- 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 12/2012
Holiday greetings to all our friends around the world! Down/up here on Aconcagua it has been a Christmas to remember. We went on an acclimatization hike towards C1, enjoyed a favorite mountain holiday tradition of quesadillas a la Leon, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. Tomorrow we will ride the (hopefully) improving trend of decreasing winds and try to carry up to Camp 1. Our time spent at BC prepares us for strength on the upper mountain and we look forward to making the most of it.
Here are a few shout outs from the team:
“Feeling great! Love you all. MUAT baby.”
“Merry Christmas family and friends. Love from 14,000 feet.”
“Love you family! #2, wish you were here! Love you, #1”
“Jeanne, Love you.”
“Merry Christmas Fam!”
“Adi, having a great time. See you soon. Do your homework-love, Dad”
“Vien, all I want for X-mad is you.”
A few of us might have been napping, but rest assure we all miss our people and can’t wait to share this adventure when we return.
On The Map
We made the big move up from Low Camp to High Camp today. The team climbed well and strong… getting the job done in a little over five hours. But it wasn’t easy, by any means. A cold wind hit us just above the top of the fixed ropes and then harassed us all the way into camp. That made for some cold campers, initially, but we got a few tents and a kitchen built and life got better, the way it always does when such things are around. The teams that we flew onto the mountain with managed to summit today -the storm hit some of them on their way back into camp but they coped well, for all we could tell. Of course our hope is that wind and clouds will flee in time for us to enjoy a Christmas summit of Mount Vinson, but we shall see. If we have to give the storm a day or two to pass through, we can do that as well. A Christmas spent napping in a warm sleeping bag alongside friends is not a terrible thing. We just hope Santa will find his way into the chimney on these tents without too much difficulty.
Merry Christmas from the Ellsworth Mountains, Sentinel Range, 12,600 ft up on the Vinson Massif, deep in the heart of Antarctica.
On The Map
Posted by: | December 24, 2012
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training
We are coming in to the home stretch of 2012. If you’ve been practicing workouts and exercises you’ve accomplished a lot already. Lets use the last week of the year to work on flexibility with The Home Stretch.
The Home Stretch is exactly what it sounds like: the last bit of your workout, the brief but essential stretching routine that will keep your muscles limber and strong. The routine starts at your toes and stretches to the top of your head and as far as your fingertips can reach.
UPPER CALF STRETCH
Starting position: Begin this stretch in the Downward Dog yoga posture: hands and feet flat on the ground, torso arched with rear up in the air, legs straight. If the Downward Dog position is uncomfortable, perform this stretch by leaning forward against a wall or another source of support, such as a tree or building, with arms straight and hands flat against the surface with legs straight and heels on the ground.
Movement: Place your left ankle above and behind the right ankle, just off the ground, so that you can feel an isolated stretch in your right calf. Keep your knee straight so as to isolate the gastrocnemius —one of two major muscles that comprise the calf. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
LOWER CALVES AND ANKLES
Starting position: Same as the Upper Calf Stretch — Downward Dog or the variation leaning against a wall.
Movement: Move your left ankle above and behind your right ankle as in the Upper Calf Stretch, with one difference: bend your right knee to isolate the soleus muscle in the lower part of your calf. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
Starting position: Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Rest your head on the ground.
Movement: Raise your right leg, with a slightly bent knee if needed. Grasp the back of your upper leg (hamstrings) with both of your hands and gently pull toward the center of your body until you feel a stretch in the hamstring. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
Starting position: Lie flat on your stomach, chin on the ground and arms at your sides.
Movement: Raise your right ankle by bending your right knee. Grasp it behind your back with your right hand and then gently pull toward the center of your body until you feel a gentle stretch in the quadriceps muscles (the front of the thigh). Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
Variation: If lying down on your stomach is uncomfortable, do this stretch standing up. Hold on to a tree or other support with your free hand, if necessary, as you grasp your ankle and gently pull it toward your body.
Starting position: Sit in a kneeling position with your left leg forward. Your right knee and left foot will be on the ground, with both knees bent at 90-degree angles.
