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Entries from Expedition Dispatches

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Take a Rest Day At High Camp

After a couple hard days of climbing we took a rest day today to acclimatize and rest up for our summit bid tonight. Everyone is doing very well and as we put the final touches on packing and organizing the excitement is palpable. It has been a calm and sunny day with the beautiful south face of Alpamayo hanging above us.
That’s all for now.
More tomorrow after our summit bid

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team

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Mt.Elbrus: Grom & Team Meet in Moscow and Explore the Sites

Hello everyone - 
The team arrived yesterday after a tiring day of travel. As most of the team is still adjusting to the nearly 12 hour time change we kept things simple with a little round of introductions and a brief overview of the days ahead. We then took a short walk to get dinner at a nearby restaurant before turning in for the night.
Today we meet with our local tour guide, Victoria, and had a wonderful tour of the nearby Red Square and the Kremlin.  We visited several churches including the iconic St. Basil’s, plus a brief stop at the famous GUM, which is a high end shopping mall that sits across the Red Square from the Kremlin.
We’ve just returned from dinner and are getting packed up for tomorrow’s flight to the south which will get us closer to Mt. Elbrus.
Everyone is doing great and looking forward to heading to the mountains tomorrow.

That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Mt. Rainier: Van Deventer & Team Reach the Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb July 20 - 23 led by RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Megan Budge and Alex Halliday reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  The team reported good climbing conditions and moderate temperatures and a beautiful morning on the mountain.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb team!

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Climb Barranco Wall Arrive Karanga Camp

Our assault of the Barranco Wall was relentless and the team finally conquered its mighty face with no loss of limb or life. The same can’t be said for the poor, hapless porter who lost his load a third of the way up, which meant beating a hasty retreat down to the valley floor to retrieve it. Luckily, said porter was below us and not above, which might have been a whole other story.
The climbing up that part of our climb today was fun and exciting, but we were all humbled as we watched the porters scaling the same terrain with forty pound loads balanced on their heads or shoulders, and arriving to camp two plus hours before us.
The rest of the route undulated into and out of valleys, always under the shadow of the steep flanks of the upper mountain. We ended up only a little higher than our previous camp, so everyone’s feeling strong and we’re all becoming well acclimatized.
After arriving to camp and ‘washing up’ another incredible lunch was served: schnitzel with warm German potato salad, followed by apple pancakes and banana fritters. Wow!!!
While in our dining tent the clouds finally unleashed a little rain. We’ve been so fortunate with the weather so far, that this little precipitation has not dampened anyone’s spirits. And now, after thirty minutes of wetness, it has abated.
We’re all comfortably sheltered in either our personal tents or the mess tent playing cards, so not really affected by the vagaries of the weather. Quite nice.
Until tomorrow, we’ll try to suffer on. Wish us luck.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Ascend to High Camp

After a tough day the team is chilling at high camp, tired but very happy. We woke up early this morning to beat the heat on the glacier, though inevitably it caught us. Slow and steady was the name of the game as we pushed into the 17,000 foot world. After a couple hours on the lower glacier we got the the steep steps leading to the Col. Two pitches of steep ice and snow, with full packs, put us on the Col and looking right at the impressive south face of Alpamayo. Another two minute stroll brought us to our high camp. Once we had tents set up everyone settled in to get out of the sun and catch a few zzz’s before dinner. Despite being tired the team is happy, healthy and excited for our climb. We will take a full rest day tomorrow so we can make our summit bid with all our reserves roped off.
That’s all for now.
Thanks for staying with us throughout this incredible adventure

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

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Send it guys!

Posted by: Elias on 7/23/2017 at 11:50 am

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Set New Altitude Record for Most

