Entries By j.j. justman

Mount Everest: Dave Hahn & Team Safely Land in Lukla and Trek to Phakding

Posted by: Dave Hahn, J.J. Justman, Billy Nugent | March 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 8,700'

Yesterday was a whirlwind marathon of packing and prepping in the chaos of Kathmandu.  This morning was the staccato hurry up and wait of getting up and out to the airport and hanging to see if the weather would permit flying.  Flying conditions weren’t perfect when we got through security at the domestic terminal in Kathmandu.  We ended up waiting several hours -swilling coffee, listening to music and people watching- until the pilots felt good about taking off for Lukla.  Once up and out of the smog layers of the Kathmandu Valley, we were treated to stupendous views of the Himalaya.  Those with port-side window seats could pick out Mt. Everest as the flight progressed.  But we were only up about 45 minutes before the pilots put the Twin Otter into a dive.  They had Lukla’s crazy-angled airstrip in their sites and it was clear from the steep mountain walls all around that this was our one shot at parking the plane.  Heart rates shot up, cameras were clicked on and the wheels touched down perfectly.

A few minutes later, we were out of the plane and sitting in a quiet Tea House in the lower Khumbu Valley.  We ate a leisurely lunch and got walking up valley.  It only took a bit more than three hours to reach Phakding And Joe’s Garden… Our lodge for the night.  By that point, things had clouded over, but our luck held and the rain didn’t fall.

The team ate dinner and bedded down to the soothing sounds of the nearby river churning through endless rapids.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The 2014 RMI Everest Expedition group photo as they leave Kathmandu. Photo: Dave Hahn The world-renowned Lukla Airstrip. Photo: Jeff Martin

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Mount Everest: Dave Hahn & Team Getting Going

Posted by: Dave Hahn, J.J. Justman, Billy Nugent | March 24, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 4,383'

The 2014 RMI Expeditions Mount Everest climb has begun.  Slowly.  The seven climbers and three RMI guides made their separate ways around the globe- from Canada, from Poland, and from all corners of the United States, to convene in Kathmandu and get the party started.  All made it on schedule and with their luggage… a small miracle.  The team fought off jet lag long enough to accomplish a few important preliminary tasks.  With the help of Sagar -our Nepal agent, and Lam Babu, our Sirdar, we gathered at the Nepal Ministry of Tourism to receive our climbing permit and a short orientation slideshow from the ministers.  They emphasized how important it was to bring trash off the mountain and to treat others with respect.  They wished us luck and shook our hands.

Back at our comfy hotel, the venerable Yak and Yeti, we sat down together for a “welcome dinner” and discussed briefly our plan for getting down to business tomorrow morning when folks have rested and recovered sufficiently.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Yak & Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo: RMI Collection RMI Guide JJ Justman and the Everest team meeting for dinner. Photo: Billy Nugent The busy streets of Kathmandu. Photo: Billy Nugent

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Dave, JJ, James and team:

Thank you for the post.  Exciting stuff.  So glad to hear you are off to a good start.  Really looking forward to tracking your adventure! … read more

Posted by: Fred Klingbeil on 3/24/2014 at 1:59 pm


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Return to Base Camp

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

We have arrived! Ahhh, it feels so good to be back at Base Camp! Let me tell ya, this team has faced some enormous adversity. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to scare friends and family because this Wisconsin boy has faced worse weather watching the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in December. The weather on this expedition has flip flopped from beautiful to not so beautiful. And wouldn’t you know it, the weather followed us down to base camp. However, it doesn’t matter now. We’ve enjoyed pizzas, fresh fruit and coca colas. And we all deserve it! Everyone says hello and we are looking forward to our trek out.

This is our last dispatch for this season’s Aconcagua expeditions. Thank you so much for following along and thanks for all the comments!

RMI Guides JJ Justman, Katrina Bloemsma and Team

Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Return to High Camp from Summit

Posted by: J.J. Justman | February 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Hello -
We are back safely at high camp (19,600’) on Aconcagua. We had a long day up and down and everyone needs some food and hot drinks to recover. The day started cold then turned hot and now it is back to cold with blowing snow. We need a break!
We will spend the night here and tomorrow begin heading down hill.

