Entries By leah fisher

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Enjoy Base Camp

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Leah Fisher | December 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Buenos Dias from Plaza de Argentina (4,200m). We had a wonderful rest day. Sunshine, salad, and Christmas movies have kept us entertained. But don’t forget the very important medical check up.  The top notch doctors at base camp checked out the group and of course everyone is healthy and ready to climb. 

In light of the Christmas spirit the group was given the gift of a shower to clean off the dust from the long trek in. A hot shower and clean socks are a hot commodity down here.

Tomorrow we will carry some gear to camp 1. We’re all looking forward to stretching our legs and seeing more of the mountain!

RMI Guides Leah Fisher  & JJ Justman

Aconcagua Base Camp at dusk.  Photo: Garrett Stevens

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Journey into Basecamp

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Leah Fisher | December 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Hey, hey, hey it’s RMI Aconcagua Team 2 on the way! What a gorgeous day to make our final journey into Basecamp. We had a thrilling mule ride to get us across the Vacas River and then it was smooth sailing into camp.

A lot can be told of how our climbers are doing as they near 14,000 feet. And they are doing great! Every one of them. Now in Basecamp we are setting up our new home and simply relaxing. We earned it. Tomorrow we will have a rest day. So stay tuned for Leah and JJ’s secret quesadilla recipe!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Approaching Aconcagua Base Camp through the Relinchos Valley. Photo: Garrett Stevens

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So glad to hear that everyone is doing great! Looking forward to more updates! So proud of you Josh! Love you!

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Posted by: Lily on 12/19/2013 at 10:23 am

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Reach Casa de Piedra

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Leah Fisher | December 18, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 11,000'

We awoke from our first night under the stars to another beautiful day in Valle de Vacas. The early morning light brought the return of our mules, who patiently awaited our heavy loads. Fortunately for us, and the mules, the weather quickly changed to scattered clouds and some reprieve from the scorching sun that successfully torched a few of us yesterday.

We had a great day walking to Casa de Piedra (11,000 ft) and we were able to catch our first glimpse of Aconcagua, or more correctly, parts of the mountain as it poked through the clouds.

Everyone is doing great and we are all looking forward to pulling into base camp tomorrow since life is so rough down here.  Too much steak and packs that are way too light!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Tents at Casa de Piedras. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team at Pampa de Lenas

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Leah Fisher | December 17, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,100'

Pampa de Lenas is at an altitude of 2,800 meters. And that is where we are sitting right now. It’s our first day trekking and we had a beautiful day walking into camp.

The scenery towers above you as the condors soar high above. Pretty poetic huh? Okay, I’ll stop. The team had a fun day stretching our legs. We’d like to lie and tell you it was arduous but after a picnic lunch of sandwiches, chips, fresh fruit, cheese, olives and cookies we all wobbled into camp.

There is no setting up tents here! Are you kidding! You will never see stars like these in your life. So we are all sleeping under the stars tonight. I’m just trying to remember who sang the song, “Southern Cross?” So help me out RMI fans!!

We are relaxing in camp and excited for dinner, which is being cooked over an open fire. Living don’t get no better than this!!

RMI Guides JJ Justman and Leah Fisher

RMI Climbers trekking along the Vacas River. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua Expedition: Justman and Team Ready in Penitentes

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Leah Fisher | December 16, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

Hello RMI fans! It’s JJ and Leah reporting in from Los Penitentes in Argentina! Team 2 is in full effect and we are ready to go.

With all the storms in the U.S. it has been an adventure just to get here. However, we are all excited and raring to go.

We spent the day traveling to the trailhead and organizing and packing gear. The first part of this trip has the support of mules so we packed barrels and duffels full of food, gear. And personal equipment.

Follow along as we hit the dusty trail…Argentina Cowboy style!

RMI Guides JJ Justman & Leah Fisher

Aconcagua, 22,841'.  Photo: RMI Collection The RMI Aconcagua December 14th Team in Penitentes.  Photo: Cindee Teer

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We’re behind you josh. Love mom and dad

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Posted by: Phyllis kraus on 12/16/2013 at 8:30 pm

Mt. Rainier: Paradise Glacier Seminar Fun with Crevasse Rescue

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Leah Fisher | July 31, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 8,500'

The Paradise Glacier Seminar is in full effect with loads of exciting training taking place.  We have a beautiful camp at 8,500 feet on the Cowlitz Glacier surrounded by steep walls and breathtaking crevasses.  Our team is all in great spirits and thriving in what has been described as a high excitement summer camp for aspiring mountain climbers.  The weather is not as sunny as the two previous days but at least some of the forest fire smoke has subsided opening up some great views.  We are all getting psyched for our move to Camp Muir tomorrow. 

