SMI’s Aconcagua 2017 team reaches the summit!

In the wee hours of the morning, the Aconcagua 2017 team got an alpine start for their summit bid. Kurt reports, “With a beautiful night sky displaying the Southern Cross. SMI’s Aconcagua team is taking off for the summit!”

Summit views!

Summit views!

And sure enough, this morning, January 18, 2017, the team reached the summit, “Summit success! Congratulations to SMI’s Aconcagua team on a successful climb to the top of the Western Hemisphere!”

Stay tuned for more pictures as the team descends and returns to civilization! Well deserved hot showers and feasting await them after this nearly 2 week arduous climb.

 

 


Follow more updates on our facebook and instagram @smiguides

Aconcagua Team 2017 establishes Camp 3!

Aconcagua Team 2017 has carried their gear up to establish Camp 3 at 19,600′ and are sleeping there, tonight. And more excitingly, they are headed for the summit tomorrow!!

DSC_2143

Glacier near Camp 3!

DSC_2218 (1)

Hiking up to Camp 3!

Kurt reports that the team is, “We’re fed, hydrated & packed for an alpine start to attempt to reach the highest point in the Western Hemisphere! Weather is clear & calm :)”

Woooo! Let’s all send them the best wishes and looking forward to hearing about the summit!

 

 


Stay tuned for more updates as they continue their ascent! Follow more updates on our facebook and instagram @smiguides

Aconcagua Team 2017 reaches Camp 2!

The Aconcagua 2017 team slept at Camp 1 on Wednesday and carried loads up to Camp 2 (17,700′) today! They returned to Camp 1 and ate a yummy and well deserved pizza dinner.

DSC_7852

Kurt Wedberg (SMI Founder) treats himself to a pepperoni pizza at the end of the day

Camp 1 is also called “Plaza Canadá” where the team working on acclimatization to optimize their chances of summiting. They will move to Camp 2 tomorrow to sleep there. Check out their climb to Camp 2, today:

DSC_1884

Rock stars trekking up the grade with their packs!

DSC_1904

What a trooper!


Stay tuned for more updates as they continue their ascent! Follow more updates on our facebook and instagram @smiguides

Aconcagua team makes it to Base Camp!

“The Aconcagua team looking strong successfully reach Base Camp at 13,747′ after a 3-day trek! Beautiful weather here. Happy Sunday Everyone!” -Kurt Wedberg (SMI Founder)

dsc_1350-01

Morning light on the peaks above base camp

 

On Sunday, as Kurt reported, the team reached Base Camp (13,747′) after 3 days of trekking. Here, they will stay for 2 days while embarking on acclimatization hikes. On Jan 11, 2017, they’ll set off for Camp 1 at 16,700′!


dsc_1194

Their shadows as they trek through the Relinchos Valley!

dsc_1255

View of Aconcagua from the trek up to Base Camp

dsc_1392

A ranger at Base Camp giving the team their trash bags. They will carry these trash bags up the mountain and return the loaded bags to them when they descend.

Stay tuned for more updates as they continue their ascent! Follow more updates on our facebook and instagram @smiguides

The Aconcagua 2017 team starts their trip!

Yesterday, the Aconcagua 2017 team gathered in Mendoza, Argentina, and are prepared to start their climb to the summit of Aconcagua! Aconcagua is the tallest peak in the Southern and Western Hemisphere, sitting at 22,841 ft (6,961 m) in the Andes range.aconcagua


The team slowly trickled in from all the US, and even from Slovakia! They started their climb yesterday, on Jan 5, 2017.

15873337_1235491259829926_2449035522644600973_n

Cory Gaconnet, Martin Takac, Mark Griffith, Kurt Wedberg (SMI Founder), Alex Barber (SMI Guide), Barbara Falco, Cory Gaconnet, and Balmore Flores are psyched to start their climb!

Today, on Jan 6, 2017, by the end of the day, they made it to Pierdra Grande Camp at 10,620′! Their first day was spent trekking through a river filled valley which ended with a delicious authentic Argentinian chicken asado, cooked by their gauchos. Tomorrow, they move to base camp at 13,747′!

dsc_0893

Mules to help carry supplies along the river

dsc_0877


The team pushes through the beautiful valley on their first day.

Stay tuned for more updates as they continue their ascent! Follow more updates on our facebook and instagram @smiguides

 

 

Sierra Gem – Bear Creek Spire

IMG_4312

The beautiful Bear Creek Spire

Lately, it seems, our guides have been spending a lot of time climbing Bear Creek Spire. With multiple classic routes of varying levels, BCS is a beauty of a peak, nestled in the Little Lakes Valley of the High Sierra between Bishop and Mammoth.

