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Entries from Aconcagua

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team’s Rest and Relaxation Day at Basecamp

Apologies, but I don’t have much exciting information to report… We are enjoying a calm and partly cloudy rest day here at Plaza Argentina and tonight will be our final night in Basecamp before we make our move up to Camp 1 tomorrow. We’ve been enjoying the good food here as things will change higher up on the mountain. For breakfast we ate deliciously cheesy, ooey gooey, egg, onion, green pepper, and pancetta breakfast burritos courtesy of Hannah’s expert level burrito rolling skills and a nice spread of pizzas for lunch. No doubt one last big dinner this evening will cap off the extravagant meals until the climbing is done and we are safely back in basecamp. We are spending the afternoon doing laundry, listening to music, reading, and making our final gear preparations. Tomorrow should be an exciting day.

Will check in next time from Camp 1!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi Dad (Jim Love),

I hope your toes are feeling better and you are enjoying some of the scenery! Proud of you!


Posted by: Heather Love on 1/22/2017 at 6:17 pm

Happy Birthday early Alec.  Be safe and have fun.  Love always-Mom (Kim Schulz)

Posted by: Kim Schulz on 1/21/2017 at 9:43 am

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Carry Loads to Camp 1

We’re back from our first foray above Basecamp where we carried a load of food, fuel, and cold weather gear and cached it at over 16,000’ in Aconcagua Camp 1. Some of the loosest scree fields and difficult footing on our entire route challenged us today but the team pulled through with good style. Our performance today bodes well for our chances higher on the mountain with the team staying on pace and efficiently navigating the tricky terrain. We started out around 9:30 am and were back in Basecamp before 4 PM which made for a full day but still left us time for a nap before dinner. The kitchen staff knew we were working hard today and rewarded us with a hearty dinner of steak and potatoes. Now it’s off to bed with a full belly and no major plans for tomorrow…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good luck Brian and the entire team!  You got this!  Deborah

Posted by: Deborah beggan on 1/21/2017 at 8:26 am

No milk noodles?!?!?!?!!! You

Posted by: Maude Lebowski on 1/20/2017 at 11:24 pm

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Carry Gear to High Camp

Turned out to be a great day to carry group and personal equipment to our high camp of Aconcagua at 19,600ft. We made good time up and down and round tripped it in about five hours. At one point I was down to just a thin poly-pro top. Not bad for being exposed to the elements at 19,000ft.
Big decision time tonight. Weather reports are calling for some unsettled pattern ahead. Need to put all the factors in the hopper and come up with a plan. Excitement is rising and a major buzz going on around camp. My team continues to be a solid unit and so proud of what we have accomplished so far. All is well up on the hill.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Safe summit to all. A fine accomplishment for all. Enjoy

Posted by: Mike Albrecht on 1/19/2017 at 5:11 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team at Plaza Argentina

January 19, 2017
Checking in from Plaza Argentina at 4,200m on another beautiful day here in the central Andes. Our team enjoyed some tasty breakfast burritos this morning and then passed our checkup with the basecamp doctors. We are settled in nicely and the team is feeling strong and even slept well despite yesterday’s sharp increase in altitude. We’ll spend this afternoon arranging our group and personal gear for tomorrow’s carry up to Aconcagua Camp 1. Not much else to report for now… We’ll check in again tomorrow after our first foray onto the upper mountain.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

January 18, 2017
We’ve arrived! After an early a.m. and brisk river crossing on the back of a mule our team made our way up the Relinchos Valley smoothly and steadily. We climbed the 3,000’ into Plaza Argentina (Basecamp) with a little hard breathing but were otherwise unhindered by any real difficulties. Clear skies and amazing views of the mountain were a treat and a hearty welcome from the Griselda, Anita, and Juan, the Grajales Basecamp staff, was icing on the cake. After some refreshments and setting up of camp we are settling in for a tasty dinner tonight and a well deserved rest day tomorrow. Sleeping our first night at nearly 14,000’ might not be the most comfortable but with time our bodies will adjust to the new altitude and hopefully start in to building our foundation of acclimatization for our climb.

All for now,

January 17, 2017
Hola from Casa de Piedra! Last night we enjoyed an amazing asado prepared by our herrieros complete with salad plenty of steak and of course wine at our first trekking camp. After a beautiful night out under the stars our team woke to the rustling of mules and crawled out of our sleeping bags in the early dawn light. A quick trail breakfast and some coffee or tea warmed us up and we hit the trail. We moved extremely well and made short time on our move up through the Vacas Valley and were even treated to our first views of the peak. Tonight’s dinner wasn’t quite as grand as last night’s but it’ll do. Early to bed tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s very early rise… We we all looking forward to making into Basecamp tomorrow afternoon but one more day on the trail and about 3,000’ of vertical gain remain in our way. I’ll check in tomorrow and let you know how it went.


Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good luck team.  Make it happen!

