Entries from Expedition Dispatches
February 9, 2017
Today, after two days of hard work and accomplishment, the team rested at Camp 1 on Aconcagua. All that was on our minds was quesadillas, hot drinks, and naps. Our bodies need to recover and make a few more red blood cells before we can be strong higher. Tomorrow we will try and move camp to 18000 feet, but with a little snow in the forecast we will just have to wait and see.
On The Map
February 8, 2017
It was cold and windy today on our gear bump to 18,000’ with most of the team climbing in all our insulating layers. The sunny skies kept us moving and everyone did great! The views from Camp 2 inspired the team as we breathed the thin air. We are back at Camp 1 now ready to devour some Mac and cheese.
RMI Guide Ben Liken
On The Map
Dave, I promise you a cheese cake when you come home! We miss you. Be safe!
Posted by: Nancy Hicks on 2/9/2017 at 8:39 am
February 7, 2017
Today we finally left the comforts of Aconcagua Base Camp for good, well at least for a little over a week. We moved to Camp 1 at 16,400’ which is the first of three stops on our way to the summit. The team moved more fluidly today because they have had some time to acclimatize since our carry to the same elevation. We are all moved in now and awaiting RMI Guide Pepper Dee’s world famous top ramen dinner!
Our plan is to carry supplies to 18,000’ tomorrow, we hope the weather holds!
On The Map
Glad you’re all doing well. Friends of Dr Folsom pray for your safety. Have fun and enjoy the trip
Posted by: Ed Sutton on 2/7/2017 at 5:34 pm
February 6, 2017
This morning on Aconcagua we woke up slow as the sun hit our tents. As the team rolled into breakfast the eggs, onions, and peppers were sizzling on the grill. We casually sat around and chatted and laughed about the trials and tribulations of the day before. As the afternoon came, it was siestas all around before our steak dinner. Now with a lot of rest on board, the team is ready to move higher on the mountain.
February 5, 2017
February 5, 2017
After a very snowy and windy period here at Base Camp the sky’s finally broke and the sun started shining. So we got a load of gear together and carried it up to 16,200 ft. It was a perfect day for climbing, not to hot and not to cold. We are now back a base resting after a hard days work. I think I smell some chicken dinner coming from the cook tent, can’t wait!
February 4, 2017
After three days of approach we have arrived at Plaza de Argentina, our Base Camp. The day began with an icy creek crossing on mule back just as the sun came up over the mountains. Then we were off on a 6 hour jaunt up valley in pleasant overcast conditions. But by the time we arrived at camp winds were howling and snow was falling. The rest of the day felt like full on winter. Tomorrow is a rest day that will be met with lots of eating and some prep for the next day. Spirits are high!
On The Map
Well, our luck had to run out eventually. We’ve had a good run so far this trip, but Chimborazo proved to be our match. Our teams turned this morning just under 19,000’ due to a variety of compounding issues, but the climb still provided us with over six hours of engaging terrain, from challenging rock steps to steep and firm snow slopes. Although we would have all loved to have reached the top, everyone agrees we made the right decision to turn around early and are all glad to be back down safely, celebrating the successful conclusion of our seminar down south.
From a guide’s perspective, not summiting this morning provided us all with one last valuable lesson: mountaineering isn’t always about standing on top. So much of climbing is learning to recognize when a summit just isn’t in the cards and being able to make the conservative call. Chimborazo will be here for a while. We didn’t make it this time, but I like to think of that as an open invitation to return again some day down the road.
Tomorrow morning we will return to Quito, say our final goodbyes, and fly home to our families. It has been an incredible two weeks, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know this wonderful group of people. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to hear all the stories that never made it to the blog directly from your loved ones.
It’s been a great adventure!
Signing off one last time,
RMI Guide Nick Hunt
Hello from 17,500’ above sea level! We moved to our High Camp on Chimborazo today, getting ready for our last summit attempt of our trip. At 20,800’, this peak promises to challenge us and we’re taking the rest of the afternoon to rest and prepare. We’ll be hitting the sack early tonight and getting up early. Wish us luck! The weather is looking promising at the moment, so the team is optimistic. We’ll let you know how it went tomorrow.
RMI Guide Nick Hunt and the rest of the Ecuador team!
February 3, 2017
After a late dinner last night the team enjoyed a good nights rest at our hotel, La Cienega. Our agenda for today was quite simple, gorge ourselves on burrito’s and drive to our climbing hut on Chimborazo.
After a simple breakfast of sliced fruit and eggs we hit the road at 10:30AM. We made a short stop at a grocery store to buy water and last minute items before heading to El Rey del Burrito and the biggest challenge of our day, surviving lunch. The small restaurant, located in the bustling city of Ambato is home to the infamous 50cm burrito. That is nearly two feet of tortilla, meat and cheese! Fortunate for us, Jason, was willing and turns out quite up to the challenge, finishing the burrito as if were an afternoon snack! The rest of us were content with spectating. With full bellies we loaded back onto our trusty tour bus and our driver Victor speed off to Chimborazo.
We are all now safely nestled in at 15,000’ on the side of the tallest peak in Ecuador. We will get another well needed full nights rest before moving to our high camp tomorrow in preparation for our summit attempt. From everybody on the team, thanks for following along!
Hello everyone -
We spent yesterday touring Tarangire National Park which is known for its abundant elephants, in fact, it normally has more per square mile than any place on earth. However, with all of the rain Tanzania has been receiving lately, there weren’t nearly as many gathered around the river that flows through Tarangire, but we still saw a few. They have had the luxury of having many watering holes to chose from. There were plenty of other animals as usual, and we got really close to a few big Giraffe, which was amazing. We end our day at a remote and off grid camp called Kikoti. It’s a tented camp that boarders the park with elevated structures that are screened in and allow the night sounds of Africa in.
After yesterday we decided to make an early departure today to increase our chances of seeing Cheetahs and Leopards, they still eluded us.
It’s been a memorable experience for everyone and great friendships forged. But finally it’s time to return home to our families.
Missing all of our family and most of our friends -
RMI Guide Casey Grom
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February 2, 2017
Another great day in the mountains and another summit! Today the Ecuador Skills Seminar team stood on top of Antisana, the second large objective for this trip.
Although the weather was windy and wet when we woke up this morning, we waited it out and were able to leave in decent conditions. The climbing on Antisana is quite a bit more technical than our previous peak of Cayambe, but all the training over the last few days paid off. Everyone was able to tackle the route finding, steep climbing, and exposure in good style.
We did end up climbing in to a cap on the summit, however, and everyone was covered in rime ice by the time we reached the top. Most folks had all their layers on to combat the chilly wind, but it was still fun for everyone!
Twelve hours after leaving camp we returned, and immediately got around to packing up our things and tearing down all of the tents. We traveled to a beautiful hacienda for the evening and are all looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.
Sorry for the short post, but even the guides get tired on long climbs like today!
We’ll be moving to Chimborazo Base Camp tomorrow to prepare for our third and final peak of the trip.
RMI Guides Nick Hunt and Steve Gately and the rest of the Ecuador team!