Entries By billy nugent

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team are Back at Basecamp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Well, we made it back to Basecamp. Big loads and tired feet made for a tough day but we were greeted at Basecamp last night by a spread of snacks and cold drinks, but more importantly, hugs and congratulations from Anita and Grizzelda the Basecamp managers. We dined on steaks and real salad and vegetables which were absolutely delicious after over a week of mountain food. This morning we woke up had a quick breakfast before readying the mule loads and are now about to hit the dusty trail for Pampa de Leñas. The herrieros will be preparing a traditional asado there for us tonight but I anticipate that we´ll be out of touch for the evening because it´s hard for the satellite phone to stay connected down there. The canyon walls are just too narrow. The long march home continues…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

Trekking out of of Aconcagua Basecamp. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Summit!

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

12:45 pm PT
Billy called the RMI Office from Camp Cholera:  Everyone is safe and sound.  We will stay here tonight and descend to Plaza Argentina tomorrow afternoon.
Thank you for all the blog comments and congratulations!

8:48 am PT
Hey there, it’s Billy Nugent of the team El equipo de dos Guillermos, checking in from the summit of Aconcagua. I’m up here right now with six climbers and three guides, 22,800-something feet. So what do you guys think? [Team cheers!]  As you can tell a happy but tired bunch. Everyone is doing extremely well. We are definitely winded up here at extremely high altitude.  We’ll give you guys a jingle when we are headed back into our high camp at Plaza Cholera.
Other shout-outs. [Brief loss of transmission]
Carter, Walker, and mom I love you guys so much. Thank you for everything.
Erica, Thurston, Bella, Brent, Ally, Christian, everyone. We made it!  Hurrah!
Hey guys, it’s Lindsay, I made it. Thank you so much for the support and love. Love you guys. See you when I get back.
Tanya, Benjamin, and Abby- love you and I’ll see you all soon.
Kathy, Kelsey, Eric, Ailie- I love you. I’m on the top of Aconcagua- woohoo! Jerry and Rhonda, John and Kathy- thanks for the support. I’ll be seeing you soon.
Babs and Phil- much love from Katrina.
That’s all I got unless Haas has something. I love you mom and dad [from Billy Haas].
Sorry mom and dad, love you guys too.  Signing out. We’ll call you from high camp.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Looking towards Base Camp from near the summit of Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Billy Nugent and team call in from the Aconcagua summit!

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Move to High Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Hey everybody. It’s Billy calling in from Camp Cholera at19,600 feet here on the side of Aconcagua. We’re all settled into camp and melting snow, filling water bottles right now. We are looking forward to dinner and early to bed tonight. Hopefully take a crack at the summit tomorrow. Right now the weather is partly cloudy and just a gentle breeze. Things are pretty nice, other than the fact that camp is bone, bone dry.  We have to hike almost 20 minutes out of camp to fill garbage bags full of snow and bring them back just to fill water bottles. Other than that nuisance, things are going well, the teams in great spirits and hopefully that weather forecast holds true and we have a perfect day tomorrow. We’ll check in again during the day and let you know how it’s going. All for now, bye.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Views of the Andes while approaching High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from Aconcagua High Camp.

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Settled Into Camp 2

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Wulp… Here we are settled in to camp up here at Aconcagua Camp 2 at over 18,000ft enjoying beautifully clear skies and a nice gentle breeze. Haas and Katrina are outside whipping up a tasty meal and hanging out with the team enjoying the afternoon. Not much else to report… The team is in great spirits and hoping for this great weather to hold!

Til tomorrow,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

An RMI Team on the move to Camp 2, Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Nugent and team Rest at Camp 1

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Aaah, the rest day. El equipo de dos Guillermos is sun bathing, snacking on turkey jerky and guacamole, and letting our minds and legs recover from the carry yesterday. The team is in great spirits today, and since we have some extra time, we thought we’d have every climber give their own little shout out! Here it goes:


Glen: Mi carino. Te quiero. Abrozos y besos.

Lindsay: I’m feeling great and miss you all! Guess which limerick was mine?

Gerald: Missing me yet lol. Missing you! Charlotte, good luck Saturday.

Lucy: I miss you all and love you all so much. Walker, have you heard?!

Floyd: Feelin’ great. Working hard at resting and sitting still. Tanya, hope you’re feeling better. Miss you all and see you soon!

