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Entries By grayson swingle


Mexico Volcanoes: Dale & Team Summit El Pico de Orizaba

Congratulations to the team who was the highest people in North America today, assuming no one is climbing Denali or Logan.  We had a restless night of sleep listening to the winds howling but by the time we awoke at 11:30pm they were just gusting.  The team did a great job taking care of themselves and climbing well.

One of our favorite parts of this trip has been the people in this group.  The other night at dinner we came up with trail names for everyone.  Breezy is an up for anything Appalachian Trail through hiker.  Flama Blanc is a high energy positive Greek restaurant owner.  Payday is a world traveler and mountaineer who makes everyone feel comfortable.  Lorenzo is the backbone of our team, supporting us with snacks and good advice.  Posh is a calculated climber who can take on whatever he wants.  Major Tom is a photographer who captures the beauty in the land and smiles on our faces.  St. Ronaldo is a fun loving athlete who makes a ten-hour day look easy.  Data is a brilliant and curious life long learner who always has a great story to share.  Endurance is the calm and confident leader who everyone wants to follow for his perfect form.  Baklava is a smart trail chatter who is great for trail distractions.  Then the guides: Muel has the strength of a lion and the courage of a bear, Doc is a determined and amazing leader, and lastly me named Jefe, who has the pleasure of traveling and climbing with this great team! 

Thank you all.
-Jefe

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I couldn’t have asked for a better guide team in Christina, Grayson and Alan!  It was an absolute pleasure meeting some great climbers and getting ourselves up some mountains. Keep climbing everyone!!

Posted by: Mychal Wooldridge on 1/27/2019 at 12:47 pm

Jefe Mule and Doc deserve all the credit for making this the best RMI trip yet. Hope our paths cross again! Breezy

Posted by: Andreas Renner on 1/27/2019 at 12:42 pm


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Dale & Team Ready for Orizaba Summit Attempt

After a full day of rest in the historic and colorful city of Puebla the team is ready to attempt to reach the highest point in Mexico! We left Puebla this morning for Tlachichuca and Señor Reyes’ climbing hostel and former soap factory. Here we ate a hardy lunch and admired the climbing history that has passed through on the way to Orizaba before loading up in a 4×4 truck to making our way to our camp for the night at 14,000 feet. Its sunny up here with gusty winds and clouds below to the East. Now we are getting ready for some sleep before waking up to climb through the night.

RMI Guide Grayson Swingle

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Way to go La Jefe and gang.  What a beautiful peak.  Still at sea level in PR

Lots of love. P & D

Posted by: Peter Von Mertens on 1/29/2019 at 4:58 am

Good luck team - take good care of each other!

Posted by: Stephanie R on 1/26/2019 at 5:43 am


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Dale & Team Rest & Recharge in Puebla

After a good night of sleep, lots of coffee, and a two hour breakfast the team explored the city of Puebla today.  We love this city for its charm, beautiful churches, and friendly people.  The hotel we stay in has a huge rooftop terrace that gives us a view of La Malinche to the North, our last climb to the west and our next goal to the east.  Yesterday,  as we descended Ixta, our group was tired, wind blasted, and hungry so talk of another mountain was not appealing.  But, today is a different story, our team is well fed and rested and happy to embark on the next climb.  Here are just a few quotes from the group today: “I’ve traveled to over 50 countries, and Puebla is blowing my mind!” And, “I’m in a great mood!”  Yep, we are lucky to have these folks to climb with.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

What a great view from the summit, Congratulations Sue and team, can’t wait to see you and talk about your adventure.

Sandra E

Posted by: Sandra E on 1/25/2019 at 4:27 pm


Mexico Volcanoes: Dale & Team Ready for Ixta Summit Bid

The team is in fine form today as we loaded our heavy packs onto our strong backs and hit the steep trail up from La Joya to Campo Alto Ixta.  We all moved under the hot Mexico sun as a tight unit of perfectly timed rest steps.  A small dog, we later named Ixta, decided that our group is great company and came with us all the way to 15,500 feet.  Now we have our tents up and are treating ourselves to an hour of rest before firing up the stoves and making a hot dinner. We’ll be turning in early because we’ll be back up in the middle night for a climb to the top!

