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Aconcagua: Justman & Team head back to Mendoza

Hey this is JJ and Team One on Aconcagua,

The weather is fouling up the satellite so I will make this quick.  We have left Aconcagua Base Camp, and it was probably the worst day walking out of Base Camp I have ever had. Usually we are worried about sunburn, but today we have to be worried about windburn in a blinding blizzard snow storm.  Something I have never seen before.  It is definitely nice to be out of that weather and a little bit lower in the valley. The team is doing great and we’re real happy.  We are actually having a great dinner of filet mignon with the cowboys that are carrying our stuff out via the mules.

This will be our Final Dispatch of what was one incredible adventure, with the weather that is still not letting up is going to miserable for the next few days, so hopefully Mendoza will be a little sunnier, a little warmer, and a little more hospitable.  The Team definitely deserves it!

Thanks again everyone for following along, and definitely stay tuned because Geoff Schellens, Garrett Stevens, and I will be back at it with another Expedition her on Aconcagua.  We hope the weather gods will be kinder to us.

I can’t say enough great things about this team and the great experience we have had.  No summit but that is the way the weather goes. 

That’s all for now from Argentina, Ciao!

JJ Justman, Geoff Schellens, and Team

JJ and Team head for Mendoza

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Todd McClure- Todd, I am praying for your safety and that you have an amazing time.  I can’t wait to hear stories in late January about the climb.  One step at a time!!!  Tim Dolan

Posted by: Tim Dolan on 1/2/2013 at 12:52 pm

This is a shout out for Todd McClure.  Todd, thanks for the link and I hope you get this.  I’ll be thinking about you and your effort and all you stand for and know that you’ve got what it takes.  Drink lots of water and you should be fine.  Altitude headaches are horrible, and hopefully you’ll acclimatize well.  You’re big and strong and can carry a lot of weight which should help your team.  I’m thinking the best for you and your group.  What an adventure.

Posted by: Bart Blankenship on 12/29/2012 at 10:40 am

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Back at Base Camp

Hi All,

RMI Aconcagua team one here in Base Camp watching the torrent on the upper mountain as we pack and organize gear for the mules.  After soup and snacks we moved on to sports and movie trivia with some of our German climbing friends.  Although we are all disappointed to be leaving the mountain with out a summit, the foul weather and thoughts of steak and wine are reassuring. 

We will start our hike out tomorrow and get back to Mendoza on Thursday the 20th.  Thank you all for all the support and we look forward to talking to all our friends and family soon.

RMI Guides JJ Justman, Geoff Schellens & Team

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Descend to Basecamp

Hello everyone! It’s Team One on Aconcagua. Well, it’s a bitter sweet. For the good news, the entire team is safe an sound in base camp. For the not so good news Aconcagua is angry. I don’t think we did anything to offend her but it is clear she is not in a good mood.

For two days our team survived restless hours in the wind at 18,000 feet. Yesterday, the winds calmed to 35 mph allowing us to climb to 20,118 feet. When we returned the forecast that was given to us came true. The wind picked up again and it was time to batten the hatches.

Our plan was to do our last acclimatization day yesterday, which we did. Then to rest today, then move to high camp, then summit. The winds on the summit currently are close to 100 mph and they are predicted to be stronger through the 23rd. Well past our window of opportunity.

Our team made the decision to head toward safer and calmer territory. We are all in basecamp after a tough day carrying heavy packs downhill.

It may seem disappointing but when the mountain says No, you have to accept the fact there is nothing you can do about it. The team is in great spirits and we are thankful we are down out of the hazardous wind and bitter cold.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Glad you all are safe at Basecamp. Now it is time to tango in Mendoza! Pay the mules to cross the river. Love to you all.

Posted by: elsie Bemiss on 12/18/2012 at 5:00 am

Aconcagua RMI Team One Spend the Day Acclimatizing

Hey all, this is Geoff and JJ with Aconcagua Team One. We are currently back at Camp Two after an acclimatization hike up to 20,000’ today.  Moderate winds, a cloud cap pretty heavy this morning, breaking up this afternoon, pretty clear now with still some winds hanging in there. We are all doing well and everybody’s happy and we are just waiting for a good weather forecast come our way, which would be great. That’s all for now, bye.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens with today's update.

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Good Luck to the whole team and if I don’t get back to you have a MERRY CHRISTMAS…from the Olympia Branch of the Mountaineers….Be safe Have fun take lots of pictures!!!

Posted by: Jamer Lange on 12/16/2012 at 4:39 pm

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Arrive in Guanacos Camp

Hello everyone at the RMI blog site for Team One here on Aconcagua. Wanted to give you a little bit of an update as far as what we are up to.  First of all the team is doing absolutely great. We actually moved our camp to Camp Two at 18,000’ and we are nestled in, tents are up. We’ve already had a round of hot drinks and now we are just resting and relaxing.  We always want to be optimistic, but to let you know a little bit of the weather forecast that we have. It is not looking that great. The winds are picking up, there is a big lenticular right now over the summit, and they are calling for incredibly strong winds for the next 4 to 5 days. However, you never know if those forecasts are wrong so we are hunkered down here, our tents are nice and solid. So, the winds are not as strong down here as they are up high. So everyone is doing great, but this is part of big mountain expedition climbing.  Little bit of a waiting game and that’s what we need to do is just kind of see what Mother Nature gives us, so we’ve got high hopes. And we’ll basically give a call tomorrow and get a little more updates on the weather and see what’s happening. But for right now. Everyone’s doing great, and we’ll check back in tomorrow and let you know what we’re up to.  Most likely maybe a walk up towards high camp. And a little more resting and recovery. So take care everyone. Will talk again soon. Ciao from Argentina.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

JJ Justman check in from Guanacos Camp, 18,000' on Aconcagua

On The Map

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Rest at Camp 1

Coffee and Quesadillas is what rest days are all about! This is team #1 here on Aconcagua at Camp 1 (16,500’).  After our carry yesterday the team definitely earned a day to acclimatize, rest, and recover after a good long day’s work.  Everyone is doing just fantastic.  We’re continually eating up quesadillas, drinking coffee, telling stories, and just having a good time.

