Entries From Aconcagua 12-27-13

Aconcagua: Garrett Stevens & Team - Greetings from Mendoza!

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Ben Liken, Nick Brown | December 28, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Hello from our RMI Aconcagua expedition, here in sunny Mendoza! The team all arrived today, with the last members landing just before 2:00 local time. All the crew, and all the bags, were on time and in place, which is the perfect way to start an expedition. After getting settled here at the beautiful and accommodating Nutibara Hotel, the team sat down for a round of introductions and discussion about our upcoming expedition. We enjoyed the cool air conditioning in the hotel for an hour or so, and then it was off for the final food shop at the local grocery store.

The temperatures in town, at 90 degrees or so, certainly have more than one of us eyeing the pool, or thinking about the cooler environment of the high camps on Aconcagua. Soon enough we will be up there, but for now we busied ourselves with gear review, final packing and preparations, and a delicious dinner of beef and Malbec at one of the local restaurants. Turn in was early (by Argentinian standards, anyway) to ready ourselves for tomorrow.

We will be up and out early to get the permits we need, do some last minute gear acquisition, and then take the ride out to Penitentes. The crew is in high spirits, and the team is coming together well! We are all excited to get the trip underway, and we will be sure to keep you updated on the progress as we head in to our objective. Keep your fingers crossed for continued good weather, and stay tuned for more!

RMI Guides Garrett Stevens, Ben Liken and Nick Brown

Flying into Mendoza, Aconcagua in sight. Photo: Linden Mallory
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CONGRATULATIONS to all on quite an accomplishment! Can’t wait to hear all about it. Proud of you Stefan!

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Posted by: Gail on 1/13/2014 at 9:21 am

Good Job, Stef. wer’e rooting for you. I’m going to have all your fav foods waiting for you when you get home!

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Posted by: gail on 1/10/2014 at 4:22 pm


Aconcagua: Stevens & Team Secure Permits, Depart Mendoza

Posted by: Ben Liken, Garrett Stevens, Nick Brown | December 29, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Today’s mission: obtain permits, get the last few items on the shopping list, and head out to Penitentes. We started early, taking advantage of the cooler temps to head over to the payment and permit offices. Like many things here in Argentina, opening times for businesses are relative and quite fluid, so we ended up at the offices just a bit before they were open. Good thing we did, too, as there were about 50 other folks on the same itinerary as our team! We got the payments taken care of, headed over to the Permit office, and settled in for the long haul of stamping, reviewing, signing, and getting back the completed permits.

Permits in hand, we headed back to the hotel to pack our bags onto the waiting transport. For those who don’t know, it takes a mountain of luggage to climb a mountain like Aconcagua.  The team is now packed and ready to go. We are heading out for Penitentes to pack bags, get to bed, and start the trek in to Base Camp tomorrow.

The crew looks good as you can see here, so keep sending the good vibes as we start this incredible journey!

RMI Guides Garrett, Ben, and Nick

RMI December 27th Aconcagua Team Ready in Mendoza.  Photo: Garrett Stevens
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Looks like your ready. Have fun!! See ya on the dance floor when you get back:-)

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Posted by: Martha on 12/30/2013 at 9:05 am

Everybody looks ready, great picture !!!

Let the fun begin ...best wishes..

Matilde

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Posted by: Matilde on 12/29/2013 at 6:12 pm


Aconcagua: Stevens and Team Trek to Pampa de Leñas

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Ben Liken, Nick Brown | December 30, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

Today dawned with crystal blue skies and high energy for the team at the hotel in Penitentes. We made our way to a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, cheese and ham, washed it all down with coffee and orange juice, and headed over to the staging area for last-minute preparations.

Within a half hour, we had the duffels fully locked and loaded, trekking packs ready, and were on our way. Everybody was ready for the exercise after a couple of days of bife de chorizo and Malbec, and within the first half hour we had hit our stride. Steady hiking took us further and further up the Vacas valley, along the west side of the turbid and roaring Vacas river.

The scenery and stories kept our minds off the strong sun, and within a few hours we arrived here at our first camp, Pampa de Leñas. A few other folks have moved in next to us. They are friendly and excited as we are to be here in this beautiful place. We are currently watching the sun slide behind the mountains, with dinner the next immediate goal. Everyone is healthy, strong, and stoked to continue up the valley tomorrow.

Thanks for watching our progress; stay tuned!

RMI Guides Nick, Ben, and Garrett

The Vacas Valley toward Pampa de Lenas. RMI Photo Collection
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Happy New Year from NYC!

Although it is great to bring the New Year in the Big Apple, nothing can compare to be in Aconcagua right now!!!

Happy 2014 to… read more

Posted by: Matilde on 12/31/2013 at 6:04 pm

Hey G Good luck on the climb - wish I was there again and remember FILTER the water!!!!

