Entries By pete van deventer

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Fly on and Set Up Camp

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer | May 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,600'

May 16, 2015 1:09 am PT

Hi all,

While yesterday became a waiting game that ultimately left us sleeping in town for another night, this morning was sunny and blue, and immediately after breakfast, we loaded the planes and were off! The flight in was spectacular with great views of the range. After a couple hours of sorting loads, packing, and rigging, we walked out of base camp and on to the lower Kahiltna. We made great time, and now we are snugly tucked into camp after an eventful day. Time to catch some Zzzz. We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard, Robby Young, and team

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Mt. McKinley: Pete Van Deventer & Team Kahiltna Bound!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Yesterday we spent the whole day on hold here in Talkeetna. Today is a new day. This morning’s skies are clear and we’re loading up to go! We are off to climb Mount McKinley!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

The May 12th McKinley Expedition boarding the plane bound for Kahiltna Base! Photo: Pete Van Deventer

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Mt. McKinley: Pete Van Deventer & Team are Rigged & Ready to Roll

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Our team is assembled, or bags are packed, and we are ready to climb onboard the airplanes and take off! We spent today going through all of our gear, packing and repacking our bags, and sorting lunch food. With all of the details dialed in, we’re going to eat what is hopefully our last dinner in town for a few weeks, and catch some zzz’s. Tomorrow with any luck, we’ll board the planes first thing for one of the highlights of the trip: the stunning flight into Kahiltna Base Camp. We’ll be in touch!

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard, and team

The May 12th Denali Expedition at the NPS meeting. Photo: Josh Maggard The May 12th Denali team stroll through downtown Talkeetna, Alaska. Photo: Josh Maggard Pete Van Deventer and team checking gear prior to flying onto Mt. McKinley. Photo: Josh Maggard

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Celebrate in Mendoza

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

As the expedition draws to a close, the days come flying by in a blur. After a big descent to Aconcagua Base Camp with heavy packs, we fell into our sleeping bags and got one of the best nights of sleep of the trip. The group chose to fore go setting up tents and laid out sleeping bags in the big dining tent, and for the first time in many nights, we didn’t spend the whole night listening to the wind slap at our tents.  We woke in the morning, caffeinated up, and did a hasty pack job of the our duffels for the mules. We grabbed our day packs, light once again, and started off down the mule trails, retracing the paths we had walked two weeks earlier (ironically, most of the group didn’t remember much of it and was convinced that we were exiting a different way). While our packs were light, and our hiking shoes a lot more comfortable than our boots, the nearly 15 miles of rocky trail walking took about ten hours, and by the end, everyone’s dogs were far beyond barking.

Fortunately, the amazing arryaros were waiting at Pampe de Lenas, with the fire already started and meat on the grill.  The team feasted on more carne than we could possibly eat, especially with the shrunken stomachs that result from two weeks of high altitude living.  Once again, we chose to fore go the tents, and everyone unrolled pads and bags on the ground and watched the Southern Cross trace its arc across the canyon rim.  We woke early, and though everyone was feeling the previous couple of days, the motivation to finally reach the park entrance and be done trumped all of the physical discomforts. Three and half more hours brought us to the tree-lined aqueduct that signals the final stretch to the end of the long trail. We grabbed our dust covered bags from the mules and loaded a shuttle to Mendoza. With a quick stop for another huge meal, we were in Mendoza by evening, showering off the weeks of dust. 

We wrapped up the trip with another great culinary experience at El Patio Azul de Jesus Maria. We feasted on a traditional Argentinian parilla (bbq) with boundless different cuts of meat cooked slowly over a wood fire. Malbec was plentiful for washing the meal down, and was the perfect way to refuel after weeks up the mountain. Most of the group will spend the next two days in Mendoza, planning to explore the shops, rest by the pool, and perhaps tour a few vineyards, before we return to winter time in the States.

We would like to thank the whole team for the incredible team work that they displayed throughout the entire trip, the camaraderie, and the effort that each and every one put out. This was a group that was a pleasure for the guides to work with. Finally, I’d like to thank Alex and Juan for kicking ass the entire trip. The whole trip was a pleasure all the way around, and we’re already looking forward to next year!