Art Muir

Posted by: Art Muir on 1/20/2017 at 6:17 pm

Best of Luck to you Billy and the team!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/20/2017 at 3:42 am

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Settling in at Camp 2

Today our team bid farewell to the thick air and running water of Aconcagua Camp 1 and headed uphill to Camp 2. We spent the majority of the afternoon digging in solid tent platforms, making sure to securely fasten our tents to the mountain with the biggest rocks we could find. We were treated to a beautiful day during the move-in process; the views of neighboring Andean peaks have kept many team members busy with photo opportunities. We’re just getting ready to crawl into our tents before the sun dips below the horizon and it gets COLD.

More tomorrow!

RMI Guides Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go team, go.  While we in Washington DC go low you go high keeping our focus where it should be!

Posted by: Charlie Thomas on 1/19/2017 at 3:20 am

Looks amazing, simply amazing, & we are loving the blog updates!

Posted by: Chicago Dees on 1/18/2017 at 9:37 pm

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Enjoy Rest Day at Camp 1

Today our team enjoyed a day of rest and recovery at Camp 1 on Aconcagua. Some team members read, others listened to music, others cat napped. As a group we took a light stroll in the afternoon to keep ourselves breathing well and acclimating. We were fortunate enough to enjoy beautiful weather the whole day, and made sure to heckle groups heading up and down the mountain as we lounged by our outdoor kitchen. Everyone is excited to move up to Camp 2 tomorrow, and keep our momentum going.

Hasta manana ~

RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map

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Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Carry to Camp 2 and Enjoy the Views

Today our team carried food and personal equipment from our current camp at 16,500 feet to our Camp 2, which sits at right around 18,000 feet. Our climb took us up to the saddle, or “Col,” which separates Aconcagua from her sister peak Ameghino, and then wrapped around to the north side of the mountain. We spent the second half of the climb marveling at the newly visible high Andes stretching away to the north, and pulled in to camp 2 in fine form. Gear cached, descent styled, our team is looking forward to a well earned rest day tomorrow.

RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Rest well Team! We’re rooting for you. I love following your progress and seeing the photos. It must be beautiful. (Love you Papa!)

Posted by: Lindsay M on 1/17/2017 at 2:17 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Secure Permits and Get Ready for Trail

January 16, 2017

Assuming there won’t be a satellite signal this evening (Pampa de Leñas is in a tight valley) I’m writing to let everyone know we enjoyed our last night and morning in civilization. We are hitting the trail without a hitch this morning and are looking forward to a safe and successful expedition… we’ll check in again from Casa de Piedra in a couple days!


RMI Guide Billy Nugent

January 15, 2017
Whew… a hectic day today. An early rise helped us get ahead of the curve on a slightly convoluted permit process that we couldn´t have navigated so efficiently without the assistance of our friend Nico and outfitter at Grajales Expeditions. We spent the rest of the morning tying up loose ends, checked out of the hotel, and loaded up into the van for our transfer out to Penitentes. The four hour drive went by quickly and we were treated to amazing views of the Andes along the way. We unloaded at the Grajales packing facility and checked in to our hotel for what will be our last night in a real bed for quite a while. The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent getting our personal and group loads ready for the mule team that will carry all of our heavy gear into Aconcagua Basecamp. We´re excited to leave the tedious details of packing behind and hit the trail tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed for good weather on the trail and a smooth trek into Basecamp…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

I hope the stars at Lenas deliver. Enjoy the big skies.

Posted by: Maude Lebowski on 1/17/2017 at 6:07 pm

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Move to Camp 1

Well, we’re on the mountain now! After a farewell breakfast with Mike King and company, our team loaded up packs with tents, sleeping bags, and high mountain essentials, and retraced our steps back up to Camp 1. Knowing the route, and averaging lighter packs than our carry day, everyone on the team made it up to 16,500 feet in fine form. We picked a campsite more or less in the middle of the sweeping moraine of camp 1, with fine views down the valley and up higher to Ameghino Col. Tents are set up, bellies are full of Mac and Cheese, and we’re getting ready to hit the hay on our first night above basecamp.

Love from the hill!

RMI Guides Mark Tucker and Pepper

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Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Gather in Mendoza

Hola de Mendoza!

Here´s the first installation of what will hopefully be daily updates on the progress of our Aconcagua expedition. Despite a few hiccups in transit all of our crew has arrived along with all of our bags, which is a bit of a miracle considering the number of travelers and the number of connections that all of those bags and travelers needed to make. Everybody is settling in nicely here in Mendoza and enjoying the hot and sunny weather. We had a meet and greet this afternoon in the hotel where the team members got acquainted and where we were also able to give a brief orientation to the program. A gear check and a few errands brought us into our first team dinner where the team got to enjoy their first taste of the famous Argentine beef. The gang is a bit travel-weary and we have a busy day tomorrow so that´ll be all for tonight. We´ll check in again tomorrow evening after the dust settles from what will surely be a busy day getting out of the city and readying to hit the trail.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Hannah, Billy and Team:

Good luck and climb high. Wish we were with you, perhaps next year. 

Your fans,

Tom and Farmer Dave, August 23 Rainier Summit Team.

Posted by: Tom Salata on 1/15/2017 at 2:07 pm

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