Posts for Aconcagua

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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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Summit!

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

12:45 pm PT
Billy called the RMI Office from Camp Cholera:  Everyone is safe and sound.  We will stay here tonight and descend to Plaza Argentina tomorrow afternoon.
Thank you for all the blog comments and congratulations!

8:48 am PT
Hey there, it’s Billy Nugent of the team El equipo de dos Guillermos, checking in from the summit of Aconcagua. I’m up here right now with six climbers and three guides, 22,800-something feet. So what do you guys think? [Team cheers!]  As you can tell a happy but tired bunch. Everyone is doing extremely well. We are definitely winded up here at extremely high altitude.  We’ll give you guys a jingle when we are headed back into our high camp at Plaza Cholera.
Other shout-outs. [Brief loss of transmission]
Carter, Walker, and mom I love you guys so much. Thank you for everything.
Erica, Thurston, Bella, Brent, Ally, Christian, everyone. We made it!  Hurrah!
Hey guys, it’s Lindsay, I made it. Thank you so much for the support and love. Love you guys. See you when I get back.
Tanya, Benjamin, and Abby- love you and I’ll see you all soon.
Kathy, Kelsey, Eric, Ailie- I love you. I’m on the top of Aconcagua- woohoo! Jerry and Rhonda, John and Kathy- thanks for the support. I’ll be seeing you soon.
Babs and Phil- much love from Katrina.
That’s all I got unless Haas has something. I love you mom and dad [from Billy Haas].
Sorry mom and dad, love you guys too.  Signing out. We’ll call you from high camp.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Looking towards Base Camp from near the summit of Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Billy Nugent and team call in from the Aconcagua summit!

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Carry Big Loads to Camp 1

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Today we took the place of the mules and shouldered our first heavy packs of the trip. Our goal was to get as much of our food, fuel, and equipment uphill as possible, so that when we move to Aconcagua’s Camp 1, our loads are reasonable. We succeeded at that goal in fine form, and now everything is ready for us to make the next step uphill to 16,000’ the day after tomorrow.

We woke up to the helicopter over our heads, shuttling propane tanks, building materials, and the full toilet cans in and out of camp. A pretty expensive alarm clock! We ate breakfast, and then quickly got ready to depart so that we could minimize the amount of time that we were in the true heat of the day. The group moved really well today, even on the final 600-foot scree slope, where the uphill track disappeared and every step sent you sliding backwards. We left our gear at camp and then turned to descend. The same slope that was so heinous on the way up, had people hooting and yelling as we skied back down. We were back in time for an afternoon siesta, and to feel safe from the rain clouds that had started to build and were threatening. Though we heard some rumbles of thunder this afternoon, the clouds stayed away and we stayed dry. On the schedule for tomorrow is another rest day, one last chance to enjoy the comforts of base camp before we head up to higher elevations.

Thanks for reading,

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

Descending back to Aconcagua Basecamp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Move to High Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

Hey everybody. It’s Billy calling in from Camp Cholera at19,600 feet here on the side of Aconcagua. We’re all settled into camp and melting snow, filling water bottles right now. We are looking forward to dinner and early to bed tonight. Hopefully take a crack at the summit tomorrow. Right now the weather is partly cloudy and just a gentle breeze. Things are pretty nice, other than the fact that camp is bone, bone dry.  We have to hike almost 20 minutes out of camp to fill garbage bags full of snow and bring them back just to fill water bottles. Other than that nuisance, things are going well, the teams in great spirits and hopefully that weather forecast holds true and we have a perfect day tomorrow. We’ll check in again during the day and let you know how it’s going. All for now, bye.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Views of the Andes while approaching High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from Aconcagua High Camp.

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Enjoy Rest Day at Base Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | January 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

We took a well deserved rest day today at Plaza Argentina. Though most woke early, everyone opted to stay in their sleeping bags until the sun hit the tents. Our long morning continued with a scrambled egg breakfast and some joke and story telling over coffee. We roused ourselves in the late morning to head to the camp doctor’s building for our obligatory medical check. We are happy to report that everyone is as healthy as they look and we are all clear to keep climbing!

It wasn’t all fun and games, as we all had to sort through the duffels that the mules have been carrying to organize our gear for our carry to Camp 1 tomorrow. Unfortunately, Base Camp is the end of the road for the mules, and from here on up we take over their job.

An afternoon siesta led into another delicious dinner, which led to a spectacular sunset that turned the whole sky a variety of red and purple shades. A large thunderhead that has been hanging to the east provided a canvas for the painting, and dusk is just now beginning to overtake the brilliant hues. We are lucky to be in such a beautiful place.

