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January 12, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Ready in Argentina

Well…I’ve always said, “the hardest part of any expedition is just getting to the mountain”. And that certainly is the case for my second team here on Aconcagua.

We have everything from missing bags to missing half of the team. Well, they’re not missing just really late due to Tormento de Estados Unidos 2014!

However, all the team members are in Argentina. Half the team is in Penitentes and the other half is in Mendoza. We will all join up tomorrow and begin the journey.

We want to congratulate the recent team under Garrett Stevens on their recent summit. We are at 100% expedition success. I feel a trend coming on.

Stay tuned for another exciting adventure with me, Mike “the lion” King and Steve “fresh outta da” Gately.

RMI Guides JJ Justman, Mike King & Steve Gately

Lets get this party started!!!

Posted by: Josh Barnes on 1/13/2014 at 9:32 pm

Wishing Diane, Randy and Denise better travels in the Andes then the trip down from Detroit and Miami along with marvelous weather.  I hope Michigan and Utah gets all of the snow and cold weather instead of hitting your adventure!
Take care!

Posted by: Bonnie Janssen on 1/13/2014 at 8:31 am

January 13, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Begin Trek to Basecamp

The gang is all here! It certainly has been an adventure already for half of our team. However, we are all ready to go. For the other part of the team we had a great day in Penitentes, which is a small ski area.

We had our first glance of Aconcagua as we took a 4-hour hike up to 10,000 feet. It’s a beautiful view of the south face of Aconcagua. The team finished packing our duffels for the mules and we are ready to walk!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Hi Lew-

  Look forward to hearing all about your trip. We are praying for you. Hope it is all you imagined it would be. Take care and God Bless!


Posted by: john walker on 1/16/2014 at 12:06 pm

Lew:  Praying for a great climb for you brother!  I’ll think and pray for you often.  Can’t wait to see the pictures!
Mike H

Posted by: Mike Harvey on 1/16/2014 at 7:35 am

January 14, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Camped at Pampa de Las Lenas

Hello folks! It’s JJ and the Aconcagua Team reporting live from Pampa de Las Lenas at 9,000 feet. It’s phenomenal to finally hit the trail with the team. And what a team it is! We have brothers and sisters, old climbing buddies and now new friends.

We had a hot and blistery day trekking in the heat. Sunscreen and lip balm was in full effect. However now it is cloudy and we received a few drops of rain, which we welcomed with open arms. The guides are busy chopping fresh vegetables that we are going to grill along with a big slab of beef.

It’s one of my favorite things…hanging out with the cowboys and the team. The cowboys like it when you ask questions and it’s interesting to learn about their lifestyle. They work hard for it and it’s nice to enjoy a great evening of food and their favorite drink…orange Tang.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Awesome photo!  Great job, dad (Lew Smith)!  Best of luck to you and the team!  Climb smart, and climb on!

Love you!


Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/17/2014 at 8:43 am

Hey Denise, This is so cool! I love seeing your progress. Yahoo! Be Safe! Have the best time. Make snow angel for me when you get to the fluffy white stuff!
Sputter Dog says Hey!

Posted by: Mary Fox on 1/15/2014 at 9:22 am

January 15, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Travel through the Vacas Valley to Casa de Piedra

The team is at Casa de Piedra, which in Spanish means… house of…Piedra. It was another gorgeous day of trekking in the Vacas Valley. Everyone is doing great and we are excited to be one step closer to base camp. For me it’s always fun to hear and see the expressions on people’s faces as they truly appreciate how beautiful it is here.

We had a condor sighting, which is rare in the towering mountains. However, the elusive guanaco is nowhere to see.  I’m pretty sure if I put on some Old Spice it will attract some for the team. Stay tuned!!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Well done, dad (Lew Smith)!  Keep going strong!  We hope you are having a great time down there.  Climb on!

Love you,

Kyle and Stephanie

Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/17/2014 at 8:41 am

Good going Mom!  Stuff is great at home…..  don’t worry….

Posted by: Buddy on 1/15/2014 at 6:11 pm

January 16, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman and Team arrive at Base Camp

We have arrived at base camp! Our team is in full effect chilling. We had a beautiful last day trekking up the Relinchos Valley, and guess what!? The Old Spice worked! We had a family of guanacos checking us out as we filled up water bottles at a nearby stream.

The cowboys that have graciously helped us waved goodbye as they rode past. Aconcagua was out for most of the day as we walked in. The team is doing great and it’s so nice to unload all our gear without having to pack it all up for the mules. Now, we get to rest and relax at 13,800 feet.

RMI Guide JJ Justman & Team

?  Blind-folded Donkey’s.  You guys must all be pretty confident if you hired blind jackasses to hlp the team!