Jeff

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Posted by: Jeff Hall on 12/31/2013 at 8:22 am


Aconcagua: Stevens & Team Packed in at Piedras

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Nick Brown, Ben Liken | December 31, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 10,550'

Today the team woke to another perfect blue sky, light winds, and zero clouds in sight. We took advantage of the cooler morning temps to get breakfast eaten, get packed up, and head further up the Vacas valley towards our home for tonight at Casa de Piedras.

The early shade was a welcome relief from yesterday’s sun, and for the first hour or so we moved smoothly uphill and further upstream. As the day stretched on, the sun came over the horizon in full force and we were soon wishing for the light breeze from yesterday.

Well, you definitely have to be careful what you wish for, because about halfway to our destination the wind got quite strong, with big gusts blowing huge clouds of dust and sand down the valley and into our faces. But this tough team just kept going, undeterred. If anything, spirits got higher as we moved together towards our goal, and smiles abounded (albeit a little gritty from the sand flying all around).

The crew got to test their tent erecting skills in strong winds, and were soon nestled into bomber shelter. We’ve been hydrating and hiding from the sun, ready for an early launch tomorrow up the Relinchos valley towards our base camp at 14,000’.  Stay tuned for more!

RMI Guides Garrett, Nick, and Ben

The first views of Aconcagua as seen approaching Trek Camp 2, Casa de Piedras.  Photo: RMI Collection Tents at Casa de Piedra.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

3

Happy New Year G$!  I love you and miss you and hope you are well. 

Xo,
Barbarina

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Posted by: Barbarina on 1/1/2014 at 10:43 am

Happy New Years on the mountain. You 3 climbed while we 4 went bowling. SPOT working well.

Keep going up
Skipper

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Posted by: Skipper on 1/1/2014 at 9:56 am


Aconcagua: Stevens & Team Nestled into Plaza Argentina

Posted by: Ben Liken, Garrett Stevens, Nick Brown | January 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Happy New Year from the team, nestled in here at Plaza Argentina! How many of you can say you started off the new year riding on the back of a mule across a raging river? Well, everyone on the team did just that, and once we were all safely across the Vacas River we started today’s long ascent up the Relinchos Valley.

The early morning shade gave way to sun, and unlike yesterday we didn’t have a breeze to cool us down. While the absence of flying sand was nice, the heat wasn’t exactly what many expected as we made our way higher and higher. Hydration was critical as we climbed closer to our goal, and by mid-afternoon we arrived in base camp - hot, tired, and happy to be here.

Our hostesses Griselda and Anita soon had delicious treats on the table and juice in our glasses, and the team took full advantage. After some much-needed rest, we sat down to a dinner of trout, potatoes and tomatoes, complemented with hot tea and lively conversation.

We are settled in now for the night, looking forward to tomorrow’s well-earned rest day. Everyone is excited to be kicking off 2014 here on Aconcagua! Keep it locked in for more news from the crew…

RMI Guides Ben Liken, Nick Brown, and Garrett Stevens

On The Map

1

Nice to hear that all is well!

A day of rest is definitely needed!
Snow storms predicted for the entire Northeast,sunny Aconcagua is the place to be!

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Posted by: Matilde on 1/2/2014 at 5:42 am


Aconcagua Stevens and Team Rest at Plaza de Argentina

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Ben Liken, Nick Brown | January 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Well, after three days of hard work on the approach to our climb, we are finally taking some deserved time off. This is the first of our “rest days” which we are using to relax, refuel, and acclimatize.  The team is loving it.

We started the morning with some sleeping in and a leisurely breakfast of loaded egg quesadillas, while watching a few flurries drift off of the upper mountain. After the sun started to heat our base camp weather-port and some digesting had taken place the team prepared their gear for our carry to Camp 1 tomorrow at 16,200’. The packs are heavy but the spirits are high as the mountain looms above.

For the rest of the evening the name of the game is chilling…..playing cards, eating snacks, taking in the sights, and trying to guess what our dinner could be by the delicious smell coming from the kitchen. Stay tuned as we continue our ascent tomorrow!

RMI Guides,

Garret, Ben, and Nick

Base Camp Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

On The Map

2

Keep on climbing team,

And don’t forget the pics!  We will be waiting for it.

The Northeast is covered in a blanked of snow… and is pretty cold in Tampa… read more

Posted by: Matilde on 1/3/2014 at 7:06 am

Glad to know the climb is going well!  Wish I could be there with my bud James Blackwell!  I’m living life through you, tub buddy!

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Posted by: Dr. Bizzle on 1/3/2014 at 6:48 am


Aconcagua: Stevens & Team Carry to 16,400’

Posted by: Ben Liken, Garrett Stevens, Nick Brown | January 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 10,550'

Today was a beautiful day here on Aconcagua, with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine for our carry up to Camp One. We had quite a bit of wind here in base camp last night and were worried that we might be walking up into the teeth of it today, but the weather gods smiled on us instead.

We were walking just as the sun came into camp, and were able to make steady progress through the broken and rocky morainal slopes above us. Soon enough we came to the heinous scree slope that guards the bench of Camp One, and the team made short work of the last few hundred feet.

