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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Nelson & Team Check in from Camp on Orizaba

Hello everyone!

It’s been another nice couple of days here in Mexico since my last check in. Yesterday the team enjoyed their rest day in Puebla and spent some time roaming the city and eating good food. We reconvened for a great dinner just a short walk from the hotel which was a nice end to our one day in the city.

At 7am this morning we jumped on the bus for a several hour journey to Tlachichuca where we finalized equipment for our climb up Orizaba. We had a late breakfast, were introduced to Dr. Reyes’ facility at the Servimont headquarters, and and were soon back on the road to head to the south side of Orizaba. It was a long bumpy ride but nonetheless we arrived early in the afternoon with plenty of time to set up our tents and have a siesta. This evening we had a pasta dinner and are all prepped for our climb tomorrow.

It’s time for the grand finale tomorrow, wish us luck and we’ll check in upon our return to Tlachichuca! And in only a few short days we’ll ending the journey and heading back to our friends and loved ones back home.

RMI Guide Chase Nelson

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Torres del Paine: Dale & Team Ascend John Gardner Pass

This is Christina calling in from Patagonia. We had a long day on the trail today 11 hours of walking from Los Perros Camp to Lago Grey we went up and over John Gardner Pass. Everyone did really well going up this steep, long hill and we rewarded ourselves with beautiful views looking down on to the Gray Glacier. It look like white caps on the water all frozen in stillness, a huge glacier draining the Southern Patagonia ice cap all the way to the Grey Lake. As far as the eye can see was glacier. We walked down the other side of the pass and along the trail in and out of forest, across streams that you can drink out of without worrying about any bacteria here, the water is that clean. They say that drinking lots of glacier water here makes your skin look younger so we have all been staying hydrated.  We got into camp feeling tired and very proud of our long day. The team is doing great.

RMI Guide Christina Dale


RMI Guide Christina Dale checks in after a long day on the trail in Patagonia.

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Torres del Paine: Dale & Team Continue Their Trek in Patagonia

Today was a hot and sunny day, which is not typical here in Patagonia, so we are feeling lucky. We walked on a trail that everyone calls Patagonian Flats because it really means that it goes up and down all day. Today we walked mostly under the cover of a beech tree forest and along raging rivers with the sound of woodpeckers following us through the trees. Arriving at camp hungry and tired, we were met with salami, cheese, and wine. The group is full of laughter and moments of appreciation. It will be an early bedtime for all of us tonight because John Gardner Pass is tomorrow and demands an early start. Keep your fingers crossed for us to continue in good weather as we head over the pass. Everyone’s healthy and happy and one of our team even said, “This is the best vacation I’ve ever been on.”

RMI Guide Christina Dale


RMI Guide Christina Dale calls in from Torres del Paine.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Dear Kaki, Deb and Catherine, Thinking of you crossing the Gardner Pass and wishing you clear skies, great views and sure footing. We took ferries from Pune Island to Cabbage Key to North Captiva. My kind of day on the water. Looking forward to your stories. Love Moms

Posted by: Sharon Hostler on 2/23/2018 at 12:41 pm

Hi Karen! Sounds like a dream trip. Hard day of hiking followed by cheese, cured meats and wine… to be followed by another hard day of hiking.  Reminds me a bit of our hiking in Switzerland. (no death defying parts though please)..  :)  Sending all our good vibes for good weather, and light backpacks. Miss you so much. Hugs and Kisses from me an the kids. (and a second round from Emerson because…. well… he does that.) 
Take 3 deep breathes for me on the most scenic part of your next day. (4 if the sun is on your face).
Love , Love and more Love.

Posted by: Eric (aka Lamb) on 2/23/2018 at 6:54 am


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Nelson & Team Safely Return from Ixtaccihuatl Summit

Just wanted to take a moment to share that the team made it down from Ixta safe and sound and are now living the good life down in Puebla at the Hotel Colonial!

We descended in from the summit as the clouds increased, offering a bit of reprieve from the sunshine of the ascent. All in all it was a perfect, albeit taxing, day in the mountains. It’s always so nice to pull up to the summit as a whole group, they really all climbed the mountain in style.

But it’s been a long day and a long climb so everyone is eager for tomorrow’s rest day and a bit of relaxation before heading to Orizaba. I’ll continue to keep you all posted! Here’s a photo of the team at the summit and a view back towards Popo shortly after sunrise on the ascent.

RMI Guide Chase Nelson

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What a great looking team—thanks for the pic.

