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RMI Expeditions Blog

Artesonraju: Elias & Team Travel From Lima to Huaraz

Greetings from Huaraz!

Do you like movies? Recognize the Paramount Pictures’ logo? Well… that mountain exists, and we’re off to climb it!!!
After a day of international traveling, and a night in Peru’s capital, Lima, we drove north through the Pacific coastal desert, then through a section of Peruvian farmland where chili peppers are getting dried in the sun and finally, over the 14,000-foot pass of Conococha to arrive in Huaraz, the gateway of the “Callejon de Huaylas” Valley. This is where the Cordillera Blanca Range extends for nearly 100 miles. We checked in to our hotel, and a clear evening provided a great view of the mountains to the Northeast form the terraces of our rooms in the Hotel Andino, an incredible facility, where after four years, we’re part of the family now.

We’re off to bed, excited for our acclimatization hike tomorrow. Stay tuned as we start our expedition.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos and team

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Cayambe Express: Walter & Team Acclimatize on Rucu Pichincha

We set out early this morning for our first acclimatization climb. The day started with a gondola ride from Quito to ~13,500’. Then the fun began. We headed west on a well-defined trail that followed a ridge on the shoulder of Rucu Pichincha. As the hiking continued, the trail got steeper and the air didn’t get any thicker. After a couple hundred feet of rock scrambling we arrived at the summit of Rucu Pichincha (~15,700’). Views were sporadic as clouds moved in and out. When the views were there, though, they were stunning, looking down on Quito almost 7,000’ below. The weather was pleasant and we spent a decent amount of time relaxing up top. Then we retraced our steps and rode the gondola back to town. Now, back at our hotel, we’re cleaning up, resting, and packing for an early departure tomorrow to head north towards the town of Otovalo where we’ll tackle our second acclimatization hike, this time to an ancient volcano called Fuya Fuya.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Mt. Elbrus: Reid & Team in Azau

Everyone slept great last night after a big day yesterday. Today’s activities included a beautiful morning walk from the village of Cheget to Azau, where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Freeride Cafe. Afternoon horseback riding included an exciting river ford and a visit to the valley’s mineral springs. This evening we celebrated our successful climb with Yuriy, our local Russian guide who’s climbed Mt. Elbrus “maybe 200 times…maybe 300. I’ve stopped counting many years ago.” BBQ lamb, potato pancakes, Russian salads, and of course, vodka… tomorrow it’s another alpine start as we head for St. Petersburg. All is great in Russia.

RMI Guide Tyler Reid

On The Map

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Mt. Rainier: June 25th Update

Summit! With bluebird skies and lights winds, the summit climb teams reached the top of Mt. Rainier.  The teams, led by Eric Frank and Paul Rachele, began their descent from the Crater Rim just after 7AM.
We look forward to congratulating them here at Rainier Basecamp this afternoon.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations, Spencer and Lacey!! We’re so happy for you! What an accomplishment for all of your team!

Posted by: Christie and Seth Taylor on 6/25/2017 at 1:04 pm

I think I can… I think I can… WE DID IT!!!!!!
Alex and Megan - Check another bucket item✅ Way to live life with GUSTO

Posted by: Allyson James on 6/25/2017 at 11:47 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Rest Day at 14K Camp

June 24, 2017 10:36 pm PST

And today we rested. After our big move day yesterday we felt we deserved a day of kicking back and recovering. We made a point of emerging from our tents no earlier than 10 am and got the day started out right by consuming a mountain of pancakes. Kudos to Caleb for consuming the largest pancake of the morning! By 1 pm we were wrapping up the pancake party and as you may imagine, that long of a breakfast can really take it out of you .... So we rested a bit more. Once we felt we had properly digested we reviewed fixed line travel and running belays in preparation for our carry tomorrow. After practice for a few hours it was nearly time for dinner! Funny how time flies on a rest day. We had an early dinner of gourmet Ramen and before the sun could go down on us and give way to the chill of 14 Camp we headed to bed. Tomorrow we have our first go at the fixed lines!

Goodnight from 14!
Hasta Manana

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

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Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Settle Into Camp at 14,200’

June 24, 2017 10:07 pm PST

We continue to enjoy better weather than we have a right to expect.  The forecasts keep calling for snow, and I’m sure it was snowing somewhere -we got about .5 inches overnight at 11,000 ft, but when we peered outside this morning it just looked like good climbing weather.  We were out of there by 8 and up our now familiar hills, Motorcycle and Squirrel, we had no trouble getting to Windy Corner by noon and then we passed our cache (yesterday’s high point) and made for 14,200 ft.  We pulled in at 2:30 for a respectable 6.5-hour journey.  There was a fine place for tents right alongside our pals on Mike Haugen’s RMI trip.  The afternoon was spent as a lot of ours seem to be, building camp and melting snow for water.  Except now we are doing it in the legendary Genet Basin with the West Buttress and Denali’s gigantic South Peak looming over us.  We built a fine dining area (a giant pit in the snow with snow benches and snow tables and our dining tent capping it) and then tested it out with a team dinner.  Tomorrow should be a relatively easy day, just dropping down the short distance to our cache and bringing it all home to 14.2.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Following you all closely and wondering why you would want to spend time in the cold and snow!? However, I do know the answer. Mom Brennan