Thanks,
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Trekking through the Vacas Valley, Argentina. Photo: Ty Reid

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Back to Base Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

After nearly two weeks of progress moving in fits and starts, as we move camps, carry gear, and take rest days to acclimatize, the last several days suddenly start to rush by. We had a great, though very difficult, summit day yesterday. The sun shone in a completely clear, brilliant, azur sky, but as has been the nature of the last several days, the wind continued to rush on. We prepared in gusty conditions that made it uninviting to leave the tent, and donned our packs. For much of the climb we received only gusts, protected from the main force of the wind, the constant noise of which we couldn’t ignore. This region has received very little precipitation for the last several years, and the results of that were the second major challenge of the climb. Where snow fields usually provide nice cramponing, only sand existed, and climbing sand hills at 22,000 feet is no small task. We persisted, and at 2:45, crested the summit of Aconcagua.

Time flies, and while that was only yesterday afternoon, it feels much further removed. We woke this morning to the ever present wind gusts plastering the tent to our face, and packed our bags to head to base camp. As we descended, we picked up the items that we had cached at our previous camps, so our packs grew heavier, even as the air grew thicker. We arrived at base camp to a delicious spread, which was followed up shortly with our first carne dinner in a while. We organized our bags for the mules, and tomorrow we will reverse our course, once again carrying light day packs as we descend the Relinchos and Vacas Valleys back towards Penitentes, and ultimately Mendoza. Everyone is excited at the prospect of more beef, wine, and warm temperatures that await us in the coming days. Thanks for following,

RMI Guides Pete, Alex, Juan and team

Aconcagua view near Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer and Team Summit!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

Pete Van Deventer and Team called into the RMI Expeditions Office to let us know they reached the summit of Aconcagua and are safely back at High Camp.  Pete will send a full report of their summit day after they rest and re-fuel.

Congratulations Team!

The Candeleta on Aconcaga. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team in Position for Summit Bid

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Though the tents shook with the wind again last night, the gusts came fewer and further between. As the sun rose this morning the gusts became rarer, and we decided that this was our day to move to our high camp at Colera (Spanish for anger, not the disease). We were still prepared to face strong winds as we moved into more exposed terrain on the way, but Aconcagua gave us a pass and we climbed with gentle breezes and brilliant sunshine the whole way. We are now settled in, working on heating water for dinner- which takes a long time at 19,600’- before we rack out early to prep for a hopeful summit attempt tomorrow. All of the days of hard work have gotten us here, and everyone is excited to be in place for the final push to our objective. We’ll be in touch tomorrow to let you know how it goes.
Best,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juan, and the team

Aconcagua High Camp beneath the Polish Glacier. Photo: Tim Amos

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Rest Day at Camp 2

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 31, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

The sun has been shining on us all day, and the temperatures are pleasant, but something has changed: early this morning the tents gave a foretelling rattle, and then the wind settled in. While the wind hasn’t been too strong yet, mostly it just makes a lot of noise, the forecast is hinting that the winds may strengthen tonight, and that they may persist for at least a week. We are hoping that they allow us to move up tomorrow, and that a forecasted lull may give us our shot. At this point, everything is ready for us and we are in Dr. Suess’ proverbial waiting place, so we just have our fingers crossed for our summit window to show itself. Keep your fingers crossed for us,

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer, Juan, Alex, and team

Views of the surrounding Andes on the trail to Aconcagua Camp 2. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Move Up to Camp 2

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 30, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

We had a perfect move day to Aconcagua Camp 2! The day dawned calm, bluebird, and warm, and looked like the ideal day to push up higher to our next camp at Guanacos Tres (a confusing name since it is our camp two). We packed the tents once again, shouldered packs that were once again heavy, and set out. It’s not a far climb, as most of the elevation gain happens right out of Camp 1, and three hours later we were walking into our new abode. We are now happily settled in and are looking forward to another rest day tomorrow.  So far everything is going very smoothly and according to plan, and we all have our fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Hasta mañana,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juampi, and team

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

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Enjoy a Rest Day at Camp 1

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

We had a relatively uneventful rest day at Aconcagua Camp 1. While base camp offered pizzas, cook tents, and showers, folks spent the day at Camp 1 napping, catching up on journals, listening to music, and chatting. There were clouds in the Vacas Valley this morning, which we watched push up towards us, with the upper reaches just brushing our camp, before they would push back down valley again. Watching the curling cloud forms provided some entertainment as well. Our leisurely day should have us prepared to pack camp tomorrow morning to head up to Camp 2 at 18,000 feet. Once there, we will start the process of acclimating over again, and we will be one step closer to our summit push. Though we haven’t been here that long, everyone is excited for the next step and a new home for a few days.

Hasta mañana,

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juampi, and team

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

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