November 19, 2009
IMG Partner Phil Ershler breaks down some layering options for the alpine environment. Check it out and compare it to what you’ve got in your pack.
November 16, 2009
Received word over the weekend that our November Mexico team, led by Peter Anderson, had picked off another summit. Let’s see – that makes them two for two. Nice job, gang. Report had it that the weather was about as good as they were going to get. Stars a bunch, knock your socks off sunrise and views for as far as you could see. And everyone climbing with Peter, Oso and Fernando went right to the tippy top. Not easy for everyone but nothing worthwhile usually is.
The trip ended as it should. Everyone safe, great success and pretty happy about the whole week. Oh yeah, that plus a good steak dinner. Flights home were Sunday and now it’s time for everyone to get back to the office. And, of course, to start planning the next adventure.
November 12, 2009
Peter Anderson, IMG Senior Guide, reported in last night from the city of Puebla. Safety and success was the message. In Peter’s words, “we slayed the ‘sleeping lady’”. ‘Sleeping lady’ is a name used for Ixtacciuatl. Even though the ascent from high camp wasn’t that long, it is a long day. Up to the summit, back to high camp, pack, walk back to the road and then drive to Puebla. But it’s all worthwhile with Ixta in the rear view mirror.
Today, the team’s off to the town of Tlachichuca. A nice lunch with our Mexican partners, the Reyes family, and then it’s off to the Piedre Grande refugio. Orizaba, their next objective, will be waiting for them early Friday morning.
Let’s hope the good news continues. One down and one to go.
November 6, 2009
Our Winter Expeditions take place in mid-winter: January and February. It’s a great opportunity to climb Rainier when conditions can be quite extreme, providing valuable experience in cold weather, high altitude conditions. IMG Partners Eric Simonson and George Dunn developed the Winter Expedition Seminar as guides on Mt. Rainier in the mid-eighties and have refined it into the program it is today.
Mt. Rainer is the ultimate winter challenge with its world record snowfall and rules supreme as the premiere training ground for North American climbers. This program ascends Mt. Rainier in expedition fashion using two or more camps along the way at progressively higher altitudes. We incorporate avalanche level 1 training material into the climb to offer in depth snow training and avalanche risk assessment. This program has two primary goals: to attempt to climb, survive and summit the mountain, and to spend a significant amount of time learning skills and training. Weather can potentially limit our ability to climb higher at any step of the way, but this allows for more time spent training and learning skills to survive what the mountain throws at us. Winter Expedition Climbs ascend through the Muir Corridor (Ingraham Glacier, Disappointment Cleaver, and Gibraltar Ledges routes), but the selected route is weather and snow pack dependent. Camp Muir is always used as the high base for our summit attempts.
October 30, 2009
The home to some of North America’s premier ice climbing each and every winter is in a small town in Southwestern Colorado called Ouray. Often more intimidating than the vertical water ice is pronouncing Ouray correctly! So how do you say it… Is it “Oooray” or “Ewwray”…? Actually is best pronounced You-Ray.
So now that you know how to say it correctly it’s time to see which course fits you best. We offer 2-day, 3-day and 5-day courses, private trips are no problem either…and with no experience needed to get started climbing there are officially no excuses! IMG Guides John Race, Olivia Cussen, Mark Allen, Brian Warren, Zoe Hart, Jake Norton, Matt Farmer, and Eric Remza hope to see you in Ouray this winter for some world class ice climbing.
IMG guide Justin Merle reports that everyone is safe and sound after a very successful summit day. Congrats to the climbers! They left Camp 2 at 4am and reached the summit a bit after 10am. Then they descended to Camp 2 by about 2pm, and were feeling good, so they kept moving down, eventually descending ALL the way to Base Camp by about 8:30pm! It was a long day, but everyone was feeling good, and they wanted to just keep moving down.
Justin reports that the route was in good shape and the Dablam Glacier ice cliff looked a lot better than it did the last couple years. He said there was some old debris in the vicinity of Camp 3, but it appeared that the cliff has stabilized compared to the last few years, when it was quite active.
October 26, 2009
Justin Merle called on the sat phone to say that today they were able to move up to Camp 2. The weather and conditions remain good and the ridge was in good shape for climbing.
Their plan is to make an alpine start tomorrow morning and try to go for the summit from Camp 2 (skipping C3). This makes the summit day longer, but eliminates having to stay at Camp 3, which has been hit by falling ice occasionally in past years. We’ll keep you posted!
October 22, 2009
IMG leader Justin Merle reports that the Ama Dablam team is now at the base camp. After hiking to Everest BC and climbing Lobuche Peak for acclimatization, and a couple days of rest in Dingboche, they are all set and ready to start climbing.
Ang Pasang and Ang Tshering have the Ama Dablam BC all buffed out, and they will do their puja tomorrow, then start moving up. The loads for the upper camps are ready to start moving up by yaks to below the start of the South Ridge route. Justin reports the weather has been stable and the conditions look reasonably good.
October 21, 2009
This time we got an email from IMG Bhutan leader, Mike Hamill. He said that everyone’s now in Thimpu, Bhutan’s capital city, and that all is well. Shopping and sightseeing are the order of the day prior to driving back to Paro. The only airport in country is in Paro and flights out are typically earlier in the morning so it’s just easier to spend the night there prior to heading for Bangkok.
They did it. 14 days on the trail and everyone came through without a scratch. Bhutan’s a special country, perhaps the most exotic travel destination in the world. If IMG goes back in 2010, don’t miss it. No one comes home unchanged.
Interested in exploring Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness yourself? Click for all the details »