Mexicos Volcanoes: Team Moves to Ixta High Camp

Posted by: Chase Nelson, Solveig Waterfall | February 17, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

After waking up to a nice breakfast of huevos Mexicanos at the Altzomoni Hut, we loaded up our packs and departed for our Ixta high camp! We hiked under mostly cloudy skies and chilly weather but were greeted by some sun breaks in the afternoon. Great views all day of Ixta’s actively erupting neighbor Popo, as well as the cities surrounding the mountain. We made it to the Refugio with plenty of time for some last minute prep and an early evening. The team is looking good and acclimatized for a summit bid tomorrow, it should be an exciting day!

RMI Guide Chase Nelson

An RMI Team at High Camp on Ixtaccihuatl.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mexico: Waterfall & Team Settle in to Altzomoni Hut

Posted by: Solveig Waterfall, Chase Nelson | February 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 12,000'

Good evening everyone!

We are all nestled in here at the Altzomoni Hut, which is subsequently nestled between the summits of Popo and Ixta, just above the Paso de Cortez.

We started off the day with a buffet breakfast at the Mission Tlaxaca, the last in-town meal before the climb.  After meeting our local guide Cato and going for an acclimatization hike up the first few hundred feet of the route to high camp, we returned to the hut for rewarding hot drinks and a chips and salsa fiesta!

The rest of the evening has been spent organizing gear, practicing with our crampons, harnesses, and learning to set up expedition tents.  We are all excited to get up to camp tomorrow and get our eyes on the upper mountain!

Thanks for following along and we’ll check in tomorrow night!

RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the Team

Views of Ixtaccihuatl from the Paso de Cortez. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mexico: Solveig Waterfall & Team Acclimate on La Malinche

Posted by: Solveig Waterfall, Chase Nelson | February 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 12,000'

We awoke in Mexico City this morning to clearing skies, warmer temperatures, and relatively quiet streets. Leaving town early on the Sunday morning of a holiday weekend has its benefits! 

The team enjoyed a delicious traditional Mexican style breakfast provided by the hotel, and after efficiently transferring our mountain of luggage into the vehicle to go to the actual mountain, we stole a few extra moments prior to loading our bus to make a final run to the closest Starbucks. This last minute luxury is one which instantly triggers my Seattleite soul into an irrepressible mental fist-bump!

We sailed through the streets of District Federal with ease, making quick work of our exit from the metropolitan area.  We had discussed the need to “roll with the punches”, so to speak, at our evening meeting, as the logistics of traveling in this part of the world can sometimes be an exercise in patience.  Soon after we left the city center behind we were met with our first mental challenge of the trip!

Our driver pulled off the highway, jumped out of the bus, and made a break for the nearest field and distant buildings in what at first appeared to be either a desperate trip to get to the restroom, or an oddly-timed opportunity to get in a quick jog…either way we all followed suit and hopped off to snap a few quick selfies and capture the views of Ixta and Popo.

To our delight, our driver returned, with tools and additional man-power, and we soon discovered we were not being abandoned, but rather beginning the process of repairing a punctured tire.

After an hour of relaxing roadside, we re-boarded and continued toward La Malinche, eagerly anticipating stretching our legs on the slopes of the long-extinct volcano.  Once we arrived here at the La Malitzi Resort, we quickly moved into our Cabanas, organized our day packs, hit the trail, and hiked at a casual pace ascending to our high point of just over 12,000ft.

Back at the resort just before dark, we are enjoying a beautiful sunset here at 10,000ft, awaiting our dinner reservation and a hot shower to wash off the trail dust.

Tomorrow we head to Ixta to continue the acclimatization process and prepare for our first summit bid in a few days!

Buenos Noches!
RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the Team

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

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team Summit Cotopaxi!

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

The Ecuador Seminar team, led by Casey Grom and Ben Liken reached the Cotopaxi summit this morning!  Check out the photos Casey sent us this morning from their summit bid.

Congratulations team!

The Ecuador Seminar team ascending Cotopaxi. Photo: Casey Grom February 15, 2015 - Ecuador Seminar team on the Cotopaxi summit! Photo: Casey Grom

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Mexico: Solveig Waterfall & Team Arrrive in Mexico City

Posted by: Solveig Waterfall, Chase Nelson | February 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico

Hi Everyone!

Chase and I have been in Mexico City since last night and spent this afternoon grocery shopping and sorting equipment in preparation for the start of our program.  Climbers arrived throughout the afternoon and evening, and by 9:00 PM we were a complete team around the dinner table at the Holiday Inn here in the Zona Rosa.

We spent the evening discussing logistics, gear, and getting ourselves prepared to hit the trail, starting with our first acclimatization hike tomorrow. We are all excited to leave the sounds of the city behind and get into the mountains! Our first objective will be an afternoon stroll on the flanks of La Malinche.

Thanks for following along and we’ll check in again tomorrow evening!

RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall

Overlooking the Zocalo of Mexico City from RMI's hotel. Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team at Hacienda Tambopaxi

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone,

We spent the day relaxing here at Hacienda Tambopaxi that sits just at the base of the beautiful volcano Cotopaxi. It’s one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and we’ve been told that Cotopaxi is a pre-inca name meaning “neck of the moon”. The area surrounding the volcano is mostly high plateau grasslands and is home to a thousands of wild horses, which we could easily see just outside of the hacienda.

The team is doing great and everyone is well rested and excited for our last big climb. We’ll be waking up at 10pm and hopefully hitting the road shortly after breakfast and if all goes well, standing at 19,347ft above sea level right after sunrise.

We will check in tomorrow when we are safely back down.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The Ecuador Seminar team hiking in the grasslands to Tambopaxi. Photo: Casey Grom Team dinner at Hacienda Tambopaxi, Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team’s Rest Day Near Cotopaxi

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

Greetings from Tambopaxi Lodge,

Today we took a full day to rest our weary legs and heal our slightly sun burnt faces.  After a breakfast with a view of Cotopaxi a few of team members went horseback riding while the rest of us drank coffee and swapped stories from our Antisana climb.  The riders got all dressed up in Ecuadorean ponchos, cowboy hats, and alpaca chaps.  We then wasted no time getting to our next activity…... A four course lunch.  We did manage to get in some training in during the afternoon but were easily distracted by views of the mountain and galloping wild horses. 

We look forward to a good night of sleep because tomorrow there will be no such luxury.  Tomorrow we will be up and at ‘em around 10 pm to ascend our final peak, Cotopaxi.

Everyone hear wishes their special someone at home a very happy Valentine’s Day!

RMI Guide Ben Liken and Amigos

The team dressed in the new Ecuadorian ponchos. Photo: Ben Liken

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Aconcagua: King & Team Back to Base Camp

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

We are currently back in Plaza Argentina enjoying some well deserved pizza and ice cold beverages. The team cruised down hill this morning, picking up gear and waste, leaving Aconcagua in better shape then we found it.  When your descent takes only 4.5 hours compared to the 9 days it took on the ascent, you have to just shake your head a little.

The team is all smiles, waiting on shower water to heat up, enjoying time out of their boots and laughing.

This will be our last dispatch of the climb. We will walk to LeƱas on Saturday for an amazing Argentine BBQ (that’s slow cooked beef for you non-southerners).  Sunday will see us with a short hike to the road and back in Mendoza.

Thanks for checking in on us during the climb.

RMI Guides Mike King and Steve Gately

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

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Ecuador Seminar: Grom & Team Summit Antisana

Posted by: Casey Grom, Ben Liken | February 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 18,891'

Congratulations to our team of climbers on their climb today!

It wasn’t easy, in fact far from it.
We started the day with a 10:30 pm wake up call that no one ever enjoys, but everyone made it to breakfast relatively quickly and seemed excited as the weather looked to be in our favor. We then hoped into our 4 wheeled vehicles and drove about 20 minutes to the start of the climb. The weather continued to improve as we made our way to the the start of the glacier where we put on our crampons and roped up for the rest of the climb. The initial part of the glacier was mostly bare ice which made for rather easy climbing and slowly increased in angle and crevasses. Everyone did a great job of taking care of themselves and stayed calm even though the terrain was challenging.

After several hours of climbing we reached the final headwall that looked to be too much, but with perseverance the team surmounted the last steep slope and made our way to the top of Antisana. All in all it took 9 hard hours to reach the summit where we enjoyed the views and took a few photos. The descent was no easy task either having to reverse the climb, but we all made it back safely in a couple of hours.

Everyone is in good spirits and maybe just a little tired ;)

Special thanks to Sally for the wonderful Sahale mixed nuts that were sent along, we enjoyed them!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy albeit tired crew

Climbing Antisana, Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom RMI Team Climbing on Antisana. Photo: Casey Grom Team on the Summit of Antisana. Photo: Casey Grom

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Aconcagua: King & Team SUMMIT!

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

February 12, 2015 - 11:56 am PT
Update:
      The team is all safely back at Camp III after a successful summit day! Warm temps and literally zero wind made it one for the record books!

RMI Guide Steve Gately

9:20 am PT

Hi, this is Mike King with RMI Aconcagua Team 7 stand on the top of South America! We had a challenging day with extremely cold weather, and wind in the morning.  We had a lot of new snow and scree on the way up on the upper mountain. The team did great.  We’re gonna be heading back down in about 20 minutes. A beautiful day,  I don’t have ever seen a more beautiful day on the top of Aconcagua. We will call or send a posting when we get back to high camp.  Thanks for joining us!

RMI Guide Mike King

The Cannelletta on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection Below the Aconcagua summit looking down into the Canaleta after a recent snowstorm. Photo: Mike King


Mike King Calling from the Summit of Aconcagua February 12, 2015

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16

Woohoo!!! Yay Candace!!!! I’m SO happy for you!!

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Posted by: Tiffany on 2/12/2015 at 11:31 pm

Thank God

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Posted by: tina baker on 2/12/2015 at 9:00 pm


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