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Entries By robby young

August 19, 2015

Sahale Mountain - Quien Sabe Glacier

Sahale Mountain: Blais & Team Summit

Hi, this is RMI Guide Zeb Blais and team checking in from Boston Basin, our camp for Sahale Mountain. Earlier this morning we summitted Sahale under perfectly blue skies and low winds. Our team was strong all the way up and all the way down. We are enjoying the sunshine up here in the North Cascades.

July 21, 2015

RMI Guides Robby Young and Steve Gately Found Their Calling in Iceland

This spring, while another hot and dry winter in Utah began to wind to a close, my friend, and fellow RMI Guide, Steve Gately and I were desperate to find a real winter.  The island country of Iceland, once an isolated and expensive island destination to visit, has made a big effort to attract foreign tourists, since the 2008 collapse of their economy, by subsidizing direct flights from Europe and N. America.  Lucky for us skiers, this presented an opportunity to explore and ski the volcanic peaks and fjords that Iceland harbors amongst its wild and otherworldly landscape.

It being both of our first time to the island, Steve and I made our goal to ski as many of the coastal mountain ranges as we could.  Arriving in the city of Reykjavik after a red-eye flight, we spent that first day battling heavy eyelids, touring the walkable capital city, sampling the wide array of fresh seafood and local brews, and beginning our feeble attempt to learn a few Icelandic phrases to help get us by for the next two weeks. “Tveir bjora, takk”, meaning, “two more beers, thank you”, was the only phrase we could retain well enough to use during that first day. 

Iceland's rugged and remote landscape

Car rentals are notoriously expensive, but we found a deal on an old Toyota Rav4 with decent tires that seemed to be held together well enough for half the price, and we were off.  We drove the length of the main highway on the south side of the island, also known as the Ring Road, passing by the active and massively glaciated volcanoes along the southern coastline.  Finally reaching the Eastfjords, we were a bit discouraged by the high snow levels in these broad fjords, but found charm and beauty in the tiny and isolated fishing villages.  We spent a couple days skiing spring “corn” snow as it slowly softened with the warmth of the low angled sun of the springtime.  An experience of a lifetime, the clear nighttime skies lit up with the Northern Lights like we could have never imagined.  Domes of vibrant green and purple rocketed over our heads while we camped in the empty Neskaupstadur town campground, taking in the show in awe. 

Long runs and soft corn

The Northern Lights illuminate the town of Neskaupstadur

Moving northward and then west, we drove across the volcanically active rift valley where the Earth’s crust was being created in real time, creating hundreds of miniature volcanoes, steam vents, and rugged lava fields. Eventually, we reached the Troll Peninsula, the skiing mecca of Iceland.  In recent years, the “Troll” has increased in popularity with skiers through recent ski films and the presence of Arctic Heli Skiing.  The popularity of this place was well justified; we found some of the best spring corn skiing we’d ever experienced, with the Arctic Ocean serving as our backdrop.  The aesthetics and quality of skiing was only matched by the hospitality of the people we met in the small village of Dalvik.  Our days here were spent skiing while evenings were filled mingling with locals and tourist skiers alike on the front steps of the local Kaffihaus (Coffeehouse), which doubled as a pub in the later hours of the evening.  As with many of the small communities in Iceland, the owners of our hostel also ran this Kaffihaus, serving their own fish stew from their friends’ fishing boats, and serving beer brewed a couple doors down the street. 

Traveling onward, we drove the barren and isolated roads from Dalvik to the northwest corner of the island: a series of peninsulas collectively referred to as the Westfjords.  We hunkered down in the town of Isafjordur, surrounded by hundreds of steep ski runs that plummet to the ocean, as the snow began to fall.  We spent the next six days drinking coffee, while the snow pounded down outside, immediately jumping in the car as soon as the sun made one of a few brief appearances.  In a neighboring fjord near the village of Flateyri, we found the siren that had drawn us to Iceland: a beautiful fjord that held the deepest and driest powder of the trip; a long series of steep chutes looming above the ocean. After a winter of scraping and scratching by in Utah, this mythical run made our ski season whole!

