Posts for Expedition Dispatches

Alpamayo: Elias and Team Rest Today at Base Camp

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos | July 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Peru
Elevation: 14,270'

Good afternoon from Alpamayo Base Camp. We are checking in from our rest day. We had an uneventful day today, just took our time to eat and drink, and rehydrate. And we witnessed a little bit of rain and light snow with hail today—the first one of the trip. But the weather hasn’t been very bad. It’s just been normal Andean weather. We don’t have much to share today. We’re just excited to head up tomorrow to Camp 1, and other than the sighting of the birth of baby sheep that happened right here at base camp, nothing major today. So again we are just so excited to get packed tomorrow morning and head up to Camp 1, from where we will be checking in tomorrow. And so we are letting you know that the next day we are going up to Camp 1. That’s it for now. We’ll check again later. Bye.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos


RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos checks in from Alpamayo Base Camp.

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Wait out the Weather

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

Not that we needed it, but yesterday’s thunderstorms with hail, lighting, and strong winds only confirmed we’d made the right call to delay by one day. By morning today the clouds had blown off and the sun was back out but you could still see the wind up high blowing strong. Rather than rest all day again, we went for a nice hike after breakfast to stretch the legs and exercise the lungs a bit. Being a Saturday there were dozens of snowcats full of people and endless snowmobiles flying past as we hiked. 
After our hike we enjoyed another nice meal cooked by Albina and then sat together to discuss our upcoming climb. We have gone over all the details and are already packed up ready for morning. Our plan will be to wake up around midnight, have breakfast at 12:30 and hopefully be riding our snowcat by 1:30. The snow cat will drop us off basically where we ended our highest acclimatization hike two days ago. From there it should takes us about 6-8 hours to reach the summit of Mt. Elbrus if all goes according to plan. The forecast looks better than yesterday’s and the team is very ready for the climb.
We’ll do our best to call from the summit, and will undoubtedly check in when we return.
Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams Reach Summit!

Posted by: Lindsay Fixmer, Zeb Blais | July 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climbs led by RMI Guides Zeb Blais and Lindsay Fixmer reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The teams experienced very high winds upon approaching the crater rim.  The team enjoyed some time on top before starting their descent around 7 am.  The teams will return to Camp Muir for a short break before continuing down to Paradise.  We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!

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Mt. Shuksan: Walter and team arrive at high camp

Posted by: Mike Walter | July 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *North Cascades
Elevation: 7,000

We had a great day of climbing today on Mt. Shuksan. We started at the Lake Ann trail head (4700’) and climbed up through the Fisher Chimneys, which consisted of a couple thousand feet of 3rd and 4th class rock climbing. The weather and climbing conditions were perfect for us, and we climbed at a leisurely pace, making it to high camp in a little over 6 hours. Our spectacular camp is at just below 7000’, on a rock ridge nestled in between the Upper Curtis Glacier and the White Salmon Glacier. We’ve got views southwest to Mt. Baker and north into Canada; it is truly a stunning alpine setting.
We’re hoping the weather cooperates with us (the forecast is calling for some rain) and let’s us climb to the summit tomorrow. We’ll be in touch tomorrow to let you know how it goes.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Fisher Chimneys camp just below 7000', on a rock ridge in between the Upper Curtis Glacier and the White Salmon Glacier. Photo: Mike Walter
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Alpamayo: Elias with an Update from Moraine Camp

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos | July 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Peru
Elevation: 16,240'

Hello, this is the Alpamayo climbing team. We are calling from Base Camp. We had a really nice day. We went up to Camp 1, also known as Moraine Camp, to do a carry. We climbed about 600 meters of elevation, some 2,000 feet. We dropped off the gear, set up camp, and we came down. We’re now relaxing here. It’s about 1:30 local time. And we’re going to have another awesome meal prepared by our own cook, Emilio. The plan for the remainder of the day is to rest, and we will do that tomorrow, as well – a rest day before we start moving up. That’s pretty much it for now. Kensie, Parker, Tony, and Pete are doing great, and we are psyched! That’s all for now. Elías speaking here. We’ll keep you posted on our next moves tomorrow. Hope everyone’s doing well back home.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos


Elias de Andres Martos called in from Moraine Camp.

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Train in Preparation of Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

Today the team got up a little early to make use of the firm snow to practice using our crampons, and we revisited how to self-arrest also.  After our morning session we enjoyed breakfast and then relaxed near camp till lunch. The weather has slowly been changing here and shortly after lunch we decided to postpone our climb by one day as the forecast is showing a slight improvement for tomorrow evening. So that means another day of rest tomorrow!

Not much new to report here, but everyone is doing well and we have our fingers crossed that the weather improves enough to allow for some amazing views.

We’ll check in again tomorrow before our big climb!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Training on the lower slopes of Mt. Elbrus. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Rainier: Climbing Teams on the Summit!

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Tyler Reid | July 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise led by RMI Guide Mike Haugen reached the summit of Mt. Rainier today.  The team spent several nights on the mountain training for their summit attempt on Rainier and gaining knowledge and experience for future climbs.  Today is the sixth and final day of this program putting their new skills to use.

RMI Guide Tyler Reid led the Four Day Summit Climb to the summit this morning.  As of 7:30 am both teams were at the top of Disappointment Cleaver on their descent.  It’s a bluebird day on Mt. Rainier, clear skies and warm temperatures.  The teams will return to Camp Muir for a short break before continuing to Paradise.

We look forward to seeing both teams at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.  Congratulations to today’s climbing teams!


Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Powder Wading

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | July 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

July 17, 2014 - 8:45 pm PT
In just under 24 hours, our climbing team went from the 17,200 ft high camp to the 7,200 ft basecamp.  It wasn’t remotely easy.  Luckily, we had a calm start to the day which allowed us to balance carefully down the exposed and spectacular crest of the West Buttress.  Things got tougher at the base of the fixed lines when we needed to virtually swim through bottomless powder snow.  We reached easier terrain upon which one could walk laboriously in knee deep new snow and this ground got us to 14 camp.  We did a fry-up of a few quesadillas while reorganizing gear and then set off in cloud toward Windy Corner.  Plenty of snow kept us walking funny and breathing hard as we negotiated the side hills and corners of Squirrel Hill and then Motorcycle.

At 11 camp we threw up tents and downed dinner.  The team wanted to just sleep for a few hours before resuming the march to BC at 2:30 AM.  The early start would give our best chance at catching the lower glacier in a frozen (rather than slushy) state.  We pushed on through the night gloom, a few thick fog banks and miles of glacier.  It was great to see -as expected from conditions on the way in- that the lower Kahiltna was well put together.  Very few crevasse crossings troubled us.  Finally we got working, trudging and sweating up Heartbreak Hill.  As we progressed, the weather improved to the point that with our arrival at the former site of Basecamp (nothing remains so late in the season) it was good enough to dial up K2 Aviation on the Sat Phone and seek a pickup.  The K2 pilots did their normal exceptional job in whisking us out of winter and into the Talkeetna summer.

Day 21 of our climb will end with a victory dinner in town.  True, we stopped a couple thousand feet short of the summit, but victory is still ours.  It feels that good to have endured Denali together.

Best Regards and thanks for following,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Flying into Kahiltna Base Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann The Talkeetna Airstrip in view. Photo: RMI Collection Sunset in Talkeetna. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Alpamayo: Elias Calls in from Base Camp

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos | July 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Peru
Elevation: 14,270'

Hello this is the Alpamayo climbing team calling from base camp. It’s been an awesome two days from the trails to get here. We have settled into a really nice camp at the base of the mountain. We have already had lunch and enjoying some rest. The team is doing really well. Everybody’s moving pretty nicely along these elevations. Right now we are at 4,400 meters. We are going to relax for the remainder of the day, most likely do a carry tomorrow to Moraine Camp before taking a rest day the following day and continue to move up on the mountain. That’s it for now and we will keep you posted. Bye.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos


RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos calls in from basecamp.

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Acclimate on Mt. Elbrus

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 15,000'

It was another beautiful day here on Mt. Elbrus! We woke to clear skies, calm winds and a amazing view of the enormous Caucasus range. (Really you should google it sometime!) We had our standard breakfast of porridge, boiled eggs, assorted meats, cheeses and coffee. Today was our planned acclimatization hike and we did just that. The team hiked for about three hours uphill and reached about 15,000 ft, which was a new record for some. We enjoyed the views took a few photos and then headed back down to camp for lunch. The remainder of the afternoon has been spent playing cards, reading and napping.
All is well and we are looking forward to having a rest day tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The new huts on Mt. Elbrus, 12,000 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom The July 11th Mt. Elbrus team on an acclimatization hike to 15,000 ft on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Casey Grom

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Recent Images From Expedition Dispatches

  • Camp on Fisher Chimneys. Photo: Mike Walter
  • The RMI Kilimanjaro July 21st team at dinner at the Dik Dik Hotel, Tanzania.  Photo: Mark Tucker
  • The July 21st Kilimanjaro team stretching their legs in Tanzania.  Photo: Mark Tucker
  • The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 18th team on an acclimazation hike.  Photo: JJ Justman
  • The RMI team ascending to Camp Muir on July 22nd.  Photo: Win Whittaker
  • The Four Day Summit Climb July 20 - 23 team enjoyed nice weather for their Mountaineering School on July 21st.  Photo: Win Whittaker
  • Grom and Team visiting St. Petersburg after Elbrus summit. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Elbrus team enjoying the St. Petersburg canal tour. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Casey Grom & his Elbrus team's farewell dinner in St. Petersburg. Photo: Casey Grom
  • RMI climbers on the upper flanks of Mt. Rainier. Photo: Ed Viesturs
  • Rooftops of St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Sunset view of the Caucasus Mountains above Cheget. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Cheget, mountain town at the base of the Caucasus Mountains. Photo: JJ Justman
  • An RMI Team led by Brent Okita crossing the Mt. Rainier crater. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The RMI July 11th team enjoying a celebration dinner in Cheget, Russia. Photo: Casey Grom
  • St. Basils Cathedral near Red Square Moscow, Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The outer walls around the Kremlin, Moscow Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The RMI July 11th team on the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Russia, 18,510 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • Fisher Chimneys camp just below 7000', on a rock ridge in between the Upper Curtis Glacier and the White Salmon Glacier. Photo: Mike Walter
  • Training on the lower slopes of Mt. Elbrus. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Flying into Kahiltna Base Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The Talkeetna Airstrip in view. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Sunset in Talkeetna. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • The new huts on Mt. Elbrus, 12,000 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The July 11th Mt. Elbrus team on an acclimatization hike to 15,000 ft on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • An RMI Team camped at 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 11th team takes a break during their acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • An acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus by the July 11th team.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The RMI July 11th team loading the gondola to reach Base Camp on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Four Day Summit Climb Team July 13 - 16, 2014 ascending to Camp Muir.  Photo: Win Whittaker
  • RMI Climbers approaching the summit of Mt. Rainier on July 16, 2014.  Photo: Win Whittaker
  • The canals of St. Petersburg, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  Photo: RMI Collection