Entries from Expedition Dispatches
February 20, 2019
This is Mike, we topped out on Ixtaccihuatl around 7:50 am with a stiff wind for the entire climb. The air temperature was warm and we had a beautiful full moon. The combination of moon light and wind made for a crystal clear climb and amazing sunrise. We are in our descent now and will check in once we are back down at the bus.
RMI Guide Mike King
On The Map
February 19, 2019
This is Mike checking in from 15,300’ on Ixta. We got a casual start to the day with a big breakfast and final packing of our equipment. It’s always a bummer to have 40ish pounds of stuff for just one night out. The trail ascends a ridge with a series of weaknesses that allow for a moderate elevation gain. We enjoyed clear views of Orizaba and La Malinche. From camp you could even pick out the glimmer of glass on the high rise building of Mexico City.
The traditional high camp where the Refugio sits is currently occupied by a 50+ member unit of the Mexican Army. We opted for the camp that is slightly lower to have a quiet evening. The wind is currently shaking the tents and depositing grit on our teeth. We’ll have some dinner and get our packs ready for tomorrow’s summit bid. The weather looks good, so fingers crossed for clear skies and no electrics storms.
February 18, 2019
It took six attempts but finally the weather cooperated for a successful acclimatization hike to the top of La Malinche, 14,501’. A new high point for some of our Team. The ‘day hike’ is the equivalent of a Rainier summit day from Camp Muir in elevation gain. The Team did well despite having just arrived sea level more or less.
This morning we are in route to Ixta, a quick stop for breakfast and coffee then a travel day to the Altzomani Hut. There, we will pack for our hike to high camp and enjoy a nice dinner and spectacular sunset. Thanks for following along.
February 17, 2019
This is Mike checking in for the Mexico Volcanoes team. Everyone arrived with bags in tow yesterday. We will head out in a few minutes for a day hike on La Malinche. The goal today is to stretch the legs and lungs a bit and sleep at 10,000’ tonight. Our drive today takes us out of Mexico City and into the surrounding countryside for three scenic hours before climbing the lower slopes of the mountain. we’ll spend the night in little cabanas after our acclimatization hike. We’ll check in each day, thanks for following along.
RMI Guides Mike King & Dustin Wittmier
Have a safe journey
Posted by: Dick and Kay Seubert on 2/18/2019 at 1:12 pm
Have a great climb, and post lots of pictures!!
Posted by: Ray Wittmier on 2/17/2019 at 7:14 pm
We connected the circuit today. Made it full circle around the Torres del Paine Massive! It was fun to see where we started, not fully knowing what was ahead and now how far we’ve come. The group has really hit their stride in terms of packing up in the mornings, falling in their favorite order on the trail, and even taking siestas at lunch time. It’s always fun for me to see a group start wide-eyed and overwhelmed get so comfortable with trail life. This group has definitely done that. Most people on this trip, had not spent nine days out and carried their gear but now they make it look natural.
The scenery did not disappoint today. We spent all morning watching lenticular clouds form and move off in the distance. We walked around Lake Nordensjold all day appreciating the color contrasts around us. Tomorrow some of the group is going to walk up to the towers, others will go halfway and enjoy the views, and others will treat themselves to a massage—very deserving. Then we will head back to town. It always feels bittersweet leaving the trail. Yes, we are looking forward to pizza and home but we will miss the peace and simplicity that Patagonia has shared with us.
Awesome job Christina!! :)
Posted by: Kim Lowe on 2/18/2019 at 8:30 pm
How you go Nini,
Sounds like a great trip. Happy Valentines.
Safe trip back
Posted by: peter von Mertens on 2/14/2019 at 9:43 am
Here in Patagonia, you drink the water right out of the streams. It is sourced in the glaciers that hang off the towering granite above us. We hike all day with an empty water bottle and just fill up at breaks. They say it makes you strong enough to complete the circuit and it’s definitely worked for this group. Tomorrow we will connect the dots and walk back to where we started, covering over 100 miles. It’s hard to describe what we’ve seen because the landscape is awe inspiring around every corner.
