Posts for Aconcagua

Aconcagua: Nugent Wraps Up the Expedition in Mendoza

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 31, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Hi all. Billy here with the last installment from our riveting series of blog posts documenting one of this year’s RMI Aconcagua expeditions. We officially wrapped up our program last evening with an amazing dinner at Francesco Barbera complete with all of the pageantry you’d expect from a fine dining experience in Argentina: cocktails, wine, delicious handmade pastas, dessert, coffee. We deserved a little luxury after so much hard work in such a harsh environment and indeed there was much rejoicing.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the team for their patience, dedication, and hard work all along the way and to thank Katrina and Billy Haas for being exceptional guides and teammates the whole trip too. 

I’ve had tons of fun and can’t wait to come back next year…

Til then.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Move Up to Camp 2

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 30, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

We had a perfect move day to Aconcagua Camp 2! The day dawned calm, bluebird, and warm, and looked like the ideal day to push up higher to our next camp at Guanacos Tres (a confusing name since it is our camp two). We packed the tents once again, shouldered packs that were once again heavy, and set out. It’s not a far climb, as most of the elevation gain happens right out of Camp 1, and three hours later we were walking into our new abode. We are now happily settled in and are looking forward to another rest day tomorrow.  So far everything is going very smoothly and according to plan, and we all have our fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Hasta mañana,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juampi, and team

An RMI Team on the move to Camp 2, Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: King & Team at Casa de Piedra for the Night

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | January 30, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 10,550'

This is the RMI Aconcagua team checking in from Casa de Piedra on day 2 of our trek to base camp.

We had a sweltering five-hour day trekking into camp. Fortunately, we got the winds within a half hour before reaching Casa de Piedra.  We saw our first glimpse of Aconcagua today with stellar views of the South Face and Polish Glacier! The team is learning valuable expedition skills such as, setting up tents in the wind and relaxing in a tent. We are looking forward to a big dinner and a good night’s sleep before heading up to 13,800ft tomorrow.

Everyone is healthy and in good spirits.

RMI Guide Mike King

A team of mules reaching Casa de Piedra on the trek into Aconcagua Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Back in Mendoza

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Billy Haas, Katrina Bloemsma | January 30, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Yeah!

We made it off the trail today and after a quick lunch and a semi-successful sage sauce recipe aquisition in Penitentes we loaded all of our duffels onto the van and hit the road for Mendoza. We got into town around 5:30 or 6, checked into the hotel, and finally got those showers we´ve been dreaming of for so many weeks. Our sunburned, dirty faces definitely make us stand out among the normal people of the city but what can you really do? We´re headed out for a brew pub and a casual dinner tonight before we have our official celebratory dinner tomorrow night at a fancier restaurant. I´ll check in one more time tomorrow evening to officially wrap the expedition up.

Ciao, headed for some cervezas…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Enjoy a Rest Day at Camp 1

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

We had a relatively uneventful rest day at Aconcagua Camp 1. While base camp offered pizzas, cook tents, and showers, folks spent the day at Camp 1 napping, catching up on journals, listening to music, and chatting. There were clouds in the Vacas Valley this morning, which we watched push up towards us, with the upper reaches just brushing our camp, before they would push back down valley again. Watching the curling cloud forms provided some entertainment as well. Our leisurely day should have us prepared to pack camp tomorrow morning to head up to Camp 2 at 18,000 feet. Once there, we will start the process of acclimating over again, and we will be one step closer to our summit push. Though we haven’t been here that long, everyone is excited for the next step and a new home for a few days.

Hasta mañana,

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juampi, and team

The moon rises above the Andes from Camp 1 on Aconcagua. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team are Back at Basecamp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Well, we made it back to Basecamp. Big loads and tired feet made for a tough day but we were greeted at Basecamp last night by a spread of snacks and cold drinks, but more importantly, hugs and congratulations from Anita and Grizzelda the Basecamp managers. We dined on steaks and real salad and vegetables which were absolutely delicious after over a week of mountain food. This morning we woke up had a quick breakfast before readying the mule loads and are now about to hit the dusty trail for Pampa de Leñas. The herrieros will be preparing a traditional asado there for us tonight but I anticipate that we´ll be out of touch for the evening because it´s hard for the satellite phone to stay connected down there. The canyon walls are just too narrow. The long march home continues…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

Trekking out of of Aconcagua Basecamp. RMI Photo Collection

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Aconcagua: King & Team Leave Mendoza and Head for the Mountains

Posted by: Mike King, Steve Gately | January 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

This is RMI’s last expedition of the Aconcagua season. Our team enjoyed a scenic drive through the Andes and arrived in the rustic ski town of Los Penitentes. Our team rallied and got bags packed for the mules. Everyone is excited to hit the trail when we begin the trek to Base Camp tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike King

Traveling from Mendoza to Los Penitentes, Argentina.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Keep Momentum and Carry to Camp 2

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Another day, another step in the uphill direction. We continued on yesterday’s momentum, woke with the sun, sorted loads, and pointed our boots uphill to Guanacos Tres, or our Camp 2. It’s not a huge day, only 1,600’ of elevation gain, but it’s great for our acclimatization process, and now we have the bulk of our food and fuel up high. This year is a bit bizarre in that this is traditionally high season and the mountain is very empty. We are the only team in Camp 1, and there is one other small team at Camp 2, which makes for a much more remote feeling to the expedition.

Some clouds blew over this afternoon, with a few flurries, but our weather remains spectacular overall. We’re looking forward to a rest day tomorrow, and then hopefully on up to Camp 2.

Hasta luego,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juan, and team

An RMI Team climbing above Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection Aconcagua Camp 1 view. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Move to Camp 1

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Today we moved to Camp 1 under perfect weather. The team made great time moving to Camp 1 and are handling the altitude well. Shortly after arriving we exchanged high-fives with Billy Nugent’s team. They made the summit of Aconcagua the day prior. We’re all settled into camp now and enjoying hot drinks. Having left the comforts of base camp, we’ve had some lively discussions about the toilet situation, etc. Tomorrow we will carry to Camp 2, as we continue to take advantage of this good weather and push higher.

RMI Guide Alex Barber

Climbers on the approach to Aconcagua Camp 1. Photo: Ty Reid

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Ready to Move Uphill

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

With our departure from Aconcagua Basecamp imminent, the group took full advantage of the amenities today, ordering pizzas for lunch, taking showers, and sipping coca colas. Cards came out and heated games ensued. A few folks headed back down the trail to take photos and stretch their legs, but ironically, the blue sky turned dark gray and a short but intense hail storm chased everyone back to cover. We enjoyed our last base camp dinner for a little while, with several people heading back for seconds on lasagna. As dinner wrapped up, we stepped outside to another gorgeous pink sunset, but today the shadow of Aconcagua imprinted itself on the sky as well. We’re heading to bed ready and excited for the move to Camp 1 and the continuation towards our goal that it signals.

We’ll be in touch,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber, Juan, and team

View on the way to Aconcagua Basecamp. Photo: RMI 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