Posted by: Sandy reierson on 1/18/2014 at 9:25 am

Way to go Team 6!  Waiting for very cool photos of Lew Smith on top of Aconcagua

Posted by: Rob Pierson on 1/17/2014 at 6:12 pm

January 17, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Rest Day at Basecamp

First and foremost…Todd wants to wish his beautiful wife Kelly Happy Birthday! The team spent their first night at Aconcagua Basecamp and everyone woke up this morning feeling great! On a rest day the key is to eat great food and drink lots of liquid to ensure proper acclimatization.

We had scrambled eggs with homemade potatoes. This afternoon we will be making homemade pizzas for the team. We even had Grajalas’ cook, Griselda, coming over asking for our recipes!

Later today we will set up the shower tent so we can get clean and smelling back to normal. Another camp activity for today is sorting group gear for our carry to Camp 1 at 16,500 feet.

Happy Birthday Kelly!!!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Congrats to you, Lew, and your teammates.  Heard you made the summit.  Nice accomplishment.  Be safe on way down.

Posted by: uncle jake on 1/28/2014 at 12:23 pm

Team - 2 bottles of Melbec and a note for you at the front desk of the Nutibarra. I flew over Aconcagua yesterday afternoon and everything was clouded over for miles. I hear your next two days of weather w/b good….so you should make it by tomorrow. Wish I was with you.

Posted by: Bissell on 1/27/2014 at 5:45 am

January 18, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 1

Today we carried to 16,600 on Aconcagua.  We enjoyed a cool morning with snow and a light breeze. The entire team cruised through our breaks to arrive at Camp 1 with a small piece of blue sky. The scree which is typically dry and loose was covered in snow, making the climbing more enjoyable. The team returned to Base Camp just in time for weather to roll in and snack before siesta. Rest day tomorrow! 

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

Michael…We are enjoying your blog posts.  Checking in with Abby today.  Love, Mom

Posted by: Diana King on 1/19/2014 at 6:28 am

Bissell, for some reason, my messages do not seem to be getting through. The kids and I miss you terribly, as does Atticus of course.  The pictures are wonderful and I try to imagine what it must be like to be surrounded by such beauty. So proud of you. Love you.

Posted by: Carmen on 1/19/2014 at 6:13 am

January 19, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team’s Plan for Basecamp Rest Day

We will spend the day taking showers in our Cabelas shower tent, ordering pizzas and perfecting the art of chillaxing. Finally, the sun is out in full effect so we are also charging phones and iPads. Tonight will be a marathon session of The Wire.

Today’s rest really isn’t needed. Our team is doing great! However, at this altitude we can recover back to 110% before we move to Camp 1 at 16,600’ tomorrow. Stay tuned and please keep posting comments! The team appreciates it.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Well done, dad (Lew Smith)!  Get some good rest and prepare for the next stage.  We love you!


Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/23/2014 at 8:53 am

Bissell, I am enjoying the blog and wish you the BEST!!!!! Keep healthy and safe travels, buen camino.

Posted by: Leslie on 1/20/2014 at 5:14 pm

January 20, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Move to Camp 1

There I was, putting one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again. I knew what everyone was thinking. Who’s going to the Super Bowl!! And thanks to one of our team members little go go gadgets, his wife texted the final scores. Go Seahawks! Go Broncos! Who cares, Green Bay isn’t in it.

The team packed up base camp and moved outta base camp. On move days the packs are always heavier loaded with tents and kitchen gear. Everyone did fantastic and we are now settled into our new home at 16,600 feet on Aconcagua. We just finished with some hot soup. It’s like I always say, you have to put money in the bank. We used up some good energy getting here and you have to replenish and put energy back in to keep the bank account at a million bucks.

Speaking of a million bucks, anyone want to place some bets on the Super Bowl!?

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Keeping pushing forward, dad (Lew Smith)!  I know you are doing awesome! So proud of you!!!

Love ya,


Posted by: Kyle A. Smith on 1/23/2014 at 8:50 am

Go Diane! from the Nissan TMG team

Posted by: Ed Nicholson on 1/22/2014 at 12:04 pm

January 21, 2014


Aconcagua: Justman & Team Try to Carry to Camp 2, Turned by Weather

Blustery, breezy, gusty. These are all words that describe Camp One and Aconcagua as a whole right now. We are in full Viento Blanco mode right now. The white wind. The team tried to do a carry to Camp Two but the winds kept knocking us off our feet. I’m positive we could have pushed through it but we have time and there is no reason to risk someone getting hurt.

So we turned around and are taking a rest day with the sun shining through the tents listening to the freight train of wind above us. Everyone is doing well and we are keeping our fingers crossed for better weather so we can carry to 18,000’.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Diane and others, rock on!
Love the blog, what day is summit planned for?
Safe climbing, take and post some nightime astrophotography shots if you can, would love to see clear skies starfields wide image with DLSR.

Posted by: Mike Rosinski on 1/22/2014 at 12:55 pm

remember Grasshopper….all things worth having require much work to obtain.  work hard with your team

Posted by: Mark Eason on 1/22/2014 at 11:12 am

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