Entries from Aconcagua
January 12, 2017
Today was a day of rest and preparation for our team here at Aconcagua Base Camp. We spent the morning reorganizing and sorting out communal food and equipment for the upper mountain, and the afternoon finding a way to make it all fit into our packs. Along the way, team members found time to take a brief stroll around the base camp vicinity to acclimate and enjoy the perspective, and a few lucky climbers snuck in a nap or two. Everyone is excited to carry a load up to Camp One tomorrow, and officially launch our assault on the mountain!
Bye for now,
RMI Guides Mark Tucker, Pepper Dee and Team
Thanks for the update Mark and Pepper! I can’t wait to hear more. Sending lots of love to my Papa, Dominique. I hope you’re having a great time. Good luck Team!
Posted by: Lindsay Monnet on 1/13/2017 at 3:04 pm
Thank you for the great updates and photos. Enjoy the climb up!
Posted by: Anne Callen on 1/13/2017 at 7:06 am
January 12, 2017
Wow! What a calm and relatively warm night at 18,000’. The Team got it’s last good night for sleep before moving to 19,600’ where sleep is hard to come by. We took a little over three hours to move up here, the Team did a fantastic job keeping the guides pace and working on their breathing. The phrase we are using is, “if you don’t sound like the Little Engine that Could, you’ll perform like the Little Engine that Couldn’t”.
We will rest and eat some dinner before beginning our summit attempt in the early morning. Fingers crossed and well wishes for our Team. It will not be easy but hopefully the Team can grit their teeth and find a happy place tomorrow. The next time you hear from us, should be on top of the highest point in the Western Hemisphere.
Thanks for following along.
RMI Guides Mike King, JM Gorum, Mauricio and the team
On The Map
Enjoy the view from the top,have good summit and good weather love mom and dad
Posted by: Mark and helenk on 1/13/2017 at 7:01 am
Posted by: Walter Glover on 1/13/2017 at 5:57 am
January 11, 2017
We have arrived at Plaza Argentina, Aconcagua Base Camp, and are loving it. I am watching the most amazing moon rise as I scratch out this dispatch.
We started the morning off with a mule ride across the Vacas River. Good size and cold seemed to make sense since the option was available. We waited till later in the day to fjord the Relinchos River in the footwear we brought along for that purpose. Named after the valley we ascended five hours and gained close to 4,000’, the views of the upper mountain were fantastic.
We established our camp and settled in at Base Camp. A very nice dinner provided by our great outfitter Grajales Expeditions has us well fed and now ready for rest. The team is in good shape and thrilled to be at Base Camp. All is good here.
On The Map
Happy hiking Uncle Fred. We are with you in spirit!
Posted by: MAPZ on 1/12/2017 at 5:52 pm
January 11, 2017
This is Mike and JM checking in from our Camp 2 after a good carry to Cholera High Camp located at 19,600’. The camp gets its name from the wind that swirls around and attempts to destroy your camp.
The Team took in fantastic views of the Andes and enjoyed some warmer temperatures after yesterday’s cold and blustery conditions. There is some sort of an Andean hawk that has been hanging out taking people’s Oreos.
Quite and calm in our tents, an update you might be tired of reading but the Team is taking every moment of available rest to apply towards summit day.
Tomorrow we move up to Cholera and will keep our fingers crossed for accurate weather reports and a trail of compacted snow to the top of the Southern Hemisphere!
RMI Guides Mike King & JM Gorum
On The Map
Good weather and safe travels on summit day
Posted by: Mark and helen on 1/12/2017 at 11:39 am
Best wishes to you guys and praying for clear and good weather to the summit.
Posted by: Kevin Stone on 1/12/2017 at 8:03 am
January 10, 2017
Today brought our team within striking distance of base camp! We battled strong down valley winds for most of the day, but were rewarded with our first glimpse of Aconcagua just shy of our current camp at Piedra Parada. Our team is growing more and more practiced in the art of alpine resting, and put their skills to use this evening munching on asado and watching our hardworking mules take dust baths. Everyone is strong, happy, and healthy, and looking forward to checking in from 14K!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee
Walk happily,climb safely and feel lots of support from team NYC!
Posted by: Laura Taft Paulsen on 1/11/2017 at 5:43 pm
What a gorgeous goal!
Posted by: Sandy Bradbury on 1/11/2017 at 3:52 pm
January 10, 2017
Hello from Camp 2 -
Our team has now ascended to 18000’ and set up camp. We had a slow roll out of camp thanks to a bit of wind gusting overhead. We decided we might enjoy a little later start to the day, so we hung around until about 10:30 to let the sun warm things up and push those pesky winds farther east.