Movement: Imagine that your pelvis is a bowl of water on a table. Now, think of gently tipping the water out of the bowl from the back as you gently press the bottom part of your pelvis forward and the top part of your pelvis slightly back so that you feel a stretch in the muscles that connect the front of your hip to your right leg. That subtle tipping will activate the hip flexor in the front of your right leg. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
ILIOTIBIAL (IT) BANDS
Starting position: Stand upright near a tree, wall, or other surface for balance. Cross your right leg over your left leg.
Movement: Extend your left arm to the surface for balance. Bend your body to the left with your right arm extended overhead, as though you’re doing a variation on the Side Bender from the Daily Dozen. Your goal is to feel a deep stretch in your right hip extending down to the outer part of your right leg.
Variation: Try the Pigeon Stretch if you’re particularly flexible. Sit on the ground and bend your left leg so that the heel is near the right hip. Extend the right leg straight behind you.
Starting position: Sit upright with legs bent and heels placed together in front of you.
Movement: Gently press your knees toward the ground to feel a stretch in the adductors (inner thighs). Hold for 20 seconds.
Starting position: Lie down on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground.
Movement: Gently move your knees to the left, placing them on the ground, making sure to also keep your shoulders on the ground. You should feel a stretch in your middle and lower back. Extend your arms to either side, and move your head so that you are looking to the right (away from your bent knees). Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
STOMACH AND CHEST STRETCH
Starting position: Lie on your stomach, palms placed on the ground on either side of your chest, directly below your shoulders.
Movement: Look up toward the sky, gently curving your back while supporting your weight, hands on the ground. This is popularly known as the Cobra pose in yoga. Hold for 20 seconds.
Starting position: Stand upright or sit on your knees with your upper body strong and straight. Lift your left arm above your head and bend the left elbow to stretch the left triceps muscles.
Movement: Place your right hand on your left elbow to support the stretch, gently pressing the elbow back until you feel the muscle stretching. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
Starting position: Stand near a tree or another support. Place your left hand on the support, with your left arm fully extended.
Movement: Without moving your feet, rotate your body to the right until you feel a stretch in your left shoulder and the left side of your chest. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
To finish the Home Stretch, take five full breaths. First, exhale and deeply Squat to the ground, arms downward. Inhale by pushing up on your heels, extending your legs, and reaching your arms to the sky. Take these breaths very slowly and deliberately — you’re bringing relaxation into all areas of your body at the end of your workout, setting the tone for the next stage peacefully and with a great workout behind you.
- John Colver
John Colver is a longtime climber, former mountain guide, and certified personal trainer with the American Council of Exercise. Colver introduced outdoor fitness classes to athletic clubs throughout the greater Puget Sound region before creating his adventX brand. Currently, adventX leads training programs in Seattle and Colver presents clinics on outdoor fitness at companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, the American Lung Association, and REI. Colver lives in Seattle, and is working on his second book, Fit to Climb - a 16 week Mount Rainier Fitness Program.
Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts with John and other readers on the RMI Blog!
Greetings from Basecamp! Our team battled a bit of wind getting here, but here we are safe and sound. Our morning began with the more sensible members of the team riding mules across the Vacas River, while the rest of us “tough” (ie ridiculous) members waded across the icy stream. Once our icy feet had boots on, we hiked up the Relinchos Valley underneath a towering view of Aconcagua. It definitely looked windy up there, with spindrift ripping off the peak. Basecamp is somewhat better and after a good session of camp building in the elements, the team is ready for some well earned R&R. Tomorrow we rest and prepare ourselves for that break in the weather.
