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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Summit!

January 22nd, 4:29 pm PST
So don’t sing at 22,000 feet, that is my recommendation. We are all back down here at high camp. The team is all back in their tents, fed and watered. What a heck of a day- about 14 hours. The team did great. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be singing again, and I guess I better write instead of talk. Thanks for following you guys. Take care.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

January 22nd, 10:29 am PST
Hello, everyone. This is RMI Guide, Pepper Dee, from the top of Aconcagua!  Mark Tucker has lost his voice, but he has not lost any of his team. He started with ten climbers and two guides, and ten climbers and two guides are on top of South America right now. We had a great day getting up here. Pretty clear with some intermittent snow showers, but we’re all just so thrilled to be up here. When the clouds break, we can see views down the valley where we came. [lost transmission]

RMI Guide Pepper Dee


RMI Guide Pepper Dee calls from the Aconcagua summit!


RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls after safe return back to Aconcagua High Camp.

Congratulations Matt and team! What a remarkable feat that few get to experience. Eager to hear all about the trek.

Posted by: Cathy & Greg on 1/23/2017 at 7:57 am

Congratulations to Pepper, Mark and the team. Amazing accomplishment!

Posted by: David Clemmons on 1/23/2017 at 7:32 am


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Move to Camp 1

Here we are in Camp 1 all settled in at over 16,000’. We enjoyed dinner in the late afternoon sunshine after putting in a hard day’s work coming up from Plaza Argentina and are now in our tents trying to rest up and get used to the living at our new altitude. Our team performed extremely well today and made short work of the steep scree field directly below camp. We are acclimatizing nicely as the amount of effort on today’s move was significantly less than on our carry just a couple days ago although I’m not expecting the night to be all peaches and cream. Your first night over 16,000’ on any trip is a tough one. Tomorrow we are hoping to get another carry of food and fuel up the hill and into Camp 2 before descending back here to continue our acclimation process. Slowly but surely…

RMI Guides Billy Nugent

On The Map


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Move to High Camp

Greetings from High Camp on Aconcagua! Today was a big move day for the team, as we established ourselves at 19,600 feet in preparation for our summit bid. We battled some gusty, overcast weather getting up here, but as of 5 pm the skies around the upper mountain are clear, if a bit blustery. We are all hoping for an unconditional good break in the weather tomorrow, which as of now is the “big day” for the team. Keep us in your thoughts tomorrow; we’re all hoping for a safe and successful summit day.

Love to everyone!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map

Good luck Fred and fellow climbers. Have a great day!

Jerry and Carol Hedstrom

Posted by: Jerry & Carol Hedstrom on 1/22/2017 at 6:06 pm

Thinking of you a lot today, and hoping for a smooth and safe ascent (and descent of course). We couldn’t be prouder! :)

Posted by: Jenny M. on 1/22/2017 at 3:01 pm


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team’s Rest and Relaxation Day at Basecamp

Apologies, but I don’t have much exciting information to report… We are enjoying a calm and partly cloudy rest day here at Plaza Argentina and tonight will be our final night in Basecamp before we make our move up to Camp 1 tomorrow. We’ve been enjoying the good food here as things will change higher up on the mountain. For breakfast we ate deliciously cheesy, ooey gooey, egg, onion, green pepper, and pancetta breakfast burritos courtesy of Hannah’s expert level burrito rolling skills and a nice spread of pizzas for lunch. No doubt one last big dinner this evening will cap off the extravagant meals until the climbing is done and we are safely back in basecamp. We are spending the afternoon doing laundry, listening to music, reading, and making our final gear preparations. Tomorrow should be an exciting day.

Will check in next time from Camp 1!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Hi Dad (Jim Love),

I hope your toes are feeling better and you are enjoying some of the scenery! Proud of you!

