RMI Expeditions Blog
Today was a hot and sunny day, which is not typical here in Patagonia, so we are feeling lucky. We walked on a trail that everyone calls Patagonian Flats because it really means that it goes up and down all day. Today we walked mostly under the cover of a beech tree forest and along raging rivers with the sound of woodpeckers following us through the trees. Arriving at camp hungry and tired, we were met with salami, cheese, and wine. The group is full of laughter and moments of appreciation. It will be an early bedtime for all of us tonight because John Gardner Pass is tomorrow and demands an early start. Keep your fingers crossed for us to continue in good weather as we head over the pass. Everyone’s healthy and happy and one of our team even said, “This is the best vacation I’ve ever been on.”
RMI Guide Christina Dale calls in from Torres del Paine.
Just wanted to take a moment to share that the team made it down from Ixta safe and sound and are now living the good life down in Puebla at the Hotel Colonial!
We descended in from the summit as the clouds increased, offering a bit of reprieve from the sunshine of the ascent. All in all it was a perfect, albeit taxing, day in the mountains. It’s always so nice to pull up to the summit as a whole group, they really all climbed the mountain in style.
But it’s been a long day and a long climb so everyone is eager for tomorrow’s rest day and a bit of relaxation before heading to Orizaba. I’ll continue to keep you all posted! Here’s a photo of the team at the summit and a view back towards Popo shortly after sunrise on the ascent.
This is Christina with the Torres del Paine Trek. We had another perfect day in Patagonia with winds, light rain, showers, hot sun and beautiful views around every corner. We walked up the Paine River today to the Dickson Hut where we got our first views of the towers and some tremendous views of the Dickson Glacier as it flows from the Patagonian ice cap to the river that we walk along. The group is enjoying the photo opportunities, great lunches and stimulating trail conversations about which political figure or popstar we would go backpacking with. This trip is truly about the landscape that we travel through. Even the best photographers could not capture the 360-degree panoramas with the crisp air and smell of lupine in the breeze. Truly a place to have the “see for yourself” to understand. Now we’re off for hot showers, fresh bread, and a nice dinner.
RMI Guide Christina Dale calls in from the Torres del Paine Trek.
February 21, 2018
Hey, this is RMI Guide Chase Nelson calling in from the summit of Ixtaccihuatl. We’ve got the whole team up here. It is beautiful and calm, and we’re just taking it all in and we’ll be heading down shortly. We’ll check in when we’re down towards Puebla this evening alright. That’s it for now.
RMI Guide Chase Nelson calls from the summit of Ixtaccihuatl.
On The Map
Would love to see a picture of the team!! Be safe everyone.
Posted by: Dale on 2/21/2018 at 6:32 pm
Today we started our full circuit trek of Torres del Paine trek with beautiful blue skies and no wind. We saddled our packs and headed off across the open sage bush landscape. We wandered across glacial fed streams and through beach tree forests. With guannaco and Caracara bird sightings we took lots of pictures. We had hot tea along the trail for lunch and pulled into our camp with a few hours to take a shower and hang out before dinner. After dinner we listened to live music by the local cowboys and even participate in the traditional Chilean dances. After the first day with these packs I noticed people were trying to share their snacks first and offer Cliff bars around to lighten the load. Everyone is in great spirits and enjoying the warm sunshine here in Patagonia. Hopefully, tomorrow brings another photogenic day on the trail as we head around the more remote parts of the towers.
February 20, 2018
Posted by: Chase Nelson
The team spent the day hiking up with big loads on our backs to our high camp on Ixta, with the goal of going to the summit tomorrow morning. The team looked as strong as they have the whole trip and the weather forecast is looking quite nice for us.
We arrived at around 2 pm to camp here at 15,400 feet and have been relaxing and breathing the thin air. It’s been generally cloudy all day but this evening the clouds have settled down below us and opened a gorgeous view of Popo, the other volcano in our vicinity.
We’ll be getting up before the sun for our summit bid, wish us luck!
RMI Guide Chase Nelson
On The Map
February 19, 2018
Here we are at the Altzimoni hut, checking in after another good day in Mexico. We rose this morning and hit the road from La Malintzi to the town of Amecameca where we picked up some last minute fresh food items for our climb on Ixta. The bus then took us up to the Paso de Cortez, and continued up to the hut here at 13,000 feet.
Upon arriving we grabbed our day packs and went up tomorrow’s trail, towards Ixta high camp, for another acclimatization hike. It’s been a bit cloudy here at the moment but otherwise it’s as beautiful as ever up here in the mountains. The whole team seems to be handling the altitude thus far exceedingly well and I think we’re looking really strong for our trip up to high camp tomorrow.
We fueled up with a nice dinner of carne asada, rice, and fresh tortillas so now it’s time to get some sleep for a day of heavy packs and uphill travel!
On The Map
After some coffee and chit chat this morning the group spent three hours deciding which baselayer to pack and which hooded puffy to bring and how many pairs of socks to carry—-you know what I’m talking about if you’re reading this. We got our packs down to about 30 pounds and didn’t leave any chocolate behind. Then we hopped in a boat and crossed the Straits of Magellan to walk around a huge penguin colony in the middle of the ocean. It was fun to see them so close and hear them talking to one another. Now in Natales we’re going to get some treats before hitting the trail for the next nine days.
Everyone arrived from hours of traveling to a sunny Punta Arenas. We walked around the streets of this once booming port town that was essential for all boats moving across the Americas before the Panama canal. It is now a sleepy town with a rich history of Magellan and all the boats that have passed through. We went to the cemetery where all the trees are perfectly pruned and saw the giant bronze statue of Magellan that rumor has it if you rub his toe you’ll be back to Punta Arenas some day. We all had a great dinner of local seafood and lots of potatoes. The group is looking forward to spending a week trekking and taking in this remarkable place.
Happy sailing to Magdalena island! Bet ya can’t just take 1 pic of the penguins.i had 1000’s! Luv ya and happy trekking.
Posted by: Elsie on 2/19/2018 at 6:12 am
February 18, 2018
Hola from Mexico!
The team met yesterday evening following our flights to Mexico City, and had a nice dinner a short walk from Hotel Geneve. Little did I know that shortly after we sat a mariachi band complete with a singing luchador began to play… what a trip!
This morning we boarded our bus and took the journey to La Malintzi at the foot of a dormant volcano, La Malinche, and spent the day hiking up to nearly 13,500 ft to acclimatize. Our goal today was less summit oriented and more for preparing our bodies for the climbs ahead so we opted out of going all the way to it’s 14,500 ft summit. That being said, the team was strong from start to finish and capped off the hike with a bit of earned relaxation before dinner. Tonight we’ll be sleeping in the cabañas here at La Malintzi at 10,000 feet to keep acclimatizing, all in prep for the next several days on Ixta!
I’ll check in as our climb progresses,
On The Map
Looking forward to following you on this adventure dad (Richard), can’t wait to hear all about it! Stay safe!
Posted by: Abbie Aspinall on 2/19/2018 at 7:30 pm
Enjoy the climb everyone. What a wonderful experience. Looking forward to hearing all about it Brandon.
Posted by: Terri Travis on 2/19/2018 at 6:45 pm