Hasta manana,
RMI Guide JJ Justman

Look down on Base Camp while en route to the summit of Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Summit!

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

Hey everyone, I’m wondering if you could just take a listen to this for second… Do you hear that?  I didn’t think so because there is zero wind on the summit of Aconcagua right now! That is where Team Seven is at this moment.  What do you say guys? [Happy yells from the climbers.]  People are excited to be up here. We have a beautiful day climbing. We had a sunny day to begin with; now there’s a little bit of clouds and a little bit of snow. People are feeling pretty darn good, tired but good. We had a great day climbing. Can’t say enough great things about the summit. And now we are going to head down. This is JJ and the team heading downhill from the highest point in the western hemisphere of the world.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

RMI Climbers preparing for the summit bid at High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory An RMI Team taking a break on Summit Day on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide JJ Justman calls in from the Aconcagua summit!

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Decide to Wait a Day Before Summit Bid

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Decisions, decisions! After some careful thought the team had decided to spend one more day at high camp before attempting the summit. We all had a tough day battling new snow and breaking trail to make it here. There’s no need to exhaust ourselves and ruin our chances at the summit. Tomorrow is supposed to be an even nicer day. And after a full day of eating, drinking and relaxing we all should be more recovered to give the summit our all.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

An RMI Team takes in the views from Aconcagua High Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team at High Camp

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

It was a day. We awoke to a foot of snow and 30mph winds at Aconcagua’s Camp 2, brr! After a slow morning breaking down camp we headed uphill through wind and snow toward Camp 3. It was hard going and the team had to dig deep to get to high camp, but everyone walked in together, heads high and looking forward to the next challenge. Tomorrow, we go for the summit!

RMI Guide Katrina Bloemsma

Views of the Andes while approaching High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Rest Day in a Snowstorm

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Adversity. It’s what high altitude climbing is all about. And here we are, sitting on a rest day at 18,000 feet in a snowstorm. It was predicted and we are actually glad. Because today is supposed to be the last day of adverse weather. Tomorrow is forecasted to be nice and as a matter of fact, the next four to five days. The team is feeling great so in the meantime, Katrina and I have 36 quesadillas to make.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Views of the surrounding Andes on the trail to Camp 2. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 3

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Happy Valentines Day from all the climbers to their loved ones! Today was another great day in the mountains. The team carried to Camp 3 at 19,600 feet in rather chilly temperatures. It was really the wind that gave us a bite on the cheek.

Arriving at Camp 3 the team looked rather strong as they imagined what the final 3,000 feet looks like. I’m keeping it a secret for now.

The weather has moved back in and we are all lying in our tents drinking hots and listening to the snow fall on the tents. There’s a little bit of thunder and lightning also to keep things interesting. It’s safe to say we are all in siesta mode.

But first I’m gonna watch a movie….Roadhouse!!


RMI Guide JJ Justman

Valentine wishes from the team:
You R my Valentine Sweetie Pie! Love U Lots - Brenda xxooxxxoxox

Susie—love you and miss you like crazy!  See you very soon.  Love, Rich

Hey baby, made 19.6 today but would rather be snuggling with you on this Val Day! Love Ken

Aconcagua Camp 2, also know as Guanacos Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Move to Camp 2 “Chopper Camp”

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Clouds followed us up the mountain today from Camp One to Camp Two. Luckily, the group walked strong and we got to ‘Chopper Camp’ with enough time to set up tents and drink some soup before the snow started. Now, we’re all tucked in and waiting to see what the weather does. With a bit of snow in the forecast, we’re glad to be nestled in Camp Two instead of on the more exposed slopes of Camp One. The sun, the snow, and the waiting, it’s all part of mountaineering, and it keeps things interesting!

We’ll touch base again tomorrow and let you know how the climb progresses!

RMI Guide Katrina Bloemsma & Team

Camp 2 - Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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