Love,
Heather

Posted by: Heather Love on 1/22/2017 at 6:17 pm

Happy Birthday early Alec.  Be safe and have fun.  Love always-Mom (Kim Schulz)

Posted by: Kim Schulz on 1/21/2017 at 9:43 am


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Carry Loads to Camp 1

We’re back from our first foray above Basecamp where we carried a load of food, fuel, and cold weather gear and cached it at over 16,000’ in Aconcagua Camp 1. Some of the loosest scree fields and difficult footing on our entire route challenged us today but the team pulled through with good style. Our performance today bodes well for our chances higher on the mountain with the team staying on pace and efficiently navigating the tricky terrain. We started out around 9:30 am and were back in Basecamp before 4 PM which made for a full day but still left us time for a nap before dinner. The kitchen staff knew we were working hard today and rewarded us with a hearty dinner of steak and potatoes. Now it’s off to bed with a full belly and no major plans for tomorrow…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Good luck Brian and the entire team!  You got this!  Deborah

Posted by: Deborah beggan on 1/21/2017 at 8:26 am

No milk noodles?!?!?!?!!! You

Posted by: Maude Lebowski on 1/20/2017 at 11:24 pm


Ecuador Volcanoes: Liken & Team Acclimate with Creativity at Fuya Fuya

Hola From Otavalo, Ecuador,

This morning our team of intrepid climbers met our one man team and intrepid driver, Orgel, and headed into the not so subtle Quito morning rush hour.   Climbers heading off to a big mountain are always ready to leave the grips of the city in search for greater adventures but today Quito had a way of making sure we didn’t rush off and lose sight of where we were.  Wall to wall cars made the first five miles take as long as the final 50 but rain was falling so we didn’t feel rushed either way.  
Our destination today was a volcano called Fuya Fuya, which rises to 14,700 feet, higher than Mt. Rainier, but in Ecuador is relatively low in comparison to others.  We come here in January because it is supposed to be the “dry” season, but today this high, tropical landscaped proved otherwise.  Light rain fell in the morning leaving Quito, but north of the city and higher up the clouds thickened and the rain turned real.  In Seattle there are over a hundred ways to describe rain.  I’m pretty sure today we only needed one.  Let’s just call it, solid.  With a “solid” rain falling, we solved riddles in the trailhead shelter, ran quick sprints along the lake shore before sprinting back and did pull ups on the beams to pretend we were getting our heart rate up.  All-in-all the acclimating process was short lived and we were headed down having never walked a foot uphill. 
The rain continued to pour as we ate lunch in town and killed time before arriving at the hacienda for the evening.  La Casa Sol sits high on a steep hill overlooking town and it was here that we had the day’s most exciting event.  With a we cobble stone street, our driver gunned it up the hill trying to get momentum before spinning out on the wet surface.  It took two more goes to pull the van into the tiny parking spot and unload the bags.  Ben and I had to put rocks behind the van’s tires at one point to keep him from sliding backwards into the ditch. 
As we say before a day of ice climbing in Bozeman, the adventure starts the second you get in the car.  Tomorrow’s road promises to be even more thrilling!  The road to the mountain….
Wish us luck on our way to Cayambe.

Saludos,
RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Ben Liken and Team


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Wrap Up Their African Safari

Hello once again everyone.
We have arrived back in the digital world after another very enjoyable safari. We spent yesterday touring Tarangire National Park which is known for its elephants, in fact, it has more per square mile than any place on earth. And I can easily say it didn’t disappoint! We saw hundreds if not thousands of elephants and even managed to take a break with a family, while some of them slept. There were plenty of other animals too- giraffe, zebra, hartebeest, bush bucks, Nile monitor, and many others. It was very surreal to be so close to them, and we were simply amazed at the abundance that were near the river, which runs though the park.
We never did see the cheetahs, or leopards, but perhaps that had something to do with all the lions we saw.

It’s been a memorable experience for everyone and it’s going to be sad to part ways with such a great bunch of folks. But now it’s time to head home and share the stories.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro/Safari crew

Thank you Casey for the adventure of a lifetime for your group and sharing for the rest of us as arm chair adventures.

