Entries By mark tucker
January 13, 2017
Our task for the day was simple: carry and cache supplies for the upper mountain at Camp 1. Executing this task, however, was anything but simple, but all team members proved themselves to be fully up to the challenge. The terrain in between Base Camp and Camp 1 is varied and difficult; our team had to negotiate steep scree slopes, blocky towers of snow called penitentes, and sections of unstable talus. Upon reaching Camp 1, we were rewarded with a snack and drink at 16,500 feet, and made sure to diligently weigh down our cache of equipment before heading back downhill to Base Camp. Following the “climb high, sleep low” mantra, our team is looking forward to a well earned night of rest back and Base Camp, and everyone is excited to have laid eyes on the first section of real climbing.
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee
On The Map
It’s been fun following the team’s progress. Best wishes as you move higher toward the summit, maybe even blue skies and minimal wind. Otherwise, hunker down and enjoy the experience. Either way it will be memorable.
Posted by: Bruce on 1/13/2017 at 6:46 pm
January 12, 2017
Today was a day of rest and preparation for our team here at Aconcagua Base Camp. We spent the morning reorganizing and sorting out communal food and equipment for the upper mountain, and the afternoon finding a way to make it all fit into our packs. Along the way, team members found time to take a brief stroll around the base camp vicinity to acclimate and enjoy the perspective, and a few lucky climbers snuck in a nap or two. Everyone is excited to carry a load up to Camp One tomorrow, and officially launch our assault on the mountain!
Bye for now,
RMI Guides Mark Tucker, Pepper Dee and Team
Thanks for the update Mark and Pepper! I can’t wait to hear more. Sending lots of love to my Papa, Dominique. I hope you’re having a great time. Good luck Team!
Posted by: Lindsay Monnet on 1/13/2017 at 3:04 pm
Thank you for the great updates and photos. Enjoy the climb up!
Posted by: Anne Callen on 1/13/2017 at 7:06 am
January 11, 2017
We have arrived at Plaza Argentina, Aconcagua Base Camp, and are loving it. I am watching the most amazing moon rise as I scratch out this dispatch.
We started the morning off with a mule ride across the Vacas River. Good size and cold seemed to make sense since the option was available. We waited till later in the day to fjord the Relinchos River in the footwear we brought along for that purpose. Named after the valley we ascended five hours and gained close to 4,000’, the views of the upper mountain were fantastic.
We established our camp and settled in at Base Camp. A very nice dinner provided by our great outfitter Grajales Expeditions has us well fed and now ready for rest. The team is in good shape and thrilled to be at Base Camp. All is good here.
On The Map
Happy hiking Uncle Fred. We are with you in spirit!
Posted by: MAPZ on 1/12/2017 at 5:52 pm
January 10, 2017
Today brought our team within striking distance of base camp! We battled strong down valley winds for most of the day, but were rewarded with our first glimpse of Aconcagua just shy of our current camp at Piedra Parada. Our team is growing more and more practiced in the art of alpine resting, and put their skills to use this evening munching on asado and watching our hardworking mules take dust baths. Everyone is strong, happy, and healthy, and looking forward to checking in from 14K!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee
Walk happily,climb safely and feel lots of support from team NYC!
Posted by: Laura Taft Paulsen on 1/11/2017 at 5:43 pm
What a gorgeous goal!
Posted by: Sandy Bradbury on 1/11/2017 at 3:52 pm
January 9, 2017
And just like that, RMI Aconcagua Expedition, led by Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee, is off! We enjoyed our last breakfast in civilization this morning, and then before we knew it we were piling out of the van at the Vacas Valley trailhead and heading uphill under the blazing Argentine sun. We wound our way up the valley for about five hours, taking breaks to hydrate and generously apply sunscreen. Having settled in to our first camp at Las Leñas, tonight we were treated to a mouth watering traditional asado dinner by our support team of mule drivers. The team is adjusting rapidly and successfully to the demands of life on the trail, and look forward to tackling another stretch tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more climbing (and more steak!).
Wonderful to get the updates. Enjoy every moment because the eventual homeward return may be more challenging…the dogs have happily taken over your place in bed, Mr. Monnet.
Happy climbing. Lots of love, the gang.
Posted by: Carolyn on 1/10/2017 at 12:38 pm
Looks so inviting, that valley!!
