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Entries By daniel may


Aconcagua: Smith and Team Carry to Camp Two

Hola Family and Friends!

What a day it was. After waking up from a night of heavy wind gusts and having breakfast, we took a few extra minutes sipping our (dulce de leche) coffee to allow the winds to calm down and the sun to get higher in the sky. Feeling warmed up, we did some last-minute packing, doublechecked the tie downs on our tents and headed up to Camp 2, AKA Guanacos 3, for our carry day. As we crisscrossed on rocky and snowy terrain, we took in our first amazing views of Cerro Ameghino. Once we passed through the saddle, we began the long traverse below the Polish glacier, and enjoyed more amazing views of the Andes Mountain range to the north.

Arriving at camp, we took the time to take pictures, unload our packs, and headed downhill back to Camp One. With our bellies full of quesadillas, we are currently weathering more winds and looking forward to a well-earned rest day tomorrow.

RMI Guides Hannah, Ben, Dan, and Team

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poO2BsVGdIU

Posted by: Terry Reilly on 1/18/2023 at 9:11 am


Aconcagua: Smith & Team Bid Farewell to Basecamp and Move to Camp 1

Hola amigos!

This morning we bid farewell to our fellow RMI team as they headed back down the Relinchos Valley, one day closer to civilization. We on the other hand shouldered our heavy packs and began our move to Camp 1 at 16,000ft. Blue skies and a light breeze accompanied the team up toward camp. We arrived in good style, feeling and looking good, happy to be making our way to the upper mountain. The night ended with our very own high altitude rendition of Pad Thai. The sun dipped below the ridgeline, the wind picked up, and we all took the cue and retreated to our warm sleeping bags. An early night's rest will do wonders for our carry to camp 2 (Guanacos 3) tomorrow!

Cheers!

RMI Guides Hannah, Ben, Dan and the team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Hannah! Best wishes for Strength and perfect weather for your climb!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/17/2023 at 8:15 am

How excited you must all be!

Posted by: Peter Darasz on 1/17/2023 at 5:25 am


Aconcagua: Smith and Team Enjoy a Rest Day at Basecamp

Good evening readers,

After a high effort day of carrying to Camp One, the team enjoyed our last rest day at Basecamp. cups of coffee were enjoyed as the sun warmed up camp. Today was a leisure day. Time was spent watching TV shows, reading books, chatting with teammates, and showers. We also sorted gear for the move to Camp One. We don't want to be too heavy when we head back downhill, so luxury items like sweatpants, jeans, sweatshirts, need to stay behind.

A highlight of the day was welcoming the other RMI team back to Basecamp. We got useful information about the route and conditions and now feel ready to have our go at the upper mountain. Tomorrow, we say bye to the wonderful basecamp staff that have been taking good care of us and move to Camp One.

We are ready and excited to progress up this mountain.

Adios,
RMI Guides Hannah, Ben, Dan, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

We love seeing your photos and updates. As you approach 22,000+ ft, all of us in Ann Arbor (861 ft at our house) are cheering for you and wishing the team our best. Have fun!

Posted by: Janice Lieberman on 1/16/2023 at 11:26 am


Aconcagua: Smith and Team Carry To Camp One

We woke to another brisk morning. The sun slowly creeps down the mountain. Once it hits the dome tent, everything/everyone warms up.

Today we made progress up the mountain. We sorted our gear to carry all the group food, fuel, kitchen items, our mountain snacks, and upper mountain equipment. Without doing carries, our packs would be far too heavy. Carries also help with acclimatization. With our heavy packs ready and the sun shining, we made our way to 16,400'. The team did great maneuvering through the moon scape like terrain. A final steep hill brought us into Camp One. We unloaded our packs and pile everything against a rock. We will be reunited with this gear on Monday when we leave the comforts of basecamp. After hanging at Camp One for 30 minutes letting our bodies exist at this altitude, we made quick work getting back to Basecamp where we were greeted with pizza and treats.

One final day resting at basecamp tomorrow and getting ready for our move up to Camp One tomorrow. RMI's First Aconcagua team comes down from 19k camp after a successful summit yesterday. It will be nice to see familiar faces and hear about their trip. The sun has disappeared so it’s time for the sleeping bag and tent.

Goodnight all,


RMI Guides Hannah, Ben, Dan, and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Say hello to Rob French and his brother as well.  Cheers.  I really enjoy the updates.

Posted by: Terry Reilly on 1/17/2023 at 10:16 am

Sounds incredible - cheering you all on from London!❤️

Posted by: Kiki French on 1/15/2023 at 10:21 am


Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team Enjoy Rest Day at Basecamp

Good evening everybody! Today we awoke well rested and ready to enjoy a full day of intense lounging. It wasn't all sunshine, we needed to sort all of our group gear and get ready for our carry day tomorrow. Then we had to report for duty and get checked out by the Basecamp Doctor. Don't worry,we've all had plenty of Dulce de leche treats and the doc says we're all in tip top shape. We spent the rest of the day taking in the beautiful views at Basecamp, had another incredible dinner served by Grajales, and are ready to see what all the hype is about up at Camp 1.

RMI Guide Ben Luedtke

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Hannah, Wishing you and your Team strength and stamina and great weather moving up the mountain!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/15/2023 at 9:22 am

Really enjoying reading about this grand adventure! Best wishes.

