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RMI Expeditions Blog

Ecuador Volcanoes: Liken & Team Enjoy Success on Cayambe

Over the past few days our team has been very busy down here on the equator.  On Saturday, we departed the comforts of civilization and made our way to the Cayambe Hut at a little over 15,000’.  The road to this mountain lodge is riddled with boulders, pot holes, mud pits, and the occasional farm animal, making it mandatory to use a 4x4 vehicle. 

Once we were settled in and spent a night in the thin air we moved further uphill to do some basic training on the toe of the glacier.  The team remembered mostly everything from their previous experience and were ready for a summit attempt.  So we packed our gear, ate some dinner, and went to bed for a few hours.

At about 11 pm we awoke to clear skies and were able to start uphill by midnight.  With perfect climbing conditions and a strong team we found ourselves on top of Cayambe for a 6:30 am sunrise over the equator.  After descending the upper steep slopes we cruised back to the hut and packed up.  A quick 4x4 ride brought us to our hacienda were we will start to recover from the climb.

Everyone is doing well and excited with the success we had!
RMI Guide Ben Liken

Yay for the team! Good work guys! Now on to the bigger beast!

Posted by: Susan Brashear on 1/24/2017 at 9:02 am

Ecuador Volcanoes: Liken, Knoff & Team Summit Cayambe

RMI Guides Ben Liken and Adam Knoff along with their team of climbers reached the summit of Cayambe (18,997’) today.  The team will descend to Hacienda Guachala where they will spend the night.  Tomorrow they will set out toward Chimborazo and their next objective.

Congratulations to the team!

On The Map

“Josh,  I hope you’re having a great day! I hope you don’t fall down! ”
- Evan (3 1/2)

Hi Josh!  It looks like you are in your element and having a blast! We can’t wait to hear about your adventures! - Lee & Lauren

Posted by: Evan "mountain polar bear" Hickmott on 1/24/2017 at 6:22 am

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Descend to Base Camp

Today was one of those days where you wake up in one world and go to sleep in another. In our team’s case, we woke up in the thin air of Camp 3, but after a day’s hard walking downhill, are lucky enough to be bedding down among the comforts of Aconcagua Base Camp. Around 18,000 feet, we got a chance to check in with RMI Guides Billy Nugent, Hannah Smith and the rest of their RMI team as they carried to Camp 2. As for our team though, we’re focused on resting up in anticipation of our two day trek still ahead to get off of this mountain. Everyone is happy, well, and excited about showers in the not too distant future.

RMI Guides
Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map

In July 2015, Hannah Smith and Pepper Dee were two of four guides on our team on the Emmons Route on Mount Rainier. They did a great job keeping us safe on the mountain. Wish I could join them on Aconcagua. Congratulations to the teams on Aconcagua now, safe travels.

Posted by: David Clemmons on 1/24/2017 at 8:49 am

Torres Del Paine: Elias and Team Arrive in Puerto Natales

Greetings from the land of the “big legged ones”, (term used by Magellan to refer to the natives of the Australmost part of the American continent during the Spanish expedition of 1519 trying to reach Asia going west) aka Patagonia.

We are currently in Puerto Natales, resting in our hotel right across from the agitated waters of the “Última Esperanza” (last hope) fjord.
Our bodies are tired from 24 hours of international traveling, but after a quick layover in the southern hub that Punta Arenas is for the region, we drove to the gateway of Torres del Paine National Park.
The views of the salt water meeting the towering mountains are astonishing, and the feel of being in our antipodes’ “last frontier” is very real.
Sheep farms gave way to wilder land populated by foxes and “ñandúes” (ostrich like birds) and the human shelters are getting smaller and further apart.

Everyone is very excited for the adventure we start tomorrow. We will be posting next from the trails of our circuit… in the mean time, sit back and imagine what being in summer, surrounded by friends, good food and better landscape would be right now; well, we’re there!

RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos

Hi, Pam and Missy—-
So thrilling that you are waaaaaay down south in that spectacular windswept landscape! I am very impressed that you will be camping most nights, versus taking the cushy route that I did at Patagonia’s Explora Hotel. You are true explorers.

Posted by: Mimi Conger on 1/24/2017 at 4:34 am

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Carry to Camp 2

We are back safely in Camp 1 after a beautiful carry up to Camp 2 at over 18,000ft. This camp in addition to being our “Camp 2” is also called Guanacos Campo 3, or Chopper Camp because there used to be the pieces of a crashed helicopter sprinkled about. Those are all cleaned up these days and virtually no trace of a crashed helicopter is left. We enjoyed sunny skies and calm winds all day today while making great time. We were three-ish hours up and just over an hour down with a nice break up at our cache site in between. The team is back down soaking up some sun and relaxing the afternoon away. We have a rest/acclimatization day on deck that will hopefully set us up well for our climb higher.

All for now…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Casey Grom & Team Meet & Greet

Our Kilimanjaro trip is underway!

