Entries By leon davis

Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Rest Day at Basecamp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 26, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

It’s been a lazy day here at Plaza Argentina, which was exactly what the doctor ordered after the group’s big effort yesterday. We woke late, cooked up a big batch of crêpes stuffed with bacon, fried apples, and dulce de leche for brunch. A few hours later, after books, more jokes, and a card game, we fried up some croque monsieur (sense the French food theme today?), and then went for a nice hour-long stroll up towards Ibañez,  a sub peak outside of Basecamp. As hard as it can be to motivate for a hike after a day like yesterday, it really does aid and speed recovery. Our gear that will stay at Basecamp is sorted, and we are very ready for our move to Camp 1 tomorrow! Just one more delicious Argentine meal first…

Hasta luego,

RMI Guides Pete, Leon, Mike, and the team

Sunset at Aconcagua Base Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua Expedition: Team checks in from Basecamp

Posted by: Leon Davis, Mike King, Pete Van Deventer | January 25, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Today the group woke to a cold and snow covered base camp. In preparation of our carry to Camp 1 the team received their loads yesterday. We started walking after breakfast and hot drinks. Our goal today was to cache our food and equipment for the upper mountain, while climbing higher then descending to help acclimate. Climbing through loose scree with heavy packs is always an eye opener for what lies ahead. The team climbed strong and enjoyed a blue sky with light winds.  We spent an hour at 16,000+ before returning down to Aconcagua Basecamp as an evening storm approached. There is a day off tomorrow, which the entire team is looking forward to.

Cheers

RMI Guide Mike King and crew

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Rest Day at Base Camp

Posted by: Mike King, Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis | January 24, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Despite being a rest day, today has flown by for the group. We were able to sleep in a bit, but most were woken at 7:30 to the park helicopter hovering low over camp, picking up barrels in a sling to be flown off the mountain. We took a leisurely breakfast of burritos with fresh veggies, bacon, cheese, and eggs, and then headed to the medical building for our obligatory check-up. Everyone passed with flying colors. Then it was time for gear sorting for our carry to Camp 1 tomorrow. This often takes longer than expected as everyone hemmed and hawed over how much lunch food and other items to bring up. To this point, we have been spoiled with the mules carrying most of our kit. From here up though, anything we bring up, we will carry down.

Sorting finished, everyone took a siesta, eating lunch, taking naps, playing cards, and reciting Chuck Norris jokes. Despite a forecast of clear weather for the foreseeable future, the clouds built this afternoon, and as we sit, it is snowing gently at Basecamp.

We’ll have more news tomorrow when we are back from our carry. Ciao.

RMI Guides Mike King, Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, and the team

Looking out over Aconcagua Base Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Settling in at Base Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 23, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

We made it to our base camp at Plaza Argentina! We got an early start this morning in order to take advantage of the muleteers offer to ferry us across the Vacas River. For some, it was their first time riding a mule, and it was a much more pleasant start to the morning than wading the four frosty channels would have been.

It’s a pleasant walk up the canyon of the Relinchos River, and before we knew it, we were walking into Base Camp to be greeted with juice and fresh melon from our excellent outfitter, Grajales. They cooked a wonderful dinner for us tonight and will handle our meals for our stay at Base Camp.

On tap for tomorrow is a well deserved rest day. We’ll use the time to sort gear for the carry to Camp 1 the following day. Before all that though: a big breakfast of breakfast burritos.

Hasta luego.

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer and the RMI Aconcagua team

The views of Aconcagua while approaching Base Camp. Photo: Linden Mallory An RMI Team on the Approach to Basecamp. Photo: Jake Beren

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Reach Casa de Piedras

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 10,550'

Hola from Casa de Piedras! Today’s weather was a total contrast to yesterday’s, as we wound our way further up the Vacas Valley. We woke this morning to clear skies that turned to sun as it cleared the canyon walls. It made for a pleasant walk as we covered the nine miles or so from camp last night. A light breeze helped to keep things from getting too hot.

The trail crosses the river over a small foot bridge immediately out of camp. Once on the opposite bank, it alternates between following the river bank, and rising over a chain of small bluffs. Casa de Piedras is located at the mouth of the Relinchos Valley and river. Tomorrow we will cross the Vacas, and leave this valley behind as we ascend the Relinchos to base camp at 14,000 feet. Everyone is in great spirits (it’s amazing the power that big orb in the sky has) and sends their best. Tomorrow we’ll touch base from Plaza Argentina!

