Posts for Aconcagua

Aconcagua: King & Team Enjoying Their Rest Day at Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

It is not often that a group has a camp to themselves on Aconcagua, that is where we find our team today. After enjoying a sunny and near windless morning the team is organizing personal gear, reading and relaxing. The little headaches and discomfort from our carry to Camp 2 yesterday have dissipated and everyone is adjusting to life at 16,200ft.

The weather has been great with lots of sun, warm temperatures and light wind. We would like to climb higher during this high pressure system, and the team is taking every opportunity to acclimatize appropriately.

As I am typing this dispatch, all I hear is laughter and conversation coming from our tents and that is a welcome sign after two hard days of climbing and caching equipment.  We move to Camp 2 tomorrow to begin a holding pattern for our move to high camp and summit day.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Aconcagua: King & Team Carry to Camp II

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 05, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Today’s agenda was a carry of group and personal gear to Camp II (18,000ft) and this is personally one of my favorite days. After our carry and move to Camp I the terrain eases off a bit and becomes less cumbersome to Camp II. As the trail leaves Camp I we slowly switchback our way up the South side of a broad basin. At about 17,000ft the route hooks North and heads for a col (low spot) in between Aconcagua and fellow neighboring peak Cerro Ameghino. Once through the col the Northern expanse of the Andes unfolds and we are greeted with views of ancient glaciers and 6,000 meter peaks. The view stays much the same all the way to Camp II and the team wasn’t complaining!

Everyone did great with the new altitude today though and we are now currently re-hydrating and recouping with some hot soups and a siesta before dinner. Tomorrow’s agenda: REST DAY!

Stay tuned!

RMI Guide Steve Gately and Team

Team on the move to Camp II on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Back to Base Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

After nearly two weeks of progress moving in fits and starts, as we move camps, carry gear, and take rest days to acclimatize, the last several days suddenly start to rush by. We had a great, though very difficult, summit day yesterday. The sun shone in a completely clear, brilliant, azur sky, but as has been the nature of the last several days, the wind continued to rush on. We prepared in gusty conditions that made it uninviting to leave the tent, and donned our packs. For much of the climb we received only gusts, protected from the main force of the wind, the constant noise of which we couldn’t ignore. This region has received very little precipitation for the last several years, and the results of that were the second major challenge of the climb. Where snow fields usually provide nice cramponing, only sand existed, and climbing sand hills at 22,000 feet is no small task. We persisted, and at 2:45, crested the summit of Aconcagua.

Time flies, and while that was only yesterday afternoon, it feels much further removed. We woke this morning to the ever present wind gusts plastering the tent to our face, and packed our bags to head to base camp. As we descended, we picked up the items that we had cached at our previous camps, so our packs grew heavier, even as the air grew thicker. We arrived at base camp to a delicious spread, which was followed up shortly with our first carne dinner in a while. We organized our bags for the mules, and tomorrow we will reverse our course, once again carrying light day packs as we descend the Relinchos and Vacas Valleys back towards Penitentes, and ultimately Mendoza. Everyone is excited at the prospect of more beef, wine, and warm temperatures that await us in the coming days. Thanks for following,

RMI Guides Pete, Alex, Juan and team

Aconcagua view near Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: King & Team Settle into Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

The Gang Moves to Aconcagua Camp 1.

For all the creature comforts of base camp, the Gang decided they’d had enough quesadillas, pizza and breakfast burritos and wanted to start eating oatmeal higher on the mountain.

We scrambled up the loose scree slope again to Camp 1, this time to spend three nights. We have amazing views of the Andes. The ridge across the Vacas River has every shade of red and brown you can imagine.

The Gang worked hard to move supplies through the scree and 2,400 feet of elevation gain. We are resting in our tents after a tough day.

It’s always sunny at Campo Uno!

RMI Guide Mike King

Climbers on the approach to Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Ty Reid

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer and Team Summit!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

Pete Van Deventer and Team called into the RMI Expeditions Office to let us know they reached the summit of Aconcagua and are safely back at High Camp.  Pete will send a full report of their summit day after they rest and re-fuel.

Congratulations Team!

The Candeleta on Aconcaga. RMI Photo Collection

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Way to go Brian! Hope the team has a great rest of your trip!

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Posted by: Christy Kulczycki on 2/3/2015 at 6:08 pm


Aconcagua: King & Team Rest at Basecamp

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

The team woke this morning after a wonderful nights sleep despite not being serenaded by the sounds of war drums and a seemingly lost pan flute player. If that wasn’t enough we then treated the team to breakfast burrito’s and real drip coffee!

Everyone is doing great after yesterday’s efforts and today we focus on resting for our move to Camp I (16,200ft) tomorrow. Moving up is always such a good feeling. After 4 nights at Basecamp everyone is excited for a change of scenery and for most, getting to Camp I feels like we’re finally starting the climb as we leave the creature comforts of Basecamp behind. Tonight we’ll enjoy our last meal with silverware and plates until our descent. The gang sends there…. Well why don’t we just let them tell you!