“Ah, yes, ‘generously amounts of sunscreen,‘“notes Mom.
Posted by: Elizabeth Tompkin on 1/10/2017 at 11:35 am
January 8, 2017
Logistics, logistics logistics! Today was an action packed day in the Andes as our crew assembled and packed gear in preparation for our trek tomorrow. We started the day in Mendoza, gathering our climbing permits and stuffing a van full of duffel bags. In the afternoon we headed for the hills, and unpacked and resorted our loads in the ski town of Penitentes, our launching point for the climb. It’s been a long day, and the team is itching to hit the trail tomorrow. Looking forward to checking in from the Vacas Valley!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee
We are here in Mendoza, Argentina. All of our team and gear arrived with a few delays but that is to be expected.
It is absolutely pouring rain right now but we have no doubt it we be dry in the morning. We think it would be better to get this weather out of the way while we are dry and comfortable in our hotel.
We had a good team orientation meeting and an even better dinner here in the land of steak and Malbec red wine.
We will have an early rise tomorrow to take care of a bit more packing and once we have our Aconcagua climbing permits in hand we will head off toward the mountain, about a four hour drive.
All is well,
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee
Good Luck and enjoy the climb Fish we miss you walking down the block with your pack #BlueTeam
Posted by: Mike Albrecht on 1/9/2017 at 6:25 pm
All your smiling faces are on Facebook. Have a safe climb and get a picture of El Pombero.
Posted by: Art Fish on 1/8/2017 at 5:46 pm
These climbing expeditions are so much more than putting one foot in front of the other for hours on end. It really is fun and exciting pushing yourself way beyond what you think is your limit. Such a great mental boost and refreshing perspective you return home with that your friends, family and co-workers always benefit from the zest for life you exude. A few hour drive, seamless check in and the team is on the way home. We all not only climbed the third tallest mountain in North America, but were true ambassadors. Thank you team for representing the USA with great poise. Have I told you guys what a great job you did!
Thank you to the whole team! Special appreciation to Mark and Hannah along with the local guides. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. It was a wonderful trip and experience of a lifetime.
Posted by: Sierra on 11/14/2016 at 5:21 am
November 12, 2016
A big and successful day for the RMI Mexico team. A fifteen-hour summit day on Pico de Orizaba. We woke up to perfect weather. Right out of the gate it is steep. No new snow at 14,000’ so it was dirt and rock to start. After about an hour we entered a crazy area called the labyrinth. Such exciting terrain winding through gully after gully with mixed moderate climbing. We put on the crampons as the snow got firmer adding to the fun and excitement of the climb. Still dark with the beautiful moon we arrived at the base of the glacier. Ropes, ice axe and all the other toys that a prudent mountaineer hauls up hill were part of the next phase. Long and pretty darn steep at that point. Snow conditions were perfect and not much wind. As the sun rose, imagine the shadow cast on the surface of the Earth by this monolithic monster of a volcano. What a sight. Keeps me coming back for more. The team did an outstanding job up and down. The team is sleepy but still lots to do here at the historic old soap factory, which is our digs for the night.
RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls from the Orizaba summit!
On The Map
November 11, 2016
Today we made the journey to Tlachichuca where the great Sr. Reyes lives. Sr. Reyes runs Servimont, the guide service we use to get to Piedra Grande by 4X4 trucks. The compound to which he runs his operation was once a soap factory. One of the drums used in the process to make the soap came from Philadelphia. But enough with the history lesson and back to the climbing. Once we arrived in Tlachichuca we were down to business, doing yet another gear shuffle. We packed our bags, ate a delicious lunch, and boarded the 4X4 trucks. A two-hour drive up a very bumpy and steep road brought us to Piedra Grande which sits at roughly 14,000’. We were in and out of the clouds while we pitched our tents and got settled in. Before eating dinner we had a refresher course of our skills for the climb. With fully tummies of probably the best rotisserie chicken we had ever had, we are off to get some shut eye before an early alpine start. Hopefully the next time you here from us we will be cal ling in from the summit.
Till then, good night to all,
RMI Guides Mark Tucker, Hannah Smith, and team
Looks awesome! Good luck, stay strong!
Posted by: Paul Lawrence on 11/14/2016 at 7:11 am
Good luck to all! I know you have it in ya dad!
Posted by: Kate denver on 11/12/2016 at 7:27 pm