Entries By zeb blais

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

On The Map

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Mexico: Schellens & Team Settle into the Altzimoni Hut

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 12,800'

Today was another busy day for us starting with a duffle shuffle and reloading the van.  After an hour drive we arrived to the best breakfast in Mexico, Mission Tlaxcala, a beautiful stone hotel over looking a stunning waterfall.  With full bellies we hopped back in our van and drove through the warm morning to Amecameca. A quick grocery shop for last minute food items and the conclusion to Mike’s quest for AA batteries put us back on the road. A beautiful two-hour drive winding through a wooded hillside and eventually the high grass covered slopes of Ixtaccihuatl (Ixta).  Our home for the evening is the Altzimoni Hut at around 12,800’. After settling in to our new accommodations, we went for a short stroll up the trail to stretch the legs. Once back at our hut we discussed gear and packing for tomorrow and ate a five-star taco dinner.  Now we are all doing a little packing and organizing our gear for maƱana and turning in for a good night’s sleep.

Thanks for following along with us,

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Ixtaccihuatl, the seventh highest mountain in North America. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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Mexico: Schellens & Team Acclimatize on La Malinche

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 14,640'

La Malinche summit!

Today was a busy day.  After a fantastic breakfast at our hotel in Mexico City we met our driver and loaded the van to the brim with all our gear.  By 9:00 we were bumping along the streets working our way out of the city and towards the hills.  After a few hours we found ourselves winding through the forests on the flanks of La Malinche.  We arrived at La Malintzi, an old Olympic training facility at 10,000 feet around noon and stowed our bags in our cabins.  With day packs packed and the noonday sun warming us, we started our acclimatization hike.  After two hours hiking through the forest, we broke out of the trees and began climbing up the scree trail to gain the ridge.  At 4:30 we found ourselves on the summit of La Malinche, 14,640’. Higher than any point in the continental United States. With perfect weather we began our descent scree skiing through the sandy section and back into the forest.  Happy and tired we all enjoyed our delicious dinner back at La Malintzi and headed to bed for some well-deserved rest.

Thanks for following us.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Looking towards Pico de Orizaba from the summit of La Malinche.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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Mexico: Geoff Schellens & Team Start Their Adventure

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Zeb Blais | February 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Well after some long travel days getting to Mexico City the whole team met tonight, thus our adventure is underway!  We are all excited to be here and get going.  After introductions and a trip briefing we all went to La Opera, a beautiful restaurant in historic Mexico City.  Enchiladas con salsa verde were fantastic. 

Now for some packing and prep for tomorrow and a good night sleep.  I can already tell this is a great climbing team.

That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

The team having dinner at La Opera in Mexico City. Photo: Geoff Schellens

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Mt. Rainier: Four & Five Day Climbs Turned Around

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Zeb Blais | September 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 12,300'

The Four Day Summit Climb September 19 - 22 led by RMI Guide Billy Nugent & the Five Day Summit Climb September 18 - 22 led by Zeb Blais were unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The teams left Camp Muir en route to the summit but were forced to turn around at the top of Disappointment Cleaver (12,300’) due to a cloud cap that was descending.  The cloud cap brought limited visibility and increased winds.  The teams returned to Camp Muir to rest and dry out.  They began their descent from Camp Muir a little after 8 am en route for Paradise.

We look forward to seeing the groups at Rainier BaseCamp later this morning.

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Mt. Rainier: September 3rd - Teams Turned Around at 12, 300’

Posted by: Brent Okita, Zeb Blais | September 03, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 12,300'

The Four Day Summit Climbs August 31 - 3 September were unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  RMI Guides Brent Okita & Zeb Blais reported poor visibility and increased winds and precipitation as the teams reached the top of Disappointment Cleaver (12,300’).  The teams made the decision to turn around at that point and return to Camp Muir.  The teams were able to relax at Camp Muir before starting their descent to Paradise.  We look forward to meeting the groups at Rainier BaseCamp later this morning.

The ascending climb gets briefed by RMI Guide Andy Hildebrand before the final stretch to Camp Muir on September 2.  Photo: Katrina Bloemsma
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Mt. Rainier: August 30, 2013 Update

Posted by: Brent Okita, Zeb Blais | August 30, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 11,200'

Our Four Day Summit Climb teams led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Zeb Blais waited out weather in the early hours of the morning before starting their summit attempt of Mt. Rainier.  The teams headed out at 4am and reached Ingraham Flats before encountering firm, icy conditions on the route.  They made the decision to enjoy the sunrise at the Flats before heading back down to Camp Muir.  Brent and Zeb both commented on the strength and toughness of their teams and were very proud of their achievements on the mountain.

Congratulations to today’s teams!

Climber at sunrise on Ingraham Flats - RMI Photo Collection

Mt. Rainier: August 19th Team Summits!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Zeb Blais, Andy Hildebrand | August 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer braved the winds to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  After a short rest on the summit, the team began their descent shortly before 8 am.  They will return to Camp Muir to refuel before descending to Paradise later today.  We look forward to their arrival in Ashford this afternoon.

Congratulations climbers!

RMI Guide Eric Frank and the Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons continue to spend their days training.  Today the team moves from their camp on the Inter Glacier to Camp Schurman in preparation for their summit attempt.

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons at camp on the Inter Glacier  Photo: Eric Frank
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