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Entries from Aconcagua


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Descend to Base Camp

Today was one of those days where you wake up in one world and go to sleep in another. In our team’s case, we woke up in the thin air of Camp 3, but after a day’s hard walking downhill, are lucky enough to be bedding down among the comforts of Aconcagua Base Camp. Around 18,000 feet, we got a chance to check in with RMI Guides Billy Nugent, Hannah Smith and the rest of their RMI team as they carried to Camp 2. As for our team though, we’re focused on resting up in anticipation of our two day trek still ahead to get off of this mountain. Everyone is happy, well, and excited about showers in the not too distant future.

RMI Guides
Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Carry to Camp 2

We are back safely in Camp 1 after a beautiful carry up to Camp 2 at over 18,000ft. This camp in addition to being our “Camp 2” is also called Guanacos Campo 3, or Chopper Camp because there used to be the pieces of a crashed helicopter sprinkled about. Those are all cleaned up these days and virtually no trace of a crashed helicopter is left. We enjoyed sunny skies and calm winds all day today while making great time. We were three-ish hours up and just over an hour down with a nice break up at our cache site in between. The team is back down soaking up some sun and relaxing the afternoon away. We have a rest/acclimatization day on deck that will hopefully set us up well for our climb higher.

All for now…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

On The Map


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Summit!

January 22nd, 4:29 pm PST
So don’t sing at 22,000 feet, that is my recommendation. We are all back down here at high camp. The team is all back in their tents, fed and watered. What a heck of a day- about 14 hours. The team did great. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be singing again, and I guess I better write instead of talk. Thanks for following you guys. Take care.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

January 22nd, 10:29 am PST
Hello, everyone. This is RMI Guide, Pepper Dee, from the top of Aconcagua!  Mark Tucker has lost his voice, but he has not lost any of his team. He started with ten climbers and two guides, and ten climbers and two guides are on top of South America right now. We had a great day getting up here. Pretty clear with some intermittent snow showers, but we’re all just so thrilled to be up here. When the clouds break, we can see views down the valley where we came. [lost transmission]

RMI Guide Pepper Dee


RMI Guide Pepper Dee calls from the Aconcagua summit!


RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls after safe return back to Aconcagua High Camp.

Way to go Tuck!

Posted by: KO on 1/23/2017 at 1:11 pm

What a group of badasses!! Congrats everyone. Papa, we can’t wait to see photos :)

Posted by: Jenny M on 1/23/2017 at 12:26 pm


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Move to Camp 1

Here we are in Camp 1 all settled in at over 16,000’. We enjoyed dinner in the late afternoon sunshine after putting in a hard day’s work coming up from Plaza Argentina and are now in our tents trying to rest up and get used to the living at our new altitude. Our team performed extremely well today and made short work of the steep scree field directly below camp. We are acclimatizing nicely as the amount of effort on today’s move was significantly less than on our carry just a couple days ago although I’m not expecting the night to be all peaches and cream. Your first night over 16,000’ on any trip is a tough one. Tomorrow we are hoping to get another carry of food and fuel up the hill and into Camp 2 before descending back here to continue our acclimation process. Slowly but surely…

RMI Guides Billy Nugent

On The Map


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Move to High Camp

Greetings from High Camp on Aconcagua! Today was a big move day for the team, as we established ourselves at 19,600 feet in preparation for our summit bid. We battled some gusty, overcast weather getting up here, but as of 5 pm the skies around the upper mountain are clear, if a bit blustery. We are all hoping for an unconditional good break in the weather tomorrow, which as of now is the “big day” for the team. Keep us in your thoughts tomorrow; we’re all hoping for a safe and successful summit day.

Love to everyone!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map

Good luck Fred and fellow climbers. Have a great day!

Jerry and Carol Hedstrom

Posted by: Jerry & Carol Hedstrom on 1/22/2017 at 6:06 pm

Thinking of you a lot today, and hoping for a smooth and safe ascent (and descent of course). We couldn’t be prouder! :)

Posted by: Jenny M. on 1/22/2017 at 3:01 pm


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team’s Rest and Relaxation Day at Basecamp

Apologies, but I don’t have much exciting information to report… We are enjoying a calm and partly cloudy rest day here at Plaza Argentina and tonight will be our final night in Basecamp before we make our move up to Camp 1 tomorrow. We’ve been enjoying the good food here as things will change higher up on the mountain. For breakfast we ate deliciously cheesy, ooey gooey, egg, onion, green pepper, and pancetta breakfast burritos courtesy of Hannah’s expert level burrito rolling skills and a nice spread of pizzas for lunch. No doubt one last big dinner this evening will cap off the extravagant meals until the climbing is done and we are safely back in basecamp. We are spending the afternoon doing laundry, listening to music, reading, and making our final gear preparations. Tomorrow should be an exciting day.

Will check in next time from Camp 1!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Hi Dad (Jim Love),

I hope your toes are feeling better and you are enjoying some of the scenery! Proud of you!

