Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bluffdale Elementary Bucket Filler Award

Today Seer was awarded the Bucket Filler of the Week at her school by her principal. She was nominated by her teacher for being kind and putting her work first. It's a very fitting award for her since she is always filling my bucket.

Without Josh and Kaiden Valentine's wasn't the same. But having these 3 princesses as my Valentine was not so bad at all.

We Can Do This

This is a post from several days ago that I put on facebook.

I finally have the details on Josh Ellison and Kaiden's trip so far. The details were far worse than I had expected to hear but they are safe.

-They were both trapped at base camp 4 at 18,500 feet in a blizzard for 6 days. The temperatures were negative 20 degrees. They ran out of food and water and we're starving because they had to wait out the storm for so long. 

This was at base camp 4 called Nedo de Condores where they were trapped. You can see the ice inside their tent. They were in all of their gear and sleeping bags and still freezing.
-They managed to gather some energy and descend Sunday to Plaza De Mulas, Aconcagua Base Camp 4.200 MSNM (or 14,000 feet) which is second largest base camp in the world outside Mount Everest south Nepal side. 

Plaza de Mulas-The Second Biggest Basecamp Next to Mt. Everest
-Some other climbers gave them some jerky which helped them get down the mountain.

-They are preparing to go back up Wednesday when there is a break in the weather with the help of Porters who will carry their food and water up. Apparently doing it alone (without an expedition team) as they did is not common. The fact that they made it that far is miraculous. 

-They are tanking up with lots of food and water now and enjoying the luxurious amenities of an outdoor toilet (vs. frost bitten hole in the ground) at their camp. 

Looking Good and Ready to Try Again
-They feel great and are ready to go back up.

-I'm confident they will be safe but anxious that their trip is extended and wish I could be there to help.

-Aconcagua is one of the 7 summits at 22,838 feet. It is the second highest in the world to Mt. Everest.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Plaza de Mulas

Josh got some reception as they moved up the mountain. I was able to text with him Friday and Saturday. I haven't heard from them since Sunday morning when they were moving up to Camp Canada at 16,076 feet. Today should be a rest day and a day to acclimatize to the thinner mountain air. This is the highest either have them been, the second being Rainer at 14,409 elevation gain.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) they will climb to Camp Berlin-19,685 feet, come back down and sleep at the lower elevation and carry back to Berlin on Thursday. They will rest Friday and the plan is to summit Saturday.

Kaiden was sick on the way up from the park entrance to their first camp. He had a bad headache and had forgotten to pack his warm clothes before giving his gear to the muleteers. It was snowy and very cold so Josh gave him his warm gear and wore a paper thin jacket. It was 8 hours or so through these conditions and climbing on top of it. The guides told them Kaiden probably got sick from the water and the previous camp Confluencia and that he would recover quickly. Now the boys are relying on their own water supply and purification.

Plaza de Mulas. Expedition Team Provided Meals and Tents
That day (Friday) and Saturday was 65 MPH winds but they got to hide out and rest in the expedition tents. Sunday morning when Josh text he said it was great weather and that they were both feeling great.

It's in the low 20's where they are now but with the chill factor it feels about 5 degrees. On summit day according to the weather it will be about 1 degree with a chill factor of -24 degrees but no storms. They were anticipating -40 degrees so it looks like they will have a warm summit...JK. They are fully prepared with all of the right gear so they should be relatively comfortable.

I will probably not hear about the summit day until they return back down to Plaza de Mulas at 13,943 feet which is the the last time I heard from them. Which will probably be Monday. I'll let you know when I hear.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mendoza-No Burritos

The boys made it safely to Mendoza, Argentina late Sunday afternoon. Customs was a little longer than they anticipated but all went well. It was 100 degrees and they enjoyed going for a swim that evening.

Near Hotel in Mendoza
English speaking was a little more scarce than we thought it would be. I guess they're navigating that part ok though. My two burrito loving boys were surprised to find out that people in Mendoza don't even know what a burrito is. They also couldn't locate any peanut butter. Strange how customs differ. 


Yesterday (Wednesday) they rode the 4 hour bus ride to Los Penitentes which is the closest town to the mountain. They stayed the night there last night and this morning they were off to their first camp Confluencia with an altitude of 11,050 feet. So they gained about 2200 feet so far. They will stay there until tomorrow when they travel to Plaza de Mulas-Altitude 13,943 Feet. 

Bus Ride from Mendoza to Los Penitentes

I haven't heard from them since they were in Los Penitentes early this morning (Thursday) and Josh's phone is offline so I'm afraid we've lost contact until they are back down off the mountain which will be about another 9 or 10 days if everything goes according to plan.

Mountain (not Aconcagua) near Los Penitentes

-->   -->

Sunday, January 29, 2017

They Have Landed!

So far, so good. Josh and Kaiden have made it to Argentina safely. They said they've barely slept and they're going for a swim in the 100 degree weather at their 4 star hotel. I booked it for them to make their trip a little bit easier and the price was unreal! They will be resting up and working on getting their climbing permits tomorrow. 

The girls and me are good too. I just miss them a ton and it's only been 24 hours. I've had plenty of ward members offer to help if we need it so I may be calling someone for some snow shoveling one of these days.

I'll be in touch...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ellison Adventures

It's been a really long time since I've posted anything of value on my BLOG or on facebook. The end of 2016 was a crazy time for us. We sold our home in Junction City in June, went on a month long road trip, bought a new home in Bluffdale, UT in August, got an offer on Royalty Core, moved in with Teri for 2 months, built a SEMA truck, sold Royalty Core, and then finally moved to our Utah home in November. 

