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Entries By eric frank

Peru Seminar: Young & Team Begin Acclimatization and Get Ready for the Mountains


Greetings from Hotel Andino in the beautiful Huaraz City, Peru. Our expedition prep got off to a stunning start with a picturesque trip up to Puca Ventana (Red Window) at 11,600’. The additional elevation and light exercise will be crucial as we prep to move up the Ishinca Valley at 14,400’ tomorrow morning. A casual lunch at the climbing hangout Cafe Andino kept us energized through the afternoon as we began the packing and gear sorting for our upcoming week in the Cordillera.  Tonight we enjoy the comforts of civilization at our hotel for one last night. Our next dispatches will be from the high valleys as we move closer to our first climbing goal of Ishinca (18,143’). Stay tuned, friends!

Buenas Noches,

RMI Guides Robby Young, Eric Frank, Edwin, and the ESS-Peru Team

Peru Seminar: Young & Team Arrive in Huaraz

Greetings from Huaraz!

The ESS-Peru team has arrived safely in Huaraz.  After a short night of sleep yesterday evening, we left the chaos of a busy Lima city behind, traveled up the Pacific coast, over a 14,000’ pass, and down into the Ancash Valley; home of the Cordillera Blanca Range (The White Mountains).  We kicked off our stay at Hotel Andino with an incredible dinner, as usual, and are looking forward to the incredible views of the mountains from our hotel balconies in the morning. Tomorrow, our expedition prep begins.  An acclimatization hike tomorrow morning to 11,500’ into the hills above Huaraz City (pop. 127,000) will serve a crucial purpose as we coax our bodies into their high-altitude form. 

That’s all for now. Thanks for following along!

RMI Guides Robby Young, Eric Frank, and the ESS-Peru Team

North Cascades: Frank & Team Change Plans Due to Weather

June 22, 2016 - 2:33 pm PT

Hey gang,

Here’s a soggy hello from just south of the Canadian border. Caleb and I are sitting in a coffeeshop in Bellingham pouring over radar maps and weather forecasts, while our boots dry in the parking lot.

Yesterday we were suppose to have climbed Mt. Buckner, but both the weather and route conditions shut that down. On Monday we made it to one of our potential camp locations after eight hours of climbing only to find that it was buried in snow.  We had to dig for 20 minutes to make snow platforms for our tents. It started raining later in the night and by the time we woke up at 3am to launch, everything was rimed over with several inches of ice. Because the first hour of the climb requires scrambling on six-inch rock ledges and the use of bare hands, we knew it wasn’t an option.

After checking the weather every 20-30 minutes until 8am, we gave up and went back to bed. The wind continued to blow and spit light precip. Around 10am, there was a clearing and we decided to capitalize on the opportunity by making a quick trip to the summit of nearby Sahale. From the top, we had incredible views of our camp and the surrounding peaks before the clouds obscured them again.

In the early afternoon we packed up camp and started the trek downhill. As a group we decided to focus our efforts of the next objective, Mt. Shuksan, and take a full rest day in Bellingham to dry our gear and prepare. 

Wish us luck and a drier next few days.

RMI Guides Eric Frank and Caleb Ladue

Mt. Rainier: June 8th, Summit!

The Five Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Mike Uchal and the Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Eric Frank Reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  Eric radioed in from High Break while the teams were on their descent and reported the winds of about 40 - 45 mph on the mountain.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Team also checked in from the Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz, the team is camped on the Wilson Glacier having a great time training.

Congratulations to today’s teams!

Good job Michael
Hope to see you out in Port Port

Posted by: Stephanie Ferruzza on 6/9/2016 at 8:27 am

Zorionak!!! Amazing news, congrats to Rafa and to the whole team!!

Posted by: Stephanie on 6/8/2016 at 9:08 am

Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Reaches the Summit!

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir, led by RMI Guides Eric Frank and Adam Knoff, reached the summit at 7:30 this morning. Eric reported windy but clear weather.  After spending some time on the top, the team began their descent and are currently around 13,500 feet.

