Author Archives: robert-montague

What it Takes.


I am lying in the tent at high camp on Denali and staring at the bright yellow nylon walls and although it looks sunny outside and feels warm in the tent, I know outside the storm is still going strong. I know, because for the past four days I have fallen for the trick countless times, sticking my head out of the tent only to find a grey sky and blowing snow. The barometer too has been holding steady and giving no encouragement of a change in the weather. We have two more days of food after today which means tomorrow is our last chance at a summit.

Our expedition went very smoothly for the first ten days and we rode the good weather into our camp at 14,000 feet to take a well-deserved break. The main challenge for our team was communication. My seven clients were all from Japan and did not speak much if any English. To complicate things, I did not speak any Japanese nor have I ever been to Japan. For the guides this made for some frustrating situations since we could not communicate easily with our clients. We overcame this obstacle using a mixture of … READ MORE >

Posted in Mountain Adventure, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch on Denali, Trip Reports | Tagged | 2 Comments

“Wow, I made this Pack!”

“Wow, I made this pack.” That was the thought in my head as I worked to carry sixty plus pounds at fifteen thousand feet on Aconcagua. South America’s highest peak is located in Argentina along the spine of the rugged Andes mountain range. At 22,849 feet, it is the highest point outside of the Himalaya in Asia. Our route is called the “False Polish” traverse. There are three camps above base camp and we will spend a total of 16 days on the mountain. We will shuttle our gear and supplies up the mountain in alternating carries and moves. This is what mountaineers call “capsule style” climbing. We carried everything up and down the mountain ourselves as a self supported climbing team. I knew what was involved in climbing Aconcagua because I had been there the previous winter. Before I left for Argentina this time, I built a stripped down version of the Mystery Ranch G6000. I wanted a pack that carried as well as the G-series but I wanted to make it as light as possible. It all seemed like a blur. Building the pack, planning the trip, organizing the gear, buying the food, and getting myself and two … READ MORE >

Posted in Mountain Adventure, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch HQ, Stories from the Floor, Trip Reports | 4 Comments