- Melissa Arnot
- Alex Barber
- Gabriel Barral
- Bridget Belliveau
- Jake Beren
- Zeb Blais
- Katrina Bloemsma
- Katie Bono
- Nick Brown
- Adam Butterfield
- Anne Gilbert Chase
- Lance Colley
- 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
- Bryan Hendrick
- 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
- Robert Montague
- Erik Nelson
- Chase 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
Entries By elias de andres martos
Do two times constitute a trend? Probably not, but today did share a few similarities with yesterday. We woke to a little squirrelly weather with a few inches of snow on the tents and it was unclear whether heading up was a good idea or not. We watched the skies and eventually decided to move. As we climbed into the whiteout above camp and onto Ski Hill proper, the snow stopped and we enjoyed pockets of visibility. It was downright hot as we pulled into camp with an excellent down glacier view. We were able to go down to baselayers as we built camp and as soon as we finished setting up shop it began to snow. Now we are enjoying a hot beverage before some Tortellini a la Thomas for dinner. Tomorrow we’ll see what happens in the sky and hopefully move to 11 camp.
On The Map
When we woke early this morning we weren’t sure what the day had in store for us. The cloud deck dropped during breakfast and no one could really tell if it was raining or snowing. We returned to the tents to wait for a trend to emerge and in about an hour made the call to try to leave basecamp for higher pastures. We had perfect conditions to make our way to the base of Ski Hill and set up camp at the confluence of the Main and Northeast Forks of the Kahiltna Glaciers. As soon as camp was buffed out, it started to snow and we are enjoying a little siesta before dinner.
If the weather is cooperative we will move higher tomorrow to get within striking distance of 11 Camp and the upper mountain.
Hope all is well down South!
On The Map
It doesn’t always happen like this up here, but when you can fly out of Talkeetna at 9 am, just like you planned, it is a real sweet start to a trip. We landed on a warm glacier and spent the day settling into our new pace on the mountain. Building camp, rigging sleds, reviewing some techniques and most importantly checking out the views. It is stunning here and perfect weather for starting this adventure. If it holds we will wake up and head towards 7,800’ camp at the base of Ski Hill tomorrow, testing our new knowledge and taking our first literal steps.
On The Map
Greetings from Talkeetna AK!
Our team made it in last night/early this morning with all gear accounted for and we enjoyed a good night’s rest in Talkeetna. This morning it was business as usual, big breakfasts at the Roadhouse, a NPS orientation and a lot of sorting gear in the K2 hangar. Now we are checking tents, stoves and group gear before a big feast tonight. With any luck we will fly out tomorrow morning.
RMI Guide Jake Beren
RMI Guide Elías de Andrés Martos organized a team of RMI Guides to climb Tibet’s Shishapangma (26, 289’), the world’s 14th highest mountain. The team reached the summit on October 11th & 12th. We sat down with Elías after the expedition to chat with him about the climb.
RMI: What first inspired you to climb Shishapangma?
Elías: I had been hoping to go climb an 8,000 meter peak for awhile. When you have that in your head and you have never been to the Himalayas, at first it looks like any peak - if the opportunity arose - would suffice. For the last couple of years, the objective was looking closer and closer, and the deeper research started. Initially I wanted to climb Dhaulagiri, as it was the dream of one of my mentors who never could do it. But I was determined to go this past fall and it turns out that Dhaulagiri is not the best for the post monsoon season, so I started to look at other mountains. Shishapangma seemed beautiful, rising alone on the Tibetan plateau. Easy access played a key role, as it also diminished the cost. And of course, it offered a relatively “easy” and “safe” line for this, our first, 8000 meter peak.
RMI: Organizing an expedition to an 8000 meter Himalayan peak is a major undertaking, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced in simply getting the expedition off of the ground?
Elías: Of course the budget is the main undertaking. It is fairly expensive, particularly when one does it pretty much out of pocket. (We have to thank RMI’s indispensable Guide Grant and First Ascent‘s gear support.) This challenge leads to the difficulty of building a team as well; initially, along with my wife Bridget, I had this trip planned with my two good climbing friends from Spain, but getting 2 months off of work in addition to the funding, made it impossible for them to participate, so I had to start with 0 climbers just 6 months prior to the trip, when everything was logistically planned. Luckily, working for RMI made it easy to “collect” good friends for the expedition. Jake Beren, Geoff Schellens, Eric Frank, and Leon Davis were memorable companions. Ironically, the logistics were fairly easy, thanks to the internet and to Nima, our great contact in the Himalayas.
RMI: How did your previous climbing and guiding experience prepare you for the climbing and organizational challenges of the expedition?
Elías: That experience was probably a good 50% of the success of the trip. Having been on expeditions in other parts of the world is a great help that teaches you how to quickly act when facing problems or difficult situations, whether logistics or interactions with the local people. You come up with solutions or new plans on the go and deal with it.
The climbing and guiding experience among all of us on the team was definitely another great plus. Without much talking, we know what you have to do in different situations and the flow of the climb is as smooth as it can be as a result. Being a professional in the field, that usually works towards helping others achieve this goals, makes you have a greater temper on decision making too.
RMI: What was your impression of the Himalayas?
Elías: What can I say? It is the biggest mountain range in the World!!! Shishapangma sits alone in Tibet and unfortunately we drove to the trailhead from Kathmandu with clouds [covering the mountains], so we could not see much at first. When we all saw the mountain for the first time at Chinese Base Camp at sunrise, we were like little kids on Christmas day in front of Santa’s gifts - so excited. But at the same time you acknowledge the magnitude of the mountain and get those butterflies in your stomach.
