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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Reach Chimborazo Hut

This morning was the best we have had in almost a week.  No one set an alarm, our ride to the next mountain didn’t arrive at the hacienda until ten and there was no set schedule for breakfast which always feels stress free.  Rumor has it that the beautiful, old Spanish style hacienda is haunted with the ghost of an old woman who’s lover died there over 150 years ago but she must have thought our group smelled too bad leaving us alone.  So by the time we left this morning, we felt rested, clean and ready to head off to the highest mountain in Ecuador. 
Rising to 20,700+ feet above sea level, this mountain is renowned as both the furthest point from the center of the earth as well as the closest point to the sun.  This may be coincidence but it is also considered the hardest peak to climb as well. Our strategy is to break the climb up putting in a High Camp at 17,500 feet which we will be climbing to tomorrow.  This makes our summit day much shorter than those climbing from below. 
Here on Chimborazo there are two Refugios where climbers can stay.  We are at the newly refurbished one sitting close to 15,000 feet.  I have been here three times in the past and have never seen snow this low but today our bus barely made it here because of two inches of slush and fifty aimless teenagers trying to hitch hike up because their tour bus got stuck a mile down the the road. 
Staying here should help us acclimate and prepare even more for our big climb to come.  The sour taste of turning around so close to the summit of Antisana has us eager for another shot at a major peak.  We are looking forward to another long night’s rest which should feel better than our first night at this altitude on Cayambe.  We will report form high camp tomorrow. 

Chow Chow for now from Chimborazo.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff

11/14 9:50pm EST, thinking about Jimmy and the other team members. Best wishes

Posted by: Tom Garner on 1/14/2017 at 6:51 pm

Kudos to Jim Nixon and the team.  Stay safe.

Posted by: Mary Jane stiled on 1/14/2017 at 10:46 am


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Climb High, Sleep Low

Our task for the day was simple: carry and cache supplies for the upper mountain at Camp 1. Executing this task, however, was anything but simple, but all team members proved themselves to be fully up to the challenge. The terrain in between Base Camp and Camp 1 is varied and difficult; our team had to negotiate steep scree slopes, blocky towers of snow called penitentes, and sections of unstable talus. Upon reaching Camp 1, we were rewarded with a snack and drink at 16,500 feet, and made sure to diligently weigh down our cache of equipment before heading back downhill to Base Camp. Following the “climb high, sleep low” mantra, our team is looking forward to a well earned night of rest back and Base Camp, and everyone is excited to have laid eyes on the first section of real climbing.

RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map

It’s been fun following the team’s progress. Best wishes as you move higher toward the summit, maybe even blue skies and minimal wind. Otherwise, hunker down and enjoy the experience. Either way it will be memorable.

Posted by: Bruce on 1/13/2017 at 6:46 pm


Aconcagua: King & Team at High Camp Post Summit Success

This is Mike, JM and Mauricio letting you all know that the Aconcagua Summit Team is back safely at Cholera. We had a warm morning but due to a 20mph wind most of the day, we climbed in our parkas and warm pants. The route was desolate considering 100+ people went up on Thursday. We got to take in the magnificent South Face along with hundreds of glaciated Andean peaks.

Team members are hydrating, eating and napping. The summit day is always difficult but the route conditions make a sizable difference. We were fortunate to have snow and frozen scree/mud for the majority of the Gran Traverse and Canaleta which makes for a more direct and cramponable route. Yes, We just made up ‘cramponable’; we are at 19,600’ with five camp stoves cranking out memory reducing gases.

Tomorrow we head back to Base Camp to de-rig the climb and transition to trekking mode. Steak, red wine, empanadas, laundry mats and pool time is what preoccupies our minds.

“La Montania abrio sus puertas para nosotros” - Mauricio

On The Map

Congratulations on the effort and reward. Hope all arrive back safe. Kevin please fill any space in your pack vacated by food with snow. Our winter here has been abysmal since you’ve left and the snow is badly needed for the Nordic trails.
JV

Posted by: Jan Vanderdonk on 1/14/2017 at 6:45 am

Congratulations to you Kevin, your guides and team for this extrodinary achievement. BZ

Posted by: Lloyd &smart;-Lou Graham on 1/14/2017 at 6:22 am


Aconcagua: King & Team Reach the Summit of Aconcagua

This is Mike with RMI’s Aconcagua Team 2.  We are currently standing on top of the tallest mountain in the Western and Southern hemisphere. The team did great, we reached the top in 7 hours from High Camp. We are going to hang out just for a little bit and then head on down.  We have about 20 mph cold winds all day.  The team is ecstatic and we will check in from Camp once we get back down from the top. Thanks. Bye.

RMI Guide Mike King


RMI Guide Mike King calls from the summit of Aconcagua.

On The Map

Congraulations on your summit we are very proud of you well done .safe climb down and safe trip home see you soon love mom and dad xo

Posted by: Mark and Helen walsh on 1/14/2017 at 6:17 am

Congratulation…Safe down climb…Enjoy asado !

