Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team Ready for Antisana

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 13,400'

Hello everyone,

Tonight we are heading for the summit of Antisana!  We arrived this morning to our camp and did a bunch more technical training.  The site is like something out of the Lord of the Rings, with tall grasses, roaming horses, and thatch-roof structures all lit by the glaciers of Antisana.

Wish us luck as you head to bed because we will be waking up at that time to go climbing.

We’ll let you know how it goes!

RMI Guide Ben Liken and the team

Antisana Basecamp with views of the mountain in the background. Photo: Adam Knoff

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Aconcagua: King & Team in Position for Summit Bid

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

We finally got around to packing up camp and climbing up to 19,600 feet, our High Camp for the expedition.  Extremely cold and calm morning with a new blanket of snow on the surrounding Andean peaks made for a scenic day.

High Camp is never anyone’s favorite camp for a few reasons:
1. Sleeping at 19,600 feet can be difficult.
2. There are no ‘great’ tent sites due to how the wind swirls around.
3. Lack of snow makes drinking water a time consuming process.

Good thing we are making our summit bid tomorrow and will be back in Base Camp telling stories before to long.

Wish us luck!  We will check in hopefully from the summit on Thursday afternoon.

RMI Guide Mike King

An RMI Team climbing to High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: Pete Van Deventer RMI's High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador Seminar: Team Travels to Antisana

Posted by: Ben Liken, Casey Grom | February 10, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hello again everyone,

The team is feeling good and well rested especially after a good nights sleep. Our stay in Papallacta was enjoyed by all even though it was short.

We have traveled back into the countryside to very near our next climbing objective Antisana. Originally we had planned on camping tonight, but due to the forecasted thunderstorms we opted to stay at a wonderful hacienda not far from the mountain. After getting so soaked on Cayambe we thought this would help keep us stay dry and set us up for a successful climb. So we spent the afternoon doing a little technical training and reviewing some of the skills we hope to put to use tomorrow on the glacier.

The valley we are staying in is famous for condors and we even managed to see several gliding not far above us. It was amazing to see these beautiful and elusive birds to say the least.

That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Aconcagua: King & Team Take Another Rest Day at Camp 2

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 10, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

The Gambler said it best, “you have to know when to hold em, know when to fold em”.  He wasn’t referring to his chain of Kenny Rogers’ Roasters, but to our team taking another weather day at Camp 2.

We received only a few inches of snow, and with strong winds our tents were drifted in this morning. A cloud reminiscent of Mordor hung over the upper 4,000 feet of Aconcagua until 11am. Instead of getting a late start and arriving in High Camp later in the day, we will dry our sleeping bags and acclimate.

Our summit day will be the 12th. The Gang is hangin’ tough and enjoying the saxophone riff from WHAM’s “careless whisper”.

RMI Guide Mike King

Views of the Andes from Aconcagua. Photo: Garrett Stevens

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Q&A Session with RMI Guide Katie Bono

Posted by: Katie Bono | February 09, 2015
Categories: *Guide News

Date: Thursday, February 19th
Time: 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (CST)
Location: Arc’teryx Minneapolis

Small Q&A with Arc’teryx pro athlete and RMI Guide Katie Bono where she will be answering questions for attendees about their own upcoming trips to Rainier, Denali, Shasta or Whitney. With Katie’s vast experience, she will be happy to provide insight and advise. Arc’teryx Minneapolis will be providing appetizers and a micro brew for this intimate discussion.  Click here to reserve free tickets and more details.

RMI Guide Katie Bono. Photo: RMI Collection

Ecuador Seminar: Team Weathered Off of Cayambe

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 10,800'

Hey gang,

Being on the border of the Amazon Rainforest almost always keeps some clouds floating around Cayambe, but last night it brought more than just clouds.  We awoke to a soaking mist that would have drenched the team within minutes of climbing.  So we postponed for an hour and a half until there was a minor let up.  Then we gathered our gear and started walking up hill in what can best be described as a “dry mist”.  For 45 minutes we had optimistic smiles as the moon was poking through the clouds and the team was moving strong.  But at the first break the rains came and didn’t let up. We pushed a bit further to 16,500 feet until the crew was soaked and the decision was clear to head down.  To go higher would mean freezing our wet clothes and pushing the limits of a safe climb.

The descent went well and the whole team is now at Papallacta hot springs, happy and healthy.  Everyone is turning their sights to more training and our next big climb…...Antisana!

Stay tuned

RMI Guide Ben Liken and the Team

Ecuador Mountain Signpost. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Remain at Camp 2

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

This morning we woke to the traditional Aconcagua weather pattern, cold temps and consistent winds. We watched snow billow off the upper Polish glacier into the sky forming clouds that resembled smoke rising from a 23,000 ft bonfire. 

Everyone is chomping at the bit to move camp and begin our summit attempt, but we will spend one more night at Camp 2 and hope the forecast of 5-20 mph winds holds out.

Quesadillas for lunch and more tent time. If you are reading these blogs with any desire to go expedition climbing get a Kindle and crush tent time like a pro.

RMI Guides Mike King and Steve Gately

Enjoying the views from Camp 2 on Aconcagua, Argentina.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Enjoy Rest Day at Camp 2

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 08, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Rest day at Camp 2:

Our coldest morning of the climb here at Camp 2 on Aconcagua. Our water source is a large snowfield, that lately has been a raging torrent due to warm temperatures and almost zero snowfall this season. The amount of water and ice that has melted at Camp 2 has begun to erode tent sites that have been staple spots at an already cramped camp.