DSC_1550

SMI Guide, Ross Hill, leading a pitch on the North Arete

The two most popular routes on BCS are the North Arete, a 1200′ climb rated 5.8 for its most challenging pitch, with most pitches 5.5 or lower, and the Northeast Ridge, rated 5.5. The approach to both involves a very gradual trail over about 3.5 miles, followed by some talus hopping and off-trail navigation for about 2 more. You will likely contend with a snow field at the base, depending on time of year.

We are happy to take you on a climb of Bear Creek Spire this season, if you’re inspired by these photos! If you’re in good mountain shape, the Ridge could be turned around in a 2 day trip. We’d recommend a 3 day trip for the Arete, but 2 days might be appropriate for a strong climber.

Client, Ben Novak, climbing the Northeast Ridge

 

 

Denali 2015 Team Reaches the Summit!

11036893_10153403627384481_7096785160031230869_nKurt Wedberg, Tristan Sieleman and the entire 2015 Denali Team made the summit yesterday, June 23rd! Kurt checked in saying: “100% on top of North America! Teary eyed & psyched for this team! ‪#‎Denali2015‬ ‪#‎BestJobOnThePlanet‬

Today they are descending. Kurt said they are “packing up from high camp. We’ll descend to 11000 today then travel the lower glacier tonight.”

Expect more photos and updates, as they return to civilization!

–Megan

Denali 2015 Update: Team About 3-4 Days From Summit

The 2015 Denali team is still on the move.

"                                "

On Motorcycle Hill above Camp 3. Camp 3 at 11,000’ is seen below us in the sun.

Today they cached a load of gear/food at 16,200 ft.

Joey Szalkiewicz is strong and keeping up just fine with the more seasoned climbers. At 17 years old, he’s already carrying a 60 lb pack successfully up the mountain.

"                                "

At 12000’ on Squirrel Hill

"                                "

At 12500’ traveling above Squirrel Hill towards Windy Corner

Kurt Wedberg checked in today saying that the group is about 3 to 4 days from the summit, weather permitting. “The team is strong & healthy & having a great time. Weather’s been clear lending to spectacular views of the Alaska Range.  After 8 days of climbing & establishing camps we’re @C3 @14200′. 2moro we are planning on a well earned rest b4 setting our sites on moving to High Camp @17200. Thinking about our loved ones, family & friends. Thanks for all your support :)”

"                                "

Our cache at 13500’ buried and marked

Stay tuned for an update on Wednesday!

–Megan

 

 

 

Denali 2015 Team Making Steady Progress Up the Mountain

DSC_0046 - Copy

Organizing loads at Base Camp at 7200’

The 2015 Denali team is right on track and feeling good!

DSC_0060 (1) - Copy

Leaving Base Camp with Mt. Hunter (14,570’) in the background

On Friday, they landed on the Kahiltna Glacier and began their progress.

DSC_0074 - Copy

Traveling on the Kahiltna Glacier en route to Camp 1

On Saturday, the team carried to 9500′ and on Sunday , Kurt checked in saying “4 days after landing in the Alaska Range our team has carried supplies to Camp 2 @11000′. The team’s strong & psyched! ”

DSC_0082 - Copy

On Ski Hill above Camp 1

DSC_0091 - Copy

Light snow on our tents at Camp 2 at 9500’

Today, they have already cached a load at 13,500′!

DSC_0103 - Copy

Beautiful day traveling on the Kahiltna Glacier at 10,000’ en route to Camp 3.

DSC_0113 - Copy

Taking a rest break on the Kahiltna Glacier

Stay tuned for more updates!

-Megan

Denali 2015 Team Flies to Kahiltna Glacier to Begin Climb

Kurt Wedberg, president and lead guide at SMI, and his 2015 Denali Team found a break in the weather to fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier today from Talkeetna, AK.

1551733_10153370984349481_6774171407669275085_n (1)

 

10373668_10153369927099481_3723766610665931880_n

This year’s team consists of SMI senior guide, Tristan “Trippy” Sieleman, mountain guide at Mountain Trip, Ben Adkinson, and friends, Bob “Ski” Szalkiewicz, Joe Szalkiewicz and Joey Szalkiewicz.

11412201_10153367589019481_8034771318064849083_n

The team has been taking it easy and fueling up on the local Talkeetna fare, awaiting their window to fly out today. Oh yes, and they’ve been doing lots of gear checks and packing.

11257739_10206784461191592_8893482359078958350_n

 

11036215_10205174874105932_5498011346422143648_oThe group is currently at Base Camp 7,200 ft. Next they will be packing and prepping to make the trek to Camp 1.

Keep them in your thoughts and prayers for a happy summit and stay tuned for updates!

–Megan