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Entries By avery parrinello

Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team at Casa de Piedra

We all slept under the stars last night. No tent, just a sleeping pad and sleeping bag. You feel like a cowboy. The moon shone so bright you didn’t need a headlamp to see anything. The morning came, we packed up, and continued our walk down the Vacas Valley. An hour into our walk we saw our first guanaco, the Llama of Argentina. After walking for a handful of hours we arrived at Casa de Piedra. We set up our tents and relaxed in the sunshine or down by the river until dinner. With the sun down and well fed we are all turning in. Tomorrow is big, we finally arrive to basecamp where we get to settle in for a few days.

Hasta luego,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team Hit the Dusty Trail

Mother nature turned up the furnace today. After finishing up our final touches on our packing we loaded the van and made our way to the entrance to Aconcagua. The ranger checked our permits and we were off on the hot dusty trail to our first camp at Pampas de las Lenas. It was a scorcher but the team arrived to camp in good style and enjoyed some down time hiding from the sun before dinner. We feasted on a carne asada dinner cooked over a fire by the mule drivers. Vegetables, bread and wine accompanied the mouth watering meat. With full bellies and the meat sweats, we are ready for bed. Tomorrow is another day on the trail as we get closer to basecamp.

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Smith & Team Sort Gear and Prepare for the Trek In to Aconcagua Base Camp

We left the comforts of Mendoza following the windy Mendoza River to Penitentes. The landscape is red, rocky, Martian looking land with bright green trees here and there. Before we arrive we make a mandatory empanada stop so we have the energy to get down to business when we arrive. It’s a sea of duffels and gear as we sort through our belongings making a pile that will go straight to basecamp and one that will follow us up the valley on the mules. Excitement is growing bigger as we finish packing. Tomorrow we hit the trail. As for tonight we will enjoy a delicious dinner and our last night sleeping in beds.

Talk to you all next on the trail,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team Meet & Greet in Mendoza

Today starts the beginning of a grand adventure. An adventure to the highest point outside the Himalayas…Aconcagua. The team has shown up in the land of malbecs and carne asada looking fit and well prepared for the next three weeks. After months of anticipation for this moment, all we can do now, is get some well deserved sleep from our lengthy travels. Tomorrow we will continue our travels to Penitentes where we will do the duffel shuffle. Packing and repacking to get our bags ready for the mules will be our main activity for the day, because the following day we hit the dusty trail.

Buenos noches,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Aconcagua: Gorum & Team Reach Last Trek Camp

Today was about steak. Glorious, salty, fatty steak. We spent most of our day walking back through the Vacas Valley. We got snowed on. We saw some lightning. We heard some thunder (go on the YouTube and look up “Jim Cantore thunder snow.” That was basically us). All of those things were great, but do not capture the true essence of the day. All of that walking, over all of those rocks, across all of those rivers was done to accomplish one goal: to get to Pampa de Leñas, so we could eat our weight in carne asado.

We sit at a picnic table, we’re covered in dirt, and we eat with our hands. We eat next to climbers who are walking in to Aconcagua Base Camp. They are still clean, and not yet hungry. They watch in amazement as we devour our food as fast as it is brought to the table. We watch in amazement as they politely pass their bread around. We laugh at them because they don’t know what we know.
This is our last night in the mountains, our last night to eat with our hands, and to sleep on the ground. Tomorrow at dinner we will wear collared shirts, and say please and thank you. One might start to wipe food from his face with the back of his hand, remember where he is, and reach for a napkin instead. The conveniences of society will be welcomed, but we’re all a little wilder now, and what we’ve learned in the mountains won’t be forgotten.

RMI Guide JM Gorum

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Happy to hear you all are safe and sound!  I’m sure a hot shower with lots of soap is much needed, and will be amazing! Enjoy the steak and wine!

Posted by: Shannon Smith on 1/15/2019 at 4:45 pm

Aconcagua Expedition: Gorum & Team Back to Basecamp

We woke up this morning at 19,600 feet in the cold, windy environment of high camp. It’s pretty hard to get moving when you have already accomplished your goal, but we rolled out of our cozy sleeping bags and packed up our tents. The warmth and WiFi of basecamp were calling our names. We made great time heading down hill, and arrived at Plaza Argentina around 3 pm. We sat down at our table and waited patiently for four hours until dinner time.
Once the food came out, everyone stopped talking. Once the food stopped coming, we did some quick organizing for our walk out tomorrow. Now we’re all huddled up in a dome tent having a team slumber party. The Russians next door are serenading us with all genres of music. You might think that would hinder our sleep, but we are 6,000 feet lower than we were last night, so I’m betting everybody will sleep just fine.