I was lucky to have some time afterwards to explore the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri and the Solu Khumbu regions of Nepal, where the concentration of mountains is greater and the steepness of their walls grows exponentially…I have no words to describe what I felt there.
RMI: Give us a glimpse into your daily routine on a long expedition like this…
Elías: Wake up, breathe. Eat breakfast and come up with a plan, breath. Climb or rest, breathe. Try to have a hearty dinner, breathe…sleep. Start over.
RMI: Do you have a favorite memory or moment from the trip you can share?
Elías: Of course the summit. We made it to the Central Summit of Shishapangma at 8013 meters. I cried. I am very sentimental at points and being able to give a hug to my wife and two good friends up there after pursuing such a long dream is indescribable.
RMI: Any advice for climbers that have aspire to climb in the Himalayas one day?
Elías: Go for it. I think that such an undertaking requires determination. If there is a will there is a way and money and time to do it will materialize. Train for it and learn the skills that are necessary to do it. Be determined with your dream and with what it requires. And if you do not climb on your own, climb with a good guide, like the ones of RMI!!!
RMI: What is next for you?
Elías: As far as guiding goes, anything where I can help RMI clients. As I am shifting towards being more of a full time guide, I am very thankful for the opportunities RMI is giving me. I’m headed to Aconcagua (*Elías is currently on Aconcagua) and I am looking forward to the remainder of the winter with the ice climbing programs.
Personally, I have big ice and mixed climbing projects for this winter-spring locally here in Colorado and in the Canadian Rockies. Since the Himalayan bug has bitten me, I have to admit that plans for Dhaulagiri are “in the oven”.
Our team has arrived in Mendoza excited and ready to start our Aconcagua adventure!
After finishing up our permits, grabbing the last minute supplies at the grocery store and gear shops, we are ready to head out of town. It is a beautiful day here in Mendoza and should make for a great drive to Penitentes where we will ready our gear for the mules and have one last night of Argentine cuisine before switching to the equally appealing mountain cuisine that will fuel our climb.
Tomorrow we will leave civilization for a few weeks and start the climb. Wish us luck everyone and stay tuned as we work our way up this beautiful mountain.
RMI Guides Jake Beren, Elias de Andres Martos, Geoff Schellens
Dear friends, family and colleagues: we are happy to get back in touch with you. Before all, we would like to apologize for the lack of communication of the last 10 days, but unfortunately, we were the most frustrated with that issue. Our satellite phone decided not to cooperate with our solar panel, and recharging the battery was an impossible task. Being the last team this season on the mountain, we could not borrow any other means of communication and we understand the worries this might have caused. But this is what being in the Himalayas brings to all of us…
That said, we are eager to announce that entire team is back safe in Kathmandu after having reached the SUMMIT ON THE CENTRAL SUMMIT OF SHISHAPANGMA at 8013metres!!!!
On Oct.11th, Bridget, Jake, Geoff and Elias reached the central summit in the mid afternoon, on a warm and cloudless day, after having followed the NW ridge for several hours from C3 (Elias and Bridget) at 7450m and from C2.5 (Geoff and Jake) at 7100m. The next day, Oct 12th, Eric and Leon, who had made shelter in C3 the previous day, started strong towards the summit. Leon reached the summit hours later, having Eric turning around well above 7600m in a wise and mature decision that honors this young, strong and smart climber, since his cold toes were not warming up in those early hours and up there you are the mercy of the temperatures.
Two days later, the entire team was reunited at Base Camp, from were we would proceed to do several back-carries to clear our gear and trash from anywhere below C1 at 6400m. After another day of rest and packing, we initiated our descent towards the trail head, also called Chinese Base Camp, were we arrived yesterday, the 16th. We were picked up by our truck (who learned about our arrival by a paper note sent down 2 days earlier with a yak shepherd) which would take us to the town of Nyalam, just a few Kilometers away from the Tibetan-Nepali border, to spend the night. This morning (Oct 17th) we made it into Nepal not without a couple small issues at the border and multiple traffic stops en-route to our hotel in Kathmandu, due to the heavy tourist season in the area. Is close to midnight here, so I will stop writing, but we will send you a good recap of the entire expedition soon.
Again, thanks to all of you for your support, your interest and the good vibrations sent. Best regards.
RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos
We wanted to give everyone a quick update from the Shishapangma crew. We have not received any new information directly from the team, but we did learn that the Liaison officer received a note from the team requesting their yaks to arrive at Advanced Basecamp on the 15th and vehicles to arrive at Basecamp the following day. They will spend the night of October 16th either at Nyalam or Zhangmu, depending on what time they get back to Basecamp. We will post again as soon as we hear any additional information.
This is the Shishapanga team with a new update. Camp 2 (22,965’) has been established and the team is starting today to do some rotations and the weather forecast for the next few days is good.
We will try to push it a little further to Camp 3 (24,278’) with some carries and get acclimatized.
Everybody is doing pretty well and we are excited and in very good spirits. The team is working well together and despite the hardness of Himalayan climbing we are having a really good time.
So that is it for now and we’ll be calling soon with a new update. Take care and hello to everyone.
RMI Guide Elias De Andres Martos
RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos checks in from Camp 2 on Shishapangma.