Steve Gately finds the light and deep

Steep, deep, and straight to the ocean

During these rare moments of sun the formula looked something like: drive around the fjords looking for ski runs (the best were steep rock-lined couloirs), climb up, ski right back down to the car, manage to drive our manual transmission Rav4 in ski boots to another ski run, and repeat. 

Snow days are town days

The snow in the Westfjords did not let up for days, even as our time to return to Reykjavik approached.  The most hair-raising adventure of the trip was driving the fjords and passes back to civilization in southern Iceland.  Over one particular pass, we had to put our rental to the test, busting through snowdrifts until we found a lineup of cars waiting to follow a supersized snowplow the rest of the way back to the main highway.  Back in the capital, Steve and I celebrated the end of our trip just like we did at the start; enjoying the fresh fish and brews of Reykjavik, knowing that we had only scratched the surface of the skiing that this country has to offer.

Robby Young is a senior guide at RMI Expeditions, leading trips in Washington, Alaska, and Peru. Robby calls Park City, UT home, where he is a ski patroller at the Canyons Resort. When not guiding, Robby is found chasing splitter crack climbing and perfect powder around the globe. He is also a talented photographer: view his images at www.robbyyoungphotography.com


July 20, 2015

Five Day Summit Climb

Mt. Rainier: July 20th Update

RMI Guide Robby Young called at 7:01 am as he and his Mount Rainier Four Day Summit Climb team were starting their descent from the crater rim.  Robby reported clear skies and a light, cool breeze from the NW.
RMI Guide Tyler Jones and his Mount Rainier Five Day Summit Climb made a sunset climb last night and reached the summit at 8:45 pm with 100% of their team.  He commented that it was the most beautiful sunset he has ever seen.  Tyler’s team is safely back at Camp Muir and will begin their descent later this morning.

Way to go Bud!
Mom and Dad

Posted by: Tracy Avalos on 7/20/2015 at 10:28 am

So happy and proud of you Jim!

Love you,

Posted by: Shellie on 7/20/2015 at 8:19 am

July 12, 2015

Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru

Peru Seminar: Elias & Team Wrap up a Successful Seminar

Well… and our trip came to an end! Today the group departed Peru and most of our climbers will be arriving home, with the memories of two weeks in the Andes. Behind are the quebradas (valleys) the cochas (glacial lakes) and of course, the rajus (snow covered mountains) that had been home and playground during our climbing seminar in the Cordillera Blanca, the CAPITAL of Andean climbing, without a doubt.

We had an incredibly successful trip with motivated-to-learn and dedicated-to-perform climbers. Nevados Urus East, Ishinca and Copa proved a great progression for folks, while implementing expedition skills, culminated a trip that served as learning grounds for alpine climbing in the greatest ranges of the world. We leave you here some pictures while we already look forward to next year’s editions of our RMI Peru program!

Thanks for following along,

RMI Guides Elías deAndres Martos, Robby Young and team

July 9, 2015

Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru

Peru Seminar: Elias & Team Back to Copa Base Camp

Back at Base Camp! And What a day we had! Our ascent to the summit of Copa was everything but ordinary; intricate navigation to avoid a blocking bergschund, trail breaking at 20,000ft, steep slopes in the dark… and a corniced summit ridge, among other factors, provided a great graduation climb in this, our second Peru Seminar. We managed to descend to the safety of Base Camp in a long push, picking high camp on the way. Everyone is pretty tired, but feeling well and accomplished. We are turning to our tents now, and will check in again tomorrow from Huaraz.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos and team.

Sounds like quite the adventure with many new experiences, skills, stories and friendships for all!

Posted by: Laura Voisinet on 7/10/2015 at 6:15 am

July 9, 2015

Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru

Peru Seminar: Elias & Team Reach Summit of Copa!