The weather is pretty decent a little bit of wind.  It looks like there might be a bit of a change, but overall not too bad.  So tomorrow our plan is to wake up early, break camp, and then move to Camp 2 at 18,000’. 

Everyone wants to say hello to friends and family back home and thanks for following along. We will touch base with you again and let you know how our move to a new altitude at Camp 2 on Aconcagua goes.  Take care everyone!

Ciao from Argentina,
RMI Guide JJ Justman & Team

Rest Day at Camp 1

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Sounds like the climb is going great & the food fantastic.
Robert, Lillypoo keeps looking out the window for you,  You better bring her back a big Argentina steak bone!

Miss you,

Posted by: Jo on 12/14/2012 at 4:12 pm

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 2

Hello everyone this is Team #1 on Aconcagua,

Today we went from Camp 1 to Camp 2. We carried some of the gear we will need higher on the mountain making a cache of gear.  Everyone did a great job getting up to 18,100’ we hung out for a little bit and then we enjoyed a beautiful walk back down here to Camp 1 at 16,500’. Everything is going very well a little bit of a breeze, but that is not too bad. We are just resting and recovering now. We will be taking a full rest day tomorrow which has been well deserved. We have a few surprises for the team tomorrow a smorgasbord of food, but we will get into that tomorrow when we get in touch with the RMI Blog and let you know what we do to hang out at 16,500’ having just a great time.

Things are going very well here; it is really nice to be higher in the mountain. Great views! We will talk again very soon. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide JJ Justman & Team

Justman and Team check in after Carry to Camp 2

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

I enjoy the posts and am glad everyone is doing well.
Wish I was there. Next one?

I will keep Ballard in check for you Mike, until you get back!

Climb on buddy,


Posted by: Mike on 12/13/2012 at 2:59 pm

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Check in from Camp 1

Audio 1: Hello everyone at the RMI bloggers following Team One on Aconcagua. We are happy to report that we are up at Camp One. We actually had to make our camp a little higher. It was a little busy lower down at Camp One, but we have the upper camp at 16,500’ all to ourselves. As a matter of fact this camp is so nice, we have a sit down toilet. So, the entire team is doing real well. It’s a little bit of work to get up here, but everyone’s feeling great. The agenda right now is to make sure that tents are buttoned down for heavy winds. However, right now we have very light winds…  We’re going to get a hot breakfast… (satellite connection lost)

Audio 2:  Hey, this is J.J. again with Team One on Aconcagua.  Just to let everyone out there know.  We have a lot of gear so we kind of thinned our communications down.  We just have a SAT phone up here so we are going to be giving our blog via voice with Google voice and it’ll be transcribed. So it may cut out, we’ll try to do our best to give you some entertaining updates but everyone is just doing fantastic up here at 16,500’. We’ll talk with you guys tomorrow. Everyone says hello to family and friends, and please follow along.  We’ll touch base tomorrow.  Ciao from Argentina Camp One.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

JJ Justman from Aconcagua Camp 1.

JJ continued from Aconcagua Camp 1.

On The Map

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Robert make sure you say hi to God when you reach the top for me.  Can’t wait to celebrate upon your return. Hang in there!

Posted by: pat ward on 12/12/2012 at 4:03 pm

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Resting at Basecamp

Today our team is resting at Aconcagua Basecamp. Tomorrow we will occupy Camp One. The weather has been very windy but everyone is in good spirits.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

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Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp One

I know I sound like a broken record but our Aconcagua team is both rocking and rolling! Today we woke up early and laced up our mountaineering boots. With hefty packs in hand we slowly made our way up to Camp 1 at 16,360 feet…officially.

For Geoff and I today gave us an opportunity to visibly see how each climber is doing. And it was obvious that everyone has climbed before. And climbed well. The team was in sync with breaks, rest stepping, good footwork and most importantly everyone was having fun.

We spent a half an hour at Camp 1 and we left quite a bit of gear that we will need for the upper mountain. So we are now officially ready to move up the mountain. But first we will take another rest day here at base camp. There’s no need to rush. The tortoise always wins the race.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

are the two pictures from the archive or actually from the current trip?

Posted by: Ryan Junell on 12/11/2012 at 9:47 am

Good work Barrel I-you are awesome and glad to hear all is well. PETER- I have 12 copies of Mountains of the Mind for XMAS gifts for my Kilimanjaro girls and Linden. Loved the book but I know you were luke warm on MacFarlane. Thanks for the copy on Elbrus. Rob- Charlie is changing jobs. West Virginia vs Richmond? Love to you all.

Posted by: Elsie Bemiss on 12/10/2012 at 5:19 pm

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