Posted by: Janet Brennan on 6/25/2017 at 6:07 pm

Cayambe Express: Walter & Team Explore Quito

Our Ecuador trip is up and running, and we spent our first day in country visiting the Equator and an ethnographic museum where we learned about the various diverse cultures of the country and were able to simultaneously stand in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Afterwards, we travelled to southern Quito to visit the old town, or colonial area. Here we toured Independence Plaza, the Compania de Jesus church, and walked the streets of old town, learning about Ecuador’s history. After a fun, educational, and jam-packed day, we’ve got some down time before dinner. Tomorrow we’ll get up early and go on our first acclimatization hike up Rucu Pichincha, a 15,700 ft. volcano that towers over Quito.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Mt. Elbrus: Reid & Team Summit and Make a Ski Descent

This morning we awoke to stars above and stars below (no clouds whatsoever), a welcome change from the pattern we’ve experienced in our time on the mountain thus far. A light but steady breeze at the level of our camp was telling of the wind we’d encounter up high, but we went with optimism. At 4 am we were cramponing above Pastukhov Rocks, and the sunrise came quickly, illuminating dramatic Caucasus peaks we’ve yet to see on this trip.

By the traverse at 5000m we were in the wind for real. It came in waves. Sheets. Rapidly approaching freight trains threatening to knock you off your feet if you didn’t acknowledge them with the brace position. Then it was fine for 30 seconds. Then another train. Snow blowing everywhere. Spindrift filling in the trail, and any open zipper, backpack, or jacket cuff.

Carrying skis on your back was another matter. Somewhat ridiculous feeling, climbing in the wind carrying sails. I think we made other climbers feel as if maybe they didn’t have it so bad. At least in relative terms they were aerodynamic.

But it was warm. Slow going, but sunny and not as threatening of a situation as it may sound. Just some strong, annoying wind.

The wind took it easy on us for a short window of time that we stood on the summit. Much appreciated wind! The ski down was not effortless for the first few thousand feet - I’d describe it as typical high altitude ski mountaineering. You don’t do it for the snow. More a game of dodging bare ice patches that aren’t supposed to exist until August, and finding smooth ribs of sustrugi to rail slide. Maximizing efficient elevation loss. The aerodynamic climbers were all of a sudden jealous.

Then it got good. We hit the corn line around 14,500’ and the skiing became fun. And all of a sudden we were back at camp.

Proud effort team - everyone brought it today. Not a casual Elbrus ski ascent, but well earned.

RMI Guide Tyler Reid

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good for you, what a great feeling you must have!!!! Bob and I are having a celebratory vodka for you

Posted by: Barb on 6/24/2017 at 4:42 pm

Nicely done!
Enjoy the well deserved rest and celebratory vodka!!!

Posted by: Greg Barber on 6/24/2017 at 11:39 am

Mt. Rainier: Teams Summit!

The Mt. Rainier Summit Climb teams, led by Christina Dale & Robby Young, reached the summit at 5:50 a.m.  The guides reported calm winds and warm temperatures.  After spending an hour on the summit and crossing the crater rim, the teams began their descent at 6:50 a.m.

Congratulations to today’s summit climbers!

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Awesome team, even better guides and an epic experience! Thanks to Jenny and Robbie for pushing us! These guys are pro’s all around!

Posted by: Douglas Whittemore on 6/25/2017 at 8:42 am

Wow congrats! Amazing achievement!

Posted by: Martin grosskopf. on 6/24/2017 at 10:41 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Move to 14K Camp

June 23, 2017 10:30 pm PST

Greetings from 14 Camp on Denali!

Our team took advantage of stable weather and strong legs today to retrace our steps back up to 14,200 feet, this time with tents and sleeping bags in tow. We were excited to ascend the steeps of Motorcycle Hill and Squirrel Hill for the last time, and lucky for us, windy corner proved not so windy after all.

The rest of the day was devoted to digging in our new camp, which is looking dialed and styled. The team is looking forward to having some time to relax and adjust to the new altitude tomorrow, with a non-zero chance of Horiskey-style blueberry pancakes.

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

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Congratulations on your achievement, thus far.  The last photo was stunning beyond words. Mother Nature has been good to you.  Bon chance!  Brenda

Posted by: Brenda on 6/24/2017 at 8:38 am

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