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Aconcagua: Smith & Team Back in Mendoza

A shower never felt so good! We spent the night sleeping under the stars. The sky held more stars than one can imagine. No light pollution makes every star twinkle. No alarms were set, we just woke with the sun and the rustling of the other teams at camp. Breakfast looked like a continental breakfast, bagels, oatmeal, cereal. Of course copious amounts of coffee were consumed as well. Everyone can feel the compounded effects of the last few days. This day held a lot inventive to keep moving. Today we would walk to the end of the Vacas Valley and wrap up our expedition. Today we would enjoy a shower and wash Aconcagua off of us. Today we would sleep in a bed. The team walked in style all the way to the end. They earned their shower and bed. All clean and looking presentable the team took the night to relax. Tomorrow we will do an official closing to the exepedition and maybe some laundry too. Before we sign off for good, we would like to thank everyone for the kind comments on the blogs and endless encouragement.

Thank you all and good night,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thanks again for writing such awesome posts so we can follow along. I’m sure you’re all delighted to be clean and get some rest. Have safe journeys home!

Posted by: Heather Collins on 1/25/2020 at 7:14 am

Aconcagua: Smith & Team’s Last Night Out Before Mendoza

Just keep walking, walking, walking. We said goodbye to basecamp today. We would begin our walk down through the Relinchos Valley to the Vacas Valley. As we walked, we took in the last views of Aconcagua. Taking in those last views naturally makes you reflect on your journey. What a journey it has been. Our walk down was full of Guanacos sighting. Everyone loves a wildlife sighting. We weaved our way across many stream crossings. The cool water felt magnificent on the feet. It was a long day covering two days worth of walking. The end result was worth it. We were greeted with fresh cut melon and pineapple at Lenas. The dinner was the grand finale, carne asada BBQ. Beef and chicken cooked over a fire by the arreyeros makes all the walking worth it. Instead of pitching a tent, like we have done so many times, we chose to sleep under the stars like the Argentinean cowboys do. Its always a surreal moment, having been so high on a mountain then two days later sleeping in a desert valley floor under the stars. Tomorrow we will finish our walk. Our feet are tired. Our bodies are tired. The incentive though is big to keep walking...a shower in Mendoza. The excitment is high for what tomorrow brings, a shower and a bed. So it is off to bed for us.

Our last night out,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Amazing accomplishment everyone. We are excited to talk to you Pops!

Posted by: Noel Imfeld on 1/24/2020 at 5:15 pm

This is truly a major accomplishment & you are wrapping it up with an Argentinian flare! The sleeping under the stars & the BBQ just sound like perfection. We have so enjoyed your descriptions! Thank you so much!
Judy & Dale

Posted by: Judy collins on 1/24/2020 at 11:40 am

Aconcagua: Smith & Team Descend to Thicker Air of Basecamp

What goes up, must go down! Our uphill travel is over and it is now time for us to make our way downhill. What took us 12 days to get up to, would only take us a handful of hours to get back down. We broke down our camp at 19,600' and began our walk down to the much thicker air at 13,800'. It was a fantastic sight to see the Grajales staff welcome us back to basecamp. They greeted us with yummy snacks and a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate our achievement. We could not ask for a more friendly group of people. After enjoying sitting in chairs and filling our bellies with fruit and various snacks, we had some chores to do. We sorted our gear and packed our duffles for the mules tomorrow. Our journey and long days are not over yet. Tomorrow we have a long hike to Pampa de Lenas. The promise of a carne asada BBQ will keep the team going and a promise of showers will keep us going the following day. The end is near where we can wash off all the dirt.

Just two more nights in sleeping bags,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team


Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I am betting there will be several enjoyable showers and a full plate for each of you! What a wonderful adventure! A lifelong memory! ENJOY!

Posted by: Judy & Dale Collins on 1/23/2020 at 6:48 am

Enjoy those well-deserved rewards! The carne asada and showers are probably particularly enticing and will lure you downhill. :) So happy to hear you’ve made it to Base Camp. Safe travels.

