Entries from Aconcagua
January 10, 2017
Today brought our team within striking distance of base camp! We battled strong down valley winds for most of the day, but were rewarded with our first glimpse of Aconcagua just shy of our current camp at Piedra Parada. Our team is growing more and more practiced in the art of alpine resting, and put their skills to use this evening munching on asado and watching our hardworking mules take dust baths. Everyone is strong, happy, and healthy, and looking forward to checking in from 14K!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee
Walk happily,climb safely and feel lots of support from team NYC!
Posted by: Laura Taft Paulsen on 1/11/2017 at 5:43 pm
What a gorgeous goal!
Posted by: Sandy Bradbury on 1/11/2017 at 3:52 pm
January 10, 2017
Hello from Camp 2 -
Our team has now ascended to 18000’ and set up camp. We had a slow roll out of camp thanks to a bit of wind gusting overhead. We decided we might enjoy a little later start to the day, so we hung around until about 10:30 to let the sun warm things up and push those pesky winds farther east.
The Team felt the push to 18k and the gusting winds, grey skies and colder temps didn’t make for a lot of conversation. Now tucked in at 18,000’ the Team is sport eating and resting in their tents. The winds have calmed down and the sun is baking the tent fabric, this creates an optimal napping microclimate.
We miss you all and are jubilant to be in a position for summiting on the 13th.
Warmest of regards,
RMI Guides Mike King, JM Gorum & the team
Excited over your progress. All our friends are keeping a close watch! Keep up the good work and good luck.
Posted by: wendy daverman on 1/11/2017 at 10:31 am
My third grade class is keeping tabs on your journey. It’s exciting to see your updates. We wish you well and hope you summit as planned.
Posted by: Dena Bedsole (Kevin's sister-in-law) and Class on 1/11/2017 at 9:09 am
January 9, 2017
And just like that, RMI Aconcagua Expedition, led by Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee, is off! We enjoyed our last breakfast in civilization this morning, and then before we knew it we were piling out of the van at the Vacas Valley trailhead and heading uphill under the blazing Argentine sun. We wound our way up the valley for about five hours, taking breaks to hydrate and generously apply sunscreen. Having settled in to our first camp at Las Leñas, tonight we were treated to a mouth watering traditional asado dinner by our support team of mule drivers. The team is adjusting rapidly and successfully to the demands of life on the trail, and look forward to tackling another stretch tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more climbing (and more steak!).
Wonderful to get the updates. Enjoy every moment because the eventual homeward return may be more challenging…the dogs have happily taken over your place in bed, Mr. Monnet.
Happy climbing. Lots of love, the gang.
Posted by: Carolyn on 1/10/2017 at 12:38 pm
Looks so inviting, that valley!!
“Ah, yes, ‘generously amounts of sunscreen,‘“notes Mom.
Posted by: Elizabeth Tompkin on 1/10/2017 at 11:35 am
January 9, 2017
Weather day here at Camp 1. The team got it’s first experience with the Aconcagua wind last night. The wind builds above us in the Ameghino Col to the point it sounds like a large set of waves hitting shore. You then hear the wind racing down towards our camp, suddenly bracing in your tent, the poles flex and fabric gets bead blasted with little rocks and dust. An eerie calm follows only to hear the wind building up again. Now repeat for 16 hours.
Two down days in a row has the natives getting a little restless. Some will pace, some play cards and some will ask, “So this is mountaineering?”
Tomorrow we will get a late start to allow the wind to dissipate before our move to Camp 2. Despite the restless energy all team members are doing great and the guides couldn’t be more pleased with how everyone is acclimating and working together. All our best to everyone back home!
“Estamos como queremos”
Happy birthday, Dad! (Art)
Posted by: Alice on 1/9/2017 at 8:53 pm
Put up #4 A-sail and surf to Camp 2, boys…sounds spectacular! Be safe.
Posted by: Jimmy Mac on 1/9/2017 at 4:31 pm
January 8, 2017
Logistics, logistics logistics! Today was an action packed day in the Andes as our crew assembled and packed gear in preparation for our trek tomorrow. We started the day in Mendoza, gathering our climbing permits and stuffing a van full of duffel bags. In the afternoon we headed for the hills, and unpacked and resorted our loads in the ski town of Penitentes, our launching point for the climb. It’s been a long day, and the team is itching to hit the trail tomorrow. Looking forward to checking in from the Vacas Valley!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee
January 8, 2017
The team is wrapping up a successful rest day here at Aconcagua Camp 1, 16,400’. The guides know it was successful because while we know the team was restless and at times lacking for entertainment, no one came over and told us so. Light winds in camp after a gusty night, which left several people sleepless until the calm and warmth of the early afternoon.
We took the opportunity to send down trash and items carried up but deemed ‘not necessary’ for the climb with Mauricio, our Argentine guide.
