August 15, 2011
August 15, 2011
One summit down, two to go! Greg Vernovage reports by sat phone from Condoriri Base Camp that the team put their training to work yesterday with 100% success on Pequeño Alpamayo (17,482’). Greg said the weather and conditions for the climb were excellent and the team did a great job on the ascent and descent. After a good dinner and sleep back at Base Camp, the team descends today to meet the jeeps and will travel to the Huayna Potosi Base Camp.
So far so good!
August 14, 2011
by IMG Pirate Jenni Fogle
The Buff is relatively new to the ‘gear scene’ but it is quickly becoming a must-have item. Simple, lightweight and versatile give it instant credibility amongst the guide staff and makes as close to required as possible. Here IMG Guide Jenni Fogle gives a quick demonstration of a few of The Buff’s uses.
August 13, 2011
Working for a guide service is not without potential hazard to one’s health — especially when your job consists of sitting in front of a computer eight hours a day.
I’ve worked in the IMG administrative office since the winter of 2007. Though given encouragement and opportunity to go on any number of IMG programs, my philosophy on climbing set me firmly in the camp that said, “The Mountain will always be there. What’s the rush in climbing it now?” It also set me firmly planted in front of a computer screen far too many hours each day.
But this year after a long winter and too many of Becky’s fabulous homemade cookies (if you can weasel the recipe out of her I’m willing to pay good money), I found myself facing the beginning of the Rainier (and swimsuit) season in less than desirable conditioning. (Read more…)
August 12, 2011
Just got the sat phone call from Greg Vernovage and crew on the current Bolivia expedition. The guys are already spoiled – weather probably couldn’t be better. Everyone’s healthy and acclimating well. That “prep” process continues tomorrow with a day of training and then it’s time to take a shot at summiting Piqueno Alpamayo.
We’ll take it.
August 11, 2011
Not really tough at all for our Bolivia team — we are acclimatizing great at Lake Titicaca and our climb of Sun Island could not have been a sweeter day. A nice ferry ride and great acclimatization hike filled with views and laughter. On top, we looked to the south and saw our next destinations of Pequeno Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi.
The mountains are reported to be in excellent climbing conditions. Like I say on Everest, when the team starts to look at me with the stare of NEEDING to climb now, well, that is when I know they are feeling healthy, acclimatized and ready to go.
Off we go tomorrow, for two mountains in seven days (then back to La Paz before going to Illimani).
August 10, 2011
Early in the morning, our group reached the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu and watched the sun burn off the morning clouds revealing the end point of our trek. After a terrific tour of the ancient site, we were more than ready to head down to the small town of Aguas Calientes for much needed showers, delicious food, and a comfortable sleep in BEDS.
On Sunday we returned to Machu Picchu and climbed Huayna Picchu, the monolith of granite next to the ruins. It was a tough and steep hike, but the bird’s eye perspective of Machu Picchu was awe inspiring. One more night of celebration in Cusco wrapped up the trip as we all headed our separate ways for home. More than the impressive sights and a great trek, I appreciate the group we had. I cannot imagine a more fun and genuine group to spend time with on an adventure. Even before we departed ways there was talk about a reunion trek or climb in the near future. I am already looking forward to it.
August 10, 2011
There are not many places where you can acclimatize for high altitude climbing by going to the beach! Lake Titicaca (12,506 feet / 3,812 meters) is that place. Yesterday the team travelled to the resort town of Copacabana on the shore of the Lake, and today they took the ferry to the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun). In the Inca religion, the god of the sun was born on this island, and there are many Inca ruins in the area.
Tomorrow, the team head for Huayna Potosi, and the climbing begins!
August 9, 2011
IMG Operations Manager, Tye Chapman, works hard all summer keeping our Rainier Programs running smoothly. But after a long summer in Washington, he needs to stretch his legs. So, this winter we’re sending him to Patagonia to lead our first ever trek in Torres del Paine National Park.
Tye loves to travel. Egypt, Australia, Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Morocco and Thailand, to name a few, with Namibia and South Africa soon to follow. And somehow he’s found time to climb Rainier, as well as climb in Ecuador and Argentina as well as trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. If you’ve climbed with IMG before, you’ve likely spoken with Tye and can sense his enthusiasm.
This should be a spectacular trek, hitting all the classic hot spots along the trail, as well as a few of the hidden gems off the beaten path. The group will spend one night camping at the base of Las Torres and spend the next 6 nights in refugios (huts) along the way. From your house to the tip of South America and back in 2 weeks! It sounded so good that I’m going down with Susan and some friends later this year to check it out. We want to see it, too!
August 9, 2011
(Note this was received late on August 8th)
After breakfast today, it was time to stretch the legs with a tour of La Paz. Flying in to this elevation can make some a little hesitant to get after it. Not here, this team is on top of it. We had a great walk today, not a cloud in the sky, all the time looking up at Illimani, towering above the city. After a great lunch in the Witches Market we got some lessons on what symbols give you wealth and health and longevity, so we are getting up to speed on Bolivian culture.
This afternoon we wrapped up last minute details, finished packing, and got all ready to head out in the morning to the beach and Lake Titicaca. I have a little surprise for the team on the way – I hope we can meet again the last remaining builder of the Ra II, who is a little over 80 now and he likes visitors.
How is the team doing? I think we were asked nicely to stop laughing so hard last night! We are looking forward to a couple of ferry and boat rides tomorrow with an evening overlook of the town of Copacabana. SORRY everyone, this is NOT the Copacabana which Barry Manilow is talking about, but what the hell, sing it anyhow!