Entries By mike king

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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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Camped at Pampa de Las Lenas

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

Hello folks! It’s JJ and the Aconcagua Team reporting live from Pampa de Las Lenas at 9,000 feet. It’s phenomenal to finally hit the trail with the team. And what a team it is! We have brothers and sisters, old climbing buddies and now new friends.

We had a hot and blistery day trekking in the heat. Sunscreen and lip balm was in full effect. However now it is cloudy and we received a few drops of rain, which we welcomed with open arms. The guides are busy chopping fresh vegetables that we are going to grill along with a big slab of beef.

It’s one of my favorite things…hanging out with the cowboys and the team. The cowboys like it when you ask questions and it’s interesting to learn about their lifestyle. They work hard for it and it’s nice to enjoy a great evening of food and their favorite drink…orange Tang.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

An RMI camp at Pampa de Las Lenas. Photo: Peter Whittaker

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Begin Trek to Basecamp

Posted by: JJ Justman, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

The gang is all here! It certainly has been an adventure already for half of our team. However, we are all ready to go. For the other part of the team we had a great day in Penitentes, which is a small ski area.

We had our first glance of Aconcagua as we took a 4-hour hike up to 10,000 feet. It’s a beautiful view of the south face of Aconcagua. The team finished packing our duffels for the mules and we are ready to walk!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Aconcagua trailhead. Photo: JJ Justman Team beginning their trek into Basecamp. Photo: JJ Justman Team taking photos of their first views of Aconcagua. Photo: JJ Justman

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Ready in Argentina

Posted by: JJ Justman, Steve Gately, Mike King | January 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Well…I’ve always said, “the hardest part of any expedition is just getting to the mountain”. And that certainly is the case for my second team here on Aconcagua.

We have everything from missing bags to missing half of the team. Well, they’re not missing just really late due to Tormento de Estados Unidos 2014!

However, all the team members are in Argentina. Half the team is in Penitentes and the other half is in Mendoza. We will all join up tomorrow and begin the journey.

We want to congratulate the recent team under Garrett Stevens on their recent summit. We are at 100% expedition success. I feel a trend coming on.

Stay tuned for another exciting adventure with me, Mike “the lion” King and Steve “fresh outta da” Gately.

RMI Guides JJ Justman, Mike King & Steve Gately

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Aconcagua: Beren and Team Return to Pampa de Llenas

Posted by: Jake Beren, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

After leaving Base Camp yesterday we made the long trek back to Pampa de Llenas where the length of this journey began to sink in.  Many miles of beautiful walking brought us back to our first camp where we were treated to an asado courtesy of our herreros. Grilling over an open fire under the Andean sky we really put the trip to bed in style. Getting to visit with the incoming RMI crew was fun, seeing all those clean faces and knowing that we were just a few hours from a shower ourselves. 

Thanks to a wonderful crew for a great trip and can’t wait to see everyone in the mountains soon!

Jake Beren & Team

Looking toward Pampa de Llenas, RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Beren & Team Descend to Plaza Argentina

Posted by: Jake Beren, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Waking once the sun began to warm the tents was a welcome treat at 19,600 feet. Having that last cup of coffee in the rarified air of high camp before packing up and starting the beautiful and lengthy descent really let the last few weeks settle in. We have climbed on the highest mountain outside of Asia and now turn the skiff towards home. It is this point of the trip where we get to see how far out we’ve gone because there is no more out to go, just back. Retracing our steps back home will take a few days and is a wonderful way to let this adventure sink in. See you all soon!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Sunset at Aconcagua Base Camp. Photo: Garrett Stevens

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Aconcagua: Beren & Team Recap Summit Day

Posted by: Jake Beren, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Lying in the tent, legs sore but oddly relaxed, it seems hard to believe that we climbed Aconcagua today. This morning we launched before dawn, making our way higher and higher into the troposphere as the rising sun cast a shadow of our mountain deep into the Andes. Everyone on the team got a chance to test their limits today and I’m proud of everyone’s effort. It takes a few weeks to get to where you can try to stand on top and everyone’s hard work really paid off with a safe day in the mountains. Good work team and thanks to all the wonderful people back home for their support. 

RMI Guide Jake Beren

High Camp on Aconcagua, 19,600 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Beren & Team Summit!

Posted by: Jake Beren, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

Greetings from Camp 3 on Aconcagua. Our team just returned after a successful summit bid with some happy and tired faces. We are looking forward to a little bit of dinner and some much needed rest before we start heading down, down, down tomorrow. All is well out here. Thanks for all the good wishes back home and we’ll talk to you guys further on down the trail.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Looking up towards the Canaleta, just below Aconcagua's summit. Photo: RMI Collection


Jake Beren calls in after the team's successful summit.

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Aconcagua: Beren & Team Make Their Move to High Camp

Posted by: Jake Beren, Mike King, Steve Gately | January 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Greetings from high camp at 19,600 ft!  Today we made use of a good forecast and the first break in the wind in recent memory to move up. Now we are in striking distance of the top, getting ready for dinner before an early bedtime. The team again performed well getting here and if this calm weather holds, we will go for the top tomorrow!  We’ve enjoyed everyone’s comments and the crew is in great spirits having put forth an impressive effort so far. With any luck we will only head uphill for one more day before starting the long return to Mendoza. Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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

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Aconcagua: Beren and Team Rest Day at Guanacos (Camp 2)

Posted by: Jake Beren, Steve Gately, Mike King | January 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Holá from 18,000 ft above the sea!  We spent a windy evening up here last night, but so far camp is holding tight. With any luck this weather pattern will relax by tomorrow and we will be in solid shape to move higher! Today we are going to review some crampon and ice axe techniques before lunch and then take a little stroll post meal. Then more resting to be prepared for a few big days coming up.

The team is doing great, and now we just need a few good weather days to make our move to Camp 3 and then shoot for the top. For now we wait for the wind to relax and head up when the mountain lets us.

RMI Guide Jake Beren & Team

Rest Day at Camp 2. RMI Photo Collection

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