Entries From Aconcagua 1-10-14

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Return Safely to Base Camp

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Hello RMI blog followers! Our team has arrived safely back at Basecamp. We are so happy to be in the thick air after a very long expedition. We have used up all our days and it is nice to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We are once again enjoying fresh Argentinian pizzas and the stories are rolling around the table.

Aside from relaxing we will be packing up duffels for our mules arriving tomorrow. We will begin our journey back to Pampa de las Lenas where we began, then the next day we will arrive in Mendoza. We want to thank everyone for all your comments on the blog. Everyone gives their regards. This is our final dispatch for the expedition. Again, thank you! Wait…another pizza is coming. Gotta go!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Descending back to Base Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

3

Way to go Team Olyneck!  Were rootig for you Di at work!  Be safe!

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Posted by: Kathy O'Callaghan on 1/30/2014 at 5:38 am

after 3 weeks….. just burn’em
;)
Good job everyone….. its time to get bonked out of your gord

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Posted by: josh on 1/29/2014 at 7:16 pm


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Summit!

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Steve Gately, Mike King | January 28, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

Update 1:45 pm PST:
Our team has safely returned back to high camp. The snow has returned.  We are nestled in our tents drinking and eating.  We are tired.

[Summit phone call transcribed]
Hey everyone, this is JJ Justman with the Aconcagua Team.  We’re happy to announce that we are on the summit of South America’s highest peak, Aconcagua!  It was an interesting day. It started out cold and windy. It was a hard day to get started but at the end of the day, the sun is shining. The clouds are now starting to build a little bit, but it turned out to be a fairly decent day.  Definitely a tough day to get on top of South America’s highest speak. Everyone says hello.  Big thing now is to head on down.  We had a good, safe climb. We’re gonna have a safe descent.  But again, everyone says hello and thanks again for following along and giving us your best wishes for a safe and successful climb.  That’s exactly what we had today was a really decent weather day, a safe climb.  Thanks again everyone.  We’ll touch base when we get further down the mountain, but everyone is doing real well. Take care, good-bye for now from the the top of the Western Hemisphere.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Looking up towards the Canaleta, just below Aconcagua's summit. Photo: RMI Collection Aconcagua's Canaleta Couloir. Photo: RMI Collection Looking towards Base Camp from near the summit of Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide JJ Justman from the Aconcagua summit!

On The Map

19

Congratulations team!  It sounds like everyone had a new “personal best” in just relentlessly tough weather conditions.  You should all be proud of your journey and perseverance! Randy C you… read more

Posted by: judy Christofferson on 1/29/2014 at 1:56 pm

Denise Mamason! Oh my gosh i am exhausted. I partied all night in celebration of your magnificent feet! you guys rock! Safe trip down! Yahoo! I am with Josh. Definitely… read more

Posted by: Mary Fox on 1/29/2014 at 9:00 am


Aconcagua: Justman & Team at High Camp

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Steve Gately, Mike King | January 27, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Unrelenting! That is the word that describes our weather on Aconcagua. Last night we received 10 inches of snow. When we awoke this morning the winds had scoured most of that snow off the mountain leaving several deep drifts around camp.

Thankfully the weather settled down a bit and we were able to break camp and pack up. The scene looked more like Denali in Alaska than Aconcagua in the Andes. The team did great in the harsh conditions. It would have even made The Godfather of Denali, Joe Horiskey, proud as the team worked together in cold, blustery winds.

We are now sitting in silence at high camp enjoying the sun at 19,600 feet. The team has run its final days. Tomorrow is our only shot. Then we have to head downhill. As luck I believe has it, the forecast is for light winds on top.

We will touch base tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed, it should be from the top!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

High Camp beneath the Polish Glacier. Photo: Tim Amos An RMI Team taking photos from Camp 3. Photo: Gilbert Chase

On The Map

9

You can do it! Saying prayers for good weather for you and will sacrifice something to the weather Gods for you. You are the best. Very proud of you!
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Posted by: Mary fox on 1/28/2014 at 7:31 am

Incredible!  You guys have dealt with an unbelievable amount of varied weather conditions!  Looks like the mountain is giving it everything she has to you guys…well done for doing such… read more

Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/28/2014 at 5:32 am


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Rest Day at Camp 2

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Steve Gately, Mike King | January 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Ah, the acclimatization process. A dismal process of spending the day eating mountain delicacies of dried meat and exotic cheeses, drinking coffee, spending a few hours reading, a midday siesta and strolling around camp soaking in the dramatic topography of the Andes. Yes, the rest day. Not always so accommodating but when the weather Gods give you a day like they gave us, the rest day is just what the doctor ordered. So today we try not to eat all of our remaining food, sleep to our hearts content and day dream of days to come. Oh, how it pays to be patient in the mountains!

RMI Guide Steve Gately

Tent Glow on Aconcagua.Photo: Garrett Stevens

On The Map

7

Hey dad!  (Lew Smith Best of luck to you and the team this week!  Stephanie and I can’t wait to hear about your climb and the expedition, we are so… read more

Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/27/2014 at 6:17 am

Steve and team,

“On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers… read more

Posted by: Bill Gately on 1/27/2014 at 4:14 am


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 3

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Progress on these big expeditions always feels good and after spending much time at Camp 1, being able to link up two days of forward momentum sure has the team excited and feeling good. Today was our “carry” to Camp 3 (19,600ft). The team did excellent managing the new altitude. We made it up in great time dropped off a few items for our summit attempt and made it back down to Camp 2 just as some clouds were rolling in. Tomorrow we rest and prepare for our move to Camp 3!

