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Entries By geoff schellens

November 24, 2015

The Top Five Reasons To Ice Climb In Ouray, CO

Ouray, CO is a small mountain town located near the ski resort of Telluride, CO and in the heart of the San Juan mountains. Ouray has become the preeminent destination in the U.S. for ice climbing, and is known throughout the world as well. RMI Guide Geoff Schellens has spent his last five winters climbing and guiding ice in Ouray, and gives his top five reasons to visit the small, exciting mountain town this winter.

1. The Ouray Ice Park:  Located two minutes from town, the Ouray ice park is the largest man-made ice park in the world.  With over 200 established routes ranging from beginner to difficult ice and mixed climbs and immediate in-town access, the park is the place for any climber to hone their skills. Managed by the Ouray Ice Park staff who turn on nearly 100 showerheads every afternoon to rebuild ice for the next day and keep the park in tip-top shape, this unique playground is free to the public, though donations are much appreciated.  The ice park is open seven days a week from mid December to late March.

2. Back Country Ice Climbing:  The San Juan Mountains surrounding Ouray are home to many of the best backcountry ice in the US.  From roadside multi-pitch climbs on Camp Bird Road to long alpine style ice in Eureka and Telluride, one can find amazing ice and beautiful Rocky Mountain solitude within an hour drive.  Famous backcountry routes including Stairway to Heaven, The Ribbon, Skylight, and Bridal Veil Falls are just a few of the sought after classics in the area.

3. The Town of Ouray:  This small mountain town has a rich climbing culture.  It is not uncommon to see world-class climbers grabbing a pint at the Ourale House or coffee and decadent treat at Mouse’s Chocolate and Coffee following a day on the ice.  With over 130 years of history, the town of Ouray is an eclectic blend of new and old.  There are a plethora of unique restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels where climbers reconvene with stories from the day’s escapades and plans for tomorrow’s adventure.

4. The Ouray Hot Springs:  Located in the heart of town, the Ouray Hot Springs is a public soaking spot not to be missed.  Hosting four pools ranging in temperatures from 88º to 106º, the hot springs provide a wonderful way to relax those sore muscles after a day of ice climbing.

5. The Ouray Ice Fest:  Typically falling on the second weekend in January, the Ouray Ice Fest is the event of the year.  During the day, clinics like ‘Intro to Ice’, ‘Steep Ice Techniques’ and ‘Speed and Efficiency on Ice’ are hosted by world-class athletes and guides.  In the evening, slideshows, presentations and events such as the Petzl party are held in town. Don’t be too engrossed to miss the highlight of the weekend: the ice climbing competition.  Top climbers from around the world come to test their skill on the difficult competition wall.

For anyone interested in learning to ice climb, or looking to take their skills further, Ouray is the perfect destination. The density of available routes, across the spectrum of difficulty, means that there is something for everyone in Ouray. Join one of our Ice Climbing programs this year, and let Geoff or another of our exceptional guides share the excitement of ice climbing with you!

Geoff Schellens is a senior guide at RMI. An AMGA certified rock guide, Geoff guides exciting mountain adventures around the world for RMI. Geoff will be guiding Ice programs in Ouray this winter, before starting off his summer season leading an expedition on the West Rib of Denali and then on to Alpamayo. Let Geoff share his wealth of ice climbing knowledge with you this winter!

August 22, 2015

Four Day Summit Climb

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams on the Summit!

RMI Guides Brent Okita & Geoff Schellens led their Four Day Summit Climb teams to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The teams were able to spend about an hour enjoying the views on the summit.  They began their descent from the crater rim just before 8 am. They will return to Camp Muir to rest and repack before continuing down to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s teams!

Woohoo!  Great job! You are amazing Janet Hernandez!

Posted by: Michele on 8/22/2015 at 11:47 pm

Yay Andi!  Congratulations - own your moment!  We love you!

