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Entries from Aconcagua


Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team at Casa de Piedra

We all slept under the stars last night. No tent, just a sleeping pad and sleeping bag. You feel like a cowboy. The moon shone so bright you didn’t need a headlamp to see anything. The morning came, we packed up, and continued our walk down the Vacas Valley. An hour into our walk we saw our first guanaco, the Llama of Argentina. After walking for a handful of hours we arrived at Casa de Piedra. We set up our tents and relaxed in the sunshine or down by the river until dinner. With the sun down and well fed we are all turning in. Tomorrow is big, we finally arrive to basecamp where we get to settle in for a few days.

Hasta luego,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Aconcagua Expedition: King & Team Carry to High Camp

Our coldest night this trip and it still wasn’t that cold. The sun hits camp closer to 8 am so after breakfast and a little time in the tents to warm up we headed for 19,600’. Our High Camp is called Colera, named after the fierce winds that frequent that part of the mountain, not the contagion. The Team definitely noticed the 1,600’ difference in how their lungs and legs felt. We spent about 45 minutes there and headed down for a restful afternoon. Paperback books have been read and are now being passed around the group. We will have our last scheduled rest day tomorrow so that we can sleep one more night at 18,000’ before moving up. The weather is holding steady with 20-30 mph winds forecast. We need to take advantage and not wait for a “better” day that might not materialize. Thanks for following along, we are all eager for our summit bid on the 26th.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Hope you’re staying warmer than we’ve been in NJ! Good luck team!! Keep it up! Love to Ross :)

Posted by: Jen Rapach on 1/23/2019 at 3:18 pm


Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team Hit the Dusty Trail

Mother nature turned up the furnace today. After finishing up our final touches on our packing we loaded the van and made our way to the entrance to Aconcagua. The ranger checked our permits and we were off on the hot dusty trail to our first camp at Pampas de las Lenas. It was a scorcher but the team arrived to camp in good style and enjoyed some down time hiding from the sun before dinner. We feasted on a carne asada dinner cooked over a fire by the mule drivers. Vegetables, bread and wine accompanied the mouth watering meat. With full bellies and the meat sweats, we are ready for bed. Tomorrow is another day on the trail as we get closer to basecamp.

adios,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Aconcagua Expedition: King & Team Move to Camp 2

The Team has really lucked out where the weather is concerned. We don’t have the lightest winds in the forecast but we are hoping they stay manageable. We enjoyed another warm night with a spectacular moon following whatever lunar phenomena happened a few nights ago. We are at 18,000’ and enjoying some more tent time. There comes a point where having slightly longer days would be nice, reading 300 pages of a book in two days is quite easy with how much tent time we get. Now that we are at Camp 2, the wait for a summit window becomes more realistic. The schedule is to carry food and fuel to high camp tomorrow and rest the following day. This will get us three nights at this elevation. Ultimately, the forecasted winds might force our hand to move up a day earlier or burn a weather day in hopes of lighter wind. Until then, we have a crowded camp but with a spectacular view. Thanks for following along.

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Smith & Team Sort Gear and Prepare for the Trek In to Aconcagua Base Camp

We left the comforts of Mendoza following the windy Mendoza River to Penitentes. The landscape is red, rocky, Martian looking land with bright green trees here and there. Before we arrive we make a mandatory empanada stop so we have the energy to get down to business when we arrive. It’s a sea of duffels and gear as we sort through our belongings making a pile that will go straight to basecamp and one that will follow us up the valley on the mules. Excitement is growing bigger as we finish packing. Tomorrow we hit the trail. As for tonight we will enjoy a delicious dinner and our last night sleeping in beds.

Talk to you all next on the trail,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Aconcagua Expedition: King & Team Rest Day at Camp 1

Not much to write about today.  We had a breakfast burrito brunch after a few rounds of coffee.  The weather has continued to be warmer then expected with light winds tugging at the tents.  We are all in the tents with sleeping bags clipped to the outside to lower the temperatures. While anxious to move to Camp 2, everyone needs this time to continue acclimating. Tomorrow we move camp to 18,000’ and will be in a better position for the next summit window.  Currently there is a large lenticular cloud sitting on the summit, several teams moved to high camp yesterday for a summit attempt today, hopefully they are on their descent.

RMI Guide Mike King

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Fingers crossed for cooperating weather! Good luck team!

Posted by: Renee Sherwood on 1/22/2019 at 4:51 pm

Hey team—Keep up the good work.  You rock! (pun intended)

Posted by: Randy Salo on 1/22/2019 at 12:18 pm


Aconcagua Expedition: Smith & Team Meet & Greet in Mendoza

Today starts the beginning of a grand adventure. An adventure to the highest point outside the Himalayas…Aconcagua. The team has shown up in the land of malbecs and carne asada looking fit and well prepared for the next three weeks. After months of anticipation for this moment, all we can do now, is get some well deserved sleep from our lengthy travels. Tomorrow we will continue our travels to Penitentes where we will do the duffel shuffle. Packing and repacking to get our bags ready for the mules will be our main activity for the day, because the following day we hit the dusty trail.

Buenos noches,
RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

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Aconcagua Expedition: King & Team Carry to 18,000’

We had an unusually warm night last night, the drainage near our tents was running with water until early morning. With a light wind in camp, we headed for our Camp 2 located at 18,000’. The camp is technically called, Guanacos 3 since it is located on the now closed Guanacos Route. A guanaco is part of the South American camel family consisting of the llama, vicuña and alpaca. The route today takes us into the Ameghino Col with amazing views of the central Andes here in Argentina. The peaks of La Mano and Mercedario standout the most.

Today is a shorter day and since we are back in camp by 2 pm the Team gets to enjoy a casual afternoon in the tents. Tomorrow we have a scheduled rest day to continue our acclimatization. The weather is forecasted to be dry with 20-30 mph range. Everyone is doing well and glad to be moving higher up the mountain.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Aconcagua Expedition: King & Team Move to Camp 1

We could not have asked for a better day to pack up and move our camp to 16,400’. With little wind and warm temperatures, the Team did well today. They shaved some time from the carry day, better acclimatization, slightly lighter packs and nicer weather made all the difference. Camp is located between Cerro Ameghino and one of the many rock buttresses that make up Aconcagua. There are great views to the East and often we see lighting in the clouds that develop over the high desert once the sun sets. There is still a lot of mountain left to ascend. Tomorrow we carry some food, fuel and gear to Camp 2 located at 18,000’ and return to Camp 1 for some rest and continued acclimatization. The Team sends it’s love to family and friends following along. We are all ducked into the tents to avoid the sun for a little while.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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I can see the reason one would climb to such heights in order to stare into the beauty of the world around all of you. Continued success Team


Chris’s Dad

Posted by: John Condon on 1/19/2019 at 6:20 pm


Aconcagua Expedition: King & Team Rest Day at Plaza Argentina

The winds have calmed down here at Plaza Argentina. The Team is enjoying a rest day before we move up the mountain tomorrow. This second rest day is necessary for the Team to acclimate properly with the quick ascent to 14,000’. Aside from sorting some gear, working on tents and a few naps, we are all eager to head up to Camp 1. The winds are forecasted to build over the next few days so we will get our camp established at 16,400’ and see what the weather and mountain give us.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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