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Entries from Aconcagua

Aconcagua: Justman and Team Settle in at Camp One

Hey Everyone,

This is JJ Justman and Pepper Dee and Team 3 Aconcagua. We had one heck of a day you can probably hear the wind here. We fought the battle and we got up here to Camp One at 16,500 feet. Pretty adverse conditions, but the team just did a fantastic job! Actually Pepper and I are really impressed with these guys, none of them hired any porters and when we got to camp they set up the tents themselves. They’re anchoring them out right now and getting moved, it’s been a long day. I wanted to write a dispatch to let you know how great the team is doing, but we’re running a little bit behind schedule. We’ve got some stoves to get going and get some snow melt into water to get re-hydrated and make sure these folks are doing well. Everyone’s doing great! Thanks for Following along, Tough day to get up here at Camp One, but everyone safe and sound.  As usual we’re still having fun and the views are only getting better!  We’re probably going to have a couple of lazy days here. The forecast is calling for a quite a bit of wind for the next several days, so we’re not in a huge rush to go running up hill. It is nice to get a little higher and improve on our acclimatization.

Again, thanks for following along and we’ll touch base soon.

JJ Justman and Pepper Dee Checking in from Camp One on Aconcagua.

Brian and Brad: I hate to hear that the weather isn’t cooperating…y’all will have to make the most of it - swapping stories while you’re holed up in the tents.

Posted by: Johnny on 1/7/2016 at 10:33 am

Congratulations, everyone!!!  Please continue to hydrate and to err on the side of caution.
God bless every single one of you.  Mama Kucik

Posted by: Karen Kucik on 1/7/2016 at 6:41 am

Aconcagua: Justman & Team Relax at Base Camp

Wind, wind, wind! Because the forecast is calling for foul weather the team has decided to spend one more day at Base Camp. After all, after a great day up to 16,400 feet we will only get stronger down low. So, the team is relaxing, eating pizzas, taking showers and enjoying another day in base.

Everyone here wants to say hello to their friends and families. Keep your fingers crossed for calmer winds. We are hoping to move up to Camp 1 tomorrow.

RMI Guides JJ Justman and Pepper Dee

On The Map

Brian—Worried about you—you are my favorite Bulldog and I am counting on you to kick butt
with Mother Nature!

Posted by: Dan McIntyre on 1/8/2016 at 7:07 pm

JJ—you da man—climb strong and safe!


Posted by: randy c on 1/6/2016 at 10:26 am

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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,

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

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

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

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

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