Entries By zeb blais

Mt. Rainier: Winter Seminar Wrap-up a Great Week of Training

Posted by: Brent Okita, Zeb Blais, Ben Liken, Robby Young | April 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Zeb Blais and the Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter Team finished up a great week of training.  The team has started their descent and will be back at Rainier Basecamp this afternoon.

Congratulations Team!

Last rest break on the mountain. Photo: Brent Okita Group photo near Paradise. Photo: Brent Okita

Mt. Rainier: Winter Seminar Train in Some Tough Weather

Posted by: Brent Okita, Zeb Blais, Ben Liken, Robby Young | April 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

A little wind and snow couldn’t keep this intrepid group of aspiring alpinists from training on our last full day of the seminar. What most impressed the guides was the 100% participation of the group given the 50 mph winds and heavy snowfall.

We look forward to a last evening together going over a couple more topics and sharing a war story or two.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

The winter seminar training in tough conditions at Camp Muir. Photo: Brent Okita
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Hot meal and warm, cozy bed awaits…so proud of you!!

Jk

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Posted by: JK on 4/17/2014 at 9:39 pm


Mt. Rainier: The Winter Seminar Tries for the Summit

Posted by: Brent Okita, Zeb Blais, Ben Liken, Robby Young | April 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

We left Camp Muir this morning at 4: There was a cap over the summit from the outset of our climb but we were thankful the winds from yesterday evening had abated and hoped the cap would follow suit.45 a.m. in reasonable winds.  The team took to heart the lessons learned at yesterday’s climbing school and climbed strong on the upper mountain in deteriorating conditions.
 
I began the route finding effort up the Ingraham Direct but gave way to RMI Guide Zeb Blais as he led the team up to a break at 12,800’.  As we switchbacked our way up the mountain, we encountered increasing wind speeds and steadily decreasing visibility.  We made the smart and safe choice to call 13,400’ our high point for the day.  On our descent to Camp Muir, clouds would billow up from below causing white out conditions followed by periods of visibility.  This process repeated continually until we returned to Camp Muir.

We’re back at Camp Muir safe and sound.  We are looking forward to a low-key afternoon at camp with a siesta and some easy training on the schedule.

Signing off for now,
RMI Guide Brent Okita

The Mt. Rainier winter seminar's high point today. Photo: Robby Young Winter seminar training with avalanche transceivers. Photo: Brent Okita The winter seminar traversing the Cowlitz Glacier. Photo: Brent Okita
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Zeb led the way for Mariana and I out of Camp Muir on June 20, 2010.  He got us up to Ingraham Glacier before returning with climbers.  Mariana and I… read more

Posted by: Josephine Johnson on 4/17/2014 at 8:58 pm

Thanks for keeping my guys safe and sound!  Think warm thoughts!  Hugs to Mike and Steve

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Posted by: cathy on 4/16/2014 at 6:59 pm


Mt. Rainier: RMI Guide Brent Okita Checks In as the Seminar Ascends to Camp Muir

Posted by: Brent Okita, Zeb Blais, Ben Liken, Robby Young | April 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

We had a great day for making our way to Camp Muir yesterday. Blue skies and just enough wind to keep us from over heating. Everyone did well! 

Camp Muir will be home through Friday.  The next few days we’ll be training around Camp Muir.  It’s going to be a fantastic week!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Taking a break on our way up the Muir Snowfield. Photo: Brent Okita Mt. Rainier seminar ascending to Camp Muir. Photo: Brent Okita Beautiful vast views on Mt. Rainier seminar. Photo: Brent Okita
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Thank you for the update.  Great job, y’all!  Just getting to Camp Muir is an accomplishment in and of itself, not to mention while carrying all that weight!! But every… read more

Posted by: JK on 4/15/2014 at 6:39 pm


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Team Reaches Summit of Orizaba

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 18,701'

Update: 8 pm PT

Summit day on Orizaba- Today our team bagged the 3rd highest peak in North America! This was quite a feat and the whole crew was feeling the effects of a hard and rewarding day on the mountain. We celebrated with dinner at the Reyes family dining room, sharing stories with each other and climbers we had met on the mountain before retiring for some much needed sleep.

Earlier in the day, and I mean a lot earlier in the day, we woke to perfect starry skies, grabbed a quick breakfast and began the climb. After warming up on the first stretch of the climb, the trail deteriorates into a jungle of rock, snow and ice known as the labyrinth. Our team made short work of this challenge and advanced to the Jamapa glacier. The struggle ascending the Jamapa was rewarded with an amazing sunrise, views Ixta and la melinche and the impressive summit crater.  Our team climbed strong back to the Piedra grande hut where we were transported back to town by 4x4.

All in all it’s been a great trip. Everyone is worn out but happy to have succeeded as a team on some impressive peaks.  It’s hard to believe 9 days in Mexico have already come and gone!