Team Paradise sends their best to family and friends. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Paradise Glacier Seminarian in crevasse rescue training scenario. Photo: Adam Knoff Morning Ice Climbing on Mt. Rainier. Photo: Adam Knoff

Mt. Rainier: Paradise Glacier Seminar Checks in from Camp 1

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Leah Fisher | July 30, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier

A beautiful but smoky morning at our first camp on the Paradise Glacier.  Yesterday the team did great getting here.  Today we move camp to 8,500 feet on the Cowlitz Glacier where we will spend the next few days training before our summit attempt. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

First Camp on the Paradise Glacier Seminar. Photo: Adam Knoff

Mt. McKinley:  Okita & Team Fly Off the Mountain

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | June 07, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 358'

Friday, June 7, 2013
Yes, we’re back in Talkeetna after an incredible walk back to Base camp in the early morning hours. I think most of us are relaxing now after a much needed shower. In a short while we’ll be back together for a great dinner not prepared by the guides and perhaps accompanied by an adult beverage ...and certainly including dessert.  We’ve had a great run!

I for one will miss the company of a stellar group of individuals I can now call friends.
Perhaps you’ll excuse their absence from your lives again sometime as we pursue our passion for the mountains. Of course, you’ll always be close to them through these dispatches.
This will be our last, and I appreciate all your support and interest. The people you’ve been following are incredible individuals. We are fortunate to call them friends.

Bye for now,

RMI Guide Brent Okita

The RMI Mt. McKinley May 21st Team back at Basecamp after reaching the summit.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Descend to 11,200’

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | June 07, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Thursday, June 6, 2013
If our good luck holds out, this is our last night on Denali. It’s just a little bitter sweet. This place has been on our thoughts and in our dreams for so long, and has given us an experience that will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
But now our thoughts turn to home, family and loved ones. Oh, and perhaps to a great meal and beer too.
To get to where we are now, back at our 11,200’ camp, we’ve just descended 6000’ feet of steep terrain with heavy loads. Everyone did well getting down the technical part of the Buttress and fixed ropes, then came time to tether the sleds and load up the stuff we cached at 14,200’ camp.
And now, finally, we’re back at 11,200’ camp. A hastily set up camp followed by a quick dinner and we’re horizontal. The chores have all been done and even the guides are in bed by 10:00pm. And just as well because we’ll be up at 1:30am to get on a night time schedule to travel on snow that’s hard and frozen, thereby insuring us safe travels over the crevassed glacier of the lower Kahiltna that warm and melt incredibly fast in the Alaskan summer.
But the best part of the trip is yet to come. Walking down the Kahiltna while the sun is just below the horizon has given me some of the most beautiful vistas I’ve ever witnessed, with the rosy tint of dawn hitting these hugely majestic Alaskan peaks all around us.
We’re hoping to get to the airstrip by mid morning, so with luck we’ll be back in Takkeetna tomorrow.
A little closer to you, but a world away from the mountain that has been our focus and challenge for the past couple of weeks. We’ll miss her, but will carry with us a treasure of fond memories of our life spent here.

Your guides,

RMI Guides Brent, Logan and Leah

An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Recap Summit Day

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | June 06, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Leah awoke just before me and the first words out of her mouth when she went outside were: It’s beautiful out. The sky is blue, there’s no wind. I think it’s the nicest day yet. And so the wheels were set in motion: firing up the reluctant stoves from their below zero degree slumber to get breakfast and hots going for the team, then waking everybody up to let them know that we were going for it again.

Even with yesterday’s aborted attempt that certainly burned a bit of energy, the crew was excited and ready. This time, we didn’t have to break trail up to Denali Pass. At first we were nervous about the colder temps, but these concerns proved unfounded as the sun shone brightly and warmed things up.  As we ascended, things just got better and better, and our climbers responded well. In fact, they climbed flawlessly today. To say that I am particularly proud of everybody would be an understatement. No slips or oops or loss of focus that seem just an inevitable thing when a large group of folks climb for twelve hours.  We reached the summit at about 4:00, the first team to summit today. After the hero pictures and summit hugs, we made our way back to camp well before the sun slid over the ridge.

Enjoying another dinner together was the finishing touch to a great day. We even got some singing out of one of our favorites, tired of body though he might have been, his spirit was obviously on a high.  Now our thoughts go to the descent from this lofty camp. A couple of hard days and, with a little more luck, we might be seeing our loved ones soon. But for now, the cold of night is chasing me into my bed of down.

Goodnight from RMI Guides Brent, Logan and Leah, 17,200’ on Denali.

View from the summit of Mt. McKinley, 20,320 ft, looking down on the summit ridge.  Photo: RMI Collection An RMI Team descending from the summit of Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection The RMI Mt. McKinley May 21st Team on the summit.  Not pictured: Logan Randolph.  Photo courtesy: Brent Okita

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Congratulations Virgil!  You did it!  So proud of you and your team.  See you when you get home.

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Posted by: Rachel on 6/6/2013 at 10:24 am


Holy crow, that view is stunning! I CANNOT wait to talk to you! I’m so very proud of your accomplishment! Sounds like a great group to climb with… read more

Posted by: Amberly on 6/6/2013 at 10:01 am

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