Entries By billy nugent
January 13, 2016
The team met up around 8 a.m. for a not too early breakfast. Afterwards we split up and set out on the streets of Mendoza, running all of our last minute errands. We visited a couple gear shops, hit the pharmacy, grocery store, all the usual stuff before reconvening for a team lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Nicolas, our liaison from Grajales, was kind enough to deal with all the permit rigmarole that is normally a complete pain. So the pace of the morning wasn’t nearly as rushed as in years past.
Our transfer out to Penitentes showed up at the hotel and we loaded up our gear and hit the road. The drive to Penitentes is absolutely gorgeous, rolling through the vineyards outside of the city, up into the foothills, and eventually making our way into the heart of the Andes. Four hours on the road brought us to the Grajales packing facility where we unloaded and spent the rest of the afternoon packing up for the mules and prepping for tomorrow’s start up the hill.
Psyched to hit the trail…
RMI Guides Billy Nugent and Katrina Bloemsma and team
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Hello Dear Rob !!
.....and thank you for the updates Billy ! Just know that there are many of us at home checking the blog multiple times a day for any and every bit of the story .... So don’t be hesitant to overload us with detail :)
RMI really does it right .... Wine and grilled steak ....And with chimichurri I bet!
Relieved to hear the temps are significantly warming at the summit ..... I never thought I’d be happy to see a -7 windchill forecasted for later next week (rather than the -35 I’ve been seeing).
Hoping and praying for continued health and goodness for you and all your comrades. Feeling especially confident since your flock of angels are comfortable with the altitude ;) and cared for you so well in Mendoza!
Missing you tons and tons but so happy for all you are experiencing.
..... Always in my thoughts and prayers…M.
Posted by: MFG on 1/16/2016 at 5:03 pm
Dear Dad (Rick),
I miss you sooooo much, I hope you are doing all right, and I love you.
Posted by: Hillary and Hallie Haggard on 1/15/2016 at 4:38 pm
January 12, 2016
Hi everybody and welcome to the dispatch blog for this year’s early January RMI Aconcagua expedition. Billy here checking in from lovely Mendoza, Argentina, where the last of our team (and a bunch of missing luggage) has finally arrived. We had an informative meet and greet this evening poolside at the classic Nutibara Hotel, a haven for Aconcagua climbers from all over the world, where we all got to know each other and run through some important details about our upcoming adventure. Afterwards we headed out on the town for our first team dinner, enjoying the steaks, wine, and Italian influenced food Mendoza is famous for. It looks like we have a very fit and experienced climbing team this year which bodes well for our chances up on the mountain. We’ll check in again tomorrow from Los Penitentes where we’ll be packing up our loads for the mules and finishing up the last of our preparations before heading onto the mountain.
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Gerald from team 2015 wishing you all a safe climb! Remember it’s about the journey not the destination :)! However let’s face it the destination is pretty AWESOME! Can’t say enough good stuff about Billy and Katrina. Love Love Love e;m!!! You guys are in good hands with this A team! Watch listen and learn…They have so much experience and knowledge not to mention their professionalism as guides was invaluable to the 2015 teams success. Been thinking about joining you in Ecuador Billy Feb.2nd… What no Katrina! Maybe not then LOL!!!
Have a GREAT climb team!
Posted by: Gerald Flynn on 1/13/2016 at 9:06 am
Randy…your epic adventure begins! Best of luck and try to stay warm. I will think of you every time I crawl under our nice warm electric blanket. I love you! “The mountains are calling and I must go.” John Muir
Posted by: Lisa Irwin on 1/13/2016 at 8:32 am
September 25, 2015
The final Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir of the 2015 climbing season is wrapping up their final day on Mt. Rainier. Yesterday, the Seminar led by RMI Guides Casey Grom and Billy Nugent made a summit attempt. The teams reached 13,300’ before increasing winds and deteriorating weather conditions prompted their descent. Today the teams are descending from Camp Muir to wrap up their week of climbing and training. We look forward to welcoming all of the climbers at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford this afternoon.
Sorry you did not make it to the Summit. We hope the experience was still worth the challenge!
Good job to all the climbers!
Posted by: Beth n Tyler on 9/26/2015 at 7:23 pm
An amazing feat, inspiring and beautiful. Congratulations on your ambitious drive!