Posted by: Heather Collins on 1/22/2020 at 7:10 pm

Aconcagua: Smith & Team Return Safely back to Camp After Summit

What a day, what a day! We woke early in the AM to a star filled sky and only an occasional light breeze. Hot water was served up for oatmeal and coffee before we packed up our summit packs. Several other teams started uphill before us. You could see their headlights shining on the slope. By time we hit first break, we no longer needed lights. We watched the sunrise, showing off its beauty. Although the sun was up, we wouldn't enjoy its warmth for several more hours. The lack of snow on the route created some challenging walking conditions. Scree, sand, loose rocks were our walking surface. We put one foot in front of the other until there was no where left for us to go. The summit was perfect, barely a breeze, sunny, warm. After taking photos and flying a kite (we are wondering if we broke any records flying a kite at 22,800') we made our way back down. Going up is just half the journey. The other half is getting down safely. Safely back at camp, we filled our bellies with Ramen and tried to catch up on hydration. Tomorrow is a big day as we descend 6,000' back to Basecamp. With a big day ahead, its time to get horizontal and let the body rest.

Thank you for all the support,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congrats Sue and team, can’t wait to hear about this amazing adventure.

Have a safe return to civilization .

With love

Sandra E

Posted by: Sandra E on 1/22/2020 at 5:33 pm

Congratulations team!  Excellent job Hannah and Avery!

Posted by: Shannon Smith on 1/22/2020 at 11:03 am

Aconcagua: Smith & Team Reach Summit!

Hello everyone from the highest peak outside the Himalayas!! The team is doing well and sucking air. Its sunny, clear, with a light breeze. We will do another dispatch when we get back to camp.

We go high,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Great job Tim and company! Proud of your fortitude to hit that altitude. Very impressive! Now get back home safely so we can get the story of your adventure live :)

Safe travels Pop!


Posted by: Christopher Nicholson on 1/22/2020 at 8:54 pm

Hurray! Congratulations to everyone That is SO high!
Safe travels,

Posted by: David B. Clemmons on 1/22/2020 at 10:23 am

Aconcagua: Smith & Team Move to High Camp

The time is here! We woke today to clear skies, a welcoming sight from yesterday's mean looking clouds. It was time to move up to Aconcagua High Camp and put ourselves in place to go to the summit. With efficiency, we packed up camp. By now the team is seasoned pros at camp disassembly and assembly. Packs loaded, we hit the trail and made our way to 19,600'. There we made camp and got settled in. The rest of the afternoon we took care of ourselves and got ready for summit day tomorrow. Staying hydrated, getting calories on board, resting the body and mind are all important. Its early to bed tonight because we will have an early start tomorrow. All we can do now is try to catch some Zzz's and hope the weather holds for a beautiful summit.

Wish us luck!
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

There in spirit with you as you take the summit today!
Fingers crossed the weather has held, and you have a spectacular view up top!
Looking forward to the next updates.  :)
Miss you!

Posted by: Maggie Riley on 1/21/2020 at 10:44 am

Sounds like the weather is ready for you and the team to have a wonderful summit day!

Posted by: Russ Frederickson on 1/21/2020 at 7:02 am

Aconcagua: Smith & Team Enjoy Pancakes and Rest

Who wants some pancakes? To celebrate our last rest day before moving to High Camp and trying for the summit, we enjoyed a pancake breakfast. Pancakes at 18,000' topped with jelly and peanut butter make the tummy happy. With a happy tummy, we took it upon ourselves to then enjoy a siesta. By mid day, a few teams showed up carrying gear from Camp 1. It was nice to socialize with some new faces and break up our rest day. This will be our last rest day because starting tomorrow we will be on the go for the next 5 days. All the resting, self care, and acclimatization the past 12 days were for these next 2 days. Tomorrow we will move to high camp, followed by our summit bid. You can feel the excitment and nerves in the team for what is to come. We are ready and we are looking strong. Fingers crossed mother nature doesnt throw us any curve balls. 

Be good to us mother nature,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good luck Sue…Wishing you and your team a safe and successful climb!

-Mychal (Mexico clim teammate)

Posted by: Mychal Wooldridge on 1/20/2020 at 1:15 pm

Wow! Really a testament to your preparation & believing you can do it! We are all thinking of the whole team!
Mom & Dad, Anna, Heather,
Tinker & Beans!

