Entries By mike king

Aconcagua: Justman & Team - Weather Wins, At Least For Today…

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Weather ultimately dictates everything on these long expeditions and there’s certainly no exception for our Team. Our agenda had us moving to Camp 2 this morning but we awoke to 40 mph winds and gusts of up to 60 mph here at Camp 1! Alas! You win again Aconcagua! Spirits remain high though as our forecasts call for more cooperating winds starting tomorrow and extending into early next week. So today we rest and prepare ourselves for the move to Camp 2 tomorrow. Best regards from all of us at Aconcagua’s Camp 1.

RMI Guide Steve Gately

Views of the mountains above Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 2

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

All the way to Camp 2!

Our team did a fantastic job carrying some group gear and personal gear up to 18,000 feet. The winds were still present as they kicked snow off into the air of surrounding peaks and ridges. However, they were not as strong as yesterday.

As the team rounded the corner and entered the col, they were treated to their first view of the high Andes range of Argentina. Breathtaking doesn’t describe it. We are now back at Camp 1 resting and recovering after a great day in the mountains.

P.S. - Happy Birthday Josh!!! From Denise. I’m wearing my new socks!! :)

RMI Guides JJ Justman, Mike King & Steve Gately

The view as seen between Camp 1 and Camp 2 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Try to Carry to Camp 2, Turned by Weather

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Blustery, breezy, gusty. These are all words that describe Camp One and Aconcagua as a whole right now. We are in full Viento Blanco mode right now. The white wind. The team tried to do a carry to Camp Two but the winds kept knocking us off our feet. I’m positive we could have pushed through it but we have time and there is no reason to risk someone getting hurt.

So we turned around and are taking a rest day with the sun shining through the tents listening to the freight train of wind above us. Everyone is doing well and we are keeping our fingers crossed for better weather so we can carry to 18,000’.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Views of the mountains above Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Move to Camp 1

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,600'

There I was, putting one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again. I knew what everyone was thinking. Who’s going to the Super Bowl!! And thanks to one of our team members little go go gadgets, his wife texted the final scores. Go Seahawks! Go Broncos! Who cares, Green Bay isn’t in it.

The team packed up base camp and moved outta base camp. On move days the packs are always heavier loaded with tents and kitchen gear. Everyone did fantastic and we are now settled into our new home at 16,600 feet on Aconcagua. We just finished with some hot soup. It’s like I always say, you have to put money in the bank. We used up some good energy getting here and you have to replenish and put energy back in to keep the bank account at a million bucks.

Speaking of a million bucks, anyone want to place some bets on the Super Bowl!?

RMI Guide JJ Justman

An RMI Team with heavy loads moving to Camp 1 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection The view from Camp 1 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team’s Plan for Basecamp Rest Day

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

We will spend the day taking showers in our Cabelas shower tent, ordering pizzas and perfecting the art of chillaxing. Finally, the sun is out in full effect so we are also charging phones and iPads. Tonight will be a marathon session of The Wire.

Today’s rest really isn’t needed. Our team is doing great! However, at this altitude we can recover back to 110% before we move to Camp 1 at 16,600’ tomorrow. Stay tuned and please keep posting comments! The team appreciates it.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Looking out over Aconcagua Base Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, JJ Justman, Steve Gately | January 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Today we carried to 16,600 on Aconcagua.  We enjoyed a cool morning with snow and a light breeze. The entire team cruised through our breaks to arrive at Camp 1 with a small piece of blue sky. The scree which is typically dry and loose was covered in snow, making the climbing more enjoyable. The team returned to Base Camp just in time for weather to roll in and snack before siesta. Rest day tomorrow! 

RMI Guide Mike King

Climbers making a carry to Camp 1 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection Enjoying the sites at 16,000 ft on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Rest Day at Basecamp

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

First and foremost…Todd wants to wish his beautiful wife Kelly Happy Birthday! The team spent their first night at Aconcagua Basecamp and everyone woke up this morning feeling great! On a rest day the key is to eat great food and drink lots of liquid to ensure proper acclimatization.

We had scrambled eggs with homemade potatoes. This afternoon we will be making homemade pizzas for the team. We even had Grajalas’ cook, Griselda, coming over asking for our recipes!

Later today we will set up the shower tent so we can get clean and smelling back to normal. Another camp activity for today is sorting group gear for our carry to Camp 1 at 16,500 feet.

Happy Birthday Kelly!!!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Sunset at Aconcagua Base Camp. Photo: Garrett Stevens

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Aconcagua: Stevens & Team Celebrate in Mendoza

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Nick Brown, Mike King | January 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

We got down off the mountain yesterday, after a fairly quick hike out from Pampa de LeƱas in the cool shade of an early morning. The team moved well, quickly pushing through the last remaining miles towards internal combustion and cold beverages. After checking out with the guardaparques, we grabbed a bite to eat in Penitentes, hopped into our transport, and settled in for the trip back to Mendoza.

Once back in the city, a round of hot showers was in order. After that, we headed down to one of my favorite restaurants here, El Patio Azul de Jesus Maria, where the team feasted on various cuts of meat, enjoyed delicious Malbec, and reminisced about our excellent adventure. The camaraderie and friendship was abundant, and was the perfect complement to our meal.

You know, sometimes you have to step back from a thing to grasp its true measure…and this trip certainly qualifies. While we were fortunate enough to climb onto the summit of the mountain, the real value was not necessarily that point in time or space. Rather, it is the journey we shared over the last three weeks, the sunrises and sunsets witnessed, the in-the-moment focus required to cross rivers and snowy trails, the laughter and human connections made over grilled steak and pots of ramen. While we may part company in a few short days, these memories and shared experiences will continue to give us immeasurable satisfaction, and allow us to return to our lives with new vision and appreciation.

Thanks for following our journey. May it be food for the soul!

RMI Guide Garrett Stevens

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Aconcagua: Justman and Team arrive at Base Camp

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

We have arrived at base camp! Our team is in full effect chilling. We had a beautiful last day trekking up the Relinchos Valley, and guess what!? The Old Spice worked! We had a family of guanacos checking us out as we filled up water bottles at a nearby stream.

The cowboys that have graciously helped us waved goodbye as they rode past. Aconcagua was out for most of the day as we walked in. The team is doing great and it’s so nice to unload all our gear without having to pack it all up for the mules. Now, we get to rest and relax at 13,800 feet.

RMI Guide JJ Justman & Team

Mules at Base Camp. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Travel through the Vacas Valley to Casa de Piedra

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 10,550'

The team is at Casa de Piedra, which in Spanish means… house of…Piedra. It was another gorgeous day of trekking in the Vacas Valley. Everyone is doing great and we are excited to be one step closer to base camp. For me it’s always fun to hear and see the expressions on people’s faces as they truly appreciate how beautiful it is here.

We had a condor sighting, which is rare in the towering mountains. However, the elusive guanaco is nowhere to see.  I’m pretty sure if I put on some Old Spice it will attract some for the team. Stay tuned!!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

RMI Climbers trekking through the Vacas Valley. Photo: Linden Mallory

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