RMI Guide JM Gorum

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Congratulations Team!!! Such an accomplishment for all of you. Glad all is well and heading back.
Jimmy- Can’t wait to hear about it.
All best to the whole team
-Kelly Gaines

Posted by: Kellogg C Gaines on 1/14/2019 at 11:30 am

Aconcagua Expedition: Gorum & Team Call from Summit

Update 4:17 pm PT
Everyone is safe and sound back at high camp. It didn’t take long for the team to eat dinner, wrap up in their sleeping bags, and pass out. Tomorrow we’ll move back down to the booming metropolis of basecamp.

Summit Call
Hey this is JM Gorum calling from the top of Aconcagua.  We got kind of a late start this morning.  We ended up having a beautiful day.  We are standing on top right now.  We are getting some high clouds and snow a little bit. We are going to start heading down hill.  We will check in when we get back to High Camp.  Talk to you then.

RMI Guide JM Gorum

RMI Guide JM Gorum checks in from the summit of Aconcagua.

On The Map

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Wonderful congrats a day late

Posted by: Alice and Don on 1/13/2019 at 10:30 am

We love you Cory!!!  Congrats!  Awesome job - can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

Posted by: Karen Prykull on 1/13/2019 at 6:11 am

Aconcagua Expedition: Gorum & Team at High Camp, Preparing for Summit Bid

We made it to high camp today under sunny skies and light winds. It was one of the nicest days of our climb so far. As usual with this crew, we set up camp quickly and efficiently. “Chillin by two” could be our team slogan. Lots of sun up here gave us ample time to dry out any items that may have been a bit damp. Not much else to report, we’re just doing all our last minute prep for our summit attempt tomorrow. Hopefully our next check-in will be from the top.

RMI Guides JM Gorum, Hannah Smith, and Avery Parrinello

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Congratulations Gorum team!
Much Aloha from Maui from the Wolfe Pack.
Safe travels down and don’t forget to hug the donkeys!

Posted by: Brent Wolfe on 1/12/2019 at 11:55 pm

Dear Nick and Andrew,

We have been thinking about you!!!!!  Wish you all the best tomorrow !! We are very proud of you !!!!

Good luck to both of you and your team!!!

With love

Jagdish, Gunchoo, Devinder and Usha

Posted by: Usha and Gunchoo on 1/11/2019 at 8:26 pm

Aconcagua Expedition: Gorum & Team Enoy the Sun at Camp 2

We’ll call today a weather day. Usually, a team takes a weather day when conditions are too poor to move camp or carry gear higher on the mountain. We took a weather day today solely to take advantage of the first sun and calm winds that we’ve seen in 36 hours. The past few days have been a real test of everyone’s resolve here at Camp Two. Before today, we have basically only left our tents to go to the bathroom, and to do that we had to suit up in boots, parkas, gloves, and goggles.
So much of expedition climbing is mental, and that kind of living wears away at everyone. It has done us a lot of good to stand around outside today, sip tea in the sun, and actually enjoy our unique position high in the Andes. Turns out there are actually some really nice views up here. In addition to healing any mental frayed ends, we dried out all of our gear, re-organized, and dialed in our cold weather systems for our summit day. We went on a walk towards high camp to get some blood flowing, and prepped ourselves for the coming days. We will move to high camp tomorrow, and try for the summit on the 12th. Starting tomorrow the days go by quickly, and after our reboot today everyone is chomping at the bit. We’ll check in tomorrow, hopefully from 19,600 feet.

RMI Guides JM Gorum, Hannah Smith, and Avery Parrinello

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Clayton, pull your strength through your team. Help the ones that need it and accept the help from the others.
High camp and then summit push. You have your window and one chance at at.
Good luck to you all and a safe summit and descent.

Posted by: Brent Wolfe on 1/10/2019 at 10:41 pm

George you rock, it looks and sounds pretty intense! Now that you are out of phone range etc you can’t call me for pointers and the “What’s next?” But the hard core training I ran you through on the “Great Griffith Climb” I know you got this!
Stay safe and have fun Bro!

Posted by: Becket on 1/10/2019 at 9:49 pm

Aconcagua Expedition: Gorum & Team Take Rest Day at Camp 2

It was another windy night last night. Most people didn’t sleep much, and the winds haven’t calmed any appreciable degree now that the sun is out. This was in the forecast, and we knew we would have to hunker down in order to be in position for our potential summit window. After today, things are supposed to improve, which is good because we’re running out of spare tent guy lines.
Everyone is still mentally stable, although by the end of the day we will all be tired of sitting in our shaking, rattling tents. Not much else to report today. We’re just eating, drinking, reading, and waiting. Our course of action tomorrow depends on the forecast. The plan is to take another day here before moving up to High Camp, but we will see if the weather forces our hand in one direction or another.

RMI Guides JM Hannah and Avery

On The Map

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Good luck to all the hikers!  I hope the weather cooperates and all of you are able to reach the summit!  Thinking of all of you daily!  Go team Cory!!!!!

Posted by: Karen Prykull on 1/10/2019 at 3:45 am

Hope you get calm weather so you can reach the summit!  Good luck team!

Posted by: Shannon Smith on 1/9/2019 at 4:16 pm

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