Entries By caleb ladue
January 3, 2016
This is Mike and team checking in after our delicious asado dinner cooked by the mule drivers. We had an eight-hour hike from Base Camp and some of our feet faired better then others. Regardless, everyone is excited to be in Mendoza tomorrow night. This has been a great group of climbers and while we didn’t stand on top of Aconcagua, the team learned a lot and had fun doing so.
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January 2, 2016
This is Mike and the Team. We are at Base Camp feeling good after a long day carrying down our equipment from 18,000’ to 13,800’. We will start our descent to the road tomorrow, which will entail 20 miles and culminate in a delicious Argentinean asado dinner. The weather continues to plague teams and we are thankful for our time up high.
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December 31, 2015
Today we woke to slightly milder winds that allowed us to breakdown our camp at 16,400ft and move Guanaco 3 camp, our second camp at 18,000’ on Aconcagua. All teams above Base Camp are trying to figure if the current weather system will allow for a summit bid. The Team has been updated on the weather pattern that is moving onto the mountain.
From the beginning of the expedition the guides have been stressing taking care of daily items that are in our control like hydration, rest, proper clothing choices and breathing, a lot. At the same time this expedition has been marked by items we have no control over, for example, tall penitentes to navigate, hot temperatures, wind and a deteriorating weather pattern.
We will continue to evaluate our options, in the meantime, It’s New Years Eve on Aconcagua. We’ll miss the party at base camp, but not the pan flute chiming in during the porter drum circle until 4am.
On The Map
Mike, praying you get to stand on the top! All good things in 2016! Love from all the Isaacsons
Posted by: Carol Isaacson on 1/1/2016 at 9:54 am
Happy New Year Michael! Keeping my fingers crossed the weather gets better. Stay strong! Thinking of you everyday . Love, Mom
Posted by: Lisa Hughes on 1/1/2016 at 5:40 am
December 30, 2015
This is RMI Guide Mike King checking in checking in from 16,400 feet on Aconcagua. Today is our rest day and we are definitely resting in our tents. The winds picked up around dinner last night and have not stopped shaking our tents. The team reported good sleep/rest after our carry to Chopper Camp yesterday and everyone is acclimating well. We are hunkered down for the day; reading and napping. There is rumor of a snack food social in one of the tents around lunch time, I might have to crash that party.
We will keep checking the weather today. Our goal is to move up to Chopper Camp tomorrow during lower winds and then play the waiting game for a summit bid.
The RMI office sent the blog comments to us and everyone enjoyed hearing them read during breakfast yesterday. Thank you for following along and supporting us! Keep it up!
RMI Guide Mike King and Team
On The Map
Hey Jeff and Meredith! Hope you are having a great climb and managing to stay warm. The views are amazing. Can’t wait to hear all about it…Ruby and Wayne :)
Posted by: ruby on 12/31/2015 at 10:29 am
Wishing John Hughes and the entire climbing team a very happy, healthy and high-altitude 2016!
Posted by: Barbara on 12/31/2015 at 10:20 am
December 29, 2015
Call it Camp 2 while your on the mountain and you will get a curious look from the locals, but call it Chopper Camp or Guanaco 3 and they will smile. The team woke this morning and carried food and equipment to Guanaco 3 (our Camp 2). Some of our legs felt a bit heavy from the move yesterday but we made it.
As we turned the corner at Ameghino Col the winds increased and we took in stellar views of La Mano, Mercedario and other 6000 m. peaks in the San Juan Province.
We are back in Camp 1 looking forward to a rest day on Wednesday. Weather and high winds are rolling in, good night from our cozy tents at 16,400 ft.
RMI Guide Mike King and team
On The Map
Dr. Ludwig and group, Have a wonderful time on your hike. Hope to see lots of pictures of the breath taking view you will have.
Posted by: Michelle on 12/31/2015 at 10:39 am
Thank you for the update. I believe our son, Luke is with this team.
Posted by: Catherine on 12/29/2015 at 6:16 pm
December 28, 2015
This is RMI Guide Mike King and the Team checking in from Camp 1, 16,400 ft! We had slightly lighter packs then our carry day but still hot temperatures radiating off the snow fields. After 4 nights at 14,000 the team cruised up to Camp in good form.
The climbers are enjoying some rest time in the warm tents and organizing their gear for our carry to Chopper Camp tomorrow.
These climbers bring a lot of different mountaineering and climbing experience to the team and watching them pitch camp today makes a guide team proud.
Thanks for following along.
On The Map
December 27, 2015
Not a whole lot to report during our rest day at Plaza Argentina, which is indicative of a successful and relaxing day after yesterday’s carry to Camp 1.
