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Entries from Aconcagua


January 4, 2016

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Carry to Camp 1

Today was a big day for our Aconcagua Team! After loading up our packs with food and supplies for the upper mountain, we set off above Base Camp into the penitente maze separating Base Camp from Camp 1. For those of you in need of a mountaineering glossary, penitentes are chunks of hardened snow molded by the elements into spires, ranging from shin high to-under some conditions-over head high. Negotiating the penitentes, combined with the wind and snow the team encountered at Camp 1, made for a challenging but successful carry day. Spirits are high as we enjoy a potato hash back at Base Camp.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose,

RMI Guides Pepper Dee and JJ Justman

On The Map

Hey Dad (Mike)!! So glad to read that you all are having a great trek! Cheering you on from VA.

Love,
Devon & the kiddos

Posted by: Devon on 1/4/2016 at 8:37 pm

Yum, potato hash! TJ is jealous. The boys are all caught up on your progress, babe, and we are cheering you on from afar.

FYI: We managed to frontline two kitties (with Townsend’s help). One has evaded us; can you guess who?!

Love you and miss you, Terry/Daddy.

Posted by: Amanda, TJ and Townsend on 1/4/2016 at 5:54 pm


January 3, 2016

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: King & Team at Pampas de Lenas

This is Mike and team checking in after our delicious asado dinner cooked by the mule drivers. We had an eight-hour hike from Base Camp and some of our feet faired better then others. Regardless, everyone is excited to be in Mendoza tomorrow night. This has been a great group of climbers and while we didn’t stand on top of Aconcagua, the team learned a lot and had fun doing so.

RMI Guide Mike King


January 3, 2016

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: Justman & Team R&R Time after Acclimating Hike

First, this dispatch is brought to you by Starbucks…I sit here drinking an Italian roast as I write this. Second, this team is rocking and rolling! Today we took a well-deserved day of rest at Aconcagua Base Camp; however, everyone had a great first night at altitude.

The team woke up to a fresh egg veggie scramble. We went to work after breakfast and began organizing food and gear for our carry to Camp 1.  We went for an acclimatization hike and explored the surrounding area. Everyone is doing great and despite the strong winds, we are having a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for more Aconcagua action and as usual… Go Green Bay!!

RMI Guides JJ Justman and Pepper Dee

On The Map

Who is the Packer fan?  I love my Green Bay Packers but they let the Vikings beat them.  Oh well, on to Washington.  Good luck to all,  especially Terry!  Thinking about you.  Judi

Posted by: Judi Harper on 1/6/2016 at 2:27 pm

Brad and Brian:

Hope you guys are having fun.  Be safe.  Looking forward to having you home!  Happy Trails!

Posted by: Bobbi Birt on 1/5/2016 at 4:59 am


January 2, 2016

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: King & Team Descend to Base Camp

This is Mike and the Team. We are at Base Camp feeling good after a long day carrying down our equipment from 18,000’ to 13,800’. We will start our descent to the road tomorrow, which will entail 20 miles and culminate in a delicious Argentinean asado dinner. The weather continues to plague teams and we are thankful for our time up high.

RMI Guide Mike King


January 2, 2016

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Reach Base Camp

Hola friends and family! This is Pepper Dee writing along with JJ Justman from Aconcagua Base Camp. Today was a bit of an action packed outing. We started the day off strong with a mule ride across the Vacas River at dawn to reach the base of the Relinchos Valley (probably the closest the team will ever get to starring in a spaghetti western), and then trekked up the valley all day until we reached Base Camp early this afternoon. Everyone is doing great and is adjusting well to life at just under 14,000 feet. It’s very windy around basecamp, and we’re hoping the gusts start to simmer down during our rest day tomorrow. Hugs from the team! We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pepper Dee and JJ Justman

On The Map

The stir-man is pulling for y’all! Crush it!!

Posted by: Johnny on 1/4/2016 at 7:19 am

Hope you are having a great day and get some rest!  We enjoyed spending time yesterday with
Becky, Halle, Brody and Jake. We ate at Chiles, one of our favorite places. Everyone is doing great.
We miss you, stay safe. Dad took pictures of the lake and it is something to see.

Posted by: Mom and Dad on 1/3/2016 at 9:32 am


January 1, 2016

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Send New Year Greetings from Casa de Piedra

Hey everyone, this is JJ Justman and Pepper Dee with our Aconcagua team. We had a great New Year Day trekking to Casa de Piedra.  It was beautiful sunny day it was very windy towards the end, but the winds starting to calm down. Pepper and I are chopping vegetables we are throwing the chicken on the grill, and we’re going to have another great evening here under the Andean sky. Everyone’s doing great the entire team wants to say hello to their friends and family back at home and they told me to just give a general shot out for the Happy New Year to everyone. Things are going great. Stay tuned because we are going to end this trek as we move into base camp tomorrow. So stay tuned and we will talk to you tomorrow. Good bye from Casa de Piedra.

RMI Guide JJ Justman


RMI Guide JJ Justman checks in from Casa de Piedra en route to Aconcagua Base Camp.

