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Entries from Aconcagua

February 5, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Spend a Lazy Day at Base Camp

Today is another rest day at base camp. Yes, I would love to make this dispatch invigorating, full of excitement. However, I’m not a magician. I’m a mountain guide.

JM and I treated the team to our world famous Aconcagua Egg Hash Scramble this morning. Now, we are chilling, reading magazines and Kindles, and snacking more on fresh fruit. It’s a lazy day in camp and we are enjoying it before we move up to camp one tomorrow.

Stay tuned!
RMI Guides JJ Justman and JM Gorum and team

On The Map

February 4, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 1

Booted up and ready to go! So says Team Aconcagua. Actually, our boots are already off! We just returned to base camp after a successful, secret, covert operation aptly named, “Carry to Camp One”.

The team did great and how couldn’t they? We were blessed with sunny skies and calm winds! An absolutely gorgeous day to acclimatize to 16,400 feet. We are now snacking on cucumber/tomato/avocado salad and sipping cokes, Tour de France style!

Everyone here says hello to family and friends. Tomorrow we will take a well deserved rest day to maximize the recovery benefits of base camp before we are moving on up to the big leagues!

RMI Guides JJ Justman and JM Gorum

On The Map

Waltz ! Enjoy your last rest day and get ready to conquer that mountain ! We didn’t win power ball either !

Posted by: Bernie on 2/4/2016 at 6:51 pm

I can only imagine all the hard work and planning that has gone into a trip like this.  You all should be proud.  Great accomplishments from hard working young men and women.

Posted by: Sandra Blake on 2/4/2016 at 12:23 pm

February 3, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Rest at Base Camp

Another day in Paradise! The team is enjoying a sunny, glorious day in base camp. The great news is everyone woke up feeling good. It can be a difficult first night at 14,000 feet and the doctor here in camp even confirmed that everyone is marvelous during our medical check-up.

Today is a rest day. However, after a scrambled egg and veggie breakfast we all got busy organizing gear for tomorrow’s carry to Camp One. For now we are going to finish packing and I, personally, am going to start drinking one of the four 2-liter coca colas that I brought with me. All this organizing is making me thirsty!

RMI Guides JJ Justman and JM Gorum and team

On The Map

Hi there, Mike.  Wow, 60-mile an hour wind!  You guys are doing great with the good medical check-up results.  Mmmm!  Lunch sounded great: cucumber/tomato,avocado salad!  Happy climbing,  Mom and Dad

Posted by: Joan and Spence Vigneau on 2/5/2016 at 5:00 pm

Lookin forward to the summit pic Mike. You got this one. Slip in under the weather window like Everest,Kili,Whitney and longs. Good luck to you. Eric

Posted by: Eric on 2/4/2016 at 4:07 pm

February 2, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Arrive at Plaza Argentina

Hello all,

We have just pulled in to Plaza Argentina, our base camp for the rest of the climb. The team did very well getting up here, and everyone is feeling great at almost 14,000 feet. We have enjoyed some tasty snacks, and are now kicking our feet back, listening to some Waylon Jennings, and soaking in the views. We have a much-deserved rest day tomorrow, and we’ll talk to you then.

RMI Guides JM Gorum and JJ Justman

On The Map


Get outta here guys…it’s getting bad up here.

That’s from Steve and I…mostly Steve lol. hope the climb is going well bro, be safe and have a great time!

Jon and Steve

Posted by: Jon on 2/5/2016 at 12:38 pm

Hi there, Mike,
  We’re following your blog.  It looks like it’s really cold and very windy there with gale force winds and above.  Take care and be safe. 
    Mom and Dad

Posted by: Joan and Spence Vigneau on 2/2/2016 at 5:23 pm

February 1, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Trek into Casa de Piedra

Hello from Casa de Piedra at 11,000 feet. The team had another great day trekking under an Argentinian sky. Speaking of sky we have had a little bit of precipitation. The clouds engulfed Aconcagua so we were unable to get a glimpse of the mountain. Hopefully tomorrow! Everyone is feeling fantastic by the way. We send shouts out to family and friends. Tomorrow… Base Camp!

RMI Guides JJ Justman and JM Gorum

On The Map

JM : I am following your climb, enjoying the scenery. Enjoy, have fun and be safe.

Posted by: Floyd Tirey on 2/4/2016 at 12:14 pm

I expected the Rockies to be a little rockier than this…that John Denver is full of shit. Have a great time Greg…watch out for Bigfoot because I heard from a friend of mines dad that he lives there.

I miss you

Posted by: Helen Riddler on 2/3/2016 at 11:33 am

January 31, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Begin Trek to Base Camp

Its about that time. Our Aconcagua team is ready to hit the trail. We have our duffel bags ready for the mules and light backpacks ready to be slung over our shoulders. Needless to say, the team is anxious to get moving. Tonight will bring us to Lenas camp where we will enjoy hanging out with the cowboys eating steak and sleeping under the stars.

RMI Guides JJ Justman and JM Gorum

On The Map

Greg and Jr. Looks amazing. Stay safe and have a great time. Your buddy Eric

Posted by: Eric Estebanez on 2/2/2016 at 6:00 pm

Gregory have fun!