Love,
Heather

Posted by: Heather Love on 1/22/2017 at 6:17 pm

Happy Birthday early Alec.  Be safe and have fun.  Love always-Mom (Kim Schulz)

Posted by: Kim Schulz on 1/21/2017 at 9:43 am


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Carry Loads to Camp 1

We’re back from our first foray above Basecamp where we carried a load of food, fuel, and cold weather gear and cached it at over 16,000’ in Aconcagua Camp 1. Some of the loosest scree fields and difficult footing on our entire route challenged us today but the team pulled through with good style. Our performance today bodes well for our chances higher on the mountain with the team staying on pace and efficiently navigating the tricky terrain. We started out around 9:30 am and were back in Basecamp before 4 PM which made for a full day but still left us time for a nap before dinner. The kitchen staff knew we were working hard today and rewarded us with a hearty dinner of steak and potatoes. Now it’s off to bed with a full belly and no major plans for tomorrow…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Good luck Brian and the entire team!  You got this!  Deborah

Posted by: Deborah beggan on 1/21/2017 at 8:26 am

No milk noodles?!?!?!?!!! You

Posted by: Maude Lebowski on 1/20/2017 at 11:24 pm


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Carry Gear to High Camp

Turned out to be a great day to carry group and personal equipment to our high camp of Aconcagua at 19,600ft. We made good time up and down and round tripped it in about five hours. At one point I was down to just a thin poly-pro top. Not bad for being exposed to the elements at 19,000ft.
Big decision time tonight. Weather reports are calling for some unsettled pattern ahead. Need to put all the factors in the hopper and come up with a plan. Excitement is rising and a major buzz going on around camp. My team continues to be a solid unit and so proud of what we have accomplished so far. All is well up on the hill.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Safe summit to all. A fine accomplishment for all. Enjoy

Posted by: Mike Albrecht on 1/19/2017 at 5:11 pm


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team at Plaza Argentina

January 19, 2017
Checking in from Plaza Argentina at 4,200m on another beautiful day here in the central Andes. Our team enjoyed some tasty breakfast burritos this morning and then passed our checkup with the basecamp doctors. We are settled in nicely and the team is feeling strong and even slept well despite yesterday’s sharp increase in altitude. We’ll spend this afternoon arranging our group and personal gear for tomorrow’s carry up to Aconcagua Camp 1. Not much else to report for now… We’ll check in again tomorrow after our first foray onto the upper mountain.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

January 18, 2017
We’ve arrived! After an early a.m. and brisk river crossing on the back of a mule our team made our way up the Relinchos Valley smoothly and steadily. We climbed the 3,000’ into Plaza Argentina (Basecamp) with a little hard breathing but were otherwise unhindered by any real difficulties. Clear skies and amazing views of the mountain were a treat and a hearty welcome from the Griselda, Anita, and Juan, the Grajales Basecamp staff, was icing on the cake. After some refreshments and setting up of camp we are settling in for a tasty dinner tonight and a well deserved rest day tomorrow. Sleeping our first night at nearly 14,000’ might not be the most comfortable but with time our bodies will adjust to the new altitude and hopefully start in to building our foundation of acclimatization for our climb.

All for now,
Billy

January 17, 2017
Hola from Casa de Piedra! Last night we enjoyed an amazing asado prepared by our herrieros complete with salad plenty of steak and of course wine at our first trekking camp. After a beautiful night out under the stars our team woke to the rustling of mules and crawled out of our sleeping bags in the early dawn light. A quick trail breakfast and some coffee or tea warmed us up and we hit the trail. We moved extremely well and made short time on our move up through the Vacas Valley and were even treated to our first views of the peak. Tonight’s dinner wasn’t quite as grand as last night’s but it’ll do. Early to bed tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s very early rise… We we all looking forward to making into Basecamp tomorrow afternoon but one more day on the trail and about 3,000’ of vertical gain remain in our way. I’ll check in tomorrow and let you know how it went.

Billy

Good luck team.  Make it happen!

Art Muir

Posted by: Art Muir on 1/20/2017 at 6:17 pm

Best of Luck to you Billy and the team!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/20/2017 at 3:42 am


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Settling in at Camp 2

Today our team bid farewell to the thick air and running water of Aconcagua Camp 1 and headed uphill to Camp 2. We spent the majority of the afternoon digging in solid tent platforms, making sure to securely fasten our tents to the mountain with the biggest rocks we could find. We were treated to a beautiful day during the move-in process; the views of neighboring Andean peaks have kept many team members busy with photo opportunities. We’re just getting ready to crawl into our tents before the sun dips below the horizon and it gets COLD.

More tomorrow!

RMI Guides Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee

On The Map

Go team, go.  While we in Washington DC go low you go high keeping our focus where it should be!

Posted by: Charlie Thomas on 1/19/2017 at 3:20 am

Looks amazing, simply amazing, & we are loving the blog updates!

Posted by: Chicago Dees on 1/18/2017 at 9:37 pm

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