RMI Expeditions Blog
March 17, 2018
Posted by: Casey Grom
The team has arrived after some very long and tiring flights . Everyone is doing well after a well deserved night of rest here at the peaceful and appropriately named Yak & Yeti Hotel.
We started our day with a nice big buffet breakfast, then had a team meeting to discuss all the gear and review the details of the adventure that we are about to head out on.
After our meeting we went on a brief tour of Kathmandu where we visited the beautiful Monkey Temple, and the famous Boudhanath Stupa.
It’s quite the culture shock visiting this busy city packed with nearly four million people. The streets are packed with people, motorcycles, and cars that honk endlessly.
I’m sure everyone is looking forward to peace and quietness of the Khumbu where we head tomorrow.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew
On The Map
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Keeping you in our thoughts. Good to see you arrived safely. Live in the moment.
Bill and Nancy
Posted by: Nancy Hicks on 3/17/2018 at 7:49 pm
We are all back safely in town after a successful summit of Pico de Orizaba! The entire team stood on top after a long day climbing up the Jamapa Glacier. We had thunder and lightning last night that turned into snow all the way down to the hut. The skies cleared around 12:45 am and we were out the door at 1 on a warm night. The Team is sorting gear for flights home in the morning and looking forward to a good dinner and restful nights sleep. Thanks for following along.
RMI Guide Mike King
March 9, 2018
We spent a casual day off in historic Puebla yesterday looking at murals, eating tacos and checking out the local pottery made in the area. There were bands and peaceful protests in the Square, surrounded by beautiful and ornate cathedrals.
This morning we woke early to meet our transport and head to Tlachichuca where we outfitted for Orizaba. Senior Reyes runs a climber’s hostel that is housed in his family’s historic soap factory. The mountain has been covered in clouds and there is some snow flanking the lower slopes. This has been an extremely dry winter for the area and new snow is a welcome sight.
For the remainder of the day we’ll take a short walk up hill to see the Labyrinth, a scree and rock maze of ledges and chutes that makes up the first two hours on our summit day.
The Team is excited to be here and out of the 4x4 trucks that crawl their way up the dusty roads through corn fields and beautiful pine forests. Hopefully we will be calling in from the summit tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and clear skies!
On The Map
Today was not going to be our day, because when it snows on Ixtaccihuatl there is apparently thunder and lightning. We spent a few hours at high camp with electrical storms pulsing through, while we held tight yesterday afternoon. Around 1 am there were clear skies all around and no wind to speak of. After climbing up the ‘knees’ of Ixta we stared out into a developing storm near La Malinche (our day hike from Day 2). watching the storm continue to spread out among the horizon, the guides decided that descending to camp and packing up would be the best call.
Even though we only had 1,500 vertical feet to climb the linear distance was too long to justify staying on the ridge, should the storm pick up steam.
With a slow descent through the ‘knees’ due to frozen scree and snow we arrived back in camp, packed up and headed to the trail head. As with most decisions, there is a moment of regret and asking yourself if you made the right call. Our walk down hill was sunny and bluebird that is until it wasn’t and the billowing dark clouds overtook the summit ridge.
We are headed to Puebla for the evening and tomorrow we will get to explore the historic city center. After a couple nights sleep in nice beds we’ll head out for our Orizaba climb, the third highest peak in North America. While a little disappointed, everyone is glad to not be in an electrical storm and is doing well.
RMI Guides Mike King & Jenny Konway
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.