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Entries from Peru

August 2, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Return to Huaraz

This morning we woke up early had breakfast, packed and then waited. We experienced some logistical snafus in communications with our donkey drivers and horse handlers, but only a minor hiccup. We started hiking down valley and in a couple hours came across our animals. While the donkeys continued on to base camp to collect our duffle bags we mounted our horses and began riding down valley. It turns out our team of expert climbers are also amazing rodeo cowboys. We all laughed and hollered riding our horses we named Mr Ed, Alpa- caballo, EFrank, Stumbles, and Chuck.

We arrived to Cashapampa, the trail head, a couple hours before our donkeys and found a beautiful shady porch to rest on and enjoyed a couple cervezas. A three hour van ride had us back to our hotel in Huaraz where we quickly showered and are currently enjoying a delicious dinner.
Thanks for following along on our incredible trip.

We’ll see you all soon,
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Glad to hear that you have your heads back out of the clouds and that you found your “asses”!!!! Enjoy your last hours celebrating your success and good times in Peru , before your journey back to reality!
Thank you Geoff, for another successful climb!!!
I love you John!!!!!

Posted by: Patty Stenderup on 8/2/2015 at 10:24 pm

August 1, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Descent to Base Camp

We all slept very well after our successful summit climb yesterday and didn’t get up until 8:30 this morning. After casual breakfast and coffee we slowly packed camp all the while looking up at the astounding route we had just climbed. It was impossible to ignore to smiles and feeling of accomplishment throughout the group. Eventually, by about 11:30 we hoisted heavy packs again and began our descent to Base Camp. Late in the afternoon we arrived to popcorn, chips and guacamole, and black corn juice (very tasty). We shuffled gear around a bit and then sat down for dinner and Peruvian wine! Truly a celebration. 

Tomorrow we will finish packing duffel bags for the mules and choose our horses for our ride back to Cashapampa and then on to Huaraz. Though our trip here is almost over everyone is already talking about the next adventure.
Thanks for staying with us throughout this incredible trip.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team

Everyone, congratulations and enjoy the trip down. Please take pics of the farmboy on the horse. John, I hope your horse is nicer than your dad’s pony Tony. Love Tante

Posted by: Lisa Stenderup on 8/2/2015 at 2:37 pm

Glad to hear you all are safe and enjoyed your expedition. We cant wait to see you home!!! Love Angela,  Liana, Avery, Bella and Buster Brown.

Posted by: Liana & Avery on 8/2/2015 at 12:41 pm

July 31, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Make the Summit!

Summit day.

This morning we got up a little after midnight to a starry calm night. We ate breakfast and put the final touches on our packing and just before two o’clock in the morning we marched out of camp. Within 40 minutes we encountered steep snow slopes and began pitching it out. We slowly worked our way up our route climbing close to 2,000 feet of beautiful ice and snow. The whole team did a fantastic job today. We reached the summit of Alpamayo just before 8:00 AM. Tired as we were, everyone stayed focused for our decent and we walked back into camp tired but extremely happy. We will begin our descent to Base Camp tomorrow.
Thanks so much for following along on our climb. It has truly been an honor to climb such a beautiful peak with such a great group.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Congratulations to the team! Well done! It seems as if we crossed paths just yesterday. Happy trails out.

Posted by: Wolf Riehle on 8/1/2015 at 7:11 pm

Excitement and “Vivas” !!!
Congrats and pat on the back for each of you… GREAT JOB!!
A huge hug from your family, Jesse
Mom, Dad, Virgie, Evencio Jr, and Zelda
<3 you!

Posted by: Luz on 8/1/2015 at 5:41 pm

July 30, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Rest Day at High Camp

Today was a rest day at high camp and the team took full advantage. Most of us have been napping, stretching, hydrating, and getting strong. A few of us, including myself, had a little bit of a rumbling gut last night and this morning but everyone seems to recovering quickly today.

Excitement is very high is we look up at the beautiful summit face with its steep ice runnels. Like a siren it is calling to us and with calm winds and blue skies it is impossible to ignore. Our forecast for tomorrow looks perfect as well so for now, we wait.

Thanks for following us on this fantastic climb.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team

Brother, you really are Superman! Go Jesse!
When y’all are done with this one is Mt. Everest next on the list?
Can’t wait to hear about the top of the summit. Keep it up guys, almost there!

Posted by: Virginia Rosales on 7/31/2015 at 11:34 am

Good luck to everyone today! Geoff, you keep those rogues in check - no funny business at 70 degrees! Sending my love.

Posted by: Dana Cori on 7/31/2015 at 10:30 am

July 29, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team at High Camp

Hello from High Camp. Today we woke up with the sun hitting our tents at Moraine Camp and not a cloud in sight. We had breakfast and coffee and packed up. This was our first time with crampons and ice tools of the trip. It took a stretch or two but we all fell into a good cadence. Soon we found ourselves nearing the Col but a few steep steps of snow and ice separated us from camp. Though it was difficult with heavy backpacks we all climbed very well up to the Col. Here we finally got our first view of the southwest face of Alpamayo that we will climb. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen and our line is striking and direct. Everyone is very excited for the ascent.
The team did very well today and everyone is happy and healthy. Most likely we will take a rest day tomorrow and climb on Friday.

Thanks for following along with us.
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team!