Our longest day yet saw us climbing to a high point of 15,200’, an altitude record for most of us. Thankfully, ours was a gradual ascent of the Shira Plateau until Lava Tower (15,200’), which made our progress a little easier than it could have been.
Dropping 2,000ft to Barranco Camp at 13,000ft is allowing us to feel pretty darned good here at camp and giving us a perfect acclimatization program.
Upon walking into camp our mountain staff greeted us with a couple of wonderful folk songs. Not only are they talented singers, but most notably, everyone is incredibly nice, generous and they all bend over backwards to make us feel welcome.
The challenge for our group, and all climbers here, is to just deal with the altitude and keep from getting a gut bug. So far so good. ‘Pole pole’ is the oft heard refrain in Swahili reminding the world, or at least the folks climbing Kili to ‘go slowly.’ And that we are, to great effect.
To say that this is an outgoing and social group would be an understatement, but perhaps that can be expected since we’re all family. It’s fun hearing the roars of laughter coming from the mess tent as folks play a round of cards before turning in for the night.
Tomorrow, the Barranco Wall, a steep one and a half hour climb that should be fun and exciting for us. Not technical, but the steepest climb we’ve done yet.
It’ll be a shame leaving the Barranco Valley, with its steep walls hanging spectacularly above camp, but on we climb towards the summit.
Next up, the Karanga valley.

Good night,
RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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It’s great to hear from ye each day and delighted ye are doing so well. It wouldn’t be Okita’s et al without riotous card games. Love to all O’Riordan’s hollyhill

Posted by: Ber and des oriordan on 7/23/2017 at 6:18 am

Brian and I are at Mom’s and reading your updates.  Sounds like an amazing climb so far. We love all of you!

Posted by: Carin Parella on 7/22/2017 at 12:00 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams on Top!

RMI Guides Kel Rossiter and Mike Uchal led their Four Day Summit Climb teams for July 19 - 22 to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. They reported moderate winds and mostly clear skies.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

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I am recommending this trip for my friends who love the outdoors like I do. I wouldn’t have wanted any other guide! Thank you Mike for the like time experience and making all of us feel safe the whole time. I am wishing I was still in the mountains! I’m surprised. Maybe not the boots though lol.

Posted by: Sarah Klenke on 7/23/2017 at 5:14 pm

Congratulations Susan and well done!  Can’t wait to hear all about it.

Posted by: Marianne and Dave Wood on 7/23/2017 at 7:55 am

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Ascend to Moraine Camp

Good evening from Moraine Camp.
The Alpamayo team woke this morning to lots of coffee and a delicious breakfast, as per usual at Base Camp. After breakfast we spent the morning packing and discussing various gear options. Today was another beautiful sunny day so after we were packed we lounged in the sun and read our books until lunch time. Finally after lunch we decided we aught to do a little work so we shouldered our packs and started the hike to Moraine Camp. Despite it being sunny a slight breeze kept the afternoon hike very comfortable. By late afternoon we were settling in, enjoying the views, and sipping tea.
Tomorrow we will rise early and hit the glacier leading us up to the Col and then High Camp.

Thanks for following along with us,
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo team

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Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams Descend from Crater Rim

The July 18 - 21 Four Day Summit Climb Teams reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  RMI Guide Jess Matthews reported 20-25 mph winds and a sunny and beautiful day on the mountain.  At 9:30 am the teams were descending from the crater rim on their return to Camp Muir.
We look forward to seeing the teams at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climbers!

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Well done! Congratulations James!! We are all so excited for you!

Posted by: M LeDuke on 7/21/2017 at 11:04 am

Congratulations!  Glad to hear they made it!!

Posted by: Sarah Belter on 7/21/2017 at 9:58 am

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Ascend to Shira Plateau

Our five hour trek to the Shira Plateau and our beautiful camp here began steeply out of Machame Camp and was quite relentless for a good three or so hours. Along the way we learned some walking and breathing techniques that will be key to our success on this expedition.
While I was busy coaching the team on these skills, one of our local guides, Peter, did a fantastic job with the pace and allowed us to move easily while still getting to camp at a reasonable hour. In this case, that would be at 1:30, just in time to sit down for the incredible lunch spread prepared by our chef Tosha. How does fried chicken, French fries and a refreshing salad, followed by watermelon sound, especially at 12,570’.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is nothing if not over the top luxury, and I’ll take every last bit of it. Our staff on the mountain, the guide, porters, cooks, waiters etc. allow the team to concentrate on the important matter of acclimatizing and just taking care of ourselves. We’ll need that help to be able to climb this 19,000’ behemoth in a week.
Following lunch we’ve all gone into major relax mode, letting the altitude seep into our bodies and the calories just consumed reenergize us in preparation for a big day getting to Barranco Camp. And of course, we need to be rested for ‘tea time’ in a few minutes.
Yeah, life is tough here in Tanzania, but the team is reaping the benefits of our support crew and everyone is doing really well.
All for now from the Shira Plateau.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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