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RMI Expeditions Blog

Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team at Casa de Piedra

We all slept under the stars last night. No tent, just a sleeping pad and sleeping bag. You feel like a cowboy. The moon shone so bright you didn’t need a headlamp to see anything. The morning came, we packed up, and continued our walk down the Vacas Valley. An hour into our walk we saw our first guanaco, the Llama of Argentina. After walking for a handful of hours we arrived at Casa de Piedra. We set up our tents and relaxed in the sunshine or down by the river until dinner. With the sun down and well fed we are all turning in. Tomorrow is big, we finally arrive to basecamp where we get to settle in for a few days.

Hasta luego,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Aconcagua Expedition: King & Team Carry to High Camp

Our coldest night this trip and it still wasn’t that cold. The sun hits camp closer to 8 am so after breakfast and a little time in the tents to warm up we headed for 19,600’. Our High Camp is called Colera, named after the fierce winds that frequent that part of the mountain, not the contagion. The Team definitely noticed the 1,600’ difference in how their lungs and legs felt. We spent about 45 minutes there and headed down for a restful afternoon. Paperback books have been read and are now being passed around the group. We will have our last scheduled rest day tomorrow so that we can sleep one more night at 18,000’ before moving up. The weather is holding steady with 20-30 mph winds forecast. We need to take advantage and not wait for a “better” day that might not materialize. Thanks for following along, we are all eager for our summit bid on the 26th.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Hope you’re staying warmer than we’ve been in NJ! Good luck team!! Keep it up! Love to Ross :)

Posted by: Jen Rapach on 1/23/2019 at 3:18 pm

Ecuador Volcanoes: Knoff & Team Travel to the Middle of the World & Explore Quito

I am happy to announce the Ecuador Volcanoes team successfully assembled in the hotel lobby this morning.  They were all a bit late and I couldn’t scold anyone in particular so I plan to run them all a bit harder on our first acclimating climb tomorrow. 

After our team introduction we all loaded the tour bus and headed north out of Quito to the Mitad Del Mundo, or Middle of the World.  Otherwise know as the equator!  Here at the museum we were taught how the Amazon tribes shrunk actual heads of people, tiny fish can swim up urine streams into parts of the body fish don’t belong and snakes in the jungle can eat full size monkeys.  And of course we learned how shadows tell time, the coriolis effect makes the water spin in opposite directions and gravity is possessed by aliens on the actual equatorial line. 

The team seemed quite interested in these scientific studies but when we left the museum they were equally as interested to detour from the set itinerary to find some local home brew corn beer called Cheecha that the tour guide said was popular in that area.  We did just that, toasting a good trip together with a liquid resembling nothing like we drink back home.  At this same restaurant we noticed another local delicacy roasting on a stick.  Here it is called Cuy.  At home it is widely recognized as guinea pig.  Luckily they don’t look as cute once they are cooked. 

When the Cheecha ran dry we loaded up and headed into the old town of Quito where we saw great views of the city, a beautiful golden church and some of the oldest buildings in the country.  Ecuador has an incredibly rich history and diverse population.  Getting to see it up close never gets old. 

After the tour we all gathered for espresso and soccer at my favorite place one block from the hotel.  Before dinner we will check some gear then team up for our first official team dinner then retire to prepare for our first official climb.  Tomorrow we go to 15,400 feet so stay tuned for the report. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Arrive at Second Camp, Shira Plateau

Jambo everyone back home

We had much better day day on Kili today, thankfully waking to mostly clear skies. Seemed like everyone slept pretty well after a bit of exercise and 9hrs of tent time too.

We started the day waking at 6:30 to begin packing up before moving into our dining tent for a nice breakfast with porridge, fried eggs, toast, avocado and even some fresh fruit, and most importantly plenty of hot coffee.

We hit the trail shortly after 8 am and slowly made our way up the rocky trail that leads out of camp in the warmth of the sun. The trail climbs up a old volcanic ridge and eventually out of the trees and allowed for some nice views of the valley below. The team hiked for about four hours before reaching our next camp that sits on an old lava flow called the Shira Plateau. This plateau which formed a few million years ago sits just above tree-line, it was a bit cloudy when we arrived, so we had to wait till almost dinner to see some of the view and of course Kilimanjaro looming above us. Once settled at camp we were treated to a nice warm lunch and then hopped into our tents to relax.

The evening was full of great stories and another amazing dinner prepared by our more than gracious staff.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

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Following you all the way up…....safe footing God bless

Posted by: Barbara Sluboski on 1/23/2019 at 3:11 pm

Good job team!! With you every step of the way!!

