Entries By leon davis

Mt. McKinley: June 4th Team Beren - Ready in Talkeenta

Posted by: Jake Beren, Josh Maggard, Leon Davis | June 06, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 358'

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Hello,
This is the RMI Mt. McKinley June 4th Expedition. The whole team is here in Talkeetna, Alaska, packed and ready to rock. Today we packed up, checked our gear and sat in on a National Park Service orientation to preview a bit of the upcoming adventure. The team is excited and ready to launch. So far the flying weather hasn’t let many folks land these days, but it appears to be stabilizing just in time for us to storm the SE fork of the Kahiltna. With any luck we’ll fly out tomorrow morning, so we better get some rest tonight.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Sunset from Talkeetna, Alaska.  Photo: Linden Mallory Mt. McKinley, 20,320 ft.  Photo: Washburn

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team - Expedition Complete!

Posted by: Leon Davis, Mike King, Pete Van Deventer | February 07, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

23,000 feet to the busy hustle bustle, and near 100 degree heat of Mendoza in three days.  After two weeks of grinding our way higher and higher on Aconcagua, the end of the trip is always a blur. Summit day on this trip has to be the most memorable part, not just for the elation of standing on the roof of South America, but because of how perfect the whole day was.  Dead calm conditions, clear skies, and warm temps had us on the summit wearing just a couple layers, and no gloves! After the cold temps, snow, and winds that we had on our way up, it was an amazing shift that made the whole day so enjoyable.

Since that day, we grabbed all of our gear and endured the five hour descent to base camp, to be greeted by a wonderful steak dinner. The next morning we donned small packs and light shoes, and followed the fourteen miles of mule trails to Pompe de LeƱas, our first camp on the way in. It’s always a long day, and our feet were tired when we arrived, but we were revived by a delicious asado, fresh tomato salad, and Malbec wine cooked for us by the muleteers. Everyone ate until they were stuffed, watched the stars come out, and shared stories.  Wednesday morning we were up early, motivated to get to the road and all the comforts that follow.  A four hour hike and a quick shuttle delivered us to Penitentes, and then a few hours in the bus had us back in Mendoza last night for another great Mendoza feast.

It has been a blast for the guides to climb with this group.  Everyone gelled into a cohesive climbing team well, and took the team work aspect seriously. We have a couple of days now to relax in town, soak up some sun by the pool, and let beat up feet heal, before we start the long plane flights back! Thanks for all the comments and support on the blog.

Over and out,

RMI Guides Pete, Leon, Mike, and the whole climbing team

Aconcagua, 22,841ft.

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Aconcagua Expedition:  Van Deventer & Team Back to Camp

Posted by: Leon Davis, Mike King, Pete Van Deventer | February 03, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,000'

We are all back at the tents after a beautiful summit day on Aconcagua! The weather was even better than forecasted, with no wind, clear skies, and warm temps. This let us leave a bit later, just as the sun was rising, and we enjoyed its warmth for the whole day. I personally have never had better conditions on the summit than today: just a light fleece, no gloves, and a vista that stretched for hundreds of miles in all directions. Congratulations to the team for a huge effort, and standing on the roof of South America. The guides would like to thank the whole team for such a successful and fun trip. Tomorrow we descend back to base camp, and get ready for the trek out and a return to Mendoza.

Cheers

RMI Guides Pete, Leon, Mike, and the climbers

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team in Position for Summit Bid

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | February 02, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

We made the big trek to Camp 3 today! It’s not actually that far, about three hours of walking, but there aren’t too many O’s at 19,000 feet, and we had a pretty decent wind gusting at us from all directions. Needless to say, we are happy to be in our tents in camp, and pumped for the summit push tomorrow morning. We’ll see how much sleep we can get in the thin air up here first, and hopefully we’ll give a call from the summit tomorrow afternoon.

