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Entries By tatum whatford

Peru Seminar: Davis and Team Check In from Ischinca Valley

Checking in from the Ischinca Valley Basecamp. We had quite the adventure on the bus, doing a little bridgework to get us in. We arrived to Pashpa around 11:00 and began our 4 hour approach back to 14,300’ where we set up our basecamp and will be here for the next 5 nights. We were greatful for the support of the burrows and beautiful Mountain View’s. 
Tomorrow we will do some training and practice of skills while resting at BC. 

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Peru Seminar: Davis and Team Summit Vallunaraju!

After two nights of being spoiled with plush mattresses and running water in the Llaca Valley Refugio the team put in a full day (16 hours) of climbing and was rewarded with a breathtaking sunrise and perfect weather on the summit of Vallunaraju at 18, 655 ft. 

With only a few hours of sleep and some hot coffee and tea, we departed Vallunaraju basecamp with a classic alpine start at 11 pm. After a 3.5-hour approach on a rugged climber’s trail, we donned our boots and crampons and climbed a full pitch of alpine ice—a highlight of the climb. We then meandered through a maze of icy crevasses and steep snow until we gained the col between Vallunaraju’s north and south summits. The beautiful alpine sunrise provided the mental boost needed to gain the summit ridge and ascend the final 300 feet of steep snow to the summit. With only a breath of wind and smiles all around, we took in the views of the greater Cordillera Blanca and got a sneak peek of what’s to come in the Ishinca Valley.

We reversed course and began our descent in the sunshine, looking down at the city of Huaraz where a hot shower and bed awaited us. With tired bodies and full hearts, we were greeted with a bowl of hot soup and tea at basecamp. We then packed up our duffels and headed back to Huaraz via the rugged trail of a "road," thankful for a safe and successful climb.

The team enjoyed a well-deserved rest day in Huaraz, just enough time to unpack and repack duffels. Today, we are headed into the Ishinca Valley where we will establish basecamp for the next five nights. We will be focusing on climbing skills and resting up for more summit attempts.

RMI Guide Tatum Whatford & Team

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Peru Seminar: Davis & Team Check in from Vallunaraju Basecamp

Checking in from Vallunaraju Basecamp!

We had an early start from town and made our way up the rugged 4x4 roads to our Basecamp for the next couple nights at 14,600.

Upon arriving, we wasted no time and started our acclimatization approach to the glacier which currently sits at nearly 16,600. Here we spent the afternoon on Glacier travel skills, rope techniques, and arresting a fall. Once back at camp we enjoyed a hot meal of crusted trout and potatoes. Tomorrow we will rest.

RMI Guide Alan Davis

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Peru Seminar: Davis and Team Get Comfortable at 10,000’

It was such a treat to again be able to enjoy the bustling coastal grandeur of Lima and watching surf for a night before the next long travel leg. As we arrived by bus two nights ago, we were greeted with our first views of the Cordillera Blanca and the towering giant that is Huascaran. We were welcomed back by the always friendly staff at the Andino Club Hotel. A true climbers hotel with some Swiss roots. It was so great to catch up with our local partner and guide Peter Alvarado as well as some of the other support staff with whom we hadn't seen in a couple years. Tired from multiple days of travel via busses and planes we quickly enjoyed dinner and got settled into our rooms for a full nights rest 10,000’.

Acclimatization has been going well thus far here in Huaraz. Not only have we been sleeping at 10,000', but yesterday, we went for a hike a few hours round-trip walk from our hotel to the "Puca Ventana" or "Red Window" which overlooks the city. Today, we went up to 14,700' on another hike to the beautiful turquoise Laguna which sits in front of the 18,000' "Nevado Churup." Early to bed for some rest and last minute gear shuffling before we begin our trek into the the Lllaca Valley where we will set up our basecamp at around 14,500’ for the next few days as we prepare for our first objective of Vallunaraju.

RMI Guide Alan Davis

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Please share photos of your adventure, if at all possible. (The Peru Seminar is one I’ve been mulling over for quite awhile now—the Cordillera Blanca seem absolutely magical to me.)