RMI Guide Jake Beren
On The Map
That storm finally eased, now for the next one. Actually, we hope the next one is a long way off. We enjoyed a fine and quiet rest day at Low Camp. Long meals, long naps, lots of drinking water, some books, some music… an altogether great day in the mountains of Antarctica. We had good strong sunshine for much of the day, but as we ate our dinner (at around 9 PM) things began to cloud up again. There isn’t any wind forecast to go along with the clouds so our fingers are crossed for a good moving up day tomorrow.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
We made pretty good use out of today. The weather wasn’t perfect, it still seems like the long, slow storm is lingering, but it wasn’t all that bad either. There was still a ton of cloud hanging around when we got out of the tents at Low Camp this morning. We’d done the traditional sleep in until 11 AM so as to avoid the cold cold Vinson shadow that haunts Low Camp, but the surprise turned out to be that it really wasn’t all that cold. The clouds had kept some heat in for us. Everybody was feeling good and well-rested, so we grabbed some supplies, shoved them in our packs and headed for high camp. The goal was to do a carry, to bring food up for our eventual move to high camp. But moving that food up wasn’t nearly as important as getting everyone familiar with the climbing route and getting in some good exercise at altitude. We did all of that. The “meat” of the day was toiling for about three hours on the steep and continuous “fixed rope” section of the hill. By the top of the ropes, the weather had taken a slight turn for the worse, with a slight, but persistent breeze blowing new falling snow, We carried on the extra hour and a half to high camp anyway, since it seemed we were getting such good experience in and everyone was climbing strong. We were up to high camp by about 7:25 PM, meaning we were spot on the expected six hours. We just took a few minutes to cache the gear and food and then we were off down the hill. We got warmer as we descended and made pretty good time with light packs. It was 9 PM when we reached the base of the ropes and just another fifteen minutes or so brought us into camp. The sun came out while we were eating dinner and getting ready for bed, making all of that just a little bit easier.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
Today we left camp to the sound of our herreros singing as they packed up the mules for Casa de Piedra, today was again hot, but as the temps rose, our tailwind turned into a headwind and kept us cool.
The team did great today, handling day two of our approach and just before camp we were treated to a spectacular view of Aconcagua and Cerro Amenghino. We even saw two guanacos loping down valley as we pulled into camp! Nice to see our objective at last and tomorrow we all look forward to making our basecamp on the mountain.
PS is it the end of the world as we know it? We feel fine.
On The Map
The longest day of the year is a little redundant in a place where the sun doesn’t set… we’ll take it anyway. Summer has come to Antarctica. But that doesn’t mean the living is easy. We still have the tail end of that storm to contend with. At least we hope it is the tail end. There is still a lot of cloud stuck on Mount Vinson, but it did seem a bit better than yesterday, on the whole. So we packed up the camp and moved up the mountain. We left Vinson Basecamp at 2:10 PM, which is not too late to be starting out (in case you are wondering). Our plan revolved around using the late evening sunshine that Low Camp is famous for. It only took us until 6:40 PM to pull in to the camp at 9,000 ft. Conditions on the route were calm, cloudy, and not exactly cold. We each did a bit of sweating, which can get problematic in a place that is perhaps -10 F but everyone took good care and we sailed through without difficulty. On the way, we picked up our cache of supplies where the Branscomb makes the big ninety degree turn from South to West, and that pretty much completed the sled hauling “approach” portion of this climb. Camp went up fast as we ran stoves for dinner and melted snow for drinking water. It is just after midnight now, and all are in bed. There is a thin layer of cloud still blocking our sun… but it isn’t like it is the end of the world or anything.
On The Map
Buenos tardes from Pampa de Llenas,
Our first camp on the way to Basecamp. After a somewhat leisurely morning at the hotel, we registered with the Federales and hit the trail. The walk was pleasant, warm but manageable with just enough of a breeze to keep the team from bursting into a fuego.
Now at camp we have reviewed tent building, a super important step for the rest of the trip, and are tending to a little relaxed maintenance. Resting in the tent we can hear only the wind and occasional braying of mules, the sounds of “civilization” soon to be no more than a memory. No more wheeled contraptions for us, just our feet and the hooves of our new friends.
Our adventure has truly begun.
RMI Guide Jake Beren & Team
Hola from a stone’s throw from the Chilean border! Our team is currently relaxing at our hotel, enjoying coffees and catnaps before dinner. Our gear is packed and weighed for the mules who will help us out by schlepping our kit all the way to Aconcagua’s Basecamp. Tomorrow we will hit the trail, tagging in after our friends with RMI Team the First (who we stopped on the road to visit on our way here). Time for one last meal without doing our own dishes and an evening in a “real” bed.
Tomorrow we ride,
RMI Guide Jake Beren
PS. After a fantastic meal here at the Hotel Ayelen the team discovered the hidden ping pong table. Dios mio man. Turns out the entire team is pretty darn good with a paddle. Let’s call it our first acclimatization cycle.
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