Yesterday the team had fun practicing crevasse rescue. Check out their photos below. 

Congratulations to the seminar teams!

Way to go, Joe! We are proud of you!

Posted by: Gwen and Mandy on 6/3/2016 at 10:45 am

Way to go Mike! Glad you and the group were able to make it! Have a safe trip back!

Posted by: Katie Uttech on 6/3/2016 at 10:04 am

Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schellens, Frank & Team Hunker Down

It’s been a mixed day of weather here on the flanks of Ixta. The group awoke to clear skies and pleasant temps this morning, but an ominous forecast threatened that the good weather would probably not last.
We loaded our packs after breakfast and began climbing toward our high camp at 15,000ft. Slowly the wind began to pick up as we gained altitude until it was blowing 25-30mph when we arrived at camp. It was an easy decision to leave our tents packed and we opted instead to move into the nearby Refugio De Los Cien.
We are currently spread inside the Refugio listening to the wind blow in strong gusts. Every so often someone builds up the courage to venture outside to go to the bathroom but is quickly forced back inside.
We have our fingers crossed for improving weather, but the conditions right now don’t give us much hope for a summit bid tomorrow.

RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Eric Frank


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schellens, Frank & Team Head to Ixta

This morning we woke up, packed, and loaded into our van without coffee!! We made this bold move knowing that 40 minutes down the road we would be rewarded with perhaps the best breakfast buffet in Mexico. We ate our fill and loaded back in the van, now fully caffeinated, to drive onto Amecameca to resupply on water and fresh food. Here we also met our local guide, Alfreado, and our support team. After an hour we were back in the van winding up the mountain roads to Paso De Cortez and onto the Altzomoni Hut at the foot of Ixta. Our home in the clouds, at close to 13,000’ the Altzomoni Hut is a great step in our overall acclimatization schedule.

Unfortunately the weather is cloudy and windy so we haven’t yet been able to see Ixta; hopefully tomorrow. We are currently enjoying a delicious authentic taco dinner and discussing logistics of our hike to high camp tomorrow. Everyone is doing very well and having fun.  Keep your fingers crossed for good weather for us and thanks for following along.

The RMI Mexico Volcanoes Team
RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Eric Frank

On The Map

Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schellens & Team Acclimate at La Malinche

The Mexican Volcanoes team got an early start this morning, and by 10am we were above the Mexico City fog and enjoying the mountains around us. A two-hour drive brought us to the high altitude resort of Malintzi, a collection of rustic cabins with million dollar views of the valley below.
Towering above Malintzi is the peak, La Malinche at 14,640ft. Recent storms have covered the upper flanks of the mountain with snow and as we hiked uphill this afternoon we noticed more and more snow. Eventually, around 13,300 ft, we felt that we had gone far enough and decided to head downhill.
Back in Malintzi we enjoyed an incredible dinner of carne asada.

Thanks for following along on our adventure.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Mexico’s Volcanoes: Schellens, Frank & Team Gather in Mexico City

After long journeys from all over the US we finally gathered at our hotel in Mexico City.  Excitement and anticipation were high throughout the group as we discussed the upcoming trip. We then made our way through the noise Saturday night streets of Zona Rosa, Mexico City, to an authentic Mexican restaurant called, El Refugio Fonda. After a decadent meal, we picked our way back to the hotel to pack and get some rest before we set off on the first leg of our trip tomorrow. Thanks for following along with us here in Mexico.

RMI Guides Geoff Schellens & Eric Frank

Mt. Rainier: September 4th Update

The Mount Rainier summit climb teams, led by RMI Guides Eric Frank and Zeb Blais, were unable to summit this morning and turned on the Disappointment Cleaver.  Although the weather was clear, calm, and cold, the avalanche danger and new snow kept the team from continuing their summit bid.  Both teams are safely back at Camp Muir and are planning a 9:00 a.m. departure to begin their descent to Paradise.

I know you are disappointed you didn’t get to summit, but we are so proud of all of you.  Can’t wait for you to come home so we can celebrate!

Posted by: Kim on 9/4/2015 at 8:07 am

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