Posted by: Some guy from Puyallup on 7/14/2024 at 5:55 pm

Mt. Rainier: Five Day Teams With All climbers Reach Summit

The Five Day Climb July 4 - 8 led by RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer & Ben Luedtke reached the summit of Mt. Rainier with 100% of their teams.  The teams enjoyed clear skies and warm temperatures and lots of great photo opportunities.

Nice work everyone and congratulations!

PC: Ben Luedtke & Pete Van Deventer

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What an amazing experience!  Fun, safe, encouraging. I couldn’t quit smiling. The team was great, and the guides brought out the best in everyone. A transformative experience, and one I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Training for this climb changed my life, and standing on top of the world for a few moments changed me forever. Truly grateful!

Posted by: Glory Dole on 7/15/2024 at 11:10 am

I could not thank enough to our RMI guides and team members who contributed and shared this lifelong memories. I really enjoyed the stores behind each climber on why dreamed the summit of Mt. Rainier and how to take efforts to make the dream become true.

I know I made a right choice to pick RMI as my guide service. I will definitely refer RMI to my friends for future mountaineering adventures.

Posted by: Shirley Zhang on 7/9/2024 at 7:51 pm

Mt. Rainier: Hoch, Whatford and Team Stopped by High Winds

The Four Day Climb June 30 - 3 July was unable to reach the summit today due to high winds.  RMI Guides Joe Hoch and Tatum Whatford left Camp Muir with an alpine start but were turned back at Ingraham Flats due to extremely high winds.  The teams returned safely to Camp Muir where they spent the rest of the morning. They plan to start their descent from Camp Muir to Paradise around 9 am.

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Mt. Baker: Coleman Deming Expedition Skills Seminar

The Mt. Baker Expedition Skills Seminar spent the week on the mountian training. The team had tough weather on the mountian. Yesterday they spent the day in the sunshine on Mt Erie to solidify rope skills and dove deeper into a variety of  alpin skills. The team was unable to summit due to the weather but took advantage of the time and were eager to learn and develop new skills.   

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Mt. Rainier: June 14th Team Turns at 12,300’

The Four Day Climb led by Tatum Whatford and Jackson Breen reached the top of Disappointment Cleaver before high winds, cold temperatures, and incoming weather forced them to turn. On the descent the team enjoyed the sunrise from Ingraham Flats.

Congratulations Team! 

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W O W sunrise pic from the Flats !

Posted by: Waltero Glover on 6/15/2024 at 5:46 am

Mt. Rainier: Bealer, Whatford & Five Day Climb Turned by Weather

June 3: The team started their descent from Camp Muir at 7:30 AM PT today.  We expect them to arrive at Paradise around 10 am.

The Five Day Climb May 30 - 3 June led by RMI Guides James Bealer & Tatum Whatford reached the top of Disappointment Cleaver, 12,300', today before deteriorating weather forced them to descend.  The team is enroute to Camp Muir. They will spend the night at Camp Muir tonight and descend tomorrow. 

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Great effort for the team in spite of the awful weather conditions this weekend. Don’t give up hope on a future summit attempt. Took me 3 times before summiting.

Posted by: Neil Schweitzer on 6/2/2024 at 12:11 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Teams Turned back at 12,000ft

The Four Day Climb May 17 - 20 led by RMI Guides Casey Grom and Tatum Whatford reached 12,000ft today before route conditions required that they turn around. The team enjoyed a beautiful sunrise with a cloud deck below. They returned safely to Camp Muir, packed up their gear and continued their descent to Paradise.  The team will conclude their adventure this afternoon at Rainier BaseCamp.

PC: Tatum Whatford

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Early season is tough on Rainier. It’s more miss than hit until July 4th.

Posted by: Constantine on 6/1/2024 at 5:58 pm

We’re scheduled for a 5 day in mid-june… In looking through the blog I don’t see any successful summits this season… is there a summary we can see that provides some insight into how things are going in order to judge our chances (weather permitting) of success ?

Posted by: Doug Thompson on 5/24/2024 at 10:43 am

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