RMI Expeditions Blog
The Team packed up at the Altzomoni Hut this morning after a big breakfast and casual start to the day. We hiked up to High Camp, located at 15,500’ over three hours and benefited from cloudy skies and a cool breeze. As we were leaving the Third Portillo, the clouds began climbing past us and soon snow was falling. The group did great today, carrying heavy packs in rocky terrain at high altitude. We’ll spend the day resting and keeping our fingers crossed for clear weather. Tomorrow will be our one shot at Ixta and she can be cruel when conditions are stormy. The climbing itself is straight forward and we’ll hope to be calling in from the top shortly after sunrise. Thanks for following along, we all continue to eat amazing food and are enjoying the beautiful scenery.
On The Map
March 5, 2018
After enjoying our last showers for a few days, we packed up our things and headed downhill from the La Malintzi center. We enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast just about 30 minutes from the center, then continued on towards the town of Amecameca for a quick grocery shop and to grab any last minute items the team needed. Two more hours of driving got us to the Welcome Center for Ixtaccihuatl. Mike got us all checked in, then we continued uphill on a dusty dirty road to reach the Altzimoni Hut. After unloading our gear, we did a quick sort and packed our necessities for tomorrow’s hike into basecamp. Dinner is being cooked up as we write this and the team is excited to dig in. Fresh tortillas, carne asada, rice, beans, guacamole and lots of salsas to choose from! Thanks for following along and we all hope you’re eating as well as we are!
On The Map
March 4, 2018
Everyone arrived yesterday with all luggage in tow and today we set out for a hike on La Malinche. The three hour drive through the countryside is very scenic and due to how dry the weather has been the haze began to thin as we started driving by Ixta (our first climbing objective in a few days). After arriving at a former Olympic training site we hiked up through a dense pine forest, which gave off pleasant scents reminding people of home. We walked to about 13,900’ before turning around due to heavy traffic above and rock fall hazard. The goal today was to stretch the legs and lungs a bit and dust off the cobwebs of travel days ad all those tacos we ate in Mexico City. Everyone is enjoying the trip so far. Tonight we will sleep at 10,000’ in little cabanas to continue acclimatizing. Thanks for following along.
RMI Guides Mike King & Jenny Konway
On The Map
Day 9 and our feet are broken in, our layers are perfect, and our backs strong. We finished the circumnavigation of the Paine Massif today by walking 22 kilometers up to the base of the famous granite towers. A long and windy day on the trail but everyone did great. It was so windy at times that it was hard to walk against but we figured one or two windy days out of nine was pretty good. As this amazing trip comes to an end we all want to thank Chile for keeping the national park well preserved and thank our partners here in Patagonia for helping this trip run so smoothly. Congratulations to this RMI team from your guides; Chuma, Mauricio and Christina!
Today we hiked back to where we started this adventure: younger and wiser, of course. The beautiful land we have traveled across for the past eight days has touched us all. From the beach tree forests to the smooth stone beaches of Nordernskjold Lake, we have all learned to appreciate the air and water around us. What a perfect trip for great weather and remote places. One of the biggest realizations is the food here is so good and we could have left some luxury items behind. We still have one more day tomorrow to finish the W and take in more outstanding views but now we celebrate hiking the circuit! Other than a few blisters, everyone is doing well!
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.