Cheers,

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer and Team

Crossing the Relinchos River. Photo: RMI Collection Tents at Casa de Piedras. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team at Pampa de Lenas

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Leon Davis, Mike King | January 21, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

Good evening ladies and gentlemen from the team at Pampa de Leñas.  Yesterday we left the hot and humid climate in Mendoza for Los Penitentes where we enjoyed our last night in a warm bed and feasted in the Hotel Ayelen dining hall.  This morning we began our hike into the Vacas Valley under some un-characteristic weather indeed.  Instead of a clear blue sky and unrelenting sun, we left Punta de Vacas in a light rain and cool breeze. But as we pressed on, the rain soon subsided and we enjoyed a pleasant hike into camp where we had our tents up by 4:30 and dinner by 6:30. The team did a great job on this first day and we look forward to sunny skies tomorrow as we continue up the Vacas Valley to our next camp at the ‘House of Stone’. 
Hope everyone enjoyed their Monday; we certainly enjoyed ours.

Until Tuesday…

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

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

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Aconcagua Expedition: January 17th team meets in Mendoza

Posted by: Leon Davis, Mike King, Pete Van Deventer | January 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Hello all!

The whole team is finally in Mendoza and assembled! Due to several flight delays, today has been a bit chaotic, as we raced around to get through the park permit registration process, and buy last minute lunch food. In the end, we decided to cool our heels in Mendoza for one more night, rather than push up to Los Penitentes. This will allow us to organize, let a few folks get their first good nights sleep in a few days, and finish up the permits for a few folks.  So it goes on a major international expedition.

Tomorrow, we get back on track, leaving in the late morning for Los Penitentes.  Once there, we will sort gear for the mules, and get ready to begin our trek the next day!

In the meantime, we’re going to enjoy another fantastic dinner in Mendoza.  Best wishes to everybody back home, and we’ll be in touch soon, this time from 9000 feet!

RMI Guides Pete, Leon, Mike, and team

The team assembles in Mendoza. Photo: Mike King

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Aconcagua: Beren & Team Return to Mendoza

Posted by: Jake Beren, Leon Davis, Zeb Blais | January 05, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

It has been a whirlwind few hours for the team, but we are all safe and sound in Mendoza, about to enjoy the comfort of a hot shower, actual bed and a celebratory meal. These things are certainly fine, but it will be tough to beat the meat cooked by our friends the herreros under the stars. I guess we’ll just have to take it as it comes.

It sure has been a great trip with an awesome team. Thanks to the squad and everyone’s people back home for letting them out for the holidays!

RMI Guides Jake Beren, Leon Davis & Zeb Blais

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Aconcagua: Beren & Team Back to Basecamp

Posted by: Jake Beren, Leon Davis, Zeb Blais | January 04, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Another windy night in a tent at altitude made getting on the road no problem for the team this morning. We loaded up our packs with everything needed to survive up high and marched down to a warmer season at Plaza Argentina, stopping to pick up our caches along the way. In a few days time it will be summer in Mendoza and the cold we’ve lived in up high a memory, but until then we have many miles to walk and a grand asado with our mule driving friends.

Talk to you when we hit the tree-lined streets of Mendoza.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Sunset at Aconcagua Base Camp.

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Aconcagua: Beren & Team Summit!

Posted by: Jake Beren, Leon Davis, Zeb Blais | January 02, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

What a proud day for our team!  This morning we woke long before the sun came up and proceeded to hide from the bitter cold until a much more sensible option presented itself. All the teams left camp early turned back to protect their extremities while we enjoyed the rising sun and long summer day as we made our bid for the top. Don’t get us wrong, it was a cold day but everyone managed quite well and is happy and healthy back at camp.

Aconcagua was most gracious to our team today, but boy did we have to earn it. The light snow winter has left the mountain nearly bare of snow and we did not even use crampons today. Scrambling up loose rock at just under 23,000 feet is a real treat and the team rose to the challenge, huffing and puffing all the way to the roof of the Andes.

All in all a great day with a stellar team. I’m certainly grateful to have gotten to share a beautiful day in the mountains with a great crew of climbers.  Those of us that stood on top could not have done it without our team and though not every member shared the view today, they were all with us every step of the way.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

[Summit audio transcription]
Hello. This is Jake Beren calling from the highest point in South America, the top of Aconcagua with a real strong team.  Had a great summit day, perfect weather. We’re up here with visibility in just about every direction. So, definitely proud of a real solid team and a real solid effort and we’re halfway done. So we will give you a shout when we get to our camp.  Thanks for all the weather help and we look forward to seeing everybody when we get back. Alright.

The Team on the summit of Aconcagua! Photo: Jake Beren


RMI Guide Jake Beren calls in from the Aconcagua summit!

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