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Entries By geoff schellens


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


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!


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


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.


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.


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


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

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