RMI Guide Zeb Blais

6:00 am PT
Hey all this is Geoff Schellens and team standing on the summit of Orizaba.  It was a tough climb but everybody is quite happy to be here and enjoyed very good climbing conditions.  It’s a beautiful day with light wind up here and a beautiful sunrise this morning.  That’s all for now.  We will check in when we get back down.

Adios,
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

A climbing team on El Pico de Orizaba, 18,701 ft. Mexico. Photo Courtesy: Greg Buzulencia The Mexico Volcanoes team on the Orizaba summit! Photo: Geoff Schellens The view from the summit of El Pico de Orizaba, Mexico.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Geoff Schellens calls from the summit of Orizaba.

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Congratulations team!  Looks amazing.  Can’t wait to see more pictures DTP.  Hugs.

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Posted by: Elizabeth on 2/22/2014 at 4:35 pm

Congratulations to all of you on your summit!  Michael, I couldn’t tell if that was you in the second photo and I am really hoping that you made it.  See… read more

Posted by: Kristin Stollov on 2/22/2014 at 4:16 pm


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Team Heads for Orizaba

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 14,000'

Today was a relaxed travel / rest day. After a good breakfast in Puebla we loaded our van and started driving to Tlachichuca. We arrived at Dr Reyes’ historic soap-factory-turned-climbers-hostel around 10:30 and began sorting our gear on the lawn. With our gear packed for Orizaba we went in for lunch. By early afternoon we found ourselves bumping along the dirt road in 4x4 truck towards the Piedra grande hut on Orizaba. When we arrived we were surprised to find the Refugio buzzing with activity. A few other climbing teams and a large group filming a documentary will be our company for the night. We ate an early and fantastic dinner of tacos with chicken, veggies, rice, and beans as clouds swirled around offering short glimpses of the upper mountain. We are all feeling good and heading to bed early before our summit bid tomorrow.
We will check in tomorrow from the summit.
Thanks for following us on our fantastic Mexican adventure.
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

El Pico de Orizaba (18,701ft) as seen from Tlachichuca, Mexico.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schellens & Team Rest in Puebla

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Hi All,

Today was a much deserved rest day in Puebla. The team slept in, did laundry, and enjoyed the sights here in Puebla. Famous for mole sauce, a thick chocolate and pepper salsa, so we had to go to one of the most well known mole restaurants for dinner. Everyone is well rested and excited for the next leg of our journey.

Thanks for following!

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens & Team

Dinner in Puebla. Photo: Geoff Schellens

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schellens & Team Recap Summit of Ixta

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Successful summit of Ixta!

The team is resting in Puebla after our successful summit of Ixta today. We started off today just before 2:00AM from our high camp with perfect climbing weather, a clear warm night.  Battling loose scree, rock and hard snow our team made the summit just before the break of day.  Watching the morning light slowly pour over the landscape around us we snapped our last pics and began our descent. Snowy ridges and rocky slopes brought us back to high camp. After a well deserved rest we broke camp and made our way to the trail head where we were greeted with cotton cloths and a celebratory feast of sandwiches, beer, chips, and soda.  Soon we were back in our van bumping along the dirt road and dozing off one by one all the way to Puebla.

Congratulations to our team and thanks everyone for following!

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens & Team

Team in front of Ixta. Photo: Geoff Schellens Team on Summit of Ixta. Photo: Geoff Schellens Sunrise from Summit of Ixta. Photo Geoff Schellens

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: SUMMIT IXTA!

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 17,340'

Hi All,

This is Geoff Schellens and Team down here in Mexico calling from the summit of Ixta!  We had a wonderful climb a beautiful morning. Everything is absolutely as good as it gets. We are enjoying the sunrise right now.  We are going to pack it up and head down shortly. We will give a call this evening.

Adios!

View from the Summit of Ixta. RMI Photo Collection


Geoff Schellens calling from the Summit of Ixta

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Mexico: Schellens & Team at Ixta’s High Camp Ready for Summit Bid

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

This is Zeb Blais checking in from the February Mexico Volcanoes climb. This morning we were greeted by the first rays of sun lighting Popocatepetl. We got a leisurely start to the day with a breakfast of huevos Mexicana. After breakfast we packed our gear and headed to the trailhead for our move to high camp on Ixta. The team did well and made it to high camp feeling good. After setting up tents, we spent the rest of the beautiful day relaxing in the sun. We wrapped up the day with a briefing on the climb ahead and a big dinner. Off to bed for now. We will check in from the summit. Adios.

RMI Guide Zeb Blais

Approaching High Camp on Ixta. Photo: RMI Collection Looking up towards the Ayoloco Glacier from High Camp on Ixtaccihuatl. Photo: RMI Collection

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