Today’s team member shout-out is to a super fun loving couple from Wisconsin that love to laugh. They inspire us all with a passion for adventure and travel.
What a day?! The sun glistened off the blue icebergs and the breeze kept us cool on the trail. This group has really found their stride. Breakfast of eggs and freshly baked bread, walking with lots of photo breaks, lunch time, and more walking. What more could we want? We all support one another by reaching people’s water bottles for them or offering around sunscreen. But the couple from Nashville truly steal the show when it comes to generosity. This couple is the first to share their favorite trail snacks (honey stinger gummies) and even offer to take more weight. They are the kindest badasses around and have many more trails to hike and mountains to climb in their future!
Other than this great group of people, some trail highlights have been watching the condors soar, seeing the granite towers, and being surrounded by turquoise waters. The food is also worth mentioning; grilled salmon, stuffed chicken, pork on chili mashed potatoes…it’s a treat. But I’m sure we’ll all return home looking like svelte explorers. ;) Now I’m off for another amazing dinner with a view.
RMI Guide Christina Dale and team
Sounds like an amazing trip! Glad we are able to keep up with your journey. Love and Hugs!
Posted by: Dad and Cindy on 2/10/2019 at 7:07 pm
Proud of those Nashville badasses for living their dream !
Posted by: Rita Christodoulou on 2/10/2019 at 6:15 pm
We somehow timed our rest day well with the weather. As it rained cats and dogs we drank coffee, lounged on couches, and took naps in the lodge. We did venture out in the weather this afternoon for a boat ride in a zodiac dodging icebergs. After making plenty of Titanic jokes, we nosed the boat into a large nunitac, a rock island in the middle of a glacier, and hopped out. We donned crampons, helmets, and ice axes for exploring Grey Glacier and headed up the ice. It was full of waterways, ice sculptures, and dune-like landscapes. Our expedition left us wet and ready for dinner. Let’s hope either our gloves dry or the weather clears for tomorrow.
RMI Guide Christina Dale and Team
February 8, 2019
Three days ago we were summiting Aconcagua. Last night were laying in the dirt looking up at the stars. Today, we are eating at a restaurant surrounded by people and cars, and longing for our beds at the hotel. So quickly we have left the solitude of Aconcagua and rejoined the hustle and bustle of the city. We all look like new people - showered and in street clothes. It has been quite a journey, certainly a cause for celebration. As this adventure winds down and we all fly back to our homes, we will reflect on this time together and what we accomplished. Hopefully after some rest and while flipping through the photos, another adventure will be planned and the process will start all over.
Till next time,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team
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Ms. Smith: Once again a fascinating chronicle. We sure enjoy tagging along on your adventures and conquests.
Posted by: Christopher on 2/9/2019 at 8:11 am
Congratulations to the team for succeeding on such a tough day. We crossed over the John Gardner pass today in the wind, rain, and snow. We started hiking early in the morning to get a start on the long day ahead. The first hour or two we spent dodging mud pits by balancing on wet slippery roots. The next two hours we headed up, and up, and up over scree and through river beds. Once on top of the pass, the fun began and the next six hours of the day we spent walking down steep rocks and slippery mud.
Today’s team member highlight goes to a woman who self proclaimed “this is the hardest thing she’s ever done.” She is a strong and graceful social worker from Wisconsin. We are all lucky to travel through this rugged Patagonia landscape with her.
Now we celebrate our strenuous day though very challenging weather, at the Grey hut where we’ll be for two nights. The hut is full of people huddling around the fireplace to dry out layers. After the past three nights of quiet huts or camping it is nice to have the luxuries of this lodge but it seems a little louder than we’re used to. The team is all happy to have a rest day tomorrow with a chance to explore the Grey Glacier.