We dropped our food, some equipment, and some gas for our launch towards the upper reaches of the mountain, and were headed down soon thereafter. All the luggage is currently awaiting our return, but tomorrow we’ll take a hard-earned rest day. The team continues to climb strong, hydrate well, and eat hearty portions, which will pay dividends when we head up higher on this beautiful mountain.

Thanks for all the kind words, and keep your fingers crossed for continued good weather! 

RMI Guides Garrett, Ben, and Nick

An RMI Team  Carries to Camp One.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

3

Sorry I have been slacking. Was aiming for a daily hello from home. I missed sorry. Hope you guys are having a great trip. Can’t wait dr you to get… read more

Posted by: Martha on 1/5/2014 at 1:19 pm

Safe climbing as the team gets closer to the summit!

Go team go!

Matilde

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Posted by: matilde on 1/4/2014 at 6:14 am


Aconcagua: Stevens & Team Resting and Relaxing at Plaza Argentina

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Ben Liken, Nick Brown | January 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

The goal for today is to get as relaxed as possible here at our base camp. Towards that end, the team has been chilling in our group tent since breakfast, which included oatmeal, cereal, egg/bacon/onion quesadillas, and copious amounts of coffee. There is currently an epic game of Hearts happening, with various members tapping in and out as they get frustrated with picking up the Queen of Spades (David in particular).

Tomorrow will be a big day, as we will be moving up towards our next camp at 16,400’. The gear is staged, the crew is ready, and our team dynamic is as strong as one could hope. The weather continues to be gorgeous; light winds and lots of sun here at Plaza Argentina. Here’s hoping it holds steady for the next few days!

We are sending positive vibes up to Jake Beren and his team, as we believe today is their summit day.  Good luck to them…we are looking forward to seeing them as we bump up tomorrow. Until then, stick with us for more details!

Cheers,
RMI Guides Garrett Stevens, Ben Liken and Nick Brown

Looking out over Aconcagua Base Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

3

Been following your teams posts, sounds like quite the trip! Happy New Year David!
-Sarah

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Posted by: Sarah Williams on 1/5/2014 at 11:54 am

Watching your progress from faraway Frogtown Virginia USA and sending you best wishes for good weather and safe travels!
Mike and Susan Browns

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Posted by: Mike Brown on 1/4/2014 at 5:18 pm


Aconcagua: Stevens & Team Settled in at Camp 1

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Ben Liken, Nick Brown | January 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,450'

Today the team awoke to blue skies and calm winds for our last basecamp breakfast before we begin to ascend the upper slopes of Aconcagua.  After some coffee and a few last minute preparations we were on our way to a night at 16,450’.

As we set off up the moraine with the sun at our backs everything seemed perfect.  The team made short work of the day and before too long we were on the steep scree just before Camp 1.  Once we arrived and everyone had enjoyed a snack, it was back to work establishing our camp for the next three days.  Now after a solid tortellini meal we are all stuffed into our -30 degree sleeping bags awaiting the beautiful stars of the Southern Hemisphere. 

Tomorrow we carry a load of gear to over 18,000’ and the team is ready for it.  You’ll here from us soon!

RMI Guides Garrett, Ben, and Nick

An RMI Team stopped for a break on the way to Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

3

Keep up the great work guys. So proud to call you my friend Stefan. Miss your smiling face but know you are having a blast. Stay safe!

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Posted by: Martha on 1/6/2014 at 4:31 am

Good job Stefan. Stacy runs the marathon Sunday am. Beat her up the mountain!

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Posted by: Skipper on 1/5/2014 at 9:06 pm


Aconcagua: Stevens & Team Carry to 18,000’

Posted by: Ben Liken, Garrett Stevens, Nick Brown | January 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

When you think about mountain climbing, it can generally conjure up images of folks heading up and out in the predawn hours, headlamps shining as they make their way higher. While we’ll get to experience that later in the trip, today’s mission was to get our luggage staged at chopper camp, roughly 18,000’ on Aconcagua.

We woke to more clear blue skies and absolutely still air. This rare combination on Aconcagua is something to savor, which we did as we departed camp at the civilized hour of 9 am and made our way up and over Ameghino Col and around towards Camp 2.

In very short order the team pulled into camp with our kits, got the gear stashed, and headed back to the comfort of our tents at Camp 1. We are currently sitting inside, trying to avoid the intense UV that is beating down out there.

This afternoon is the start of a nice long rest period for us, as we will be chilling here for the remainder of today and all of tomorrow. We’ll check back in later!

RMI Guide Garrett Stevens

Aconcagua between Camp 1 and Camp 2.  Photo: RMI Collection An RMI Team returns to Camp 1 after making a carry to Camp 2.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

2

Bill and Team! Yahoo… enjoy resting and relaxing as you trek downward. So looking forward to seeing you on January 23rd Bill…breakfast is my treat! D

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Posted by: Dav'ne on 1/7/2014 at 8:46 am

Enjoy your day resting. Take lots of pictures.

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Posted by: Martha on 1/7/2014 at 4:17 am


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