Posted by: Robert Rutter on 1/20/2017 at 9:19 am


Ecuador Volcanoes: Liken & Team Acclimatize Near Quito

Hola,

Today, after a lot of travel and food the team finally got out into the mountains.  We set off for a gondola ride on the outskirts of town that takes us all the way up to well over 13,000 feet.  We were pleased to find fair skies and moderate temps with sweeping views of the city at the top.
From there it took us 2.5 hours to reach the summit at 15,700 feet with the whole team!  This is a great team and everyone did excellent.  After some time on top breathing thin air, we descended back to Quito grabbing some tasty carne empanadas on the way.
After an afternoon nap we all got some pizzas and ice cream to soothe the soul before bed.  Tomorrow we will venture further outside Quito for another highland hike.

Stay tuned,
RMI Guide Ben Liken

Good luck over the next three days as the team moves towards the climbers hut in anticipation of summiting Cayambe on Monday! Let’s hope the weather cooperates better than today!

Posted by: Susan Brashear on 1/20/2017 at 5:27 pm

good luck on your climbing/eating adventure! if this is a race, my money is on Owen. nobody can eat faster than Owen.

Posted by: catherine's sister on 1/20/2017 at 10:15 am


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Carry Gear to High Camp

Turned out to be a great day to carry group and personal equipment to our high camp of Aconcagua at 19,600ft. We made good time up and down and round tripped it in about five hours. At one point I was down to just a thin poly-pro top. Not bad for being exposed to the elements at 19,000ft.
Big decision time tonight. Weather reports are calling for some unsettled pattern ahead. Need to put all the factors in the hopper and come up with a plan. Excitement is rising and a major buzz going on around camp. My team continues to be a solid unit and so proud of what we have accomplished so far. All is well up on the hill.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Safe summit to all. A fine accomplishment for all. Enjoy

Posted by: Mike Albrecht on 1/19/2017 at 5:11 pm


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team at Plaza Argentina

January 19, 2017
Checking in from Plaza Argentina at 4,200m on another beautiful day here in the central Andes. Our team enjoyed some tasty breakfast burritos this morning and then passed our checkup with the basecamp doctors. We are settled in nicely and the team is feeling strong and even slept well despite yesterday’s sharp increase in altitude. We’ll spend this afternoon arranging our group and personal gear for tomorrow’s carry up to Aconcagua Camp 1. Not much else to report for now… We’ll check in again tomorrow after our first foray onto the upper mountain.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

January 18, 2017
We’ve arrived! After an early a.m. and brisk river crossing on the back of a mule our team made our way up the Relinchos Valley smoothly and steadily. We climbed the 3,000’ into Plaza Argentina (Basecamp) with a little hard breathing but were otherwise unhindered by any real difficulties. Clear skies and amazing views of the mountain were a treat and a hearty welcome from the Griselda, Anita, and Juan, the Grajales Basecamp staff, was icing on the cake. After some refreshments and setting up of camp we are settling in for a tasty dinner tonight and a well deserved rest day tomorrow. Sleeping our first night at nearly 14,000’ might not be the most comfortable but with time our bodies will adjust to the new altitude and hopefully start in to building our foundation of acclimatization for our climb.

All for now,
Billy

January 17, 2017
Hola from Casa de Piedra! Last night we enjoyed an amazing asado prepared by our herrieros complete with salad plenty of steak and of course wine at our first trekking camp. After a beautiful night out under the stars our team woke to the rustling of mules and crawled out of our sleeping bags in the early dawn light. A quick trail breakfast and some coffee or tea warmed us up and we hit the trail. We moved extremely well and made short time on our move up through the Vacas Valley and were even treated to our first views of the peak. Tonight’s dinner wasn’t quite as grand as last night’s but it’ll do. Early to bed tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s very early rise… We we all looking forward to making into Basecamp tomorrow afternoon but one more day on the trail and about 3,000’ of vertical gain remain in our way. I’ll check in tomorrow and let you know how it went.

Billy

Good luck team.  Make it happen!

Art Muir

Posted by: Art Muir on 1/20/2017 at 6:17 pm

Best of Luck to you Billy and the team!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/20/2017 at 3:42 am

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