Posted by: Walter Glover on 1/14/2017 at 6:01 am


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team At Karanga Camp

Hello from Kilimanjaro:
Today the team did a fantastic job climbing the intimidating looking Barranco Wall. It was the technical hurdle of this expedition and everyone did great and I believe thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Of course the porters made it look easy as they climbed the wall with their loads carefully balanced on their heads.
Once above the wall we took a well-deserved break to enjoy the views of the valleys below, but unfortunately the upper mountain was obscured by clouds. Nonetheless, the team climbed slow and steady as we made our way up and down a few ridges before finally arriving in camp for the remainder of the day.
Everyone is still enjoying the climb and are looking forward to heading to our high camp tomorrow where we will start our summit bid from.

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

On The Map

Good luck Catherine.  The summit awaits you!  All is well in Maine.

Posted by: Linda Morrison on 1/14/2017 at 6:37 am

Good luck, Elaine.  Belfry and Bartholomew send their best wishes for your night-time summit bid as well

Posted by: Steve on 1/13/2017 at 10:50 pm


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Exploring Around Base Camp

Today was a day of rest and preparation for our team here at Aconcagua Base Camp. We spent the morning reorganizing and sorting out communal food and equipment for the upper mountain, and the afternoon finding a way to make it all fit into our packs. Along the way, team members found time to take a brief stroll around the base camp vicinity to acclimate and enjoy the perspective, and a few lucky climbers snuck in a nap or two. Everyone is excited to carry a load up to Camp One tomorrow, and officially launch our assault on the mountain!

Bye for now,

RMI Guides Mark Tucker, Pepper Dee and Team

Thanks for the update Mark and Pepper! I can’t wait to hear more. Sending lots of love to my Papa, Dominique. I hope you’re having a great time. Good luck Team!

Posted by: Lindsay Monnet on 1/13/2017 at 3:04 pm

Thank you for the great updates and photos. Enjoy the climb up!

Posted by: Anne Callen on 1/13/2017 at 7:06 am


Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Unable to Reach Antisana Summit

RMI Guide Adam Knoff checked in this afternoon from Hacienda La Cienega.  The team had a beautiful day on Antisana with a fun climb on challenging terrain but were unable to reach the summit.
The team was happy with their effort and accomplishment and are now resting in one of Ecuador’s beautiful haciendas.  Tomorrow they will move toward their final objective, Chimborazo.

What an adventure!!!  Much admiration to you guys! Wishing you the best in your quest at Chimborazo!!!  Jimbo, I hope this trip is all you imagined and more.  The pictures are so awe inspiring!  You are going to have plenty of experiences to share and I look forward to hearing your tales.

Posted by: George on 1/13/2017 at 1:30 pm

Following your progress and hoping for success and safety!

Posted by: Jane Knoff on 1/12/2017 at 7:40 pm


Aconcagua: King & Team Move to High Camp, Prepare for Summit Attempt

Wow! What a calm and relatively warm night at 18,000’. The Team got it’s last good night for sleep before moving to 19,600’ where sleep is hard to come by. We took a little over three hours to move up here, the Team did a fantastic job keeping the guides pace and working on their breathing. The phrase we are using is, “if you don’t sound like the Little Engine that Could, you’ll perform like the Little Engine that Couldn’t”.

We will rest and eat some dinner before beginning our summit attempt in the early morning. Fingers crossed and well wishes for our Team. It will not be easy but hopefully the Team can grit their teeth and find a happy place tomorrow. The next time you hear from us, should be on top of the highest point in the Western Hemisphere.

Thanks for following along.
RMI Guides Mike King, JM Gorum,  Mauricio and the team

On The Map

Enjoy the view from the top,have good summit and good weather love mom and dad

Posted by: Mark and helenk on 1/13/2017 at 7:01 am

Weather Prayers
Waltero

Posted by: Walter Glover on 1/13/2017 at 5:57 am


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Traverse to Barranco Valley

Hello once again everyone
We had another great day here in Africa with wonderful views of Kilimanjaro most of that day.
We left Shira camp and slowly climbed uphill before we started our traverse over to Barranco Valley passing through endless volcanic boulders that dot this desert like landscape and just below the remaining glaciers that cling to Kilimanjaro’s slopes.
As we approached camp we were all amazed to the giant groundsels and famous Senecio trees that look like something out of a Dr. Suess book.

Everyone is doing very well and are looking forward to tomorrow’s climb up the Barranco wall witch sits just above camp.

That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro crew!

On The Map

Best wishes for your summit bid, Elaine!  (Casey: If she needs encouragement, get her to sing her hiking song).

Go Cougs!

Posted by: Steve on 1/13/2017 at 6:10 am


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Arrive At Base Camp

Hello -
We have arrived at Plaza Argentina, Aconcagua Base Camp, and are loving it.  I am watching the most amazing moon rise as I scratch out this dispatch.

We started the morning off with a mule ride across the Vacas River. Good size and cold seemed to make sense since the option was available. We waited till later in the day to fjord the Relinchos River in the footwear we brought along for that purpose. Named after the valley we ascended five hours and gained close to 4,000’, the views of the upper mountain were fantastic.

We established our camp and settled in at Base Camp. A very nice dinner provided by our great outfitter Grajales Expeditions has us well fed and now ready for rest. The team is in good shape and thrilled to be at Base Camp. All is good here.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Happy hiking Uncle Fred.  We are with you in spirit!

Posted by: MAPZ on 1/12/2017 at 5:52 pm

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