Wishing everyone a safe and successful climb.
Josie (Gregory’s mom)

Posted by: Josie on 1/31/2016 at 7:11 pm

January 30, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Arrive in Mendoza

Team Aconcagua reporting for duty! The gang is here and we are ready to get the show on the road. Yesterday we spent the day relaxing and enjoying the wonderful city of Mendoza. Today, we are securing permits, heading to Penitentes where we will finalize our packing and then…we will relax and enjoy more great food. Stay tuned as the team advances towards base camp.

RMI Guides JJ Justman and JM Gorum

Gregory & Greg Waltz, we are tracking you guys. Good luck, now is when the sacrifices pay off.

Posted by: Eduardo de Aragon on 1/31/2016 at 9:18 am

Signing in from Waynesville Dispatch. How’s my man Vigneau doing. Has he stayed in shape over the winter????

Posted by: Eric morrison on 1/30/2016 at 8:05 pm

January 27, 2016


Aconcagua: Nugent and Team Celebrate in Penitentes

Wow… All I can say is that it’s been a crazy ride. Two days ago we were sitting tight up at Camp 2 waiting for the weather to open up and now we are down in Penitentes celebrating our escape from the wrath Aconcagua. We had decided to hold on a day or two longer and see if maybe the forecasts were wrong but alas, they were not. We made the decision to pull the plug and head down when the lowest wind speed predicted over the next 7 days was over 50 mph with several pulses up in the 70’s. We woke on the morning we intended to descend to clear skies but moderate winds blowing snow and by the time we were able to pick up camp it had clouded over and the wind had intensified significantly. As we descended around and down the mountain the storm chased us all the way to Basecamp… There was no respite despite our descent into a portion of the mountain that is historically more protected. Our team was able to stick together and move well despite the challenging conditions.  We were greeted warmly by the Basecamp staff upon our arrival back at Plaza Argentina. We enjoyed real chairs and a real meal (chicken Vesuvius) for the first time in over a week and then crashed hard. The next couple days we made our way down the Relinchos and Vacas Valleys and spent our last night out on the trail after devouring an amazing asado prepared by our mule drivers. We ate (beef, beef, beef!) and drank (vino, and even a little wild turkey) and went to bed happy and tired after a long couple of days. This morning we rose and walked the last of the Vacas to the road where we checked out with the park rangers and were greeted by our shuttle driver with beer and Fanta. Not a bad way to finish a long and tough expedition.

Next stop, Mendoza!

RMI Guides Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma and Team

home sweet home

Posted by: kat branchflower on 1/29/2016 at 2:28 pm

What a journey ! At least you all got back safe and sound. Blowing gales here today also!
Love Diane and Paul

Posted by: Paul and Diane on 1/29/2016 at 2:00 am

January 26, 2016


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Descend to Base Camp and Trek Out

The RMI Aconcagua Team led by RMI Guides Billy Nugent and Katrina Bloemsma were unable to make a summit attempt and are en route to Mendoza.  The team left Base Camp today and is camped at Pampa de Las Lenas where they will spend the night.  They will finish their trek to the trail head tomorrow and return to Mendoza.

Jake and Doug. ..amazing trip I’m sure. ..can’t wait to hear all about it but more anxious to get you back home!  Love you burly, hairy mountain men!!

Posted by: Marsha and jeremy on 1/27/2016 at 5:05 pm

To: Branchflower


Sorry to hear you had to “turn-back”. At least you were’nt one in 1974!

Have a safe trip home!

Lozier sends

Posted by: Tom Lozier on 1/27/2016 at 10:12 am

January 24, 2016


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Waiting out the Winds at Camp 2

Well, we are currently pinned down by high winds at Camp 2 and despite the sunny weather we are stuck alternating between chilling outside in camp or baking in the tents. Last night a pretty hefty storm thrashed camp with strong winds, new snow, and repeated thunder and lightning. Skies began to clear this morning and the wind began to abate in camp as it shifted more to the southwest putting us a bit more in the lee of the mountain. Unfortunately, it is still howling up at Camp 3 and the entire flank of Aconcagua is adorned with swirling clouds of spin drift and the summit is sporting a sizable contrail. Today is officially our first weather day as we have been knocked off our planned itinerary for the first time. Still, two days stuck in the tent feels like a lot and we are trying not to get saddled with cabin fever. The team is doing a great job staying positive despite the fact that nearly every other expedition on the mountain has bailed for Mendoza and we are eagerly awaiting the latest weather forecast for a potential summit window… 

Wish us luck!

Stuck in the tent for now anyway,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

I love you Daddy We all miss you so much.I hope you and Doug are having fun!!!  HI Daddy!                  Love,Bailey

Hey Babe- bails wanted to write you a message on her own!!  You guys are all in our prayers for a chance at the summit but we are all so proud of you even if you don’t get a chance at it!!  See you soon!!

Love you

Posted by: Bailey on 1/26/2016 at 8:28 am

Praying your team gets a break in the weather Jake.

We are following you from SAMCOM in Dallas

Good luck

Bob & the Crown gang

Posted by: Bob Fiedler on 1/26/2016 at 5:07 am

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