Entries By leon davis

Alaska Seminar: Team is Enjoying Good Weather While Training

Posted by: Bridget Belliveau, Leon Davis, Garrett Stevens | May 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

May 7, 2015 12:39 am PT

Greetings,

Today the team spent a full day doing technical training, building foundational knowledge in hopes of breaking camp tomorrow and moving towards our next objective: Kahiltna Dome.

The weather has so far been excellent, so if you are out there reading this, do a little anti-snow dance for us!

Cheers from Alaska,

RMI Guides Leon Davis, Garrett Stevens and Bridget Belliveau

From camp looking toward the next objective Kahiltna Dome with Mt. Foraker to the left.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Climbing and Training

Posted by: Leon Davis, Garrett Stevens, Bridget Belliveau | May 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

May 5, 2015 11:27 pm PT

Hi everyone.
Another beautiful sunny day on the glacier!  Perfect to go out for a bit of climbing and training. We left this morning in the cold shadow of Mt. Hunter and made our way up into a small basin on the north side of Horiskey’s Hump. Stopping periodically to study the glacier and identify some key features that make this frozen river so interesting. The team made great time and we were able to stand on top while getting some good practice on fixed line travel. By late afternoon the team was back at camp building a few more walls and celebrating Cinco de Mayo courtesy of John and his guacamole.  Good night.

RMI Guide Leon Davis

Teams camped at Kahiltna Base (7,300 ft), Mt. Hunter (14,573 ft) in the back ground behind the clouds.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Alaska Seminar: Davis and Team Fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier

Posted by: Leon Davis, Garrett Stevens, Bridget Belliveau | May 05, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

May 4, 2015, 9:46 pm PT
Good evening friends & family!  The first RMI Alaska Seminar of 2015 is on the SE fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. Our team spent today buffing out camp, which overlooks the airstrip, with snow block walls and a bathroom. We taught a clinic on climbing fundamentals, watched Mt. Hunter shed some large ice blocks and enjoyed a nice dinner of burritos in the cook tent. Tomorrow we will venture to the north side of Horiskey’s Hump for some more training and climbing.  Good night from a cold sunny glacier far far away.

RMI Guide Leon Davis

An RMI Team camped on the SE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Training in Talkeetna

Posted by: Leon Davis, Garrett Stevens, Bridget Belliveau | May 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Hello from Talkeetna, Alaska! The RMI Alaska Mountaineering Seminar is underway here, and so far it’s nothing but blue skies, sunshine, smiles and excitement. The team all arrived yesterday in Anchorage, and despite one delayed flight we were all able to rendezvous with our shuttle and make tracks north.  A short shopping stop in Wasilla let us get all the final little treats that we’ll want to eat on the glacier for the next week or so, and then we finished the drive to this quaint little town at the end of the road.

After a good night’s rest, the team met this morning for breakfast at the fabled Roadhouse, followed by a stop at the ranger station to complete all our paperwork. We headed over to the hangar to finalize our packing and preparation, and then it was off to the races with training. Tent craft and now rope work, with the team learning a lot of new skills that we’ll use over the course of our program.

We’re scheduled to fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier this afternoon, so once we get the final weights of all our gear, we’ll suit up and head into a very different world! We’ll trade the trees and grass for snow and ice, but that’s what we’ve all come to do.

Keep it tuned in for more updates, and thanks for reading!

RMI Guides Leon Davis, Garrett Stevens, Bridget Belliveau, and the expedition team

The Alaska Seminar team learn some knot-tying skills in Talkeetna. Photo: Garrett Stevens

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Summit Cotopaxi!

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

100% on the Cotopaxi summit!  Everyone is safe back at the hacienda.  Once we are back in Quito, we’ll check in again.

Congratulations team!

RMI Guide Casey Grom

December 18, 2014 - The RMI team on the Cotopaxi summit! Photo: Casey Grom Cotopaxi summit with the entire RMI team. Photo: Jaime Avila

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Ecuador: Grom & Team at the Base of Cotopaxi

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hello again everyone.

We’ve spent the last two days relaxing in Chilcabamba and are finally ready for our next climb. The team packed up this morning and headed closer to Cotopaxi. Our home for the next few hours is another nice hacienda call Tambopaxi, and sits just a short distance from the base of Cotopaxi and will be our launching point for tonight’s climb. Our plan is to wake up around 10pm, have a quick breakfast and hopefully be out the door close to 11. Then we’ll hop in our bus and drive to the base of the mountain where we’ll begin our climb.

Based on how well this group did on Cayambe, I’m guessing it will take us around seven hours to reach the summit if all goes well.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Spend a Relaxing Day at the Chilcabamba Eco Lodge

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hola from Ecuador!