The team arrived late last night after their long flights from the US and after a short drive to our lodge the team had a quick dinner and headed for bed.
Today after a hearty breakfast the team met for RMI’s official orientation where we did a round of introductions and discussed the upcoming plan for the next few day and the gear essentials for our climb.
We spent the remainder of the day packing and relaxing here at this tranquil and private lodge that has numerous wild animals roaming the grounds. There are two different types of monkeys here, the Velvet and the Blue. Several Dik Dik that have been rescued, a few Guinea fowl, and we even managed to see a Genet sneaking around tonight.
We are being well taken care of here at the Arumeru River Lodge by their gracious and kind staff. 

Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a little uphill exercise tomorrow as we head to Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Kili Team

Go get em Dad! Your training will treat you well in the coming days. Oh, and Rise UP (to the top!)

Posted by: Todd on 1/24/2017 at 4:29 am

Wishing you the best Eric!! Even though I had hoped you’d been able to come with us last year it’s exciting to see you start this journey man.  Pole pole!  Can’t wait to hear about your experience and see your certificate!

Posted by: Caleb on 1/24/2017 at 12:36 am

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Summit!

January 22nd, 4:29 pm PST
So don’t sing at 22,000 feet, that is my recommendation. We are all back down here at high camp. The team is all back in their tents, fed and watered. What a heck of a day- about 14 hours. The team did great. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be singing again, and I guess I better write instead of talk. Thanks for following you guys. Take care.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

January 22nd, 10:29 am PST
Hello, everyone. This is RMI Guide, Pepper Dee, from the top of Aconcagua!  Mark Tucker has lost his voice, but he has not lost any of his team. He started with ten climbers and ten climbers are on top of South America right now. We had a great day getting up here. Pretty clear with some intermittent snow showers, but we’re all just so thrilled to be up here. When the clouds break, we can see views down the valley where we came. [lost transmission]

RMI Guide Pepper Dee

RMI Guide Pepper Dee calls from the Aconcagua summit!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls after safe return back to Aconcagua High Camp.

Way to go Tuck!

Posted by: KO on 1/23/2017 at 1:11 pm

What a group of badasses!! Congrats everyone. Papa, we can’t wait to see photos :)

Posted by: Jenny M on 1/23/2017 at 12:26 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Move to Camp 1

Here we are in Camp 1 all settled in at over 16,000’. We enjoyed dinner in the late afternoon sunshine after putting in a hard day’s work coming up from Plaza Argentina and are now in our tents trying to rest up and get used to the living at our new altitude. Our team performed extremely well today and made short work of the steep scree field directly below camp. We are acclimatizing nicely as the amount of effort on today’s move was significantly less than on our carry just a couple days ago although I’m not expecting the night to be all peaches and cream. Your first night over 16,000’ on any trip is a tough one. Tomorrow we are hoping to get another carry of food and fuel up the hill and into Camp 2 before descending back here to continue our acclimation process. Slowly but surely…

RMI Guides Billy Nugent

On The Map

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Move to High Camp

Greetings from High Camp on Aconcagua! Today was a big move day for the team, as we established ourselves at 19,600 feet in preparation for our summit bid. We battled some gusty, overcast weather getting up here, but as of 5 pm the skies around the upper mountain are clear, if a bit blustery. We are all hoping for an unconditional good break in the weather tomorrow, which as of now is the “big day” for the team. Keep us in your thoughts tomorrow; we’re all hoping for a safe and successful summit day.

Love to everyone!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map

Good luck Fred and fellow climbers. Have a great day!

Jerry and Carol Hedstrom

Posted by: Jerry & Carol Hedstrom on 1/22/2017 at 6:06 pm

Thinking of you a lot today, and hoping for a smooth and safe ascent (and descent of course). We couldn’t be prouder! :)

Posted by: Jenny M. on 1/22/2017 at 3:01 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team’s Rest and Relaxation Day at Basecamp

Apologies, but I don’t have much exciting information to report… We are enjoying a calm and partly cloudy rest day here at Plaza Argentina and tonight will be our final night in Basecamp before we make our move up to Camp 1 tomorrow. We’ve been enjoying the good food here as things will change higher up on the mountain. For breakfast we ate deliciously cheesy, ooey gooey, egg, onion, green pepper, and pancetta breakfast burritos courtesy of Hannah’s expert level burrito rolling skills and a nice spread of pizzas for lunch. No doubt one last big dinner this evening will cap off the extravagant meals until the climbing is done and we are safely back in basecamp. We are spending the afternoon doing laundry, listening to music, reading, and making our final gear preparations. Tomorrow should be an exciting day.

Will check in next time from Camp 1!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Hi Dad (Jim Love),

I hope your toes are feeling better and you are enjoying some of the scenery! Proud of you!


Posted by: Heather Love on 1/22/2017 at 6:17 pm

Happy Birthday early Alec.  Be safe and have fun.  Love always-Mom (Kim Schulz)

Posted by: Kim Schulz on 1/21/2017 at 9:43 am

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