Entries By j.j. justman

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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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 2

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Slogging and chugging away we ascended to Camp 2 in great style. I love when a team stays together every step of the way. It’s motivating and it really creates a great team atmosphere.

We arrived at Camp 2 at 18000 feet and cached more food, fuel and gear for the upper mountain. You can always tell how folks are doing by the expressions on their faces. Everyone was all smiles! And how couldn’t you be with the spectacular views of the Andes that we enjoyed today.

Now back at Camp 1 we are soaking in the sunshine and relaxing. A couple of climbing rangers stopped by and we share a round of mate and discussed weather. Katrina and I are about to start making the team quesadillas as a mid afternoon pick me up.

RMI Guide JJ Justman and Team

And RMI Team moving down to Camp 2 after carry. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team at Camp 1

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 11, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

Boom, nailed it! First move day was successful. We are at Camp One, hydrating and replenishing our systems after the big climb from 13,800 to 16,400 feet. The team moved up in style and got to camp with plenty of time to get settled and enjoy the sunshine. The guides are indulging in Argentina’s favorite drink, Yerba Mate, which JJ credits for his hulk-like strength while building rock walls at camp today. Check back tomorrow to see what we’re up to!

RMI Guide Katrina Bloemsma

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

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Preparing for Move to Camp 1

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Ah, the rest day. The team is perfecting the art of chilling. Solar showers, siestas and samba lessons from JJ…just another day at base camp. We’re fueling up in anticipation of our move to Aconcagua’s Camp 1 tomorrow.

Keep the comments coming! And pass along our blogs to friends and family who might want to follow our adventure as well. More to come from 16,400ft!

RMI Guide Katrina Bloemsma

Tents at Plaza Argentina. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Cache Gear at Camp 1

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Rugged and rough is a great way to describe the ascent to Aconcagua Camp One. The team carried gear to cache at 16,400 feet. The last stretch into camp is a light and fluffy scree section that can sometimes cause folks to spin your wheels. Our team managed fine and we hung out for a half an hour in the thin air.

We cached a couple of duffel bags filled with food and gear that we will need higher on the mountain. We are now back in Basecamp once again enjoying the good life!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Coming down to Camp 1 after a carry. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Team Enjoys Rest at Base Camp

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 08, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Today is our first rest day at Aconcagua Base Camp and man is it nice. We woke up and made a huge brunch of home fries and scrambled eggs complete with real French press coffee. What a treat!

Between lounging in the sun and exploring the streams and scenery around camp, the team has been preparing their equipment for our carry to Camp One tomorrow. Checking and double checking that they’ve got all their technical gear and are bringing enough chocolate and gummies for the upper mountain.

The carry to Camp One will be a big day, but the team is feeling strong and the sun will be out. Wish us luck and keep posting on the blog, we enjoy reading your comments!

RMI Guide Katrina Bloemsma

Enjoying a rest day at Aconcagua Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman and Team Settle into Base Camp

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

The time has arrived. We are nestling into Plaza Argentina Base Camp. The weather has been too nice on our trek in. It certainly explains why there is a sun on the flag of Argentina. We wish there was a swimming pool at base.

The entire team is doing very well and it is nice to unload all our gear knowing we don’t have to pack up duffels for the mules. Speaking of mules, we want to thank our cowboys for helping us get to BC. The boys from Grajales are the very best. Second to none and they are part of the RMI family.

It’s time to relax…we will keep you posted from 13800 feet.

RMI Guide JJ Justman and Team

Aconcagua Base Camp. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Enjoying Life at Casa de Piedra

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Katrina Bloemsma | February 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 10,550'

It’s a cowboy lifestyle.  Our Aconcagua team is currently sitting by a campfire under the Andean stars telling stories and enjoying a little of the good life. Sometimes it’s nice to slow down, look around and enjoy the good life.

Yes, we are on a high altitude mountaineering expedition. However, this is part of that adventure. We can hear a Gaucho…“cowboy” shoeing a mule. These mules go through a lot of hard work getting all our food and gear to base camp. And it’s nice yo see how the cowboys look after their animals.

Tomorrow we will arise to another sunny day as the team hikes into Aconcagua Basecamp. We are all excited to arrive and settle in permanently. We will also be a little sad to say goodbye to the cowboys who are like family to us.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Tents at Casa de Piedra. Photo: RMI Collection

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