We are going for a walk to 19,000’ this morning to stretch our legs and lungs. 18,000 ft is the highest our group has slept and the guides are pleased with how everyone is acclimating. We are still anticipating high winds tomorrow and remain flexible in our ability to move up if we see a significant difference in the forecast.

RMI Guides Mike King, Steve Gately & Team

Enjoying a rest day at Camp 2 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador Seminar: Team Trains on Glacier of Cayambe

Posted by: Ben Liken, Casey Grom | February 08, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,300'

Hola Amigos!

Sleeping at 15,000’ is not a normal thing, nor is sleeping with 6 other people, but thankfully everyone managed to get a few hours of shuteye last night. 

Today the team woke around 7 am and headed downstairs for breakfast and washed it down with plenty of coffee. We then got packed up and went out for a little training on the glacier that’s about an hour away. Cloudy skies and light snowfall keep things relatively brief as we didn’t want to get too wet before tonight’s climb of Cayambe. Once back at the climbers hut we relaxed with hot drinks and a little additional training, mixed in with a few bad jokes.

Everyone is in good spirits and seems to be ready for tomorrow’s climb. Our plan is to get up at 11 pm and have a quick breakfast and hopefully hit the trail around midnight. If all goes well we should reach the summit around 7 am.

We had a trivia challenge tonight that will allow the winner a sat phone call from the summit. So keep your phones nearby to find out who the winner is.

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The climbers hut located at 15,300 ft on Cayambe, Ecuador.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team at the Cayambe Hut

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,300'

Hey everybody,

Today was a day of rest, tourism, and a car ride to our 15,000 foot hut on Cayambe.  After a light breakfast we leisurely packed our bags and headed to the famed Otavalo market.  Being a Saturday the place was packed with crafts, fresh fruits, and local people. 

Shortly after lunch we loaded the bus and drove to the cute little town of Cayambe.  At this point the clouds that had been floating around all day started to dump rain, so we changed out the bus for some 4x4 vehicles.  We then drove up the bumpiest road known to man… The Cayambe hut road.  After an hour of mud, rocks, and pot holes we made it to our home for the next few days. 

Everyone is feeling great and ready for a day of glacier training tomorrow.

From the snowiest place on the equator,  we’ll talk to ya later!

RMI Guide Ben Liken and friends

The Otavalo Market, Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection Colorful jewelry at the Otavalo Market. Photo: RMI Collection On the road to Cayambe, Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection

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Previous Page More Entries

Expedition Stats

Vinson Massif Expedition
11/22 - 12/14/2014
Vinson Massif - Summit
Cotopaxi Express Ascent
11/29 - 12/7/2014
Cotopaxi - Summit
Vinson Massif Expedition
11/22 - 12/14/2014
Vinson Massif - Summit
Vinson Massif Expedition
12/3 - 12/25/2014
Vinson Massif - Summit
Ecuador's Volcanoes
12/9 - 12/19/2014
Cayambe - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
12/13/2014 - 1/5/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
12/20/2014 - 1/12/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
12/27/2014 - 1/19/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari
1/10 - 1/24/2015
Kilimanjaro - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
1/4 - 1/27/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador
1/6 - 1/19/2015
Cayambe - 17,000' / Antisana - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Ecuador's Volcanoes
1/20 - 1/30/2015
Cayambe - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
1/11 - 2/3/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari
1/24 - 2/7/2015
Kilimanjaro - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
1/18 - 2/10/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador
2/3 - 2/16/2015
Cayambe - 16,500' / Antisana - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Aconcagua Expedition
1/26 - 2/18/2015
Aconcagua - Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
2/14 - 2/22/2015
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Pico de Orizaba - Summit

Recent Images

  • February 21, 2015- RMI team on the Orizaba summit. Photo: Solveig Waterfall
  • The shadow cast by Pico de Orizaba at sunrise. Photo: Solveig Waterfall
  • The Mexico Team making the final steps to the summit of Orizaba. Photo: Solveig Waterfall
  • Chase Nelson and his rope team cresting the Orizaba summit. Photo: Solveig Waterfall
  • Approaching the foot of Pico de Orizaba, Mexico. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Orizaba on the drive to Piedra Grande Hut. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Orizaba view from Puebla, Mexico. Photo: Chase Nelson
  • February 18, 2015- Mexico team on the Ixta summit! Photo: Solveig Waterfall
  • A climber on the ridge of Ixtaccihuatl en route to the summit.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Sunrise on Ixtaccihuatl, Mexico.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team at High Camp on Ixtaccihuatl.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Views of Ixtaccihuatl from the Paso de Cortez. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Tire shop luckily on the way to La Malinche. Photo: Solveig Waterfall
  • Ixtaccihuatl view on the way to La Malinche. Photo: Solveig Waterfall
  • The Mexico team before La Malinche acclimating hike. Photo: Solveig Waterfall
  • The Ecuador Seminar team ascending Cotopaxi. Photo: Casey Grom
  • February 15, 2015 - Ecuador Seminar team on the Cotopaxi summit! Photo: Casey Grom
  • Overlooking the Zocalo of Mexico City from RMI's hotel. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Ecuador Seminar team hiking in the grasslands to Tambopaxi. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Team dinner at Hacienda Tambopaxi, Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The team dressed in the new Ecuadorian ponchos. Photo: Ben Liken
  • 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
  • Climbing Antisana, Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom
  • RMI Team Climbing on Antisana. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Team on the Summit of Antisana. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Cannelletta on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection
  • Below the Aconcagua summit looking down into the Canaleta after a recent snowstorm. Photo: Mike King
  • Antisana Basecamp with views of the mountain in the background. Photo: Adam Knoff
  • 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
  • RMI Guide Katie Bono. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Ecuador Mountain Signpost. Photo: RMI Collection