Posted by: E J FIsher on 9/26/2015 at 8:37 am
September 15, 2015
The guide team monitored weather conditions throughout the night, only to find snow and poor visibility each time we looked out of our tent. With our time frame and weather forecast, our plan for the day is to pack up camp and take as much time as we need to get down the Chimneys safely. We’ll send another dispatch from town.
RMI Guide Zeb Blais & Team
September 11, 2015
Posted by: Billy Nugent
Update 7:15 pm PT
We are safely back at camp after a long descent down a very wet and snowy central gully on the summit pyramid. The team stayed strong the whole way through and rounded out a great day after putting the whole team on the summit.
Now, it’s just a walk through the woods tomorrow morning and we’ll be back in Babylon!
2:07 pm PT
Hey everyone. It’s Billy checking in from the summit of Mount Shuksan with our whole crew! Give a shout you guys,“Yeah!” I will give you guys a call when we are back down at camp , safe and sound. We are about to begin our descent.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from the Mt. Shuksan summit!
Hey, it’s Billy here checking in from the Sulphide yet again on our Expedition Skills Seminar. We ended up not going for the climb today despite the perfect weather. There’s a ton of new snow up on the upper summit pyramid. We figured we’d give that stuff a chance to sort of settle out and melt and see whatever it was going to do on the first truly hot day in quite a while. We let things just sort of mellow out up there, and we kept ourselves busy with ice climbing in and out of crevasses. We went for a little walk around the Sulphide Glacier and then capped off the day with some belaying and rappelling practice. Everyone is super excited for our summit attempt tomorrow. We’ll call and hopefully check in from the tippy top and let you know what we run into up there. Alright. All for now.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from the Shuksan Seminar.
Hey, Billy here checking in again from our Expedition Seminar out on the Sulphide. All is going well. Our team is enjoying a significant improvement in the weather. We spent the morning doing some anchor systems, and we learned how to move around, how to manage rope on rocky terrain- both blocky rock and more fifth-class rock. That was pretty exciting and then we sort of changed gears for the afternoon. We headed out to a crevasse where the team honed their skills on crevasse rescue, so we had a great day. We’re hoping to take a crack at the summit tomorrow, but we’re not super sure if we’re going to do it tomorrow or wait another day. There’s a lot of new snow up on up on the summit pyramid and the next couple of days are supposed to be quite warm, so we might let some of that snow melt off. We’ll give you a call tomorrow and let you know what we ended up doing. Check in and let you know where we’re at. Alright. All for now. Talk later.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from the Shuksan Seminar.
September 8, 2015
Posted by: Billy Nugent
Hey, it’s Billy here checking in from the Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan. We’re on an expedition skills seminar. All is well here. We had a good day of training despite some moderately inclement weather, a little bit of overcast skies and some rain in the morning. But that didn’t stop us from doing the snow school and learning some snow anchors and other skills, and everyone’s doing well. Right now things are just starting to clear up actually for the first time so the team is enjoying the views and taking some photos, and we’re all hanging out and going to rack out soon and head to bed and looking for another good day of training tomorrow. Alright so I’ll call in tomorrow evening and let you guys know how it went. Alright bye for now.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from the Expedition Skills Seminar - Shuksan.
September 8, 2015
Hey! It’s Billy here checking in from the Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan where the most recent storm cycle actually left us with a nice coating of new snow. Things are exceptionally beautiful here right now but the fog’s kind of moving in and out. And our team has built camp and settled on in and we just enjoyed some dinner. And we’re gonna rack out and hit the hay pretty soon here to get us ready for a big day training tomorrow.
Weird stuff definitely today on the lower glacier. We actually saw multiple frogs on the glacier so the team hasn’t decided whether or not that’s a good omen or bad omen but we’re hoping that it’s a good one. And we’re hoping to get an awesome week of learning and climbing. So, that’s all for now. We’ll check in again tomorrow, and let you know how the day went.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent and Team
RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from the Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan.
August 26, 2015
Posted by: Billy Nugent
Update - August 26th 5:35 pm
Just checking in from camp! All our safe and sound after our successful summit of Mt. Shuksan earlier today.
Hey everybody! It is Billy checking in here from the summit of Mt. Shuksan with 100 percent of our crew. We all styled our way up the Central Gully. And yeah, we’re enjoying a nice sunny day on top, a little bit of smoke in the air but not too bad, a little bit of breeze but again not too bad. We’ll check in once more when we get back into camp safe and sound. So that’s all for now. Whelp, see ya.