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Entries from Aconcagua

January 28, 2015


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

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

On The Map

Hope are all acclimating well and enjoying your rest day. We enjoy hearing about your progress.  Now the entire Nativity Elementary school is following your progress and cheering you on.  The Hoedl kids give an update at daily announcements.  Hope the weather continues to hold and push up to Camp 2 goes well. 
Lee - a personal note - Mr Rustad had a severe heart attack this past Saturday.  Life support is being removed this afternoon.  Our community is certainly very sad and in mourning today.  I thought you would want to know so you could add your prayers from on High.  Facebook is active with Alumnae trying to collect all the stories of the Mr. Rustad Senior Pranks over the years.

Posted by: Diann on 1/29/2015 at 1:42 pm

To the Norwegian in the group. Have fun toiling away in that freezing climate, tomorrow it is my turn to shut off civilization, but I crave the tranquil heat….. It’s only a matter of time before I am lounging by the pool with a drink in my hand 
So far everything under control so no need to hurry back.

Posted by: Ruthie on 1/29/2015 at 8:30 am

January 27, 2015


Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Move to Camp 1

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

On The Map

Following your progress every day. Best wishes and good luck from Santa Fe, NM in the Rocky Mountains.

Posted by: Jim Arnold on 1/28/2015 at 9:35 am

Will be following your progress.  Good luck and all best wishes from NJ!
Jane Osman

Posted by: Jane Osman on 1/28/2015 at 6:46 am

January 26, 2015


Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Ready to Move Uphill

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

On The Map

Best of luck and fair skies to everyone on the team, with a shout out to my good friend Kevin Stitely.  Tag one for the Slingers Kevin.  We are following your progress from here where all is well.  Have fun and be safe.  We leave for Mexico on Friday.  83 in Puerto Vallarta.  Just sayin….....Big D

Posted by: Dick Greenbaum on 1/27/2015 at 5:22 pm

Let the adventure continue!  Hope the climb to Camp 1 went well and you are all safe and sound.  The kids are enjoying the daily blog updates and taking them into their 5th grade classes at Nativity Elementary in Fargo ND- so you have 50+ 11 year olds cheering you all on every day!  All my love to Lee - so proud of you each and every day!

Posted by: Di Hoedl on 1/27/2015 at 7:28 am

January 26, 2015


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Summit!

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

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

On The Map

Hey Glen congratulations you made it! Fridolin

Posted by: Fridolin on 1/28/2015 at 2:52 pm

Sorry just had to post… We are just so proud:))) sounds like an amazing team… can’t wait to hear about it all. Sleep well under the stars.  Xx

Posted by: Aliki on 1/27/2015 at 4:47 pm

January 25, 2015


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

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

On The Map

Glad to hear all is going well!  Enjoy your rest day! Thinking of you and really love this blog! Suzette

Posted by: Suzette Stitely on 1/26/2015 at 3:28 am

January 25, 2015


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Move to High Camp

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

RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from Aconcagua High Camp.

On The Map

Looks gorgeous there - cannot wait to hear how the ascent goes


Posted by: sasha hogan on 1/26/2015 at 10:55 am

Lucy, Corell and the whole team- good luck tomorrow and let the force be with you! So proud of those Team Waki girls!

Posted by: Kathryn LeBey on 1/26/2015 at 7:39 am

January 24, 2015


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

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

On The Map

I hope you are doing well Kjetil. The photos look great. Jim

Posted by: Jim on 1/25/2015 at 3:00 pm

Satellite Communicator suddenly updated and shows 16,302.49 ft @ 1155 on 25 Jan..we’re routing for you, Keep it up!!!

Posted by: Carlo on 1/25/2015 at 2:29 pm

January 24, 2015


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Resting at Camp 2

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

On The Map

You are incredible!!! I love you!!!

Posted by: Beth on 1/25/2015 at 9:07 pm

We are so proud of you, Daddy!!!! You can do it! Remember we are looking up at the same stars together. We love the pictures and hearing all about your daily adventures. Sending big hugs and kisses every second. Xoxoxoxo!!!!

Posted by: Mia & Zoe on 1/25/2015 at 9:04 pm

January 23, 2015


Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Arrive at Base Camp

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

On The Map

Enjoy your rest day!  It looks like a beautiful country.  Stay safe!

Posted by: Suzette Stitely on 1/24/2015 at 2:46 pm

January 23, 2015


Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Settled Into Camp 2

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

On The Map

Glen, the scenery gets better as you guys climb higher and higher.  We hope the weather holds good for your next two legs of the journey.  At night, I bet the sky is beautiful and full of stars!  Have a good rest then onward….

Posted by: John and Kathy Papile on 1/24/2015 at 8:11 am

Glen, mi amor, have you been doing some star gazing?  I bet the stars are so beautiful.  It snowed this morning in Texas and has been really cold. It’s been clearing this evening and the stars are bright.  Miss you lots.  Love, Katalina

Posted by: Katalina on 1/23/2015 at 5:56 pm

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