On The Map


January 1, 2016

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: King and Team Make Summit Attempt from 18,000’, Turned Back By Wind

This is Mike with the Team at 18,000ft. Today we woke up and started towards high camp at 19,600ft. We carried our summit kits with the intention of going as far on the summit route as the weather would allow. Today was to be the last clear day for the next week and the winds were forecasted to be slowing down to 30mph by day’s end.

We had an amazing sunrise across the snow covered Andes. Alpenglow on the Polish Glacier and Aconcagua’s massive shadow to our West. The wind was in our face all morning, requiring the Team to be layered up and persistent with each foot placement.

Due to high winds and extreme cold we turned around at 20,500ft. We are all back in camp safely and feeling good about making an honest crack at the summit from our camp at 18,000ft.

Tomorrow we will descend to base camp and begin our walk out of the Park. The last few weeks have been a great learning experience for what expedition life is like in the big mountains.

Thanks for following along and we will check in daily until we reach pavement on Monday.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

Jeff & Mere,

Happy New Year! Sorry that Mother Nature had other plans, but I’m sure this has been another amazing adventure.

Love,
Mary & Peter

Posted by: Mary & Peter on 1/2/2016 at 6:50 am

Meredith & Jeff; what an exciting last day, you gave it your best.
Happy New Year,
Love,
Dad

Posted by: Gregg Mercer on 1/1/2016 at 1:05 pm


December 31, 2015

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: Justman & Team to Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Las Lenas

Hey, everyone, this is JJ Justman with Pepper Dee. We are sitting here at Las Lenas Camp.  The team had a great day here, hiking into camp.  It is a little bit windy here right now as we are getting the gear all situated. We are going to have a nice dinner this evening to celebrate New Year’s Eve out here in the mountains.  We are going to hang out with the cowboys, drink some Cokes and Tang and some matte and put that big slab of beef on the grill and get this trip underway. The team is doing great. We have a really great team, as usual an All-star team of ten guys looking forward to continuing the trek in tomorrow. Thanks for following along. Stay tuned - it’s going to be a good one.

Bye bye,
RMI Guide JJ Justman


RMI Guide JJ Justman calls from Pampa de Lenas en route to Aconcagua Base Camp.

On The Map

Kirk,
Happy New Year Big Brother! Hope you are having a blast! Be careful!!!
Love you!
Lynda

Posted by: Lynda Heidorn on 1/1/2016 at 7:06 pm

Big Bri!!  Happy new year brother!!  What a way to ring in the new year!  Hope you are having a blast!  All y’all take care and be safe!

Posted by: Jeff on 1/1/2016 at 6:22 pm


December 31, 2015

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: King & Team Move to Camp 2

Today we woke to slightly milder winds that allowed us to breakdown our camp at 16,400ft and move Guanaco 3 camp, our second camp at 18,000’ on Aconcagua. All teams above Base Camp are trying to figure if the current weather system will allow for a summit bid. The Team has been updated on the weather pattern that is moving onto the mountain.

From the beginning of the expedition the guides have been stressing taking care of daily items that are in our control like hydration, rest, proper clothing choices and breathing, a lot. At the same time this expedition has been marked by items we have no control over, for example, tall penitentes to navigate, hot temperatures, wind and a deteriorating weather pattern.

We will continue to evaluate our options, in the meantime, It’s New Years Eve on Aconcagua. We’ll miss the party at base camp, but not the pan flute chiming in during the porter drum circle until 4am. 

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

Mike, praying you get to stand on the top! All good things in 2016! Love from all the Isaacsons

Posted by: Carol Isaacson on 1/1/2016 at 9:54 am

Happy New Year Michael!  Keeping my fingers crossed the weather gets better.  Stay strong! Thinking of you everyday .  Love, Mom

Posted by: Lisa Hughes on 1/1/2016 at 5:40 am


December 30, 2015

Aconcagua

Aconcagua: King and Team Enjoy a Windy Rest Day

This is RMI Guide Mike King checking in checking in from 16,400 feet on Aconcagua. Today is our rest day and we are definitely resting in our tents. The winds picked up around dinner last night and have not stopped shaking our tents. The team reported good sleep/rest after our carry to Chopper Camp yesterday and everyone is acclimating well. We are hunkered down for the day; reading and napping. There is rumor of a snack food social in one of the tents around lunch time, I might have to crash that party.

We will keep checking the weather today. Our goal is to move up to Chopper Camp tomorrow during lower winds and then play the waiting game for a summit bid.

The RMI office sent the blog comments to us and everyone enjoyed hearing them read during breakfast yesterday. Thank you for following along and supporting us! Keep it up!

RMI Guide Mike King and Team

On The Map

Hey Jeff and Meredith! Hope you are having a great climb and managing to stay warm. The views are amazing. Can’t wait to hear all about it…Ruby and Wayne :)

Posted by: ruby on 12/31/2015 at 10:29 am

Wishing John Hughes and the entire climbing team a very happy, healthy and high-altitude 2016!

Posted by: Barbara on 12/31/2015 at 10:20 am

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