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July 10, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Summit!

Good morning, this is RMI Guide Eric Frank checking in from the summit of Alpamayo. It’s just before noon here in Peru. We had a pretty amazing climb today. Woke up to gorgeous weather, clear skies.  Everyone made it to the top.  We are just about to start rappelling down. We will leave a message and let you know we got down safely. Thanks for following along. Bye.

Update: July 10, 2014 2:21 PM PT

The team is back at high camp safe and sound.  They are packing up to head down to base camp and are looking forward to an amazing meal prepared by their base camp cook.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

RMI Guide Eric Frank calls in from the Alpamayo summit!

Congratulations Eric, looks like you and Jesse had a summit on the same day.  Great job, safe travels home.

Posted by: Paul G. Thummel on 7/11/2014 at 7:10 pm

Mike, Scott and Eric—We’re so proud of all of you! 

“He made my feet like hinds’ feet, and set me secure on the heights.”  Psalm 18:33

Posted by: pam proctor on 7/10/2014 at 11:33 am

July 9, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Hanging Tough

Hello everyone! Well, we are still at high camp on Alpamayo. The weather during the evening last night was a variable mix of snow and wind with periods of calm in-between. Sometime shortly after 2am, we decided to take advantage of one of the calm times and see how the route would treat us. After several hours of difficult, waist deep, trail breaking the team managed to access the main couloir on the southwest face. Unfortunately it was a six-inch deep torrent of falling spindrift and finding ice to stick our tools into was impossible. We retreated and made it back to camp shortly after 6am.

We have decided to wait one more day and hope to see an improvement in the weather. Keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow morning we will find good climbing conditions.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

July 8, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Take a Weather Day

Although we were excited and prepared to climb when we went to bed last night, the weather refused to cooperate with us. We woke up at midnight to hail and freezing rain, along with six inches of snow already on the ground. After two hours of watching the weather and hoping for improvement, we gave up and went back to bed.

This morning the skies were scattered, but dry. After breakfast we were able to punch a path up to the base of the route. At points the snow was nearly waist deep. Most of the snow had come down from the face above and it felt like wading through Dip-n-Dots.

We are back in camp now, resting and hoping for better weather in the morning.

Thinking of our friends and family,

RMI Guide Eric Frank and the Alpamayo Team

Good luck guys. Hope you summit today. Fingers and toes crossed.

Posted by: andrea on 7/9/2014 at 9:33 am

We’re praying—and so are lots of others - Love, Pam

“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

Posted by: pam proctor on 7/9/2014 at 4:19 am

July 7, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Poised at High Camp

It is hard to sit under Alpamayo’s southwest face and not stare for an extended period of time. Our team, along with three other groups moved up to the Col Camp (17,600’) today and find ourselves trying to prepare for the ascent tomorrow, but constantly distracted by the beauty of the route. From our tents the route rises nearly 2,000 feet in a vertical line of frozen snow and ice. An alpinist’s dream.

Getting to camp today was a job in itself. We climbed up a glacier for 90 minutes to the base of a headwall. It took three pitches of ice to reach the saddle where camp lies. The team performed well, but climbing 60-degree ice at 17,000 feet with 45-pound packs had everyone breathing hard.

Stay tuned for tomorrow. We hope to make an attempt and will call via satellite phone to update everyone with the results.

RMI Guide Eric Frank and the Alpamayo team

July 6, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Move to 16,200’

After going to bed last night to the sound of heavy rain and hail, we were unsure what we would find this morning. Waking up to blue skies and warm weather was a pleasant surprise. Once the team had finished breakfast, we set about the arduous process of sorting through gear to carry uphill. Up until now mules have carried our gear, so weight was not a concern. Folding chairs, speaker boxes, cotton clothes, hardback books…anything was fair game. Now that we are carrying the gear on our backs, loads needed to be cut to a minimum and luxury items were left behind.
With the packs trimmed to a reasonable size we made the two-hour climb up to our camp at 16,200’. Currently the team is resting and looking forward to moving up again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Eric Frank and the Alpamayo team

Hope you have a great trip!  That mountain is gorgeous.  Enjoy!

Posted by: John on 7/7/2014 at 3:46 pm

July 5, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team’s Rest Day

After four days of hard work, the Alpamayo team is taking a much deserved rest day. Coincidentally, the weather is marginal today and the constant patter of hail pelts our tents as we read or nap. All in all things are good and everyone is happy.  We plan to rest for most of the afternoon, then practice some rope skills an get packed before dinner.

Happy belated Fourth of July everyone! We are so focused on the tasks at hand, that none of us realized it was the fourth until late in the day yesterday. Signing off from Alapamayo Basecamp.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

July 4, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Cache Gear at 16,200’

Today the Alpamayo team made a big jump and moved a portion of our group gear up to the next camp, Moraine Camp (16,200’). We moved well and were at the cache site by late morning. Despite feeling good, everyone was breathing hard and we were happy to drop back to our basecamp at 14,200’.

The food on this trip has been phenomenal. Everyday our cook, Raul, impresses us with his culinary prowess. From veggie omelettes to grilled trout to fresh cut fruit salad every night, we have been eating like kings. I suspect the amazing food has a strong correlation to how good we all feel.

All for now. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Eric Frank and the Alpamayo team

Hi, Mike,
Best wishes to you and your team!
Helen and Jeff

Posted by: Helen on 7/5/2014 at 7:35 am

July 3, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank and Team at Basecamp

Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 3:01 PM PT

Howdy, ya’all from Alpamayo Basecamp.

Up here at 14,270’ the air is a bit harder to breathe, but we are doing well and feeling strong. The hike today was a unique mix of open glacial plains and mossy paths through the woods which remind us of the land of the hobbits.
Currently the team is reading or napping in the tents to avoid the intense mid-day sun. We are all performing well and, weather permitting, plan to carry some gear up to a higher camp tomorrow.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

You’ve spent too much time on the Rio Grande and in Texas, obviously.  Now you’re trying to talk like a Texan: “ya’ll”?!
Have fun.

Posted by: Eric Yollick on 7/3/2014 at 9:05 pm

Glad to get Mike’s call.  Sounds like it’s God’s country. Go for it Hobbits! Via con Dios! - Pam

Posted by: Pam Proctor on 7/3/2014 at 5:56 pm

July 3, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Reach Llama Corral

The sun is setting, and the sky is a brilliant shade of red as we sit down to dinner. What a day it has been! The scenery during our hike into Llama Corral (11,500’) today was nothing short of amazing. Tower cliffs and a mountain stream provided a great backdrop for plants ranging from cactus to meadow flowers. A thoroughly enjoyable walk.
Thanks to everyone who is following along.

Mike, Scott and RMI Guide Eric Frank

July 1, 2014

Alpamayo: Frank & Team Acclimate Near Huaraz

The Alpamayo team had another great day. Early this morning we caught a bus, along with the Peru - Expedition Skills Seminar, an hour out of town and went for an acclimatization hike to just over 14,000’. The scenery was stunning and sporadic hail from passing clouds added spice to the walk. After a few hours we found ourselves next to an alpine lake at the base of a snow covered face. Incredible! This evening we ventured into the heart of Huaraz to buy a few last minute items, and indulge in locally caught trout on the main plaza.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

Great photos - keep them coming! And keep safe!

Posted by: Bill Proctor on 7/2/2014 at 12:11 pm

Hi Mike, Scott and Eric—you guys look happy and ready.  We’re praying for great weather and a great climb. We’ll keep following your dispatches. - Pam

Posted by: Pam Proctor on 7/2/2014 at 8:27 am

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