Since we've moved to Utah we've been really busy just trying to adjust to a new state, new school's, new home, etc. I've been trying to get things organized that have been on the back burner while I was working full time. One of those was organizing all of the mountaineering trips that Kaiden and Josh went on the last few years. 

Now for the big announcement. Josh and Kaiden are set to leave January 28th to climb Aconcagua in Argentina. It is one of the 7 summits of the world (the tallest mountain on each continent). Aconcagua stands at 22,841 feet with an elevation gain of 22,841 feet. They have been planning this trip for over a year. Kaiden has maintained his working out all year long as well as not having any treats this whole year (there have been a few exceptions) to keep his body in its best condition. He did this willingly and on his own. 

I've been fortunate to continue my duties as designated "get the details done" girl since JE Illusions and Royalty Core that has been my main asset to helping our companies. I helped Josh and Kaiden get their passports, planned their itinerary, plane tickets, booked some assistance from an expedition group (hiring mules and some meals). This has really helped put me at ease that this will be a safe trip for both Josh and Kaiden. They will have about 18 days to make the trek up the mountain giving them adequate time to acclimate to the oxygen levels and rest during the journey. I'm actually pretty jealous that I don't get to go on this one. But I'm proud of Kaiden for making the sacrifices both physically, emotionally, and monetarily to accomplish this awesome goal. Also for having an amazingly adventurous husband with the love and patience to train his son to come with him. 

Josh has trained Kaiden on a lot of mountains over the past couple of years. His first being the Middle Sister in Eastern Oregon when he was 9. He still holds the world record for youngest to summit the mountain! Since then beginning in 2015 they have climbed Mt. Thielsen, Broken Top, Neahkannie Mountain, Mt. Hood, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Rainer, and Diamond Peak. I've attached Kaiden's Mountaineering Resume that has pictures and information on each climb. You will also notice that there is a technical difficulty class rating on these mountains. They are classified from a class I to a class V which I've explained below. 

Grade 1: Walk up - no ropes needed - There are no objective hazards that require use of ropes
Grade 2: Ropes needed but no fixed anchors (although its imperative to bring the fix anchors along just in case)
Grade 3: Fixed anchors needed More for safety (still up right walking)
Grade 4: Fixed anchors needed and you are actively using them most of the time
Grade 5: Full on Rock / Ice climbing (Full use / all the time)

I will keep those of you who would like to follow their adventure on Aconcagua up to date. 
The Middle Sister Peak

Location: Sisters, Oregon
Climb:  August 26th-28th 2012
Summited August 27, 2012
Elevation: 10,358 Feet
Elevation Gain: 5000
Technical Difficulty:  Class III
Age: 9

Mt. Thielsen

Location: Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Climb: October 22nd-23rd 2015
Summited October 22, 2015
Elevation: 9182 Feet
Elevation Gain: 3342
Technical Difficulty:  Class IV 
Age: 13

South Sister

Location: Sisters, Oregon
Climb: September 12th 2015
Summited September 12th 2015
Elevation: 10,358 Feet
Elevation Gain: 5598
Technical Difficulty:  Class II
Age: 13

Broken Top

Location: Bend, Oregon
Climb: December 30th-31st, 2015
Summited: Strong Winds and Frostbite Prevented Summit
Elevation: 9175 Feet
Elevation Gain: 2175
Technical Difficulty:  Class IV
Age: 13

Neahkannie Mountain

Location: Bandon Oregon
Climb: March 19, 2016
Summited: March 19, 2016
Elevation: 1680
Elevation Gain: 361
Technical Difficulty:  Class I
Age: 13

Mt. Hood

Location: Portland, Oregon
Climb: March 31st-April 1st 2016
Summited: April 1, 2016
Elevation: 11,250
Elevation Gain: 7707
Technical Difficulty:  Class III 
Age: 13

Three Fingered Jack

Location: Cascade Range, Oregon
Climb: May 7th 2016
Summited: May 7, 2016
Elevation: 7,844
Elevation Gain: 2,480 
Technical Difficulty:  Class IV
Age: 13

Mt. Shasta

Location: Shasta, California
Climb: April 15th-April 16th 2016
Summited: April 16, 2016
Elevation: 14,180
Elevation Gain: 9823 
Technical Difficulty:  Class III 
Age: 13

Mt. Rainer

Location:  Mount Rainer National Park, Washington
Climb: May 25th-26th 2016
Summited: Columbia Crest May 26, 2016
Elevation: 14,409
Elevation Gain: 13,212
Technical Difficulty:  Class IV
Age: 13

Diamond Peak

Location: Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Climb: June 24th-25th 2016
Summited: June 24th-25th 2016
Elevation: 8743
Elevation Gain: 4100
Technical Difficulty:  Class I 
Age: 13

Broken Top (Second Attempt)

Location: Bend, Oregon
Climb: July 6th 2016
Summited: Went the Wrong Route (East Face) and Technical Issues Prevented Summit
Elevation: 9175 Feet
Elevation Gain: 2175
Technical Difficulty:  Class IV
Age: 13

Location: Mendoza, Argentina
Climb: February 1st-17th 2017
Summited: February 2017
Elevation: 22,841 Feet
Elevation Gain: 22,841
Technical Difficulty:  Class III
Age: 14

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Family Slideshow