Loving the music here at base camp: Oasis, Bon Jovi, and Ace of Base! -Candace

We are both feeling good and relaxing with quesadillas at base camp on a rest day today. Love to all. - Jeff and Mere

I am taking a break from technology -Sam

I told people at work I didn’t have access to email -Rebecca

RMI Guide Steve Gately

Dusk at Aconcagua Basecamp. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Make a Carry to Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

“THE GANG CONTEMPLATES DRUM CIRCLE SABOTAGE”

A stint at Plaza Argentina wouldn’t be complete without being kept awake by the repetitive and monotone sound of Argentine dance music mixed with improvised drum solos, all accompanied by a Peruvian pan flute.

This amazing melody finally wrapped up around 4am. The Gang took a load of food and equipment to Aconcagua’s Camp 1 today in great style, despite the dry and dusty scree slope that must be gained. We spent an hour at 16,200 ft and descended to quesadillas and siesta.

Rest day tomorrow and hopefully a full night’s sleep.

It’s always sunny at Plaza Argentina!

RMI Guide Mike King

RMI Climbers navigating the snow penitentes below Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Jake Beren

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team in Position for Summit Bid

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Though the tents shook with the wind again last night, the gusts came fewer and further between. As the sun rose this morning the gusts became rarer, and we decided that this was our day to move to our high camp at Colera (Spanish for anger, not the disease). We were still prepared to face strong winds as we moved into more exposed terrain on the way, but Aconcagua gave us a pass and we climbed with gentle breezes and brilliant sunshine the whole way. We are now settled in, working on heating water for dinner- which takes a long time at 19,600’- before we rack out early to prep for a hopeful summit attempt tomorrow. All of the days of hard work have gotten us here, and everyone is excited to be in place for the final push to our objective. We’ll be in touch tomorrow to let you know how it goes.
Best,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juan, and the team

Aconcagua High Camp beneath the Polish Glacier. Photo: Tim Amos

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Rest at Camp 2

Posted by: | February 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

We decided this morning to take a Groundhog Day at Camp 2 on Aconcagua. With gusty winds swirling around camp, the group thought about it and decided that another day of acclimatization would make everyone stronger. We have plenty of extra days to spare, and an important skill here in the mountains is being able to curb our enthusiasm to rush in higher and make the necessary adjustments to set us up for success.

We spent the day sorting snack food, playing cards, and trading food with tent mates. At this point in the trip, the grass is always greener in a neighbor’s snack bag, since things that looked so delicious when we were shopping have come to look much less appetizing with too many repetitions. It is exciting to get some new additions, and some of the card games started taking on snack food bets.

Our plan is to head up to camp 3 tomorrow weather permitting, which will put us in place for our summit attempt.

Hasta maƱana,

RMI Guides Pete, Alex, Juan, and the gang.

Aconcagua, 18,000 ft, Camp 2.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Resting at Plaza Argentina

Posted by: Steve Gately, Mike King | February 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

An enjoyable aspect of any rest day is “sport eating”, because you know that you will burn through the calories and you get to sort through all the extra food you brought on the expedition. Today we started with Steve’s North American scrambled eggs. The team went for a walk to aid in acclimatization and returned to guide made cheese pizzas.

Everyone is relaxing and getting gear ready for the carry to Camp 1 tomorrow. Those minor headaches we had upon arrival yesterday have gone and appetites are strong! The team is excited to see what lies ahead.

It’s always sunny in Plaza Argentina.

RMI Guide Mike King

Base Camp on Aconcagua, Plaza Argentina, 13,800 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Recent Images From Aconcagua

  • Mules, getting some of the hard work done on the approach to Aconcagua Base Camp.   Katrina Bloemsma
  • The mass of Cerro Aconcagua looms over a team approaching Aconcagua Base Camp in the Relinchos Valley.   Katrina Bloemsma
  • The greater Andean Range stretches out as far as the eye can see at Chopper Camp, 18,000'.   Katrina Bloemsma
  • Rebecca Rosenweig on Aconcagua in Argentina. Photo: Rebecca Rosenweig
  • Sunset over the Andes from High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: Garrett Stevens
  • A group of guanacos forages near the mouth of the Relinchos River on the descent to Las Lenas. Photo: Mike King
  • The Andes Mountains from the flight into Argentina. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • The Cannelletta on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection
  • Below the Aconcagua summit looking down into the Canaleta after a recent snowstorm. Photo: Mike King
  • An RMI Team climbing to High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: Pete Van Deventer
  • RMI's High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Views of the Andes from Aconcagua. Photo: Garrett Stevens
  • Enjoying the views from Camp 2 on Aconcagua, Argentina.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Enjoying a rest day at Camp 2 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team moving to Aconcagua Camp 2. Photo: Jake Beren
  • An RMI Team on the move to Camp 2, Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Trekking through the Vacas Valley, Argentina. Photo: Ty Reid
  • Team on the move to Camp II on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection
  • Aconcagua view near Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Climbers on the approach to Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Ty Reid
  • The Candeleta on Aconcaga. RMI Photo Collection
  • Dusk at Aconcagua Basecamp. RMI Photo Collection
  • RMI Climbers navigating the snow penitentes below Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Jake Beren
  • Aconcagua High Camp beneath the Polish Glacier. Photo: Tim Amos
  • Aconcagua, 18,000 ft, Camp 2.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Base Camp on Aconcagua, Plaza Argentina, 13,800 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection