even though spring seems so far away at this point, I am really looking forward to rock climbing for the month of April around the desert towers of Utah and the volcanic tuft of central Oregon. On May 1st I fly up to Alaska to start my guiding season in the Alaskan Range. First I will be working the Alaska Mountaineering Seminar from May 1st through May 11th. This will be my first time working this program so I am super excited to be hanging around Base Camp for ten days and climbing some of the amazing peaks in that zone. After the seminar, I start a McKinley West Buttress Climb on May 15. I have not worked a trip this early on Denali before, so I am looking forward to the cold temps and easy walking on the lower Kahiltna Glacier.
I hope the spring and summer finds all of you getting outside and climbing some mountains whether big or small. Enjoy every day and keep a smile on your face.
Now our team is safely in Puebla, getting cleaned up and reorganized after a valiant effort on Ixta.
As we pulled into our high camp yesterday afternoon our fingers were crossed tightly for a break in the weather. By the time we sat up to fire stoves, a ferocious snow storm pelted the tents and kept us at bay. It came down hard for a few hours, then the wind started. Camp remained in a wet windy cloud and still we waited, hoping for a spell in the storm. It never came. After a mostly sleepless night, the sun finally turned our cloud light and we started packing up. The team handled the sub-ideal conditions like true climbers, realistic that safety trumps all and hunkering down in this case was by far the most prudent choice. Now we rest in Puebla and get ready to head to Orizaba for the next climb, just a little hungrier.
Hello from Shira Camp,
Today the team moved from Machame Camp to Shira Camp for our second night on the mountain. The morning started out with clear blue skies as we continued the climb up and out of the giant heather zone. Within a few hours, most of the climbing for the day was done and we started a long traverse. At the end of the traverse the trail cuts through several sections of lava rock and we finally crested out on the Shira Plateau. This is at almost 12,500 feet, an altitude record for most of the group. We descended a couple hundred feet and walked right into camp. The clouds rolled in shortly after lunch and have been with us since. We are all hanging out in our tents now, resting a bit and working on our appetites for a big dinner.
Tomorrow will be the biggest day of the climb so far and we will be adding another 2,500 feet to those altitude records.
The group remains strong and are all up for the challenge tomorrow.
RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team Simba Sita
On The Map
Happy Valentine’s Day from Machame camp.
When we woke up this morning, it was sunny and warm and the perfect day to start our climb.
After a quick breakfast, we loaded up in the vehicle and drove to the park gate, about an 1 1/2 drive from our hotel. With our park registration complete and the porter loads weigh, we were all more than ready to start walking.
With not a cloud in the sky, shorts and t-shirts were all that were needed today. As soon as we started on the trail, we began a steady climb up through the forest zone, the most dense section of forest on the mountain. After we climbed several thousand feet, the forest started to thin and the flanks of Kilimanjaro came into full view. A short stretch later, we were walking into our first night’s camp at 10,000. With our tents already set up and a snack waiting for us, it was a nice ending to our first day on the trail.
The team did great today on the hike and everybody is feeling strong and healthy. Tomorrow we will be checking in from Shira Camp.
Team Sima Sita
On The Map
This is RMI Guide JJ Justman checking in. We want to let everyone following our Mexico’s Volcanoes Expedition know that we are at high camp on Ixta (14,750ft). The Team is doing fantastic. We are preparing for our summit bid tomorrow, so we are getting our water ready. We are planning on waking up around midnight and getting hot drinks going for our crew.
It is pretty unusual right now, there is a ton of snow that you don’t normally see here on Ixta, but it is actually making for some pretty nice climbing. Weather is calm there is no wind, so we will keep our fingers crossed. It’s looking like it is going to be a great day tomorrow, so stay tuned. We will check in again tomorrow and will hopefully have some great news. We are looking at a nice safe climb of Ixta.
Ciao from Mexico!
On The Map
Well, despite Mother Nature’s best efforts 100% of our team stood on the summit of Aconcagua, South America’s highest point, at approximately 1:00 pm local time. We were accosted by moderate winds and cold temps most of the evening at Camp Colera so we decided to push back our departure to 5:30 a.m. We were hoping to avoid subjecting the team to too much cold. Well, despite our best efforts to mitigate the weather, we were thoroughly brutalized by wind and cold for the entire climb except for the last 2 stretches of the descent. Our climbers all did a terrific job taking care of themselves and preventing cold injuries. They climbed so efficiently that what is normally a 12 hour summit day we accomplished in 10! Maybe it was the short/lack of breaks, maybe they all possess mutant strength…
Regardless, we’re heading for Aconcagua Basecamp tomorrow!
On The Map
Hello from the Mexico’s Volcanoes Team,
Today we left our high altitude training site ready to go higher. After a lovely brunch overlooking the Txacala waterfall we continued to the town of Amecameca to finish acquiring our provisions for Ixta. Loaded with plenty of food we drove to Paso de Cortez, the col between Ixta and Popo, to finish our approach to the Altzimoni hut. Here we rest, with full bellies, and finish our last preparations before hitting the trail to our high camp on Ixtaccihuatl.
The weather has been a bit unseasonable so far, with rare snow at these elevations. Folks from the surrounding towns have been driving up to check out the snow and we have passed more than a few cars with tiny snowmen perched on their hoods. Our fingers are crossed that the “White Woman” (as Ixtaccihuatl is known because it resembles a woman sleeping on her back, and is often covered with snow) will be without her blanket of clouds tomorrow.
Wish us luck,
RMI Guide Jake Beren
On The Map
Previous Page More Entries