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RMI Expeditions Blog

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Move to High Camp

Yet another nice weather day here on Kilimanjaro. We are looking down at a sea of clouds below us but it’s all clear up here at 15,000’ Barafu Camp, our high camp. After a nice breakfast the team took yet another big bite out of the mountain.  After just a few hours of walking we are situated less than one vertical mile from the top of the “Roof of Africa”. We have been eating, lounging and trying to not get too excited about the adventure ahead tonight. We spent some time this afternoon readying for our climb, putting fresh batteries in the head lamp,a gallon sized lunch bag, boots dried to perfection, special saved pair of summit socks pulled out and put in position.  We are planning for an 11:30 pm wake up call. A lot of preparation and sacrifice has gone into getting us all here. Thank you all back home for the support on this great adventure.  We will have an early dinner then it’s into the tent for a few more hours of rest before we begin our summit attempt. The mountain has been very friendly so far and a we have a high level of confidence for it to continue for another 48 hours. Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Woop woop!!  So excited.

Posted by: Cassie evering on 7/30/2016 at 12:08 pm

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Summit!

We did it! We stood on the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak.

I have to admit we were pretty lucky with the weather, as it was near perfect. The team did a fantastic job of taking care of themselves and climbed strong. We summited around 7:30 in clear skies with a wonderful view of the entire Caucus mountain range.
But it didn’t end there, after descending a short ways off of the summit we were at the saddle between the 2 summits that Elbrus has and a few of us decided to climb both summits while the rest of the team descended safely back to camp. It only added an additional hour and a half, so not too bad, especially since we had such amazing weather.
After everyone returned to camp, we had a quick lunch and then packed up to head down valley to our hotel at the base of the mountain.

RMI Guides Casey Grom & Billy Nugent

On The Map

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Team on the Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Kel Rossiter reached the summit of Mt. Rainier today.  Kel reported clear and cool weather with light winds. The Four Day Summit Climb team left the crater rim at 6:50 am to return to Camp Muir.
We look forward to seeing all the climbers at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!

Way to go, Kelly and Scott!!!!!  Awesome job!  Can’t wait to hear about your adventure!

Posted by: Suzanne Fielden on 7/30/2016 at 12:30 pm

Woot woot!!  The Martins are rock stars! Can’t wait to see pics and hear all about your achievement. Have a fab trip down the mountain - what a spectacular thing to celebrate your wedding anniversary!!

Hugs, your SC contingency in VA

Posted by: Kristen Long on 7/30/2016 at 12:02 pm

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Reach Summit!

We woke at midnight to cold temps and light gusts. After a quick breakfast we packed and stepped into our crampons. Just after one in the morning we left camp and began our traverse across the glacier leading to the start of the technical climbing. After a quick break we pulled out our sexing ice tool and started up the narrow ice runnel. Cold temps, a hand full of other teams, and the altitude made for a challenging climb but everyone did a fantastic job climbing and made good decisions. Shortly after sunrise the team topped out on the summit of Alpamayo to find a strong cold wind out of the east. This made for a short summit celebration before starting the rappels back down the icy face. By 10AM we were all safely back at high camp where we ate, hydrated, and napped all day. We will spend one more night here before descending to base camp tomorrow.
I’m very proud of how the team did on this difficult climb today.
That’s all for now,
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens


Posted by: Chris on 7/29/2016 at 10:51 pm

Congratulations Team!!!

Posted by: Gabi & Elsy on 7/29/2016 at 9:35 pm

Mt. Baker: Davis Recounts Climb of the North Ridge

The low pressure system plaguing the North Cascades cleared the area before we began our approach to the Hogsback Camp on Mt. Baker under clear blue skies. It is a relatively short hike compared to other North Cascade objectives and we endured sweaty backs for only three hours to our upper camp. We spent the first afternoon relaxing in the warm sun looking across a long glacier towards our climbing objective the following day.

We woke at 2:00 a.m. to a waning crescent moon and began the traverse across the Coleman Glacier, navigating the crevassed field of soft snow and ice by headlamp to the base of the North Ridge.  Two and a half hours of walking brought us to the bergschrund guarding the access couloir and soon we were kicking and swinging our way up 50 degree snow onto the North Ridge. We climbed in the shadow of the Ridge as the sun lit up the terrain to our left and promised its warmth just as soon as we were ready to crest the Ridge facing Canada.

The real climbing begins halfway up the route on a feature known as the ice step. Our team climbed onto the step swinging left onto the face and climbing the sun baked ice for two pitches. The sun was in full effect as we gained the steep slopes that continue unbroken for 1,500 vertical feet under Mt. Baker’s final serac band. Just below the summit, we shed clothing wet from the dripping ice. Four more pitches of 55 degree snow brought us to the serac jungle guarding Mt. Baker’s summit and we entered the jungle with eyes overhead to watch for falling ice. A large smoke canister marked the entry to the jungle passage, dropped from a helicopter a few days prior staining the snow a bright red. A two person party had been caught in whiteout conditions and abandoned their gear just below the summit. We came across two packs with clothing, rope, and some climbing gear which we shouldered and carried up and over cleaning the mountain of unnatural detritus.

