RMI Expeditions Blog
We wake up to French pressed coffee, warm toast and scrambled eggs. After packing up we throw packs on and head down the trail. Stopping to take pictures or refill water bottles in streams or snack on some nuts and chocolate. Lunch is usually by a river with stunning views around. Then we walk a few more hours chitchatting and enjoying our time on the trail. Evenings are showers, delicious dinners, and bed early most nights. The next day we do it again. Tomorrow will be day 8 for this pattern and we are all starting to find our rythem. Today was a day hike into the French Valley where our high point was above a vivid rainbow and below towering granite peaks. We would stop along the trail to watch dramatic ice falls from the hanging glaciers above. Another spectacular day. Tomorrow we complete the circuit around the Torres del Paine massif which is a huge accomplishments everyone should be proud of.
Under the shadows of the Torres del Paine towers we spent a mellow day enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells around us. Our legs and feet are all tired from the past few long days of trekking so it was nice to have a short day with a long lunch break next to a river that we plunged our feet in. Even when every muscle hurts this group still has a wonderful sense of humor and positive energy. We have a nurse from Virginia whose pack is bigger than she is but she is always the first person to throw it on and head down the trail. Her husband is an avid biker who could go for days with a few snacks, beers, and people to chat happily with. Our other cyclist could climb any mountain he put his mind to and is always up for a hill and good photo opportunity. Our honorary guide is a federal judge with a Texas accent who has joined RMI for 13 expeditions. His better half is the kindest woman who would take care of everyone else before herself. Our token Canadian has legs of pure muscle and by far the best dance moves! Our group is lucky to have a man knowledgable in everything from alpacas, to cyber security, to the history of Eastern Washington. Then we have the three giggle gals who are always ready for a laugh. One who has climbed all over and could keep up with anyone. One gal who has an amazing ability to ask insightful questions and spot all wildlife including a pygmy owl. And the last character is the best vet in Maine who can laugh at herself and doesn’t let the wind push her around. Then there is me, and I’m just a simple guide who loves to walk. We are having a great time exploring Patagonia and getting to know each other.
RMI Guide Christina Dale
Kaki and Deb,
Happy trails are the ones that go down with a gentle slope. Brandi and I send our best group group wishes for YOUR tired feet!’
I’m not sure about the reference to “three giggly girls” but recognize the fitness and intellectual and whimsy of one of them.
Posted by: Sharon Hostler on 2/27/2018 at 10:44 am
Feel the burn, Rob and Jayne!!!!!!!
The pics look amazing!
Posted by: Clay Junell on 2/26/2018 at 8:12 am
Today was our first full view of the Towers! We walked around the final corner of our trail today and pow! The towers jumped out at us and took our breath away. Then we proceeded to have drinks and dinner with the most incredible view out our dinning room window. We all feel so fortunate for this beautiful place and how well the land has been preserved. The weather has been outstanding with hot sun and light winds instead of the typical rainy days and strong winds. This morning the group took a speed boat to the base of the Grey Glacier where we scrambled up the nunitac put on crampons and walked around to see the sculpture garden made by running water over the ice. Our long days on the trail are making muscles sore and feet tender but spirits are high and our faces all hurt from smiling all day. We feel lucky to be here and sharing this experience with such a fun group of people.
Dear Mom, I’m having a blast, yesterday Kate took a compass bearing and we set out for a woods walk. Chase and I hiked along a big brook of snow melt, we layed in it. We snuck up on a couple of turkeys and almost had them by the tail. That put me into a frenzy, I LOVE chasing game birds. I get salmon on my breakfast and sleep it off by the wood stove. Chase and I have taken over Kate’s side of the bed! Hope you’re lovin’’ it! Love, your loyal Charlie-girl
Posted by: Charlie Sanders on 2/25/2018 at 6:32 am
February 24, 2018
I’m happy to report that the whole team is back to camp following a successful climb or Orizaba, Mexico’s highest point and North America’s third highest point. The weather today was perfect for a climb and the team made the round trip from camp to summit and back in eight hours. Good job team!
Now we’ll pack up our things and head down for a celebratory dinner in Tlachichuca. It’s a long bumpy journey back but I think I can speak for the team that it is well worth the trip.
Congratulations TEAM!! Very, very impressive.
Posted by: Dale on 2/24/2018 at 8:11 pm
February 23, 2018
It’s been another nice couple of days here in Mexico since my last check in. Yesterday the team enjoyed their rest day in Puebla and spent some time roaming the city and eating good food. We reconvened for a great dinner just a short walk from the hotel which was a nice end to our one day in the city.
At 7am this morning we jumped on the bus for a several hour journey to Tlachichuca where we finalized equipment for our climb up Orizaba. We had a late breakfast, were introduced to Dr. Reyes’ facility at the Servimont headquarters, and and were soon back on the road to head to the south side of Orizaba. It was a long bumpy ride but nonetheless we arrived early in the afternoon with plenty of time to set up our tents and have a siesta. This evening we had a pasta dinner and are all prepped for our climb tomorrow.
It’s time for the grand finale tomorrow, wish us luck and we’ll check in upon our return to Tlachichuca! And in only a few short days we’ll ending the journey and heading back to our friends and loved ones back home.
On The Map
This is Christina calling in from Patagonia. We had a long day on the trail today 11 hours of walking from Los Perros Camp to Lago Grey we went up and over John Gardner Pass. Everyone did really well going up this steep, long hill and we rewarded ourselves with beautiful views looking down on to the Gray Glacier. It look like white caps on the water all frozen in stillness, a huge glacier draining the Southern Patagonia ice cap all the way to the Grey Lake. As far as the eye can see was glacier. We walked down the other side of the pass and along the trail in and out of forest, across streams that you can drink out of without worrying about any bacteria here, the water is that clean. They say that drinking lots of glacier water here makes your skin look younger so we have all been staying hydrated. We got into camp feeling tired and very proud of our long day. The team is doing great.
RMI Guide Christina Dale checks in after a long day on the trail in Patagonia.
Now that’s what I’m talking about team!!! 11hrs uphill! So proud of all you. Enjoy the rewards!
Posted by: Eric (aka Lamb) on 2/24/2018 at 11:40 am
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.
Drink that clear, clean glacial water of the Andean fountain of youth! We are tracking you from southern Florida where it is a balmy and breezy 87 degrees. Explored little islands off west coast in small boat! Off to Selby Gardens for orchids and Andy Warhol today.
Posted by: Sharon hostler on 2/24/2018 at 8:04 am
Dear Kaki, Deb and Catherine, Thinking of you crossing the Gardner Pass and wishing you clear skies, great views and sure footing. We took ferries from Pune Island to Cabbage Key to North Captiva. My kind of day on the water. Looking forward to your stories. Love Moms
Posted by: Sharon Hostler on 2/23/2018 at 12:41 pm
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.
What a great looking team—thanks for the pic.
Posted by: Dale on 2/22/2018 at 7:39 pm
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