RMI Guide Christina Dale

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thanks for the updates and I am so proud of you guys!  Keep up the great work and enjoy the adventure!

Posted by: Stephanie R on 1/23/2019 at 5:33 am


Mexico Volcanoes: Dale & Team at Ixtaccihuatl Base Camp

This morning we left La Malinche for the Altzomoni Hut at 13,000 feet on Ixta. The team was able to stock up on water and last minute snacks in the town of Amecameca before we begin our two-day attempt on Ixta. We’ve got all of our equipment sorted for our move up to our high camp at 15,000 feet tomorrow.

RMI Guide Grayson Swingle

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team

Mexico Volcanoes: Dale & Team Acclimating Day on La Malinche

Today the team left the lively Zona Rosa district of Mexico City bright and early to make our way to the mountains. A beautiful drive through the Mexican countryside took us up through a cloud layer that blanketed the City to sunny skies above.

Once we arrived at our home for the night, La Malinche, the team began our first big step towards getting our bodies acclimated for the peaks to come by hiking up to 13,700 feet. Here, we got our first views of the surrounding volcanoes including our next objectives Ixta and Orizaba.

Tonight we will enjoy a much deserved authentic Mexican dinner, sleep at 10,000 feet and try to catch a glimpse of the Lunar Eclipse.

RMI Guide Grayson Swingle

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Hope you guys see/saw the lunar eclipse.  The moon was bright and shiny here in Atlanta and I hope it lights your way to the top!  Best wishes and stay strong!

Posted by: Stephanie Renner on 1/21/2019 at 5:32 am


Mexico Volcanoes: Dale & Team Kick off Their Expedition in Mexico City

The team all met yesterday in Mexico City where we took walks during the day and were impressed with the city.  We met for a fun dinner with lots of tacos and laughs.  We all are looking forward to traveling around Mexico, climbing the high mountains, and tasting the best smoked chipotle sauces.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

What a happy looking group and hope everyone (especially Andy & Mychal!) are fueled up and ready for a fun adventure!  Best wishes and have fun.

Posted by: Stephanie R on 1/20/2019 at 3:16 pm


Mt. Baker: Mazaika & Team Summit with 100%!

Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 1:20 PM PT

RMI Guide Bryan Mazaika called from the summit of Mt. Baker this afternoon. The team attempted the climb a day early to take advantage of a forecasted lull in the rainy weather. The decision proved wise as the team was able to summit 100% in dry weather! They will make their way downhill to camp where they will pack up and exit the program a day early to beat the coming rain and snow.

Congratulations team!


Bryan Mazaika checking from Mt. Bakers Coleman Deming Route. September 9, 2018.

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Eleven RMI Guides complete the AMGA Alpine Skills Course

At the end of this past April, eleven RMI guides came together in Washington to take the AMGA Alpine Skills Course, a prerequisite for the Alpine Guide Course, and a great continuing education opportunity for all of us to remain at the forefront of current guiding techniques. After a winter of far-flung adventures, Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, Alan Davis, and myself converged on Ashford. These courses are an important chance for us to refresh our skillset and learn some new tricks from our peers and the instructors from the AMGA.

Snow anchor construction
Lowering and rappelling practice

Over the course of 5 days at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park, and on Mt. Erie, outside Anacortes, WA, we reviewed snow anchor construction and multi-pitch techniques for snowy environments, belaying and lowering techniques, short roping and short pitching, and anchor station management. Success in our guiding often lies in not only being able to utilize a number of techniques to manage risk, but in being able to maintain efficiency and timeliness at the same time. As we worked through different transitions, techniques, and scenarios with our peers, we all walked away with a few new tools in our bag and I’m convinced will be better guides for it.

Short roping practice
Belay station management
Evening celebrations

This was a fantastic event for the eleven of us, and many thanks go out to RMI and the AMGA for putting it on. Congrats to Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, and Alan Davis for completing the course!

Alex Halliday

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Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Turns Around at 12,500’

The June 16 - 19 Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Paul Rachele was forced to turn around at 12,500’ due to route conditions.  Several days of poor weather and snow accumulation provided difficult climbing conditions for today’s team.  They have returned safely to Camp Muir and will continue their descent to Paradise this afternoon.

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