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Entries from Expedition Dispatches

Peru Seminar: Blais & Team Move to Pisco Oeste

After a brief layover in Huaraz to shower, shave and eat a few meals at low elevation we’re back at it. Today we moved up to 15,300’ Pisco Oeste Base Camp.

While we waited for our burros and arrieros to deliver our gear, we took a short detour to Refugio Peru just above our camp. By the time we had finished off some cappuccino and chocolate cake, our burros had arrived and it was time to set camp.

Our camp lies in a beautiful alpine meadow surrounded by the massive peaks of Huandoy, Huascaran, Yanapaccha and our objective, Pisco Oeste. We’re primed to pack up tomorrow and move to our high camp before our summit attempt the following day. The team is doing great and we’re fired up for our next summit bid.

RMI Guides Zeb Blais, Chase Nelson and team

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Lake Manyara National Park

Although our bodies were still a little tired and sore from climbing, we were up early and breakfasting today with excitement and anticipation for our safari start.  The first part was actually through the urban jungle of Arusha at rush hour.  Our drivers skillfully took the two tricked-out Toyota Land Cruisers through a crazy mix of highway construction, cattle and “normal” road congestion to get us out onto the open road, west of town.  We watched several hours of towns, villages and Masai herdsmen drift by before we entered Lake Manyara National Park.  Then the tops were rolled back and we all tried our best to spot the next exotic animal.  We couldn’t beat the guide/drivers, Erik and Joseph… or even our cook, Zach.  Time after time, they’d find the zebra, Cape buffalo, elephant, mongoose, giraffe or baboon first.  We had a wonderful afternoon in the park.  No big cats, but we saw their tracks and knew they were out there -watching us.  With the last of daylight, we rolled up at the Plantation Lodge and were all surprised to find such luxurious and welcoming accommodations in the “outback”.  Tomorrow we’ll head for Ngorongoro Crater. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Mt. Rainier: August 16th Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Mike Walter radioed into the RMI Office at 7:15 am to let us know they were leaving the Summit of Mt. Rainier. Mike and team had a successful climb to the summit with bluebird skies.

Congratulations to today’s team!


Posted by: linda kelly on 8/16/2016 at 7:10 pm

Congratulations Ryan, Katie and friends! What an awesome experience. We can’t wait to hear all about it. Love Crystal, Ken, and Dom

Posted by: Crystal on 8/16/2016 at 1:21 pm

Mt. Rainier: August 16th Five Day Climb Summits!

After their rest and acclimatization day on the mountain yesterday, the Five Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall reached the Summit of Mt. Rainier Early this morning. The team reported a great day of climbing with clear skies.

Congratulations to today’s team.

Congratulations Katie, Ryan, Molly and Brian!  What an amazing adventure this has been for you and what an achievement!  Can’t wait to hear the stories and see the photos!  Lots of love to all of you!

Posted by: Anne McCooey on 8/16/2016 at 11:58 am

great job. can’t wait to talk to u about it. love dad

Posted by: craig kelly on 8/16/2016 at 11:49 am

Mt. Elbrus: North Side Team Returns from the Mountains and Travels to St. Petersburg

The last two days have flown by quickly, mostly involving automobiles, planes, airports, lots of bags, and a little walking. We had to wake early yesterday after our summit push to start the walk to Mt. Elbrus’ Base Camp, and the forecast called for rain, and our drivers were worried about getting the vans back across the river before the water levels rose. So we awoke at 5 to the sound of rain and quickly packed our bags, but pleasantly the rain subsided, and we had a nice, but very heavy walk back to the pastures where our adventure started. As we descended, the loose scree of the moraine have way to wide alluvial plains again, then the moss covered rocky hills and chasms of the lower mountain. We had only been at camp 1 for about a week, but the verdant green plant life, flowers, and birds of the lower elevations were still welcome sensory stimulation!

As we arrived at Base Camp, so did the vans, so we repacked hurriedly and climbed into another offroad sprinter van for the bouncy and at times thrilling drive back to Kislovodsk. Some took the afternoon to explore town, others supported and dried gear, and then we meet for our final Caucasian dinner, which we deemed Meat Fest. Three and a half 1 kilogram platters of delicious bbq lamb, beef, chicken, and pork had everyone holding their stomachs, gasping for air, but still trying to finish every morsel. Our national pride was on the line as Dave pointed out.

