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Entries from Aconcagua

January 2, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Reach Base Camp

Hola friends and family! This is Pepper Dee writing along with JJ Justman from Aconcagua Base Camp. Today was a bit of an action packed outing. We started the day off strong with a mule ride across the Vacas River at dawn to reach the base of the Relinchos Valley (probably the closest the team will ever get to starring in a spaghetti western), and then trekked up the valley all day until we reached Base Camp early this afternoon. Everyone is doing great and is adjusting well to life at just under 14,000 feet. It’s very windy around basecamp, and we’re hoping the gusts start to simmer down during our rest day tomorrow. Hugs from the team! We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pepper Dee and JJ Justman

On The Map

The stir-man is pulling for y’all! Crush it!!

Posted by: Johnny on 1/4/2016 at 7:19 am

Hope you are having a great day and get some rest!  We enjoyed spending time yesterday with
Becky, Halle, Brody and Jake. We ate at Chiles, one of our favorite places. Everyone is doing great.
We miss you, stay safe. Dad took pictures of the lake and it is something to see.

Posted by: Mom and Dad on 1/3/2016 at 9:32 am

January 1, 2016


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Send New Year Greetings from Casa de Piedra

Hey everyone, this is JJ Justman and Pepper Dee with our Aconcagua team. We had a great New Year Day trekking to Casa de Piedra.  It was beautiful sunny day it was very windy towards the end, but the winds starting to calm down. Pepper and I are chopping vegetables we are throwing the chicken on the grill, and we’re going to have another great evening here under the Andean sky. Everyone’s doing great the entire team wants to say hello to their friends and family back at home and they told me to just give a general shot out for the Happy New Year to everyone. Things are going great. Stay tuned because we are going to end this trek as we move into base camp tomorrow. So stay tuned and we will talk to you tomorrow. Good bye from Casa de Piedra.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

RMI Guide JJ Justman checks in from Casa de Piedra en route to Aconcagua Base Camp.

On The Map

January 1, 2016


Aconcagua: King and Team Make Summit Attempt from 18,000’, Turned Back By Wind

This is Mike with the Team at 18,000ft. Today we woke up and started towards high camp at 19,600ft. We carried our summit kits with the intention of going as far on the summit route as the weather would allow. Today was to be the last clear day for the next week and the winds were forecasted to be slowing down to 30mph by day’s end.

We had an amazing sunrise across the snow covered Andes. Alpenglow on the Polish Glacier and Aconcagua’s massive shadow to our West. The wind was in our face all morning, requiring the Team to be layered up and persistent with each foot placement.

Due to high winds and extreme cold we turned around at 20,500ft. We are all back in camp safely and feeling good about making an honest crack at the summit from our camp at 18,000ft.

Tomorrow we will descend to base camp and begin our walk out of the Park. The last few weeks have been a great learning experience for what expedition life is like in the big mountains.

Thanks for following along and we will check in daily until we reach pavement on Monday.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

Jeff & Mere,

Happy New Year! Sorry that Mother Nature had other plans, but I’m sure this has been another amazing adventure.

Mary & Peter

Posted by: Mary & Peter on 1/2/2016 at 6:50 am

Meredith & Jeff; what an exciting last day, you gave it your best.
Happy New Year,

Posted by: Gregg Mercer on 1/1/2016 at 1:05 pm

December 31, 2015


Aconcagua: Justman & Team to Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Las Lenas

Hey, everyone, this is JJ Justman with Pepper Dee. We are sitting here at Las Lenas Camp.  The team had a great day here, hiking into camp.  It is a little bit windy here right now as we are getting the gear all situated. We are going to have a nice dinner this evening to celebrate New Year’s Eve out here in the mountains.  We are going to hang out with the cowboys, drink some Cokes and Tang and some matte and put that big slab of beef on the grill and get this trip underway. The team is doing great. We have a really great team, as usual an All-star team of ten guys looking forward to continuing the trek in tomorrow. Thanks for following along. Stay tuned - it’s going to be a good one.

Bye bye,
RMI Guide JJ Justman

RMI Guide JJ Justman calls from Pampa de Lenas en route to Aconcagua Base Camp.

On The Map

Happy New Year Big Brother! Hope you are having a blast! Be careful!!!
Love you!

Posted by: Lynda Heidorn on 1/1/2016 at 7:06 pm

Big Bri!!  Happy new year brother!!  What a way to ring in the new year!  Hope you are having a blast!  All y’all take care and be safe!

Posted by: Jeff on 1/1/2016 at 6:22 pm

December 31, 2015


Aconcagua: King & Team Move to Camp 2

Today we woke to slightly milder winds that allowed us to breakdown our camp at 16,400ft and move Guanaco 3 camp, our second camp at 18,000’ on Aconcagua. All teams above Base Camp are trying to figure if the current weather system will allow for a summit bid. The Team has been updated on the weather pattern that is moving onto the mountain.

From the beginning of the expedition the guides have been stressing taking care of daily items that are in our control like hydration, rest, proper clothing choices and breathing, a lot. At the same time this expedition has been marked by items we have no control over, for example, tall penitentes to navigate, hot temperatures, wind and a deteriorating weather pattern.