Posted by: Jodie, Dan, and Elliott on 8/22/2015 at 3:17 pm

August 18, 2015

Four Day Summit Climb

Mt. Rainier: August 18th Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climbs led by RMI Guides Steve Gately and Geoff Schellens reached the summit of Mt. Rainier at about 6:45 this morning.  Steve reported winds of about 30mph at the crest, but overall a beautiful day.  The team has started their descent and are en route to Camp Muir.

RMI Guide Leon Davis called at 7:30 AM this morning from the Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons. He and the team are back at camp. They reached 11,600’, then turned due to a large crack. Later today they will take a walk to spend more time training about 500’ above Camp Schurman.

August 12, 2015

Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz

Mt. Rainier: August 12th Update

The Mount Rainier Four and Five Day Summit Climbs, led by Kel Rossiter and Ben Liken, reached about 12,300 feet before thunder and lightning forced the team to turn.  The team is safely back at Camp Muir and began their descent to Paradise at 9:00 a.m.  The skies are currently hazy with a fair amount of smoke in the skies from various wildfires in eastern part of Washington.  Geoff Schellens and the Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz turned from their summit attempt yesterday at 13,300 feet.  They will finish their day of training and be back at RMI Basecamp later this afternoon.  The RMI Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons, led by Eric Frank, checked in from camp this morning.  Their team is doing well, training today, and preparing for their summit bid in the morning.

August 2, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Return to Huaraz

This morning we woke up early had breakfast, packed and then waited. We experienced some logistical snafus in communications with our donkey drivers and horse handlers, but only a minor hiccup. We started hiking down valley and in a couple hours came across our animals. While the donkeys continued on to base camp to collect our duffle bags we mounted our horses and began riding down valley. It turns out our team of expert climbers are also amazing rodeo cowboys. We all laughed and hollered riding our horses we named Mr Ed, Alpa- caballo, EFrank, Stumbles, and Chuck.

We arrived to Cashapampa, the trail head, a couple hours before our donkeys and found a beautiful shady porch to rest on and enjoyed a couple cervezas. A three hour van ride had us back to our hotel in Huaraz where we quickly showered and are currently enjoying a delicious dinner.
Thanks for following along on our incredible trip.

We’ll see you all soon,
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Glad to hear that you have your heads back out of the clouds and that you found your “asses”!!!! Enjoy your last hours celebrating your success and good times in Peru , before your journey back to reality!
Thank you Geoff, for another successful climb!!!
I love you John!!!!!

Posted by: Patty Stenderup on 8/2/2015 at 10:24 pm

August 1, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Descent to Base Camp

We all slept very well after our successful summit climb yesterday and didn’t get up until 8:30 this morning. After casual breakfast and coffee we slowly packed camp all the while looking up at the astounding route we had just climbed. It was impossible to ignore to smiles and feeling of accomplishment throughout the group. Eventually, by about 11:30 we hoisted heavy packs again and began our descent to Base Camp. Late in the afternoon we arrived to popcorn, chips and guacamole, and black corn juice (very tasty). We shuffled gear around a bit and then sat down for dinner and Peruvian wine! Truly a celebration. 

Tomorrow we will finish packing duffel bags for the mules and choose our horses for our ride back to Cashapampa and then on to Huaraz. Though our trip here is almost over everyone is already talking about the next adventure.
Thanks for staying with us throughout this incredible trip.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team

Everyone, congratulations and enjoy the trip down. Please take pics of the farmboy on the horse. John, I hope your horse is nicer than your dad’s pony Tony. Love Tante

Posted by: Lisa Stenderup on 8/2/2015 at 2:37 pm

Glad to hear you all are safe and enjoyed your expedition. We cant wait to see you home!!! Love Angela,  Liana, Avery, Bella and Buster Brown.

Posted by: Liana & Avery on 8/2/2015 at 12:41 pm

July 31, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Make the Summit!

Summit day.

This morning we got up a little after midnight to a starry calm night. We ate breakfast and put the final touches on our packing and just before two o’clock in the morning we marched out of camp. Within 40 minutes we encountered steep snow slopes and began pitching it out. We slowly worked our way up our route climbing close to 2,000 feet of beautiful ice and snow. The whole team did a fantastic job today. We reached the summit of Alpamayo just before 8:00 AM. Tired as we were, everyone stayed focused for our decent and we walked back into camp tired but extremely happy. We will begin our descent to Base Camp tomorrow.
Thanks so much for following along on our climb. It has truly been an honor to climb such a beautiful peak with such a great group.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Congratulations to the team! Well done! It seems as if we crossed paths just yesterday. Happy trails out.

