Aconcagua: King & Team Move to Camp 2

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

The Gang Moves to Camp 2

Well the good weather only lasts for so long when you are climbing in the big mountains of the world. We moved camp this morning after enjoying another warm and calm night.

We spent the day looking at high wispy cirrus clouds over the summit from the West and ominous lenticular clouds building in the East.  The most recent forecast has high winds entering the picture starting tonight and lasting several days.

We are in a good position to wait for better weather with a rest day tomorrow and the ability to use two weather days if needed. We are sitting on a lot of food and fuel.

Until next time,

RMI Guides Mike King & Steve Gately

An RMI Team moving to Aconcagua Camp 2. Photo: Jake Beren An RMI Team on the move to Camp 2, Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Celebrate in Mendoza

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

As the expedition draws to a close, the days come flying by in a blur. After a big descent to Aconcagua Base Camp with heavy packs, we fell into our sleeping bags and got one of the best nights of sleep of the trip. The group chose to fore go setting up tents and laid out sleeping bags in the big dining tent, and for the first time in many nights, we didn’t spend the whole night listening to the wind slap at our tents.  We woke in the morning, caffeinated up, and did a hasty pack job of the our duffels for the mules. We grabbed our day packs, light once again, and started off down the mule trails, retracing the paths we had walked two weeks earlier (ironically, most of the group didn’t remember much of it and was convinced that we were exiting a different way). While our packs were light, and our hiking shoes a lot more comfortable than our boots, the nearly 15 miles of rocky trail walking took about ten hours, and by the end, everyone’s dogs were far beyond barking.

Fortunately, the amazing arryaros were waiting at Pampe de Lenas, with the fire already started and meat on the grill.  The team feasted on more carne than we could possibly eat, especially with the shrunken stomachs that result from two weeks of high altitude living.  Once again, we chose to fore go the tents, and everyone unrolled pads and bags on the ground and watched the Southern Cross trace its arc across the canyon rim.  We woke early, and though everyone was feeling the previous couple of days, the motivation to finally reach the park entrance and be done trumped all of the physical discomforts. Three and half more hours brought us to the tree-lined aqueduct that signals the final stretch to the end of the long trail. We grabbed our dust covered bags from the mules and loaded a shuttle to Mendoza. With a quick stop for another huge meal, we were in Mendoza by evening, showering off the weeks of dust. 

We wrapped up the trip with another great culinary experience at El Patio Azul de Jesus Maria. We feasted on a traditional Argentinian parilla (bbq) with boundless different cuts of meat cooked slowly over a wood fire. Malbec was plentiful for washing the meal down, and was the perfect way to refuel after weeks up the mountain. Most of the group will spend the next two days in Mendoza, planning to explore the shops, rest by the pool, and perhaps tour a few vineyards, before we return to winter time in the States.

We would like to thank the whole team for the incredible team work that they displayed throughout the entire trip, the camaraderie, and the effort that each and every one put out. This was a group that was a pleasure for the guides to work with. Finally, I’d like to thank Alex and Juan for kicking ass the entire trip. The whole trip was a pleasure all the way around, and we’re already looking forward to next year!

Thanks,
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Trekking through the Vacas Valley, Argentina. Photo: Ty Reid

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Hike Fuya Fuya

Posted by: Ben Liken, Casey Grom | February 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 13,986'

February, 6, 2015 - 6:46 pm PT

Hello again everyone!

Today the team left behind the hustle and bustle of Quito and moved just north of the Equator to the comfortable and quite rural countryside. Once outside the city limits the landscape quickly turned into rolling hills with farms pitched on steep slopes and dozens of small eucalyptus forest.

Our plan was to visit a smaller mountain called Fuya Fuya where we stretched our legs on a nice steep and short acclimatization hike. Thankfully the weather was nice which allowed us to see some amazing views of the beautiful surrounding landscape. 

We are just on the outskirts of a town call Otavalo, which is known for its massive market and we are currently relaxing at a wonderful Hacienda called “La Casa Sol”. The team is doing great and looking forward to a nice quiet night here.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

The RMI Ecuador Seminar Team takes an acclimatization hike on Fuya Fuya.  Photo: Casey Grom The team takes a hike on Fuya Fuya for acclimatization.  Photo: Casey Grom

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Aconcagua: King & Team Enjoying Their Rest Day at Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

It is not often that a group has a camp to themselves on Aconcagua, that is where we find our team today. After enjoying a sunny and near windless morning the team is organizing personal gear, reading and relaxing. The little headaches and discomfort from our carry to Camp 2 yesterday have dissipated and everyone is adjusting to life at 16,200ft.

The weather has been great with lots of sun, warm temperatures and light wind. We would like to climb higher during this high pressure system, and the team is taking every opportunity to acclimatize appropriately.

As I am typing this dispatch, all I hear is laughter and conversation coming from our tents and that is a welcome sign after two hard days of climbing and caching equipment.  We move to Camp 2 tomorrow to begin a holding pattern for our move to high camp and summit day.

RMI Guide Mike King

The moon rise above the Andes from Camp 1 on Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Kilimanjaro: Waterfall & Team Spend Their Last Night in Africa

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | February 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hi! It is our last day on safari and we are back in Arusha doing some last minute shopping. Our next stop is the Dik Dik Hotel to repack, shower and then head to the airport. We will of course be squeezing one more fantastic dinner in as well.

Kikoti Camp was a great place to spend our last evening in Tanzania. The sunset was spectacular and the scenery there is great. This morning we had a nice game drive with tons of elephants playing in the Tarangire River.