We’ll let you know how the carry goes tomorrow. Hasta mañana,

RMI Guides Pete, Alex, Juan, and team

Camp life at Plaza Argentina, Aconcagua Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Resting at Camp 2

Posted by: | January 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Pulse ox pressure breathing contest in the tent today… We are still here at Camp 2 taking our last rest before the circus begins tomorrow. We’re enjoying good weather, which is a bit unnerving, resting on a perfect day… But the good forecast is supposed to hold for several days and this rest and acclimatization will make us that much stronger and safer on our summit push. We’ll continue to check in as we can along the way but things are sure to be hectic as we’re hoping to move to high camp at Plaza Cólera, summit, descend to Base Camp, and then head for the road without a break in the action over the next 5 days. Wish us luck…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Enjoying clear skies on a rest day at Camp 2 on Aconcagua, Argentina.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Arrive at Base Camp

Posted by: Alex Barber, Pete Van Deventer | January 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

We are settled in to our camp for the next several days in a situation that in mountain terms is very plush. We woke up early this morning to get our bags packed for the arryaros, and then prepared to cross the Vacas river. Some opted to brave the chilly temps, cold water, and multiple channels, rolling up their pant legs and wading right in. Others took the unique opportunity to ride a mule across. We all learned something new from our Norwegian teammate, who showed up with ultralight waders and cruised across without getting the least bit damp.

The sun was shining again today, but the increasing altitude and another welcome breeze kept things mostly comfortable. We saw more Guanacos today (the team no longer believes us when we tell them it’s pretty rare), this time either playing or arguing with a game of king of the hill. As we came through the top of the Relinchos valley, we got our first really unobstructed views of Aconcagua and its sister peak Amegino. A dining tent, lemonade, and an assortment of peanuts, crackers, cheese, and olives greeted us when we walked into Plaza Argentina. With tents up, it was time for the afternoon siesta before a delicious chicken dinner prepared by Anita, the wonderful base camp cook. We’re off to bed shortly, and after a lot of miles and hours the last three days, everyone is looking forward to a rest day tomorrow.
We send our best to everyone back home,

RMI Guides Pete, Juan, Alex, and crew

Enjoying the views of Aconcagua upon approach to Plaza Argentina, Aconcagua Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Settled Into Camp 2

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Wulp… Here we are settled in to camp up here at Aconcagua Camp 2 at over 18,000ft enjoying beautifully clear skies and a nice gentle breeze. Haas and Katrina are outside whipping up a tasty meal and hanging out with the team enjoying the afternoon. Not much else to report… The team is in great spirits and hoping for this great weather to hold!

Til tomorrow,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

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

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Enjoying the Trek to Base Camp

Posted by: Alex Barber, Pete Van Deventer | January 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 10,550'

Today was another perfect day in the Vacas Valley. Several of us slept out last night under a stunning Milky Way while the southern cross worked its way across the horizon. We woke to clear skies, and cool temps, and motivated to get the miles ahead of us under way. We kept a breeze with us most of the way, but nonetheless, after two days in the strong southern sun, everyone is a little bit crispier. About an hour before camp, we came over a rise to see a family of 9 guanacos (a wild relative of the llama) grazing along the trail ahead. Normally very shy, they were about as curious towards us as we were towards them and we were able to snap a bunch of photos. It’s pretty rare to get to see them, and especially so close, so we felt really lucky. We arrived in the mid afternoon, so there was plenty of time for a siesta before we filled our bellies, with pasta tonight. Everyone was a bit relieved for the break from huge portions of steak.

Tomorrow we climb through the Relinchos valley to base camp at Plaza Argentina. We’ll check in from there. Hopefully this gorgeous weather continues to hold for us.

Hasta luego,
RMI Guides Pete, Alex, Juan, and team

Casa de Piedra, the second camp on the way to Plaza Argentina, Aconcagua Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection Aconcagua comes into view as the team approaches Casa de Piedra on their second day on the trial to Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Aconcagua: Nugent and team Rest at Camp 1

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Haas | January 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 16,200'

Aaah, the rest day. El equipo de dos Guillermos is sun bathing, snacking on turkey jerky and guacamole, and letting our minds and legs recover from the carry yesterday. The team is in great spirits today, and since we have some extra time, we thought we’d have every climber give their own little shout out! Here it goes:


Glen: Mi carino. Te quiero. Abrozos y besos.

Lindsay: I’m feeling great and miss you all! Guess which limerick was mine?

Gerald: Missing me yet lol. Missing you! Charlotte, good luck Saturday.

Lucy: I miss you all and love you all so much. Walker, have you heard?!

Floyd: Feelin’ great. Working hard at resting and sitting still. Tanya, hope you’re feeling better. Miss you all and see you soon!

Corell: Feeling fine, weather is nice. Miss you all! Hope the hunting trip was good and the Eagle Scout manual is progressing. Thurston, remember to study! Love to everyone.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

RMI Tent at Camp 1 on Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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Recent Images From Aconcagua

  • Rebecca Rosenweig on Aconcagua in Argentina. Photo: Rebecca Rosenweig
  • 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