Aconcagua: King & Team Make a Carry to Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

“THE GANG CONTEMPLATES DRUM CIRCLE SABOTAGE”

A stint at Plaza Argentina wouldn’t be complete without being kept awake by the repetitive and monotone sound of Argentine dance music mixed with improvised drum solos, all accompanied by a Peruvian pan flute.

This amazing melody finally wrapped up around 4am. The Gang took a load of food and equipment to Aconcagua’s Camp 1 today in great style, despite the dry and dusty scree slope that must be gained. We spent an hour at 16,200 ft and descended to quesadillas and siesta.

Rest day tomorrow and hopefully a full night’s sleep.

It’s always sunny at Plaza Argentina!

RMI Guide Mike King

RMI Climbers navigating the snow penitentes below Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Jake Beren

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team in Position for Summit Bid

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Though the tents shook with the wind again last night, the gusts came fewer and further between. As the sun rose this morning the gusts became rarer, and we decided that this was our day to move to our high camp at Colera (Spanish for anger, not the disease). We were still prepared to face strong winds as we moved into more exposed terrain on the way, but Aconcagua gave us a pass and we climbed with gentle breezes and brilliant sunshine the whole way. We are now settled in, working on heating water for dinner- which takes a long time at 19,600’- before we rack out early to prep for a hopeful summit attempt tomorrow. All of the days of hard work have gotten us here, and everyone is excited to be in place for the final push to our objective. We’ll be in touch tomorrow to let you know how it goes.
Best,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juan, and the team

Aconcagua High Camp beneath the Polish Glacier. Photo: Tim Amos

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Kilimanjaro: Waterfall & Team Descend from Mweka Camp

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | February 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Greetings from the Dik Dik hotel. We’re off the mountain safe and sound. This morning we woke up at 10,000’ but now we are back down to a more reasonable altitude.
We meet up for breakfast at 7 AM and everyone had a great appetite for the french toast that the cooks made. Immediately after breakfast the whole support staff gathered around and we handed out the well deserved tips for the crew. Our climb truly would not have been possible without the great food and hard work of the support team. We are all very grateful for all of their efforts.
After that we dropped 4,000’ down to the trailhead where our vehicle was waiting with lunch and cold drinks. This team has a voracious appetite and lunch was gone ASAP.
Now we are all gathering up and getting ready for dinner. We move on our stomachs!
Tomorrow we start the safari portion of the trip and that is always a good time.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

RMIs January 24th Kilimanjaro Team on the summit.  Photo: Seth Waterfall Climbers descending from the summit of Kilimanjaro.  Photo: Seth Waterfall

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Rest at Camp 2

Posted by: | February 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

We decided this morning to take a Groundhog Day at Camp 2 on Aconcagua. With gusty winds swirling around camp, the group thought about it and decided that another day of acclimatization would make everyone stronger. We have plenty of extra days to spare, and an important skill here in the mountains is being able to curb our enthusiasm to rush in higher and make the necessary adjustments to set us up for success.

We spent the day sorting snack food, playing cards, and trading food with tent mates. At this point in the trip, the grass is always greener in a neighbor’s snack bag, since things that looked so delicious when we were shopping have come to look much less appetizing with too many repetitions. It is exciting to get some new additions, and some of the card games started taking on snack food bets.

Our plan is to head up to camp 3 tomorrow weather permitting, which will put us in place for our summit attempt.

Hasta maƱana,

RMI Guides Pete, Alex, Juan, and the gang.

Aconcagua, 18,000 ft, Camp 2.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Resting at Plaza Argentina

Posted by: Steve Gately, Mike King | February 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

An enjoyable aspect of any rest day is “sport eating”, because you know that you will burn through the calories and you get to sort through all the extra food you brought on the expedition. Today we started with Steve’s North American scrambled eggs. The team went for a walk to aid in acclimatization and returned to guide made cheese pizzas.

Everyone is relaxing and getting gear ready for the carry to Camp 1 tomorrow. Those minor headaches we had upon arrival yesterday have gone and appetites are strong! The team is excited to see what lies ahead.

It’s always sunny in Plaza Argentina.

RMI Guide Mike King

Base Camp on Aconcagua, Plaza Argentina, 13,800 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Kilimanjaro: Waterfall & Team Summit!

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | February 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 19,340'

February 1, 2015 6:00 am PT
Seth here checking in from our last camp on Kili. We are down at 10,000’ and boy does the air feel thick and good. We started our summit push yesterday, technically, with an 11:00pm wake up call. We hit the trail at two minutes past midnight and reached Uhuru Peak (Kilimanjaro‘s summit) at 6:44am. The climb was pretty cold with a strong wind out of the Northeast. The climbers buckled down though and made a great effort in tough conditions.