Posted by: Peter Darasz on 1/14/2023 at 5:45 am


Aconcagua: Smith & Team Reach the Comforts of BaseCamp

Howdy all,

After a somewhat fitful nights sleep accompanied by the barking of our new dog friend and the whineying of mules, the team awoke to some slightly threatening skies. Luckily we had the reprieve of our dome tent to allow for an easy morning breakfast and coffee. As if the coffee wasn't enough to wake us up we began the morning crossing the Vacas River to enter into the Relinchos Valley. The mules were hot on our tail as we began our gradual ascent to Plaza de Argentina Basecamp. Once gaining a high platuea we received our second view of Ameghino and Aconcagua. The stoke rose with the elevation. We were greeted warmly to Plaza de Argentina with some tasty and warm lentil soup, juice, dulce de leche and fresh fruit. The afternoon was spent taking in the panoramic views and lots of relaxing. After another delicious meal and some fine Mendoza malbec, the team, full, happy and tired, retreated to their tents. That's it for now, tune in next time!

RMI Guides Hannah, Ben, Dan and the team

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Hey Hannah! Wishing you and your team great rest at basecamp and all the best ahead and above!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/14/2023 at 3:28 am


Aconcagua: Smith and Team Trek Through the Vacas Valley

Hey-O,

Another day down. We woke to clear skies and a brisk temperature, after some coffee and breakfast we hit the trail.

At Lenas we made friends with a cute dog, and she has decided to continue along with us. A short way into our day we crossed a bridge over the Vacas River. She began winning and refused to cross, choosing the river instead! The river swept her away until she clung to a rock! One of our brave climbers leapt into action and went to the rock and plucked her out by her scruff. Hopefully that is the most excitement of our trip!!

The team cruised up valley making easy work of the day. Our new four legged friend stayed with us the whole time. The winds picked up towards the end, as per usual, for this camp. When we arrived, we enjoyed some down time waiting for our duffels in an empty dome tent. There we cooked dinner and chatted before bedtime.

Tomorrow, we take a hard left into the Relinchos Valley which will take us to basecamp. We are all excited for the amenities that come with basecamp, including some Wi-Fi to share some photos. It's early to bed for us so we can rest up for tomorrow’s trek.

Talk to tomorrow,


RMI Guides Hannah, Ben, Dan and Team

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Aconcagua: Smith & Team Arrive at Trek Camp 1, Roughing it!

We woke in our beds ready to start the day. We ate breakfast, grabbed our duffels, and loaded the van. A quick 45 minute drive (there was air breaking being done by all) brought us to Penitentes. We weighed our duffels for the mules and reloaded the van to bring to the trailhead. The team made quick work of today's hike. Lulls of no breeze made for a hot walk but when the wind did hit it it was the best feeling. A couple rest breaks and some frogger with another team got us to camp. To say we are roughing it would be a lie. We enjoyed melon and nuts for a snack at a picnic table waiting for our mule team to arrive. For dinner was Carne Asada, chorizo, potatoes, cabbage salad, bread and wine.  No complaints over here. Things will get tougher, but not just yet. Tomorrow is another day hiking along the Vacas River. Weather was good today and hopefully good tomorrow.

Good night all,

RMI Guides Hannah, Ben, Dan and team

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Aconcagua: Smith & Team Secure Gear and Depart Mendoza

Monday, January 9, 2023 - 6:08 pm PT

Hello hello,

Well me made it out of Mendoza. We were patiently and anxiously awaiting two duffles. Thanks to using the apple air tags we knew they were in flight and confirmed to be at the Mendoa airport. A pit stop to grab the goods and we were on the road towards Aconcagua Provincial Park. Two hours following the Mendoza River brought us to Uspallata. Tummies were rumbling so we picked up some empanadas and checked into the hotel. Before we could lay down for a nap we had some work to do. Everyone sorted their gear into a day pack, a trekking duffle, and a basecamp duffle. The duffle shuffle is a big part of the game these first handful of days. With everything organized we are ready to get back in the van and begin our hike. Tomorrow will start Day 1 of our mountain days. Everyone is itching to hit the trail and get some miles behind us. It helps that tomorrow we get a delicious Carne asada dinner cooked over a fire...it is finger licking good. We did enjoy some thunderstorms this afternoon. The rumbles in the sky made for great background noise for the evening nap. Hopefully mother nature got it all out of her system and we have dry weather. 

Good night and talk to you from the trail!

RMI Guides Hannah, Ben, Dan and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Rob, Barry - Following you, wish I were there - welcome the challenge, have fun!

Posted by: Jenny French on 1/10/2023 at 8:44 am

Awesome to see.  Very cool to finally be hitting the trail.  I would be superstoked to be along.  Safe travels and keep the posts coming.

Posted by: Terry Reilly on 1/10/2023 at 4:53 am


Aconcagua: Team Smith - Introductions and Gear Sorting Begins!

And we are off! RMI's second team of the Aconcagua season has officially begun.

Everyone has arrived in Mendoza feeling well. It's been a busy couple days sorting gear, grocery shopping and locating duffels. We are ready to hit the dusty trail, but first we needed to do some introductions and toast a glass of wine to celebrate being a team with the same goal of having fun, learning something new, and hopefully standing on top of this tall, tall mountain.

No good night ends without something sweet, so the team enjoyed some yummy Gelato before sinking into their beds. Only one more night in a bed before we take to the sleeping pads and sleeping bags. Tomorrow, we hit the road to Uspallata where we will do more gear sorting for the mules and our journey to basecamp. A 3-day hike up the Vacas and the Relinchos valleys will bring us to basecamp where we will gear up for the upper mountain. For now, we rest our heads on our comfy bed enjoying the simple comforts.

Buenos Noches,

RMI Guides Hannah Smith, Ben Luedtke, Dan May, and Team 

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