Tonight we will dine on mashed potatoes and cheese burritos while we discuss the weather report and the expedition itinerary. Right now there is a weather window 1/11-13 with light summit winds when compared to days previous.
The team continues to stay strong with good appetites and getting sleep where they can! The evenings have provided spectacular heat lightning across the Vacas Valley as clouds build and are held at bay.
We might move up to Camp 2 tomorrow or burn a weather day depending on the wind. Regardless, thanks for following along and eat some fried chicken for us, preferably a Bojangles Cajun Fillet Chicken Biscuit with egg and cheese for those south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Happy Birthday Art. What a wonderful memory you will have of this special day. Enjoy your meal, even without the usual fare of cake and ice cream.
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 1/9/2017 at 5:07 am
Happy Birthday Artie from Anne and Bill, Barb and Garrett and Jeff and Debbie!
Posted by: Bill Fraumann on 1/8/2017 at 9:15 pm
We are here in Mendoza, Argentina. All of our team and gear arrived with a few delays but that is to be expected.
It is absolutely pouring rain right now but we have no doubt it we be dry in the morning. We think it would be better to get this weather out of the way while we are dry and comfortable in our hotel.
We had a good team orientation meeting and an even better dinner here in the land of steak and Malbec red wine.
We will have an early rise tomorrow to take care of a bit more packing and once we have our Aconcagua climbing permits in hand we will head off toward the mountain, about a four hour drive.
All is well,
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee
Good Luck and enjoy the climb Fish we miss you walking down the block with your pack #BlueTeam
Posted by: Mike Albrecht on 1/9/2017 at 6:25 pm
All your smiling faces are on Facebook. Have a safe climb and get a picture of El Pombero.
Posted by: Art Fish on 1/8/2017 at 5:46 pm
The team is back at Aconcagua Camp 1 after a successful carry day. Mike is currently fueling up for a nap with some Pringles and Tang. Most of the crew are a step ahead of him. We take our siestas quite seriously in the Southern Hemisphere.
We enjoyed perfect weather today on our carry, with just enough of a breeze to keep us cool, but not enough to even call it wind. On top of the weather’s cooperation, we also found excellent route conditions. Firm snow made for quick travel, and gave us an opportunity to use some of the heavy, sharp objects that we’ve been lugging around.
On the way to Camp 2, climbers crest several ridges, each time gaining a slightly more complete picture of the Andes. I could pile on as many adjectives as I could think of, but I would still be unable to communicate the scale of the terrain. It is big out there.
Given the weather, we spent about an hour up at Camp 2. Taking in the views, securing our cache, and, you bet, napping. The trip down was quick, with sun softened snow and motivated climbers. Before they all went to sleep, the team sent their best to friends, family, and anyone else following along.
Happy to hear everything is going in your favour keep it up and be safe
Posted by: Mark and Helen walsh on 1/8/2017 at 3:20 pm
Rob, what brings you so high pilgrim ? Watch your top knot. Craig
Posted by: Craig Andersen on 1/8/2017 at 1:07 pm
January 6, 2017
We woke to the sounds of the park helicopter bringing in supplies and flying out garbage and human waste. Today was our move day to Aconcagua Camp 1, 16,400 feet. Since we had done a carry already the team was familiar with the terrain and difficult sections.
With warm tents and a light breeze the team is busy moving in and resting. We will sort gear for the carry to Camp 2 this evening and eat an early dinner since the shadow of the mountain hits our camp early.
Our view from camp includes the first part of tomorrow’s route and it includes snow! You might be asking why the excitement? We will take solid snow over loose scree any day of the week. Everyone is doing well despite the new altitude. Love and well wishes back home!
On The Map
Bernie and I should have the Nordic trails all greased up for you upon your return from your luxury cruise. Better harden up.
Posted by: Jan on 1/7/2017 at 5:27 am
Enjoy the Journey, Tunes, Reads and Company all the way to the top.
The Real Sven Affcock
Posted by: Sven Fleming on 1/6/2017 at 4:34 pm
January 5, 2017
Not much to report from Plaza Argentina. We are enjoying our final afternoon at 13,600 feet before heading to Camp 1 in the morning. The weather is clear with calmer winds then the last few days. People are napping, sorting gear and practicing the valuable expedition skill of ‘chilling out’. We are looking forward to moving up the mountain and hope the forecasted wind speeds do not materialize.
With how connected base camp has been send your loved ones an email, iMessage or whatever digital platform you use and wish them ‘good luck’ as they climb to 16,400’ tomorrow!
kevin and team have a good climb to camp 2 ,16,400 and good weather,mom and dad xo
Posted by: mark and helen walsh on 1/6/2017 at 6:54 am
Kevin and team Have a great climb to camp 2 16,400 and good weather .mom and dad xo
Posted by: Mark. And Helen walsh on 1/6/2017 at 6:47 am