After returning to high camp we packed up, had a late breakfast and started down to Mweka, our camp. At the halfway point we started to get some rain showers that made the tough trail a bit tougher. True to form though the team rallied and we made camp in good time.
Everyone is relaxing now after a late lunch and looking forward to the hike out tomorrow.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

January 31, 2015 8:00 pm PT
Hey, this is Seth calling from the top of Kilimanjaro! It’s 7:00 a.m. our time. Nine of the climbers went to the summit today. One of our group decided to hang back in high camp and wait for us to return, but everybody else is up here on Uhuru Peak, the very highest point of Kilimanjaro.  The tallest peak in Africa and one of the largest free-standing mountains on Earth. It has been one of the coldest days I’ve had up here. We’ve had a wind blowing at us and put a little rime ice on our parkas and whatnot. But now that the sun’s been up on us a little bit and having fun up here, we’re gonna take finish taking pics and swing back down through high camp and to our camp at 10,000 feet tonight. I’ll check in from there. That’s it from us from the top of Kilimanjaro.

Sunrise at 18,000' on Kilimanjaro. Photo: Casey Grom An RMI team on Kilimanjaro summit day. Photo: RMI Collection Descending through Kilimanjaro's rainforest to the Mweka Gate. Photo: Jeff Martin


RMI Guide Seth Waterfall calls in from Uhuru Peak.

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Rest Day at Camp 2

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 31, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

The sun has been shining on us all day, and the temperatures are pleasant, but something has changed: early this morning the tents gave a foretelling rattle, and then the wind settled in. While the wind hasn’t been too strong yet, mostly it just makes a lot of noise, the forecast is hinting that the winds may strengthen tonight, and that they may persist for at least a week. We are hoping that they allow us to move up tomorrow, and that a forecasted lull may give us our shot. At this point, everything is ready for us and we are in Dr. Suess’ proverbial waiting place, so we just have our fingers crossed for our summit window to show itself. Keep your fingers crossed for us,

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer, Juan, Alex, and team

Views of the surrounding Andes on the trail to Aconcagua Camp 2. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: King & Team Settling Into Base Camp

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | January 31, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Despite having a rogue mule disappear with one of our bags last night, the group enjoyed delicious grilled chicken and Steve’s famous pasta salad. The bag eventually rejoined our group late last night, thanks to the amazing gauchos that we work with.

We are relaxing at Plaza Argentina, 13,800 feet after a beautiful day with more views of the highest peaks outside of the Himalaya. The group woke early and rode Mules across the Vacas River, always a highlight on an Aconcagua expedition. We are looking forward to our first rest day of the climb tomorrow.

Stay tuned to see how the group, “out chills” the rest day.

RMI Guide Mike King

Approaching Aconcagua Base Camp through the Relinchos Valley. Photo: Garrett Stevens Aconcagua Base Camp at Plaza Argentina. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent Wraps Up the Expedition in Mendoza

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 31, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Hi all. Billy here with the last installment from our riveting series of blog posts documenting one of this year’s RMI Aconcagua expeditions. We officially wrapped up our program last evening with an amazing dinner at Francesco Barbera complete with all of the pageantry you’d expect from a fine dining experience in Argentina: cocktails, wine, delicious handmade pastas, dessert, coffee. We deserved a little luxury after so much hard work in such a harsh environment and indeed there was much rejoicing.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the team for their patience, dedication, and hard work all along the way and to thank Katrina and Billy Haas for being exceptional guides and teammates the whole trip too. 

I’ve had tons of fun and can’t wait to come back next year…

Til then.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

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Kilimanjaro: Waterfall & Team Ascend to High Camp

Posted by: Seth Waterfall | January 31, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,000'

Hello! We are all up at high camp as of 12:00pm our time. We had a fairly mellow hike up here today. We took another relaxed morning with breakfast at 8:00. Some excitement during breakfast came in the form of a helicopter landing in camp. It circled a few times and touched down twice. Then it stayed on the ground for a few minutes and took off again. That’s the first time I’ve seen a helicopter on Kilimanjaro.

Our hike was super smooth and everyone is doing well with the altitude. We are about to have lunch and discuss the climbing plan. After that we’ll relax, get an early dinner and then wake up and climb.

If all goes well, my next check in will be from the summit.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

An RMI team at a rest break overlooking Kilimanjaro. Photo: Seth Waterfall The trail leading to High Camp on Kilimanjaro. Photo: Jeff Martin

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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