Today we once again did the great shuffle, catching an early shuttle to the airport, and then a flight to Moscow and on to St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is very cosmopolitan, and has the feel of old Europe, with cafes, bars, and restaurants at every turn. We found the Craft Brew Cafe and knew it would suit our needs. We just returned from another delicious meal, where different types of dried meats, chantrelles (which are in season!) and a delicious take on Bourchte were all featured heavily. Tomorrow we’ve got a busy day touring this beautiful city, and everybody is excited.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, JM Gorum, and team

Peru Seminar: Blais & Team Return to Huaraz to Enjoy Creature Comforts Before Next Climb

We packed up camp and left the beauties of the Ishinca Valley this morning.  Our thoughts temporarily shifted from climbing peaks to hot showers and real beds. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not getting soft here. We still have an almost 19,000’ mountain to climb. But the creature comforts of Huaraz are certainly welcome for a day before we head back to the hills.
Or next target is Pisco Oeste in the Llanganuco valley. We’re feeling strong and we’re ready for the challenge.
These are a few photos from the last few days in Ishinca. Photos by Zeb Blais. Enjoy.

RMI Guides Zeb Blais, Chase Nelson and team

Hello to Steve Odom and the rest of the team! Hope the trip is going well!!!

Posted by: Sayuri Jinadasa on 8/17/2016 at 6:10 am

In awe of you all as I follow this incredible journey! Enjoy the respite…the next climb awaits!

Posted by: Judy Mileto on 8/16/2016 at 9:25 am

Mt. Elbrus: Nugent & Team Explore St. Petersburg to End Trip

Well, we wrapped up our trip today touring the beautiful city of St. Petersburg complete with visits to cathedrals (of course), art museums, and even a boat tour on the Neva River and smaller canals. Our team had a ton of fun despite a little drizzle and enjoyed one last team dinner in the evening. I can honestly say I’m sad to say goodbye to such a great group. Thanks guys for making this trip and awesome climb and such a fun adventure. I hope to see all of you again someday in the mountains or otherwise. Also, thanks to everyone reading this for following along. Now a groggy 3:30 am ride to the airport is looming…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Mweka Gate to the Dik Dik

Our climb finished with an easy and pleasant trip from 10,000 ft to the 6,000 ft trailhead this morning.  We all counted ourselves lucky to have blue skies over our breakfast table… One more lucky day, it seemed.  After breakfast, the entire staff gathered and sang the Kilimanjaro Jambo song -with feeling and gusto.  The team members then shook hands with each and every man, expressing gratitude for a bunch of jobs well-done.  We knew that our “luck” and success on the climb… and our enjoyment of it, came in large part from the efforts of these dedicated professionals.  We set out down the heavily forested trail at about 8:30 AM and had made it to the Mweka Gate -the finish, in under three hours.
After signing out of the National Park, we crowded into our great expedition truck/bus and started down through the banana and coffee plantations.  We cruised through the outskirts of Moshi and then hit the road west toward Arusha.  Mid-drive, the staff had arranged a picnic for us at a roadside eatery.  We relaxed and sipped a few cool beverages with our lunch and then clambered back into the big green adventure vehicle.  Our homecoming at the Dik Dik Hotel was the occasion for a few more great songs and dances and then we headed off to our rooms for a relaxed afternoon of showers, gear sorting, napping and catching up with communications.
The evening was time for a fine victory dinner.  We ate, we celebrated, we talked about the upcoming safari.  We’ll set out first thing tomorrow for a few more Tanzanian national parks.  Our only trouble is that we are getting very spoiled… our expectations are sky high.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

North Cascades: Ben Liken Leads His Team to the Top of Sahale Peak

Over the past four days the Sahale summit team enjoyed perfect weather and excellent climbing in the North Cascades National Park.  As we ascended out of the forest on day one the views kept getting better and better until we stopped to set up our base camp at 5,300 feet.  Looking up at the spectacular Boston Basin the team was excited to go up high over the next few days.  Day 2 was a training day at the toe of the Quien Sabe Glacier; filled with efficiency techniques, crevasse safety, and rock climbing.  After a full day of training we went to bed early to rest up for a summit attempt on the classic peak.  Summit day went flawlessly and we found ourselves on top at 10:30 am after some really fun glacier and rock climbing sections.  Here are a few shots from the trip. Enjoy!

RMI Guide Ben Liken

Ben - fix the links under the photos! I click on them and they take me to a Mt. Denali expedition.

Posted by: Malcolm Butler on 8/17/2016 at 9:23 pm

Mt. Rainier: August 15th Update

The Mt. Rainier Summit Climb, led by JJ Justman, successfully reached the summit this morning. With bluebird skies, the team was able to see spectacular views all around.  They began their descent from the summit at 7:10 a.m.

Congrats to the Rainier team on their accomplishment. Look forward to seeing photos….

Posted by: Rick Minton on 8/16/2016 at 6:26 am

Very cool. Looking forward to hearing about the adventure and seeing the pics.

Posted by: Mark SV on 8/15/2016 at 3:34 pm

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