Wow!!! That is QUITE A MOUNTAIN!!!!!  I appreciate the nightly reports so we can follow along with you.  The blue skies DO make the mountain look magnificent….ONWARD AND UPWARD!!!  Happy climbing!      How are the donkeys ??? HEEE HAWWW!!!!!!!

Posted by: Patty Stenderup on 7/30/2015 at 9:51 pm

Go Geoff and team!!! Cheering for you all from Ashford. Go guys!

Posted by: elias on 7/29/2015 at 10:38 pm

July 28, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Move to Moraine Camp

This morning we woke to coffee in bed and blue skies above. We had a leisurely morning, after breakfast we napped in the sun and slowly packed our bags. At mid day we had a delicious lunch and spent some more time packing and digesting before hoisting our packs and heading up to Moraine Camp. Everyone did a fantastic job getting up here. Shortly after we moved into the tents our porters arrived with tea and dinner, these guys are amazing!  We are now enjoying the alpine glow on some of the surrounding peaks of the Cordillera Blanca before turning in for the night.
The team is doing great and very excited to be making up hill progress again.
Thanks for following along with us.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo team

So far the “hike” sounds like one of those glamping vacations. Step it up guys! John-I hope you enjoyed the glacier bathing.  I once jumped into a glacier lake near Lone Pine.  My heart stopped for a few seconds. I thought of you almost every step of the 3200 steps I took tonight in the stairwell.  You probably have a better view.  I can’t wait to see your pictures.  Tante

Posted by: Lisa Stenderup on 7/28/2015 at 9:09 pm

July 27, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Enjoy Adventure Filled Rest Day

Today’s blog is brought to you by the team:

July 27, 2015: Peru, South America with a group of Americans…

Our rest day today proved to bring out the restlessness in these children (yes, us). Promptly following coffee in bed and a two course breakfast, the team took to sun bathing. Once the Vitamin D production quotas were met for the day, the team selected their bathing suits and headed for the lake! A quick 20 minute hike led us to the alpine lake and picturesque view. Testosterone quickly kicked in when the team hit the rocky beach and noticed the glacier that was feeding ice into the lake. It took mere minutes for the team to jump in. Robert took a little convincing but peer pressure won the day. After an unforgettable day of bonding, we all feel blessed to have each other’s company and grateful to be sharing this experience in such a majestic place. What happens on the mountain…gets posted to the blog.

Oh yea, almost forgot, we rode icebergs in a glacial lake! Who else can say they did that in July?!

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and Team

Did someone say iceberg lettuce? Sorry, I couldn’t resist the produce pun John. Sounds like an amazing place and a truly memorable experience. Continue to enjoy and be safe! - Kim R.

Posted by: Kim Reddin on 7/28/2015 at 5:23 pm

Stenderup!!!  What did you do with the WG Market update?  I can’t find it!!! ... just kidding .. :)
Hope you are doing well and having fun!  The Gowdy clan is pulling for you and praying for safety for you and the whole team.  All the best brother! - Luke

Posted by: Luke Gowdy on 7/28/2015 at 3:47 pm

July 26, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Carry to Moraine Camp

Good evening all, the team is doing great. Today we carried up to Moraine Camp, 16,300’. After a leisurely pancake breakfast, we packed our climbing gear under blue skies and started hiking around ten o’clock. Unfortunately high clouds rolled in and by mid morning, though this made for a less-impressive view, we were glad for the cooler temperatures as we made our way up the rocky slopes to Moraine Camp. Everyone did a great job with the moderate loads and the new altitude, 16,300 feet. After caching our gear we made our way back to Base Camp for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. Tomorrow we will sleep in and enjoy a full rest day.

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

July 25, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Arrive at Base Camp

Today we awoke to blue sky’s and light wind, coffee in bed followed by a fantastic breakfast. After breaking camp we helped load the donkeys and continued hiking up the beautiful Santa Cruze valley. With every step more sunning mountain seemed to reveal themselves, truly an awe inspiring place. After a couple hours of hiking we turned north and climbed some switchbacks before sauntering into our Base Camp at 14,200’. We all got our first look at Alpamayo, one of the most beautiful peaks I have ever seen. Shortly after arriving to our Base Camp lunch was served, soup and pasta, quite tasty. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and bathing in the river.
The team is doing very well and we are all excited to be here.

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

Giddy up Rob

Posted by: Jay on 7/26/2015 at 4:47 am

Donkeys? Unnecessary. Don’t you guys from the East Coast (VT and NY) know that the CA boys (Jesse and John) are going to get soft if you don’t work them. Load them up! Trudge on John.

Posted by: Kent Stenderup on 7/25/2015 at 10:28 pm

July 25, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Elias and Team Return from the Mountains

Greetings from Huaraz!

The team finished the expedition yesterday, arriving safe and sound to the capital of the Ancash district of Peru, but also the capital of Andean climbing. Our descent to the trail head at Cashapampa, with the help of horses, was an extraordinary experience. We took our time to enjoyed for the last time the views of the massively snow fluted peaks and turquoise lakes down valley. Right on time for a shower and a celebratory dinner, the arrival at the hotel marked the end of our climbing adventure. We’ll spend the day today relaxing in Huaraz and enjoying a Pachamanca, typical Peruvian meal cooked underground, with our local guide and outfitter’s family, before packing for tomorrow’s departure to Lima and flights back home.
Thanks to all for following and cheering for this team during our climb! We just say bye now until next year’s expedition, wishing best of luck to Geoff’s Schellens’ team, who’s currently starting the 2nd RMI Alpamayo climb this season.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

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