Hello, this is the Elias calling from 200 meters below the summit of Copa, which we just tackled about half an hour ago. We wanted to get out of the wind and we’re taking a break, heading down. It is 10:16 am local time and we’ve had a really, really hard day of work to get to the top - intricate navigation and steep trail breaking to 6,200 meters which is the top of Copa (roughly the same as Denali). Now we’re heading down; we’re pretty happy. And we look forward to sending you a dispatch from our camp. We’re going to try to make it down to base camp, if we can, but our first objective will be high camp. So hope all is well at home and we’ll keep you posted in a few hours. Bye.

RMI Guides Elias de Andres Martos

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos calls from just below the summit of Copa in Peru.

Congratulations to the entire group! Sounds like an exciting and exhilarating climb! A special hello and congrats to my dad, Larry. Looking forward to hearing more!! -Jen

Posted by: Jen on 7/10/2015 at 6:17 am

Congratulations to Elias and whole team upon reaching summit of Copa - - what a week!

Posted by: Laura Voisinet on 7/9/2015 at 6:00 pm

July 8, 2015

Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru

Peru Seminar: Elias & Team Check in From Copa High Camp

Hello, this is the Peru Seminar and Elías and Robby and Peter with the team at High Camp on Copa. We are currently at 5,200 meters. The crew climbed really well this morning. It took us slightly less than 4 hours to move from Base Camp to here, and we are currently settled in, cooking dinner, replenishing water, and getting ready for what’s ahead tonight: the biggest of our objectives, Copa, at 6,200 meters. We’ll be checking in tomorrow, hopefully from the summit, and stay tuned for more. That’s it for now. Everybody’s doing really well, and we wish everything is good at home. Bye!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos calls in from High Camp on Copa, Peru.

Loved the audio message from Elias. Wish all a productive night’s rest before attempting your highest and final pinnacle!

Posted by: Laura Voisinet on 7/9/2015 at 8:40 am

July 7, 2015

Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru

Peru Seminar: Team Arrives at Base Camp of Nevado Copa

Greetings from Nevado Copa Basecamp, one of the most beautiful places on earth!(seriously) We all climbed this morning to this idyllic place, and ever since, our eyes have been put on the slopes of this Andean giant that sits before us. All is ready to launch tomorrow towards high camp, and our forecast is telling us we’ll have the best weather possible. Everyone is really well acclimated, and the good sports reign amongst the crew. Stay tuned for the progress of the graduation climb of this 2nd edition of our Peru Seminar.

RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos and team

July 5, 2015

Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru

Peru Seminar: Elias & Team Check In from Base Camp

¡Hola again from BC!

In case you missed our call this morning, here is the recap; another 100% summit success!!! Everyone did an excellent job on our climb up Urus East, a step above the previous Ishinca, on a day where we encountered steep terrain, short pitches, involved scrambles and rewarding rappels. Our views of distant Copa, where we head next, from the top, were jaw dropping; all of us can’t wait to head there day after tomorrow. We’re enjoying dinner as we speak, and in twelve hours we’ll be hitting the trail downhill towards Huaraz for a day. Stay tuned!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

July 5, 2015

Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru

Peru Seminar: Elias & Team Summit Nevados Urus

Hello, this is the RMI crew on top of Mount Urus. This is guides Elias, Peter and Robby.  We are going to show you the excitement of the crew. {Cheers from the team!] I think that was loud and clear but once again 100% on the top of Nevado Urus. We're pretty psyched. It's 10 o'clock local time and we are having a great time. The weather gave us a break. Been a couple days of snow but we are under sunny skies now looking at our next objective, Copa, and if I turn around, I’ll be looking at our last objective, Ishinca. Stay tuned. We’ll be letting you know how we are doing on the last stretch in the next couple days. That’s it from the top of Urus. Bye.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos calling from the Nevados Urus summit!

Congrats to my Dad (Larry) and the rest of the team! Keep up the hard work and stay safe. Finger crossed on 3 for 3.

We’re thinking of you from the beach.


Posted by: Ryan Burg on 7/6/2015 at 2:20 pm

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