Posted by: Judy & Dale Collins on 1/20/2020 at 7:12 am

Aconcagua: Smith & Team Carry to High Camp

Where did all the air go? We kept our momentum and carried gear to high camp today. We sat in a small circle on rocks for chairs as we ate breakfast and watched the ominous looking clouds hug to tops of Aconcagua and Amigino. The summit looked a tad scary but where we sat it was sunny and where we were going looked ok too. High camp sits at 19,600', which is a high point for most of the team. The air is feeling thinner and thinner. Our breathing heavier and louder. Each step we are closer to the summit. Today was a good day. The team performed wonderfully, hitting such a high altitude. At high camp, we are higher than Kilimanjaro. After hanging out for a bit, we said farewell and good luck to IMG's team, who we have been paralleling. They will go to the summit tomorrow. Tomorrow we will rest at Camp 2 and get organized for our move to high camp the following day. With a big day under our belt, the team is sleepy, so its off to bed for all of us.

Sweet dreams all,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

What y’all are doing is pretty incredible! Scotty, I’ve been following your journey on this blog, and I couldn’t be more in awe of your and your team’s achievements. Sounds like you’ll be summiting soon. I’m sending lots of love your way. Keep kicking butt Mister!

Posted by: Danielle Demko on 1/19/2020 at 3:28 pm

Yea Scott ! Looking like you and your team are going to make it to the summit. Stay safe and good luck!

Posted by: Rebecca Shindler on 1/19/2020 at 7:30 am

Aconcagua: Smith & Team Rest Day at Camp 1

Sit back and relax. We let the sun warm our tents before crawling out this morning. The valley below was swallowed by clouds giving camp an almost eerie feel. We sat just above them with a clear sky above. There was nothing on our agenda besides relaxing and organizing our belongings for our move tomorrow. A big part of expeditions is self entertainment during rest days. The team occupied themselves with flying colors. Camp was quiet most of the day until a team from below carried gear to Camp 1. They lacked some self awareness and implanted themselves in the middle of our scene. It gave some comedy to the day and a topic at dinner. Everyone is looking healthy and strong after resting all day, so tomorrow we will make our move to Camp 2. We will make our new home at 18,000'. You can feel the excitment in the team as our summit day approaches. Its less than a week away...

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

That’s a lotta days and nights up on the mountain. Enjoy every minute! Even if, and especially when, your definition of “fun” isn’t congruent with the lowlanders.
Proud of you all!

Posted by: Donna Sassaman on 1/18/2020 at 6:53 pm

Hi Tim,

Beautiful photo. Even better that you are there experiencing it! We think of you every day and know that you are making the most of the journey up the mountain. Just remember:
Getting to the top of the mountain is optional; coming home to those who love you is not!


Posted by: Dick Simpson on 1/18/2020 at 2:33 pm

Aconcagua: Smith & Team Carry Gear to Camp 2

On the road again! We woke this morning to the hustle and bustle of the other teams packing up their camp. The sun creeped into camp warming our tents. This was our alarm to get up. Everyone had a good night and were feeling good this morning, so we continued with our plan to carry gear to Camp 2. Group piles were made while the stoves roared. Toasted bagels with cream cheese and bacon would fuel us to 18,000' and make the rest of camp jealous with its aroma. It was a busy day on the trail with almost all of Camp 1 occupants moving to Camp 2. After a few hours of walking and getting new views of snowy mountains we arrived at Camp 2. A new sea of tents scattered the rocky camp like skittles. We cached our gear, watched the other teams set up their camp, and then we packed up our things to head down hill. We arrived back to a peaceful Camp 1 with only our tents plus one other still standing. The rest of the afternoon we enjoyed the warm sun and fresh popped popcorn for an afternoon snack.
Having the camp to ourselves is nice and will be even nicer tomorrow on our rest day. The quiet will be much appreciated for sleeping in. The air is chilly now, so we are all off to bed to get warm.

Till next time,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

You all are amazing!  Stay safe and enjoy.  Tell Tim hi for me!!

Posted by: Connie Riddle on 1/16/2020 at 4:34 pm

Amazing work out there everyone! Happy to hear you get a rest day. I’m sure it’s much needed. Enjoy and stay warm. So nice to hear your progress.
Love, Noel, Xander, Nora
We love you and miss you Pops!

Posted by: Noel Imfeld on 1/15/2020 at 8:55 pm

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