Posted by: Judy Koppinger on 1/23/2019 at 12:03 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: Dale & Team Reach Summit of Ixta

Hey, you blog followers and RMI Family, this is Christina, Grayson and Alan with our amazing team on the summit of Ixtaccihuatl. We are all happy, warmer right now that the sun is coming up. All is well here in Mexico.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

RMI Guide Christina Dale calls from the summit of Ixta.

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Wow this is real!! Almost there! :) Good luck guys, soak up that view from above

Posted by: Val on 1/23/2019 at 11:09 am

Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team Hit the Dusty Trail

Mother nature turned up the furnace today. After finishing up our final touches on our packing we loaded the van and made our way to the entrance to Aconcagua. The ranger checked our permits and we were off on the hot dusty trail to our first camp at Pampas de las Lenas. It was a scorcher but the team arrived to camp in good style and enjoyed some down time hiding from the sun before dinner. We feasted on a carne asada dinner cooked over a fire by the mule drivers. Vegetables, bread and wine accompanied the mouth watering meat. With full bellies and the meat sweats, we are ready for bed. Tomorrow is another day on the trail as we get closer to basecamp.

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Mexico Volcanoes: Dale & Team Ready for Ixta Summit Bid

The team is in fine form today as we loaded our heavy packs onto our strong backs and hit the steep trail up from La Joya to Campo Alto Ixta.  We all moved under the hot Mexico sun as a tight unit of perfectly timed rest steps.  A small dog, we later named Ixta, decided that our group is great company and came with us all the way to 15,500 feet.  Now we have our tents up and are treating ourselves to an hour of rest before firing up the stoves and making a hot dinner. We’ll be turning in early because we’ll be back up in the middle night for a climb to the top!

RMI Guide Christina Dale

On The Map

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Thanks for the updates and I am so proud of you guys!  Keep up the great work and enjoy the adventure!

Posted by: Stephanie R on 1/23/2019 at 5:33 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Pack Up and Hit the Trail

Hello Everyone:

The team got off to a moderately early start this morning leaving behind our beautiful lodge and have headed to the mountain towards the start of the climb.
We left around 8am and drove along the rural country side and small villages for two hours to reach the park entrance. Most of the area surrounding Kilimanjaro has been cultivated and primarily used for coffee production and for a variety of other agriculture needs, but there are still some areas that have been untouched and resemble more of a savannah that Tanzania is known for. The base of Kilimanjaro is more forested and looks more jungle like and is called a cloud forest.
Once we arrived at the gate we had all of our gear weighed and divided into loads for our 48 porters and other staff to carry before hitting the trail. Once everything was in order we started our climb slowly making our way up the winding trail that ascends continuously through the thick forest. The canopy is quite dense thankfully, which provided some cover from the rain that arrive around midday.

The team hiked for a little over five hours and managed to not get too wet before we reached our camp for the night that sits around 10,000ft.
After settling into camp and getting situated, the team was served a nice warm meal for dinner consisting of soup, rice, potatoes and steak.

Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a good night’s rest.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Kili crew

On The Map

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Happy climbing…..wishing you good weather and sure steps on this wonderful adventure . Keep us posted. Godspeed !

Posted by: Barbara Sluboski on 1/22/2019 at 8:54 pm

Wishing you a safe and exciting adventure, thanks for the updates!!

Posted by: Judy on 1/22/2019 at 8:36 pm

Aconcagua Expedition: King & Team Move to Camp 2

The Team has really lucked out where the weather is concerned. We don’t have the lightest winds in the forecast but we are hoping they stay manageable. We enjoyed another warm night with a spectacular moon following whatever lunar phenomena happened a few nights ago. We are at 18,000’ and enjoying some more tent time. There comes a point where having slightly longer days would be nice, reading 300 pages of a book in two days is quite easy with how much tent time we get. Now that we are at Camp 2, the wait for a summit window becomes more realistic. The schedule is to carry food and fuel to high camp tomorrow and rest the following day. This will get us three nights at this elevation. Ultimately, the forecasted winds might force our hand to move up a day earlier or burn a weather day in hopes of lighter wind. Until then, we have a crowded camp but with a spectacular view. Thanks for following along.

On The Map

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Mexico Volcanoes: Dale & Team at Ixtaccihuatl Base Camp

This morning we left La Malinche for the Altzomoni Hut at 13,000 feet on Ixta. The team was able to stock up on water and last minute snacks in the town of Amecameca before we begin our two-day attempt on Ixta. We’ve got all of our equipment sorted for our move up to our high camp at 15,000 feet tomorrow.

RMI Guide Grayson Swingle

On The Map

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