I think we are all psyched to head home but it has been a real fun group and everyone has gotten along together amazingly well. All of us will be flying out overnight so for the family and friends following along… See you soon!

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Elephants in Tarangire National Park, Africa. Photo: Seth Waterfall The RMI Kilimanjaro team's last night in Africa. Photo: Seth Waterfall

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team Acclimate on Rucu Pichincha

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,696'

Hey all,

Today was a beautiful day in Quito, with majestic views of Cayambe and Cotopaxi it couldn’t have been better.  We started off with some strong coffee and promptly piled into some taxis to head to the gondola that would take us to 13,000 feet.  From here we hiked to the top of Rucu Pichincha at 15,696 ft, everyone did great managing new altitude and rugged terrain.

Upon our return to the city we did some final gear shopping, resting, and eating.  This will be our last night in Quito before we venture out to the country side for some more adventure.

Stay tuned!

RMI Guide Ben Liken and the crew

The Ecuador Seminar at the top of Rucu Pichincha. Photo: Casey Grom The February Ecuador Seminar team having dinner in Quito. Photo: Casey Grom

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Aconcagua: King & Team Carry to Camp II

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 05, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Today’s agenda was a carry of group and personal gear to Camp II (18,000ft) and this is personally one of my favorite days. After our carry and move to Camp I the terrain eases off a bit and becomes less cumbersome to Camp II. As the trail leaves Camp I we slowly switchback our way up the South side of a broad basin. At about 17,000ft the route hooks North and heads for a col (low spot) in between Aconcagua and fellow neighboring peak Cerro Ameghino. Once through the col the Northern expanse of the Andes unfolds and we are greeted with views of ancient glaciers and 6,000 meter peaks. The view stays much the same all the way to Camp II and the team wasn’t complaining!

Everyone did great with the new altitude today though and we are now currently re-hydrating and recouping with some hot soups and a siesta before dinner. Tomorrow’s agenda: REST DAY!

Stay tuned!

RMI Guide Steve Gately and Team

Team on the move to Camp II on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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Kilimanjaro: Waterfall and Team Explore Tarangire National Park

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | February 05, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hey this is Seth dropping a quick check in via the satellite phone. We are way out in the bush at Kikoti Camp. Since I checked in last we have had some really great animal encounters.

Right after I emailed yesterday we spotted several rhinos fairly close to the road. That brought our total rhino count for the day up to 5 which is by far the most I’ve seen in a single day. Right after that we pulled up to a male lion next to the road. Our drivers got us into a good position and before we knew it he got up and walked to less than 10 feet from the cars! That was a real treat.

Today we spent the morning driving to Tarangire National Park and had an afternoon game drive. The elephants were out in full force and I’d say we saw well over 100. It was a very hot day though and that keeps the cats in the shade. We didn’t see any of them. Tomorrow we will spend the morning looking for more cats and then head back to the Dik Dik before we all fly home at night.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall and Team

Tarangire National Park. Photo: Dave Hahn Elephant in Tarangire National Park. RMI Photo Collection

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team Tour Quito and the Equator

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hola from Ecuador!

After some very long flights and a little bit of sleep the team is doing well. We started our day with a team meeting where we did our usual round of introductions and discussed the game plan for our upcoming adventure.

After the meeting we headed out on the town to explore this beautiful historical city with our tour guide Angel. He first took us to the older part of town where we visited several old cathedrals, then to the colonial town square where we met a kind older Canadian who seemed to have lost his group and decided to tag along with us. Next we headed up to a small hill called La Panacia that overlooks this beautiful city before heading north to visit the Equator from which Ecuador gets its name.

We finished the day with a small break and then a quick gear check to make sure everyone has all the gear needed for our climbs. Then it was off to dinner at a nice Ecuadorian restaurant where we enjoyed getting to know each other better.

RMI Guide Casey Grom, crew, and our new friend Lee

Colonial Quito city tour in Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom The Ecuador team at La Panacia. Location overlooking Quito. Photo: Casey Grom The RMI Ecuador team visit the Equator. Photo: Casey Grom

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Back to Base Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

After nearly two weeks of progress moving in fits and starts, as we move camps, carry gear, and take rest days to acclimatize, the last several days suddenly start to rush by. We had a great, though very difficult, summit day yesterday. The sun shone in a completely clear, brilliant, azur sky, but as has been the nature of the last several days, the wind continued to rush on. We prepared in gusty conditions that made it uninviting to leave the tent, and donned our packs. For much of the climb we received only gusts, protected from the main force of the wind, the constant noise of which we couldn’t ignore. This region has received very little precipitation for the last several years, and the results of that were the second major challenge of the climb. Where snow fields usually provide nice cramponing, only sand existed, and climbing sand hills at 22,000 feet is no small task. We persisted, and at 2:45, crested the summit of Aconcagua.

Time flies, and while that was only yesterday afternoon, it feels much further removed. We woke this morning to the ever present wind gusts plastering the tent to our face, and packed our bags to head to base camp. As we descended, we picked up the items that we had cached at our previous camps, so our packs grew heavier, even as the air grew thicker. We arrived at base camp to a delicious spread, which was followed up shortly with our first carne dinner in a while. We organized our bags for the mules, and tomorrow we will reverse our course, once again carrying light day packs as we descend the Relinchos and Vacas Valleys back towards Penitentes, and ultimately Mendoza. Everyone is excited at the prospect of more beef, wine, and warm temperatures that await us in the coming days. Thanks for following,

RMI Guides Pete, Alex, Juan and team

Aconcagua view near Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory

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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