The Team felt the push to 18k and the gusting winds, grey skies and colder temps didn’t make for a lot of conversation. Now tucked in at 18,000’ the Team is sport eating and resting in their tents. The winds have calmed down and the sun is baking the tent fabric, this creates an optimal napping microclimate.
We miss you all and are jubilant to be in a position for summiting on the 13th.
Warmest of regards,
RMI Guides Mike King, JM Gorum & the team
Excited over your progress. All our friends are keeping a close watch! Keep up the good work and good luck.
Posted by: wendy daverman on 1/11/2017 at 10:31 am
My third grade class is keeping tabs on your journey. It’s exciting to see your updates. We wish you well and hope you summit as planned.
Posted by: Dena Bedsole (Kevin's sister-in-law) and Class on 1/11/2017 at 9:09 am
January 9, 2017
And just like that, RMI Aconcagua Expedition, led by Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee, is off! We enjoyed our last breakfast in civilization this morning, and then before we knew it we were piling out of the van at the Vacas Valley trailhead and heading uphill under the blazing Argentine sun. We wound our way up the valley for about five hours, taking breaks to hydrate and generously apply sunscreen. Having settled in to our first camp at Las Leñas, tonight we were treated to a mouth watering traditional asado dinner by our support team of mule drivers. The team is adjusting rapidly and successfully to the demands of life on the trail, and look forward to tackling another stretch tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more climbing (and more steak!).
Wonderful to get the updates. Enjoy every moment because the eventual homeward return may be more challenging…the dogs have happily taken over your place in bed, Mr. Monnet.
Happy climbing. Lots of love, the gang.
Posted by: Carolyn on 1/10/2017 at 12:38 pm
Looks so inviting, that valley!!
“Ah, yes, ‘generously amounts of sunscreen,‘“notes Mom.
Posted by: Elizabeth Tompkin on 1/10/2017 at 11:35 am
January 9, 2017
Weather day here at Camp 1. The team got it’s first experience with the Aconcagua wind last night. The wind builds above us in the Ameghino Col to the point it sounds like a large set of waves hitting shore. You then hear the wind racing down towards our camp, suddenly bracing in your tent, the poles flex and fabric gets bead blasted with little rocks and dust. An eerie calm follows only to hear the wind building up again. Now repeat for 16 hours.
Two down days in a row has the natives getting a little restless. Some will pace, some play cards and some will ask, “So this is mountaineering?”
Tomorrow we will get a late start to allow the wind to dissipate before our move to Camp 2. Despite the restless energy all team members are doing great and the guides couldn’t be more pleased with how everyone is acclimating and working together. All our best to everyone back home!
“Estamos como queremos”
Happy birthday, Dad! (Art)
Posted by: Alice on 1/9/2017 at 8:53 pm
Put up #4 A-sail and surf to Camp 2, boys…sounds spectacular! Be safe.
Posted by: Jimmy Mac on 1/9/2017 at 4:31 pm
January 8, 2017
Logistics, logistics logistics! Today was an action packed day in the Andes as our crew assembled and packed gear in preparation for our trek tomorrow. We started the day in Mendoza, gathering our climbing permits and stuffing a van full of duffel bags. In the afternoon we headed for the hills, and unpacked and resorted our loads in the ski town of Penitentes, our launching point for the climb. It’s been a long day, and the team is itching to hit the trail tomorrow. Looking forward to checking in from the Vacas Valley!
RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee
January 8, 2017
The team is wrapping up a successful rest day here at Aconcagua Camp 1, 16,400’. The guides know it was successful because while we know the team was restless and at times lacking for entertainment, no one came over and told us so. Light winds in camp after a gusty night, which left several people sleepless until the calm and warmth of the early afternoon.
We took the opportunity to send down trash and items carried up but deemed ‘not necessary’ for the climb with Mauricio, our Argentine guide.
Tonight we will dine on mashed potatoes and cheese burritos while we discuss the weather report and the expedition itinerary. Right now there is a weather window 1/11-13 with light summit winds when compared to days previous.
The team continues to stay strong with good appetites and getting sleep where they can! The evenings have provided spectacular heat lightning across the Vacas Valley as clouds build and are held at bay.
We might move up to Camp 2 tomorrow or burn a weather day depending on the wind. Regardless, thanks for following along and eat some fried chicken for us, preferably a Bojangles Cajun Fillet Chicken Biscuit with egg and cheese for those south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Happy Birthday Art. What a wonderful memory you will have of this special day. Enjoy your meal, even without the usual fare of cake and ice cream.
Posted by: Betty (Art's sister) on 1/9/2017 at 5:07 am
Happy Birthday Artie from Anne and Bill, Barb and Garrett and Jeff and Debbie!
Posted by: Bill Fraumann on 1/8/2017 at 9:15 pm