Cheers,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King, and gang

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

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Experience Groundhog Day

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | February 01, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Groundhog Day here at Aconcagua Camp 2. A windy night and windy day here confirmed our decision to wait a day before moving up. It’s hard to spend two days just hanging in tents though, and the group is psyched to move tomorrow and get closer to our objective. As the forecasts keep coming in (we get pretty OCD as guides right around now) things are looking great for Sunday! Onward and upward,

RMI Guides Pete, Leon, Mike, and team

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Resting at Camp 2

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 31, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000

Hey all,

We had a fabulous rest day at Camp 2 today. We went for a short walk to look at the route above us, ate, and napped. We did get a new forecast today, and with the new info, we’ve decided to rest tomorrow again at Camp 2, then move up Saturday to summit Sunday. This sets us up better for winds, and Camp 2 is a great place to acclimate and get strong. So tomorrow: Groundhog Day! We’ll be in touch soon.

Cheers,

The Aconcagua crew

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

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Move to Camp 2

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 30, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

We made the jump! Camp One was old news and folks were sick of the same old scenery, so we decided to move to Camp Two at 18,000’ today. We had beautiful climbing conditions: a light breeze and sunshine, and arrived at camp to find it mostly empty. We got our pick of tent sites before several groups rolled in after us.

Because RMI Guide JJ Justman’s team was kind enough to leave us a cache of food and fuel at Camp 3, we have decided not to carry tomorrow, but to rest instead. That sets us up to potentially move to Camp 3 on Friday, and potentially summit on Saturday. There are a lot of ifs in that sentence, and we have to remain flexible up here, but we have our fingers crossed. We’ll keep you updated.

Cheers,

RMI Guides Pete, Leon, Mike, and the crew

An RMI team on the move to Camp 2. Photo: Jake Beren

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Good Day for Rest

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 29, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Just as planned, we spent today lounging at Camp 1. Snow plumes off of the col above us indicated high winds this morning, and made us glad we had gotten our carry out of the way yesterday. Otherwise, the sky was clear, and the sun we had been missing for the last couple days made things pleasantly warm. Today was a day for recovery, organizing for tomorrow, and eating all of the extra lunch food we could. Tomorrow will be our move to Camp 2 (18,000 ft)! We’ll check from there.

Cheers,
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer and the RMI Aconcagua team

The moon rise above the Andes from Camp 1 on Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Carry to Camp 2

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 28, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Last night was a windy one, though when we woke we realized that it sounded much worse inside the tents than it was outside. A couple centimeters of new snow fell overnight freshening up our surroundings, but it was quickly transported by the wind with much of it ending up in the vestibules of our tents. With some sun above and winds not too bad, we decided to make our carry to Camp 2 to cache food and personal gear. As we hoped, the winds stayed relatively light, and we had a pleasant climb. Throughout this climb, we have been just behind a large crowd, so that we hear rumors of camps being full, but arrive to find them deserted. It appeared today that everyone had just vacated Camp 2 for high camp. This works in our favor as we don’t have to fight for tent sites.

As we began our descent, the winds strengthened, with several strong gusts. We were all happy to get back to the tents and crawl into fluffy sleeping bags for the afternoon to recover from yet another big effort. With a great meal of tortellini sticking to our ribs, everyone is psyched for the scheduled rest day tomorrow.

Cheers,

Aconcagua Campo Uno residents

An RMI Team climbing above Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Move to Camp 1

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 27, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

We made the move to Aconcagua Camp 1! We’re now resting in our tents at 16800’ or so. The group did great and climbed strong. When we woke, there were clouds over the summit, and towards the end of our first stretch, a sudden snow squall blew threw, sending us scrambling for our hard shells. For the next couple of hours, sun alternated with clouds, making it hard to choose the correct layers. Just as we got ready for the last hard climb up a scree hill to camp, the snow set in in earnest. The group did great getting camp set quickly so everyone could get into shelter. We’re settled in for the night now, and our hope is to wake to nice weather so that we can bump a cache of food and gear to Camp 2 tomorrow. Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer and crew

An RMI Team stopped for a break on the way to Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection Carrying loads through the snow penitentes towards Camp 1. Photo: Tyler Reid

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