Posted by: Wolf Riehle on 8/1/2015 at 7:11 pm

Excitement and “Vivas” !!!
Congrats and pat on the back for each of you… GREAT JOB!!
A huge hug from your family, Jesse
Mom, Dad, Virgie, Evencio Jr, and Zelda
<3 you!

Posted by: Luz on 8/1/2015 at 5:41 pm

July 30, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Rest Day at High Camp

Today was a rest day at high camp and the team took full advantage. Most of us have been napping, stretching, hydrating, and getting strong. A few of us, including myself, had a little bit of a rumbling gut last night and this morning but everyone seems to recovering quickly today.

Excitement is very high is we look up at the beautiful summit face with its steep ice runnels. Like a siren it is calling to us and with calm winds and blue skies it is impossible to ignore. Our forecast for tomorrow looks perfect as well so for now, we wait.

Thanks for following us on this fantastic climb.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team

Brother, you really are Superman! Go Jesse!
When y’all are done with this one is Mt. Everest next on the list?
Can’t wait to hear about the top of the summit. Keep it up guys, almost there!

Posted by: Virginia Rosales on 7/31/2015 at 11:34 am

Good luck to everyone today! Geoff, you keep those rogues in check - no funny business at 70 degrees! Sending my love.

Posted by: Dana Cori on 7/31/2015 at 10:30 am

July 29, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team at High Camp

Hello from High Camp. Today we woke up with the sun hitting our tents at Moraine Camp and not a cloud in sight. We had breakfast and coffee and packed up. This was our first time with crampons and ice tools of the trip. It took a stretch or two but we all fell into a good cadence. Soon we found ourselves nearing the Col but a few steep steps of snow and ice separated us from camp. Though it was difficult with heavy backpacks we all climbed very well up to the Col. Here we finally got our first view of the southwest face of Alpamayo that we will climb. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen and our line is striking and direct. Everyone is very excited for the ascent.
The team did very well today and everyone is happy and healthy. Most likely we will take a rest day tomorrow and climb on Friday.

Thanks for following along with us.
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team!

Wow!!! That is QUITE A MOUNTAIN!!!!!  I appreciate the nightly reports so we can follow along with you.  The blue skies DO make the mountain look magnificent….ONWARD AND UPWARD!!!  Happy climbing!      How are the donkeys ??? HEEE HAWWW!!!!!!!

Posted by: Patty Stenderup on 7/30/2015 at 9:51 pm

Go Geoff and team!!! Cheering for you all from Ashford. Go guys!

Posted by: elias on 7/29/2015 at 10:38 pm

July 28, 2015

Alpamayo Expedition

Alpamayo Expedition: Schellens and Team Move to Moraine Camp

This morning we woke to coffee in bed and blue skies above. We had a leisurely morning, after breakfast we napped in the sun and slowly packed our bags. At mid day we had a delicious lunch and spent some more time packing and digesting before hoisting our packs and heading up to Moraine Camp. Everyone did a fantastic job getting up here. Shortly after we moved into the tents our porters arrived with tea and dinner, these guys are amazing!  We are now enjoying the alpine glow on some of the surrounding peaks of the Cordillera Blanca before turning in for the night.
The team is doing great and very excited to be making up hill progress again.
Thanks for following along with us.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo team

So far the “hike” sounds like one of those glamping vacations. Step it up guys! John-I hope you enjoyed the glacier bathing.  I once jumped into a glacier lake near Lone Pine.  My heart stopped for a few seconds. I thought of you almost every step of the 3200 steps I took tonight in the stairwell.  You probably have a better view.  I can’t wait to see your pictures.  Tante

Posted by: Lisa Stenderup on 7/28/2015 at 9:09 pm

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