Corell: Feeling fine, weather is nice. Miss you all! Hope the hunting trip was good and the Eagle Scout manual is progressing. Thurston, remember to study! Love to everyone.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

RMI Tent at Camp 1 on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Carry to Camp 2

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Windy today… After an all-things-considered-decent night last evening at Camp 1 we woke this morning to clear skies and calm winds. Perfect, we thought, for a push up to Camp 2 to drop off another cache of supplies. The team made good time and dispatched the uphill portion of the carry in three stretches moving smoothly and in good style. The wind beat us up a little bit but in the end it was nothing but a nuisance as we passed through Ameghino Col. We saw some of our first views of other big peaks in the range as we passed underneath the toe of the Polish Glacier. The mountain is VERY dry right now and we’ve heard that getting snow for water up at high camp is problematic, at least there’s still a good flow of water coming through the stream at Camp 2. We are all back down at Camp 1 safe and sound, looking forward to a rest/acclimatization day tomorrow!

Ciao, for now.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Coming down to Aconcagua Camp 1 after a carry. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Move to Camp 1

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 20, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Hola del Campo Uno. For those of you who don’t “habla español” El Campo Uno is spanish for… The Campo Uno. Our team enjoyed a relaxed morning getting packed up and out of Aconcagua Basecamp despite how eager we were to get this climb underway. We enjoyed perfect weather on our move up and even got to spend some time with JJ and the other RMI crew descending after yesterday’s successful summit bid at one of our breaks along the trail. We could hear JJ coming down the trail but couldn’t see him until he was right upon us. His full camouflage outfit (including camo expedition backpack) is perfectly at home in the mountain environment. Our team is moving extremely well in large part due to great fitness but also great rest-stepping and footwork. They made short work of the move and even had the energy to write a limerick along the way. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

Climbing this mountain is rough, but our team is tougher than tough. Through wind, ice, and sand on the peak we’ll all stand because we’ve all got the right stuff!

All for now…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

RMI Climbers climbing through the snow penitentes before Camp 1. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Rest Day After Carry to Camp 1

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 19, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Hi all,

Not much new to report from our basecamp here at Plaza Argentina. The physical output and exertion on yesterday’s carry is hopefully triggering our bodies to take advantage of today’s rest and accelerate our acclimation process. We’re spending the day eating good food (egg & prosciutto scramble! cucumber, tomato, and melon salad!), napping, and tying up loose ends in preparation for tomorrow’s move up to Camp 1. We’ve been listening to the hippies over at the freelance porter tent jam away on their drums and recorder. While not exactly relaxing it’s at least a bit comical. Anyway, hoping for a good night’s sleep, provided the porters have jammed themselves out, and don’t play another night into the wee hours of the morn… We’ll check in again tomorrow evening and let you know how it all went.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Tents at Plaza Argentina on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Carry to Camp 1

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 18, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Howdy all… Checking in after a busy, busy day up here on Aconcagua. There was a bit of commotion buzzing around Plaza Argentina this morning with a bunch of helicopter flights coming in and out of basecamp requiring logistical assistance on our part that stalled us from getting out of the gate on our planned carry up to Camp 1. Luckily, what could have been a logistical nightmare was averted and despite the late start, our team made a great effort and put in a big cache of personal gear, food, fuel, and other group gear up at ~16,400’ right in the heart of Camp 1. We’re back down here at Plaza Argentina, tired after a long day on our first foray onto the upper mountain but psyched that the team performed so well despite the heavy loads. Spirits are high after a job well done and we hope to keep the good times rolling through another rest/acclimatization day at basecamp tomorrow.

Signing off…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Descending back to Aconcagua Basecamp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Rest Day at Plaza Argentina

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 17, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Resting today… We are all enjoying a pleasant afternoon up here at Plaza Argentina. Our two principal goals for today are letting our bodies rest up from the work we’ve done over the past three days and continue that acclimatization process, and to prep and pack our gear, food, and fuel for tomorrow’s planned carry up to Camp 1. The team is again in good spirits and enjoying the day. We’ll check in again tomorrow and let you know how our first true push up the mountain went…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Aconcagua Base Camp at Plaza Argentina. Photo: RMI Collection Sunset at Aconcagua Base Camp. Photo: Garrett Stevens

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