After a good breakfast the Team took advantage of washing clothes for the trek out and really enjoyable showers offered by one of the logistic companies here.
We could continue to delay our ascent with all the amenities of base camp, but will pack up our gear and move up to Camp 1 at 16,400ft.
That’s all from Plaza Argentina
RMI Guide Mike King
With you every step of the way! Stay strong and happy thoughts!! You both are so strong and unstoppable!!
Posted by: Chris & Andrew on 12/28/2015 at 8:15 pm
Way to go David! This team ROCKS! Worth all the pre-trip prepping. My thoughts and prayers go with you. Love, Mom.
Posted by: Pat Taylor on 12/28/2015 at 2:59 pm
December 26, 2015
This is Mike and Team checking in after our return from Camp 1 @ 16,400ft. The Mountain got a lot of snow this winter compared to the past 10 seasons. This made for difficult climbing through snow features called ‘penitentes’ that form from dust, wind and sunlight. Today they were six feet tall in some places.
Combine the narrow snow features with heat and glare reflecting off the white snow and the Team had it’s work cutout for them. We stocked our camp with food and supplies to both lighten our load on the 28th and to help acclimate.
Tomorrow is a rest day and everyone is looking forward to sleeping in.
Thanks for following the expedition.
RMI Guide Mike King
Rest and relax! We are thinking of you each day! Will and Syd think you two are pretty cool and amazing! Stay safe, breathe and know you are loved lots!
Posted by: Jo Kev Will and Syd on 12/28/2015 at 6:47 am
Hey Mer and Jeff! Glad to hear the climb is going well so far. Thinking about you guys this Christmas and we wish you all the best of luck with the rest of the hike! Remember: pole pole!!
-Doug, Pat, Russ, Elena, and Kaitie
Posted by: Russell Willmot on 12/27/2015 at 12:26 pm
December 25, 2015
This is Mike and the team checking in from Aconcagua Base Camp on our first rest day. The team woke this morning with smiles on their faces and all reporting a good night’s sleep despite the locals celebrating Christmas Eve until 4:30am.
The Guide Elves had some stockings for the team to open and we are currently resting and preparing our gear for the carry to Camp 1 on Saturday.
Nice calm, warm and relaxing day at Plaza Argentina.
Messages from the team:
Hey mom Katie and Kevin, and Marni! Merry Christmas. Miss and love you guys! Mike
Staying positive, wish me luck. Carmen and Adnan, miss and love you! Hinan.
Merry Christmas, Mom! Only 9,000’ to the summit. Dave
Merry Christmas Ben and Blake and all. All is well here. Love you and will see you soon.
Merry Christmas Poppy, friends, SFFG & SH! We are in good shape at base camp and having a great Christmas Day. Love to all, Meredith
Merry Christmas Ma, Pa, CM, Bro, Nolan, Sis, Alyssa, CB, Kyle, Stevo, Jester, and all of our friends back in Canada! A very fun white Christmas up here at 13,800. Love, Jeff
John here hanging tough. 30 miles and 5800 feet of altitude gain over 3 days left me fighting some altitude effects. Decided to take some of my own advice- ride out the storm and eat the elephant one bite at a time. Feeling 100% better now on Christmas Day! Love to all!!
On The Map
Michael….Merriest Christmas. Raining cats and dogs in Atlanta. Will make Christmas morning breakfast when you and Abby visit in the spring :) Love, Mom and Dad
Posted by: Diana King on 12/26/2015 at 5:53 am
December 24, 2015
We woke early to catch a mule ride across the Vacas River. A few chose to walk across the icy water, which felt good on sore feet from the two previous days of walking.
We enjoyed spectacular views of Aconcagua with snow wisps off the top of the Polish Glacier near the summit.
The team is resting after gaining 3,000+ feet and adjusting to the air at base camp. We will rest tomorrow and prepare for our first round of moving food and gear to Camp 1 on Saturday.
Look for a message from the entire team tomorrow as it will be Christmas.
Merry Christmas Bob! Everyone here at BNSF in Fort Worth is wishing you well. Hope you had a good trek into base camp. Say “Hi” to J.J. when you see him from the rest of our team in Texas. Good luck with your carries to the higher camps and hope you get good weather. God knows we’ve seen good and bad on the big mountains. We all can’t wait until you get back in January. Again, good luck and be safe.
Posted by: Rick & Mary Kay Knutson on 12/25/2015 at 10:05 am
Merry Christmas Michael! Headed to Bachelor for X-country with Abby. Wish you were here at the lower altitude! XXOO Wendy & Larry
Posted by: Wendy on 12/25/2015 at 8:34 am