Things are great here on the equator. We had a fantastic climb on Cayambe in the most amazing weather I’ve ever had. We started our climb by waking up at 11pm to ensure we had plenty of time for the day ahead. Everyone did a good job of getting ready in our tiny hut that was a little cramped for the 11 of us. Once the team was ready and had plenty of fresh coffee we were out the door at midnight as expected. The weather was clear and calm all night which was perfect, and the team saw dozens of shooting stars and even an amazing lightning storm far off over the Amazon. We made our way steadily up the mountain climbing close together and stopped for short breaks every hour to eat and drink. The sun rose shortly before we climbed the final steep section where we took a little time to snap pictures and put on our sunglasses. We summited just after 6am with the entire team and spent about a half hour enjoying the unbelievable view we had. Not a cloud in the sky and all of the mountains in view, it was spectacular to say the least.

The descent went relatively smooth and before long we were back at the hut tired but very happy. We took a short break then packed up all of our gear and then headed south to the always wonderful food and hospitality of hacienda Chilcabamba. Check it out for yourself.

After some much deserved and needed sleep the team spent the day relaxing around the hacienda. Everyone enjoyed the day watching the endless hummingbirds visit, playing lots of cribbage and a few of us went on a short horseback ride in the countryside.

Everyone is in great spirits and looking forward to another good night of sleep before tomorrow night’s upcoming climb.

Buenos noches from Ecuador!

RMI Guide Casey Grom

The RMI team enjoys a relaxing stay at Chilcabamba Eco Lodge. Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador: Grom & Team 100% on the Cayambe summit!

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 18,997'

Quick note from RMI Guide Casey Grom on the Cayambe summit:
100% on top! 

Once the team is back to camp, Casey will send photos and a dispatch.

Congratulations to the Team!

12/15/14- RMI Ecuador Team on the Cayambe summit! Photo: Casey Grom Views from the Cayambe (Ecuador) summit. Photo: Billy Nugent

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Ready for Cayambe Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,300'

Hello again everyone,

All is well here in Ecuador. We had a slight technical issue yesterday which delayed our ability to send a dispatch.

So let me bring everyone up to speed. Yesterday we checked out of our warm and comfortable hacienda and made our way to the famous Otavalo market. It’s the largest market in Ecuador and one of the largest in all of South American. The team spent a few hours negotiating the endless maze of goods for sale and worked on our bartering skills- some did better than others. :)
After everyone satisfied their shopping desires we headed uphill towards Cayambe, our first major climbing objective. The road to Cayambe is long, rough, and an accomplishment in itself. We were amazed that our bus was able to make it so far on what is clearly a 4x4 road. There were several times I was sure the mud was going to win, but somehow Hector, our daring driver was able to make it through. We hiked the final hour to the hut at Cayambe to help with our acclimatizing and spent the remainder of the evening relaxing.

Today the team woke early with a big breakfast and plenty of coffee. We then hiked up to the start of the glacier which is about an hour away, and spent a few hours refreshing our skills for tomorrow’s climb. While out on the glacier we were not only amazed at the beautifully clear day, but also incredibly lucky to see a condor soaring not far away! Once back at the hut we reviewed the plan for the upcoming climb and got everything packed up and ready to go. A special thanks to Leon for whipping up one heck of a nice meal for everyone.

The team is off to bed now as we are waking early for tomorrow’s climb. Wish us luck!!!

And one more thing… Keep your cell phones handy tomorrow morning. One lucky trivia winner will be making a satellite call from the summit if all goes well.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Otavalo Market, Ecuador's largest outdoor market. Photo: RMI Collection Otavalo Market in Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom Cayambe Climber's Hut. Photo: Nick Hunt

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Ecuador: Grom & Team Arrive in Otavalo

Posted by: Casey Grom, Leon Davis | December 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hola from Ecuador!

Today the team left the busy city of Quito and headed north to the much smaller and far more rural town of Otavalo. We were hoping to do a acclimatization hike on a small mountain called Fuya Fuya, but due to a little rain, thunder and lightning, we opted for a little acclimatization while eating pizza! And based on what happened to all the pizza, it was a huge success.

It was an enjoyable drive along the Pan-American highway through the Ecuadorian countryside. We passed many farms magically perched on hillsides and what seemed to be endless rose plantations. We spent the remainder of the afternoon playing cards, reading, taking naps and a review of all the gear we’ll need for our upcoming climb. We are currently relaxing in the comfort of La Casa Sol.

Everyone is doing great and looking forward to tomorrow’s adventure.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew.

The team having dinner in Otavalo, Ecuador. Photo: Casey Grom

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