Posts for Aconcagua

Aconcagua: King & Team Back to Base Camp

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

We are currently back in Plaza Argentina enjoying some well deserved pizza and ice cold beverages. The team cruised down hill this morning, picking up gear and waste, leaving Aconcagua in better shape then we found it.  When your descent takes only 4.5 hours compared to the 9 days it took on the ascent, you have to just shake your head a little.

The team is all smiles, waiting on shower water to heat up, enjoying time out of their boots and laughing.

This will be our last dispatch of the climb. We will walk to Leñas on Saturday for an amazing Argentine BBQ (that’s slow cooked beef for you non-southerners).  Sunday will see us with a short hike to the road and back in Mendoza.

Thanks for checking in on us during the climb.

RMI Guides Mike King and Steve Gately

Sunset over the Andes from High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: Garrett Stevens A group of guanacos forages near the mouth of the Relinchos River on the descent to Las Lenas. Photo: Mike King The Andes Mountains from the flight into Argentina. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: King & Team SUMMIT!

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

February 12, 2015 - 11:56 am PT
Update:
      The team is all safely back at Camp III after a successful summit day! Warm temps and literally zero wind made it one for the record books!

RMI Guide Steve Gately

9:20 am PT

Hi, this is Mike King with RMI Aconcagua Team 7 stand on the top of South America! We had a challenging day with extremely cold weather, and wind in the morning.  We had a lot of new snow and scree on the way up on the upper mountain. The team did great.  We’re gonna be heading back down in about 20 minutes. A beautiful day,  I don’t have ever seen a more beautiful day on the top of Aconcagua. We will call or send a posting when we get back to high camp.  Thanks for joining us!

RMI Guide Mike King

The Cannelletta on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection Below the Aconcagua summit looking down into the Canaleta after a recent snowstorm. Photo: Mike King


Mike King Calling from the Summit of Aconcagua February 12, 2015

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16

Congrats Candace!  Can’t wait to hear about your trip!  Well Done!

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Posted by: Billie on 2/17/2015 at 9:14 pm

Awesome! Congrats!!!

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Posted by: Melissa on 2/13/2015 at 8:02 am


Aconcagua: King & Team in Position for Summit Bid

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

We finally got around to packing up camp and climbing up to 19,600 feet, our High Camp for the expedition.  Extremely cold and calm morning with a new blanket of snow on the surrounding Andean peaks made for a scenic day.

High Camp is never anyone’s favorite camp for a few reasons:
1. Sleeping at 19,600 feet can be difficult.
2. There are no ‘great’ tent sites due to how the wind swirls around.
3. Lack of snow makes drinking water a time consuming process.

Good thing we are making our summit bid tomorrow and will be back in Base Camp telling stories before to long.

Wish us luck!  We will check in hopefully from the summit on Thursday afternoon.

RMI Guide Mike King

An RMI Team climbing to High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: Pete Van Deventer RMI's High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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1

i hope you will all be home soon.I wish you safety and ssurefootedness. I send Valentines love.

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Posted by: tina baker on 2/12/2015 at 6:46 am


Aconcagua: King & Team Take Another Rest Day at Camp 2

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | February 10, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

The Gambler said it best, “you have to know when to hold em, know when to fold em”.  He wasn’t referring to his chain of Kenny Rogers’ Roasters, but to our team taking another weather day at Camp 2.

We received only a few inches of snow, and with strong winds our tents were drifted in this morning. A cloud reminiscent of Mordor hung over the upper 4,000 feet of Aconcagua until 11am. Instead of getting a late start and arriving in High Camp later in the day, we will dry our sleeping bags and acclimate.

Our summit day will be the 12th. The Gang is hangin’ tough and enjoying the saxophone riff from WHAM’s “careless whisper”.

RMI Guide Mike King

Views of the Andes from Aconcagua. Photo: Garrett Stevens

On The Map

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2

It will happen. The wait is tough but will be worth it. Good luck!

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Posted by: Melissa on 2/11/2015 at 8:54 am

stay strong and keep your dreams!

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Posted by: tina baker on 2/11/2015 at 6:54 am


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

On The Map

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5

Candace, we are following your team’s progress.  What an amazing experience.
Stay strong and safe.
susan xo

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Posted by: susan on 2/10/2015 at 7:38 pm

Candace!! I’m eating a Newport brownie, sitting at Tidi’s counter!! You are doing awesome!! Can’t wait to see you soon!!! Love you! ~tiff

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Posted by: Tiffany on 2/10/2015 at 12:07 pm


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

On The Map

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1

I’ve got a detailed map of Aconcagua, and it’s extremely cool to see your photos and locate them on the topo map.  I can’t wait to take a shot at… read more

Posted by: Michael Gibbons on 2/8/2015 at 3:54 pm


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: 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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1

Congratulations to team on an exciting adventure! It was a well deserved celebration! I’m looking forward to the stories and pictures Bruce. Safe travels home. xo

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Posted by: Joyce Pully on 2/8/2015 at 4:40 am


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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Recent Images From Aconcagua

  • Sunset over the Andes from High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: Garrett Stevens
  • A group of guanacos forages near the mouth of the Relinchos River on the descent to Las Lenas. Photo: Mike King
  • The Andes Mountains from the flight into Argentina. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • The Cannelletta on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection
  • Below the Aconcagua summit looking down into the Canaleta after a recent snowstorm. Photo: Mike King
  • An RMI Team climbing to High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: Pete Van Deventer
  • RMI's High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Views of the Andes from Aconcagua. Photo: Garrett Stevens
  • Enjoying the views from Camp 2 on Aconcagua, Argentina.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Enjoying a rest day at Camp 2 on Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team moving to Aconcagua Camp 2. Photo: Jake Beren
  • An RMI Team on the move to Camp 2, Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Trekking through the Vacas Valley, Argentina. Photo: Ty Reid
  • The moon rise above the Andes from Camp 1 on Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Team on the move to Camp II on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection
  • Aconcagua view near Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Climbers on the approach to Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Ty Reid
  • The Candeleta on Aconcaga. RMI Photo Collection
  • Dusk at Aconcagua Basecamp. RMI Photo Collection
  • RMI Climbers navigating the snow penitentes below Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Jake Beren
  • Aconcagua High Camp beneath the Polish Glacier. Photo: Tim Amos
  • Aconcagua, 18,000 ft, Camp 2.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Base Camp on Aconcagua, Plaza Argentina, 13,800 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Views of the surrounding Andes on the trail to Aconcagua Camp 2. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Approaching Aconcagua Base Camp through the Relinchos Valley. Photo: Garrett Stevens
  • Aconcagua Base Camp at Plaza Argentina. Photo: RMI Collection