Entries By mike king

Aconcagua: King & Team Remain at Camp 2

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

This morning we woke to the traditional Aconcagua weather pattern, cold temps and consistent winds. We watched snow billow off the upper Polish glacier into the sky forming clouds that resembled smoke rising from a 23,000 ft bonfire. 

Everyone is chomping at the bit to move camp and begin our summit attempt, but we will spend one more night at Camp 2 and hope the forecast of 5-20 mph winds holds out.

Quesadillas for lunch and more tent time. If you are reading these blogs with any desire to go expedition climbing get a Kindle and crush tent time like a pro.

RMI Guides Mike King and Steve Gately

Enjoying the views from Camp 2 on Aconcagua, Argentina.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Enjoy Rest Day at Camp 2

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 08, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Rest day at Camp 2:

Our coldest morning of the climb here at Camp 2 on Aconcagua. Our water source is a large snowfield, that lately has been a raging torrent due to warm temperatures and almost zero snowfall this season. The amount of water and ice that has melted at Camp 2 has begun to erode tent sites that have been staple spots at an already cramped camp.

We are going for a walk to 19,000’ this morning to stretch our legs and lungs. 18,000 ft is the highest our group has slept and the guides are pleased with how everyone is acclimating. We are still anticipating high winds tomorrow and remain flexible in our ability to move up if we see a significant difference in the forecast.

RMI Guides Mike King, Steve Gately & Team

Enjoying a rest day at Camp 2 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Move to Camp 2

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

The Gang Moves to Camp 2

Well the good weather only lasts for so long when you are climbing in the big mountains of the world. We moved camp this morning after enjoying another warm and calm night.

We spent the day looking at high wispy cirrus clouds over the summit from the West and ominous lenticular clouds building in the East.  The most recent forecast has high winds entering the picture starting tonight and lasting several days.

We are in a good position to wait for better weather with a rest day tomorrow and the ability to use two weather days if needed. We are sitting on a lot of food and fuel.

Until next time,

RMI Guides Mike King & Steve Gately

An RMI Team moving to Aconcagua Camp 2. Photo: Jake Beren An RMI Team on the move to Camp 2, Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: King & Team Enjoying Their Rest Day at Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 06, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

It is not often that a group has a camp to themselves on Aconcagua, that is where we find our team today. After enjoying a sunny and near windless morning the team is organizing personal gear, reading and relaxing. The little headaches and discomfort from our carry to Camp 2 yesterday have dissipated and everyone is adjusting to life at 16,200ft.

The weather has been great with lots of sun, warm temperatures and light wind. We would like to climb higher during this high pressure system, and the team is taking every opportunity to acclimatize appropriately.

As I am typing this dispatch, all I hear is laughter and conversation coming from our tents and that is a welcome sign after two hard days of climbing and caching equipment.  We move to Camp 2 tomorrow to begin a holding pattern for our move to high camp and summit day.

RMI Guide Mike King

The moon rise above the Andes from Camp 1 on Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: King & Team Carry to Camp II

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 05, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Today’s agenda was a carry of group and personal gear to Camp II (18,000ft) and this is personally one of my favorite days. After our carry and move to Camp I the terrain eases off a bit and becomes less cumbersome to Camp II. As the trail leaves Camp I we slowly switchback our way up the South side of a broad basin. At about 17,000ft the route hooks North and heads for a col (low spot) in between Aconcagua and fellow neighboring peak Cerro Ameghino. Once through the col the Northern expanse of the Andes unfolds and we are greeted with views of ancient glaciers and 6,000 meter peaks. The view stays much the same all the way to Camp II and the team wasn’t complaining!

Everyone did great with the new altitude today though and we are now currently re-hydrating and recouping with some hot soups and a siesta before dinner. Tomorrow’s agenda: REST DAY!

Stay tuned!

RMI Guide Steve Gately and Team

Team on the move to Camp II on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Settle into Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

The Gang Moves to Aconcagua Camp 1.