Posted by: Dale on 2/22/2018 at 7:39 pm


Torres del Paine: Dale & Team See Beautiful Views Around Every Corner

This is Christina with the Torres del Paine Trek. We had another perfect day in Patagonia with winds, light rain, showers, hot sun and beautiful views around every corner. We walked up the Paine River today to the Dickson Hut where we got our first views of the towers and some tremendous views of the Dickson Glacier as it flows from the Patagonian ice cap to the river that we walk along. The group is enjoying the photo opportunities, great lunches and stimulating trail conversations about which political figure or popstar we would go backpacking with. This trip is truly about the landscape that we travel through. Even the best photographers could not capture the 360-degree panoramas with the crisp air and smell of lupine in the breeze. Truly a place to have the “see for yourself” to understand. Now we’re off for hot showers, fresh bread, and a nice dinner.

RMI Guide Christina Dale


RMI Guide Christina Dale calls in from the Torres del Paine Trek.

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Nelson & Team Reach the Summit of Ixtaccihuatl

Hey, this is RMI Guide Chase Nelson calling in from the summit of Ixtaccihuatl. We’ve got the whole team up here. It is beautiful and calm, and we’re just taking it all in and we’ll be heading down shortly. We’ll check in when we’re down towards Puebla this evening alright. That’s it for now.

RMI Guide Chase Nelson


RMI Guide Chase Nelson calls from the summit of Ixtaccihuatl.

On The Map

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Would love to see a picture of the team!!  Be safe everyone.

Posted by: Dale on 2/21/2018 at 6:32 pm


Torres del Paine: Dale & Team Start the O Circuit

Today we started our full circuit trek of Torres del Paine trek with beautiful blue skies and no wind.  We saddled our packs and headed off across the open sage bush landscape.  We wandered across glacial fed streams and through beach tree forests.  With guannaco and Caracara bird sightings we took lots of pictures.  We had hot tea along the trail for lunch and pulled into our camp with a few hours to take a shower and hang out before dinner.  After dinner we listened to live music by the local cowboys and even participate in the traditional Chilean dances.  After the first day with these packs I noticed people were trying to share their snacks first and offer Cliff bars around to lighten the load. Everyone is in great spirits and enjoying the warm sunshine here in Patagonia. Hopefully, tomorrow brings another photogenic day on the trail as we head around the more remote parts of the towers.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Nelson & Team Ready at High Camp for Summit Bid

Good evening,

The team spent the day hiking up with big loads on our backs to our high camp on Ixta, with the goal of going to the summit tomorrow morning. The team looked as strong as they have the whole trip and the weather forecast is looking quite nice for us.

We arrived at around 2 pm to camp here at 15,400 feet and have been relaxing and breathing the thin air. It’s been generally cloudy all day but this evening the clouds have settled down below us and opened a gorgeous view of Popo, the other volcano in our vicinity.

We’ll be getting up before the sun for our summit bid, wish us luck!

RMI Guide Chase Nelson

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: Nelson & Team Enjoy an Acclimating Hike

Here we are at the Altzimoni hut, checking in after another good day in Mexico. We rose this morning and hit the road from La Malintzi to the town of Amecameca where we picked up some last minute fresh food items for our climb on Ixta. The bus then took us up to the Paso de Cortez, and continued up to the hut here at 13,000 feet.

Upon arriving we grabbed our day packs and went up tomorrow’s trail, towards Ixta high camp, for another acclimatization hike. It’s been a bit cloudy here at the moment but otherwise it’s as beautiful as ever up here in the mountains. The whole team seems to be handling the altitude thus far exceedingly well and I think we’re looking really strong for our trip up to high camp tomorrow.

We fueled up with a nice dinner of carne asada, rice, and fresh tortillas so now it’s time to get some sleep for a day of heavy packs and uphill travel!

RMI Guide Chase Nelson

On The Map

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Torres del Paine: Dale & Team Visit Penguins on Magdalena Island

After some coffee and chit chat this morning the group spent three hours deciding which baselayer to pack and which hooded puffy to bring and how many pairs of socks to carry—-you know what I’m talking about if you’re reading this.  We got our packs down to about 30 pounds and didn’t leave any chocolate behind.  Then we hopped in a boat and crossed the Straits of Magellan to walk around a huge penguin colony in the middle of the ocean.  It was fun to see them so close and hear them talking to one another.  Now in Natales we’re going to get some treats before hitting the trail for the next nine days.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

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