Soon, we stood on top Mt. Baker’s broad summit plateau and ventured over to the other side to begin the descent down the Coleman-Deming route to our camp on the Hogsback. All told, we spent 12 hours climbing the North Ridge of Mt. Baker. We arrived at camp as large clouds built up to the south and basked in the late afternoon sun, falling into a deep sleep satisfied with a great adventure on a great route.

RMI Guide Leon Davis

Mt. Shuksan: Fisher Chimneys Team Unable To Summit Despite Impressive Effort

Day one on a Mt. Shuksan Fisher Chimneys trip is a big day, maybe the biggest day of the climb. Most guided parties take eight hours to reach high camp perched at the edge of the Price Glacier above the Chimneys. So when the team drove to the trail head in a heavy wet cloud we needed to make a decision about hiking in those conditions. We stood in the parking lot in our gore-tex, gathering large beads of water that collected from simply standing in the cloud. We drove back down the mountain hoping the forecast for better afternoon weather would prove true. It did not and we decided to try again in the morning.

The following day, as clouds started to pass over the area, we began the approach in a drier cloud and took every bit of the eight hours to climb the Chimneys to high camp. The plan was to set up camp, rest for a few hours and continue towards the summit unburdened by heavy packs. At 4:30 p.m. we began the journey upward, traversing the Price, climbing the steep Hell’s Highway and cresting onto the upper Sulphide Glacier. A cloud followed us up the Sulphide, hiding the summit pyramid but we were able to climb on instruments towards its base. At 7:00 p.m. the clouds parted long enough to show us the pyramid and in what condition it lay.  A steep snow traverse gained the lower rock band where it usually is a low angle scramble and we spotted a few teams descending in the early evening light. So far, we had been moving for 12 hours and now we were looking at summiting around dark and descending complicated terrain under headlamp. We made the conservative call to turn around and made our high point the base of the pyramid, just 600 vertical feet shy of the very top. Disappointing sure, but the team put in an extraordinary effort to climb all day and we were satisfied with the decision to leave the summit for another day.

RMI Guide Leon Davis

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Prepare for Summit Attempt


Things are good here at Garabashi Hut and the team is excited for tonight! We did a little prep for tomorrow by reviewing a few climb techniques and then rested the remainder of the day. Our cook, Dasha, has done a great job of filling our bellies with plenty of good ol’ home cooked Russian food.

Everything is set and if the weather continues to hold we’ll be up at 2:00 a.m. After a quick breakfast, we’ll hop on the snowcat to give us a bump a little further up the mountain. It will shorten our climb a little and increase our chance of reaching the highest point in Europe.

That’s all for now. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Climb the Barranco Wall

We slept in an extra hour this morning for two reasons. Firstly, it gave us some extra rest in preparation for our summit attempt. Secondly, it allowed the rest of the teams at camp to break trail up the great Barranco Wall this morning so we could avoid “rush hour” on the wall.The 800 feet of solid handholds made the ledge scrambling a blast. With the assistance of our local staff, everyone made for a safe ascent of the Barranco Wall. Once atop the wall, we made a long traverse under the dramatic views of the the hanging glaciers and rock buttresses that make up the top of Kilimanjaro on our way to Karanga Camp at 13,160 feet. We are knocking on the door of the summit and the weather continues to be perfect!  Yeah!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Mt. Rainier: 100% of Paradise Seminar Reaches Summit

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise led by RMI Guide Mike Haugen reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. Mike said that it is a “BEAUTIFUL day” on the summit of Mt. Rainier. Mike also reported that 100% of the team reached the summit. The team began their descent before 8:00 a.m. PDT. We are excited to see them in Ashford this afternoon and hear stories of their adventure!

Congratulations climbers!!

You are our hero Alyssa.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Posted by: Susan on 7/29/2016 at 2:35 pm

So proud of my brother for doing this. Way to go Chris Hunsaker. Be safe on the way down.

Posted by: Denise on 7/29/2016 at 12:34 pm

Mt. Rainier: Women’s Climb Summits!

RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the All Women’s Four Day Summit Climb reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. Solveig reported clear skies and a light breeze on the summit. The team started their descent shortly after 7:00 a.m. PDT. We look forward to seeing them in Ashford this afternoon.

Way to climb ladies!

You go girls! You are an awesome bunch. Looking forward to the photos

Posted by: Jessie's dad on 7/29/2016 at 12:39 pm

You go girls!  I hope there are pictures!!

Posted by: Sara S. on 7/29/2016 at 10:23 am

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Mt Rainier Weather
Moderate rain

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