RMI Guide Steve Gately

Camp 2 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

4

Way to go team!  Well done, dad (Lew Smith)!  You are doing awesome and we are so proud of you!  Keep climbing smart, acclimated well, and resting when you need… read more

Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/27/2014 at 6:06 am

Steve and team,

Great job managing this climb. Sounds like if the weather holds your group should summit. However, if not, they will have learned many valuable lessons about the… read more

Posted by: Bill Gately on 1/26/2014 at 6:31 am


Aconcagua: Justman and Team Arrive at Camp 2

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 24, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

After two days of rest at 16,400 feet we woke up this morning to strong winds. So strong in fact we had to do some midnight tent repairs. We saddled up our packs and leaned into the wind. The team is now at Camp 2 settled in their tents at 18000 feet. Everyone is great and we are happy for a new view overlooking the Andes.

Unfortunately, one of our climbers wasn’t feeling well at Camp 1 and had to descend.  He returned to Mendoza and has been checked out by local doctors.  We are glad to hear from him this morning that he has been released to fly home.  We hope to see him in the mountains again soon.

RMI Guide JJ Justman and Team

Camp 2 - RMI Photo Collection

On The Map

11

Hey dad!  (Lew Smith)  Kim has been keeping everyone well abreast of the situation with the climber that had to descend and we wish him the best.  We hope you… read more

Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/27/2014 at 6:09 am

Lew,  I hope today is the day for ascent!  Good Luck and God is with you.
Mike

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Posted by: Mike Harvey on 1/27/2014 at 6:04 am


Aconcagua: Justman & Team - Weather Wins, At Least For Today…

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Weather ultimately dictates everything on these long expeditions and there’s certainly no exception for our Team. Our agenda had us moving to Camp 2 this morning but we awoke to 40 mph winds and gusts of up to 60 mph here at Camp 1! Alas! You win again Aconcagua! Spirits remain high though as our forecasts call for more cooperating winds starting tomorrow and extending into early next week. So today we rest and prepare ourselves for the move to Camp 2 tomorrow. Best regards from all of us at Aconcagua’s Camp 1.

RMI Guide Steve Gately

Views of the mountains above Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection
12

Nice job guys ! Congratulations !

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Posted by: Bissell on 1/28/2014 at 1:03 pm

Nice job guys !

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Posted by: Bissell on 1/28/2014 at 1:01 pm


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 2

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

All the way to Camp 2!

Our team did a fantastic job carrying some group gear and personal gear up to 18,000 feet. The winds were still present as they kicked snow off into the air of surrounding peaks and ridges. However, they were not as strong as yesterday.

As the team rounded the corner and entered the col, they were treated to their first view of the high Andes range of Argentina. Breathtaking doesn’t describe it. We are now back at Camp 1 resting and recovering after a great day in the mountains.

P.S. - Happy Birthday Josh!!! From Denise. I’m wearing my new socks!! :)

RMI Guides JJ Justman, Mike King & Steve Gately

The view as seen between Camp 1 and Camp 2 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

7

Fingers crossed for good weather to Camp 3 and beyond. I hope to catch you in Mendoza on the 2nd with a bag of Starbucks. Charlotte wishes Team 6 well.

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Posted by: Elsie on 1/23/2014 at 5:07 pm

Well done, Dad (Lew Smith)!!!  Keep kicking butt and taking names!  Well done to the entire team as well, this is wonderful news!!!  Keep the awesome photos coming, we are… read more

Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/23/2014 at 8:35 am


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Try to Carry to Camp 2, Turned by Weather

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Blustery, breezy, gusty. These are all words that describe Camp One and Aconcagua as a whole right now. We are in full Viento Blanco mode right now. The white wind. The team tried to do a carry to Camp Two but the winds kept knocking us off our feet. I’m positive we could have pushed through it but we have time and there is no reason to risk someone getting hurt.

So we turned around and are taking a rest day with the sun shining through the tents listening to the freight train of wind above us. Everyone is doing well and we are keeping our fingers crossed for better weather so we can carry to 18,000’.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Views of the mountains above Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

9

Diane and others, rock on!
Love the blog, what day is summit planned for?
Safe climbing, take and post some nightime astrophotography shots if you can, would love… read more

Posted by: Mike Rosinski on 1/22/2014 at 12:55 pm

remember Grasshopper….all things worth having require much work to obtain.  work hard with your team

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Posted by: Mark Eason on 1/22/2014 at 11:12 am


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Move to Camp 1

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,600'

There I was, putting one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again. I knew what everyone was thinking. Who’s going to the Super Bowl!! And thanks to one of our team members little go go gadgets, his wife texted the final scores. Go Seahawks! Go Broncos! Who cares, Green Bay isn’t in it.

The team packed up base camp and moved outta base camp. On move days the packs are always heavier loaded with tents and kitchen gear. Everyone did fantastic and we are now settled into our new home at 16,600 feet on Aconcagua. We just finished with some hot soup. It’s like I always say, you have to put money in the bank. We used up some good energy getting here and you have to replenish and put energy back in to keep the bank account at a million bucks.

Speaking of a million bucks, anyone want to place some bets on the Super Bowl!?

RMI Guide JJ Justman

An RMI Team with heavy loads moving to Camp 1 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection The view from Camp 1 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

9

Keeping pushing forward, dad (Lew Smith)!  I know you are doing awesome! So proud of you!!!

Love ya,

Kyle

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Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/23/2014 at 8:50 am

Go Diane! from the Nissan TMG team

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Posted by: Ed Nicholson on 1/22/2014 at 12:04 pm


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