For all the creature comforts of base camp, the Gang decided they’d had enough quesadillas, pizza and breakfast burritos and wanted to start eating oatmeal higher on the mountain.

We scrambled up the loose scree slope again to Camp 1, this time to spend three nights. We have amazing views of the Andes. The ridge across the Vacas River has every shade of red and brown you can imagine.

The Gang worked hard to move supplies through the scree and 2,400 feet of elevation gain. We are resting in our tents after a tough day.

It’s always sunny at Campo Uno!

RMI Guide Mike King

Climbers on the approach to Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Ty Reid

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Aconcagua: King & Team Rest at Basecamp

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

The team woke this morning after a wonderful nights sleep despite not being serenaded by the sounds of war drums and a seemingly lost pan flute player. If that wasn’t enough we then treated the team to breakfast burrito’s and real drip coffee!

Everyone is doing great after yesterday’s efforts and today we focus on resting for our move to Camp I (16,200ft) tomorrow. Moving up is always such a good feeling. After 4 nights at Basecamp everyone is excited for a change of scenery and for most, getting to Camp I feels like we’re finally starting the climb as we leave the creature comforts of Basecamp behind. Tonight we’ll enjoy our last meal with silverware and plates until our descent. The gang sends there…. Well why don’t we just let them tell you!

Loving the music here at base camp: Oasis, Bon Jovi, and Ace of Base! -Candace

We are both feeling good and relaxing with quesadillas at base camp on a rest day today. Love to all. - Jeff and Mere

I am taking a break from technology -Sam

I told people at work I didn’t have access to email -Rebecca

RMI Guide Steve Gately

Dusk at Aconcagua Basecamp. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Make a Carry to Camp 1

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

“THE GANG CONTEMPLATES DRUM CIRCLE SABOTAGE”

A stint at Plaza Argentina wouldn’t be complete without being kept awake by the repetitive and monotone sound of Argentine dance music mixed with improvised drum solos, all accompanied by a Peruvian pan flute.

This amazing melody finally wrapped up around 4am. The Gang took a load of food and equipment to Aconcagua’s Camp 1 today in great style, despite the dry and dusty scree slope that must be gained. We spent an hour at 16,200 ft and descended to quesadillas and siesta.

Rest day tomorrow and hopefully a full night’s sleep.

It’s always sunny at Plaza Argentina!

RMI Guide Mike King

RMI Climbers navigating the snow penitentes below Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Jake Beren

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Aconcagua: King & Team Resting at Plaza Argentina

Posted by: Steve Gately, Mike King | February 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

An enjoyable aspect of any rest day is “sport eating”, because you know that you will burn through the calories and you get to sort through all the extra food you brought on the expedition. Today we started with Steve’s North American scrambled eggs. The team went for a walk to aid in acclimatization and returned to guide made cheese pizzas.

Everyone is relaxing and getting gear ready for the carry to Camp 1 tomorrow. Those minor headaches we had upon arrival yesterday have gone and appetites are strong! The team is excited to see what lies ahead.

It’s always sunny in Plaza Argentina.

RMI Guide Mike King

Base Camp on Aconcagua, Plaza Argentina, 13,800 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Settling Into Base Camp

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | January 31, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Despite having a rogue mule disappear with one of our bags last night, the group enjoyed delicious grilled chicken and Steve’s famous pasta salad. The bag eventually rejoined our group late last night, thanks to the amazing gauchos that we work with.

We are relaxing at Plaza Argentina, 13,800 feet after a beautiful day with more views of the highest peaks outside of the Himalaya. The group woke early and rode Mules across the Vacas River, always a highlight on an Aconcagua expedition. We are looking forward to our first rest day of the climb tomorrow.

Stay tuned to see how the group, “out chills” the rest day.

RMI Guide Mike King

Approaching Aconcagua Base Camp through the Relinchos Valley. Photo: Garrett Stevens Aconcagua Base Camp at Plaza Argentina. Photo: RMI Collection

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