We will continue to evaluate our options, in the meantime, It’s New Years Eve on Aconcagua. We’ll miss the party at base camp, but not the pan flute chiming in during the porter drum circle until 4am. 

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

Mike, praying you get to stand on the top! All good things in 2016! Love from all the Isaacsons

Posted by: Carol Isaacson on 1/1/2016 at 9:54 am

Happy New Year Michael!  Keeping my fingers crossed the weather gets better.  Stay strong! Thinking of you everyday .  Love, Mom

Posted by: Lisa Hughes on 1/1/2016 at 5:40 am

December 30, 2015


Aconcagua: King and Team Enjoy a Windy Rest Day

This is RMI Guide Mike King checking in checking in from 16,400 feet on Aconcagua. Today is our rest day and we are definitely resting in our tents. The winds picked up around dinner last night and have not stopped shaking our tents. The team reported good sleep/rest after our carry to Chopper Camp yesterday and everyone is acclimating well. We are hunkered down for the day; reading and napping. There is rumor of a snack food social in one of the tents around lunch time, I might have to crash that party.

We will keep checking the weather today. Our goal is to move up to Chopper Camp tomorrow during lower winds and then play the waiting game for a summit bid.

The RMI office sent the blog comments to us and everyone enjoyed hearing them read during breakfast yesterday. Thank you for following along and supporting us! Keep it up!

RMI Guide Mike King and Team

On The Map

Hey Jeff and Meredith! Hope you are having a great climb and managing to stay warm. The views are amazing. Can’t wait to hear all about it…Ruby and Wayne :)

Posted by: ruby on 12/31/2015 at 10:29 am

Wishing John Hughes and the entire climbing team a very happy, healthy and high-altitude 2016!

Posted by: Barbara on 12/31/2015 at 10:20 am

December 30, 2015


Aconcagua: Justman and Team Gather in Mendoza

A new day has dawned! The December 28th Aconcagua team has come together in Mendoza! Yesterday evening the team enjoyed a great Argentine dinner…yum. This morning it’s business, business, business as we secure our permits, pay our climbing fee, and do some last minute shopping. The team is ready and set to go. Next stop…Penitentes!!

RMI Guides JJ Justman and Pepper Dee

Hey Mountain Mike, we are watching you with interest. Be strong. Rest up for the next phase is the exciting one. Hope the increased snow makes your summit easier.

Posted by: Mark & Pat on 1/4/2016 at 7:42 am

Brian and Brad Beginning of a great adventure.  Gather your stories, we want to hear them all.  What a way to start the new year.  Have fun, be safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Posted by: Mom and Dad, (Ben and Sharon) on 12/31/2015 at 1:03 pm

December 29, 2015


Aconcagua: King and Team Carry to Chopper Camp

Call it Camp 2 while your on the mountain and you will get a curious look from the locals, but call it Chopper Camp or Guanaco 3 and they will smile. The team woke this morning and carried food and equipment to Guanaco 3 (our Camp 2). Some of our legs felt a bit heavy from the move yesterday but we made it.

As we turned the corner at Ameghino Col the winds increased and we took in stellar views of La Mano, Mercedario and other 6000 m. peaks in the San Juan Province.

We are back in Camp 1 looking forward to a rest day on Wednesday. Weather and high winds are rolling in, good night from our cozy tents at 16,400 ft.

RMI Guide Mike King and team

On The Map

Dr. Ludwig and group, Have a wonderful time on your hike.  Hope to see lots of pictures of the breath taking view you will have.

Posted by: Michelle on 12/31/2015 at 10:39 am

Thank you for the update. I believe our son, Luke is with this team.

Posted by: Catherine on 12/29/2015 at 6:16 pm

December 28, 2015


Aconcagua: King & Team Reach Camp 1!

This is RMI Guide Mike King and the Team checking in from Camp 1, 16,400 ft!  We had slightly lighter packs then our carry day but still hot temperatures radiating off the snow fields. After 4 nights at 14,000 the team cruised up to Camp in good form.

The climbers are enjoying some rest time in the warm tents and organizing their gear for our carry to Chopper Camp tomorrow.

These climbers bring a lot of different mountaineering and climbing experience to the team and watching them pitch camp today makes a guide team proud.

Thanks for following along.

On The Map

December 27, 2015


Aconcagua: King and Team Enjoy Rest Day at Base Camp

Not a whole lot to report during our rest day at Plaza Argentina, which is indicative of a successful and relaxing day after yesterday’s carry to Camp 1.

After a good breakfast the Team took advantage of washing clothes for the trek out and really enjoyable showers offered by one of the logistic companies here.

We could continue to delay our ascent with all the amenities of base camp, but will pack up our gear and move up to Camp 1 at 16,400ft.

That’s all from Plaza Argentina

RMI Guide Mike King

With you every step of the way! Stay strong and happy thoughts!! You both are so strong and unstoppable!!


Posted by: Chris & Andrew on 12/28/2015 at 8:15 pm

Way to go David!  This team ROCKS!  Worth all the pre-trip prepping.  My thoughts and prayers go with you.  Love, Mom.

Posted by: Pat Taylor on 12/28/2015 at 2:59 pm

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