Posts for Expedition Dispatches

Mt. Rainier: Summit Climbs and Seminar Teams Reach Summit!

Posted by: Brent Okita, Billy Nugent | July 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb teams led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Billy Nugent reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  Brent reported a gorgeous day with clear skies and winds 25-30 mph on the summit but 15 - 20 mph throughout the climb. The teams began their descent from the crater rim around 7 am and will return to Cam Muir before continuing down to Paradise.

The Expeditions Skills Seminar - Kautz led by Jake Beren also reached the summit this morning.  At 8:30 am they began their descent and will return to their camp where they will spend another night on the mountain.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!


Mt. McKinley: Hahn and Team Descend to 11,000’

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Zach Lovell, Sean Collon | July 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

July 16, 2014 - 11:37 pm PT

Hey,  this is Dave Hahn with the last team on Denali.  We did make it out of 17,000’ today.  We woke up, the weather was stable and we started working our way down.  And sure enough, we found some deep snow, it was hard going, sometimes waist deep but we made it down to 14,000’ and then plowed through a bunch more new snow to get to 11,000’.  We are taking a rest here at 11,000’ and our hope, everybody is feeling pretty enthusiastic, about trying to get to the airstrip tomorrow morning.  We are just going to rest a few hours and get on the trail again.  We expect it to be a little bit easier now that we are down low and conditions will be a bit better than what we were dealing with.

All is well with us. 
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI Team camped at 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls from 11,000ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Reach Hut at 12,000’

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

July 16, 2014 - 5:12 am PT

We started our day at a reasonable hour with breakfast at 8 am, we had porridge, fried eggs, and of course plenty of the Starbucks coffee we brought along. :) After breakfast we finished the remainder of our packing and headed over the the gondola to hitch a ride further up the mountain to our new Base camp on Mt. Elbrus. Two gondola rides and one super long single chair lift delivered us at our new home just over 12’000’. Our new home is basically a retro fitted shipping container, they’re brand new and rather comfortable.
After we settled in we had a nice lunch cooked by our wonderful and cantankerous cook Albina. She’s a great cook, but I think is a little over worked and runs a tight ship. 
After lunch we headed out to stretch our legs and continue our acclimatization process by hiking for a little over an hour and gaining well over a thousand feet. Everyone did great and we are now back at camp watching the evening clouds roll in and getting ready for dinner.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 11th team takes a break during their acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom An acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus by the July 11th team.  Photo: Casey Grom The RMI July 11th team loading the gondola to reach Base Camp on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt.Rainier: Four & Five Day Summit Teams On Top!

Posted by: Win Whittaker, Lindsay Fixmer | July 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Win Whittaker and the Five Day Summit Climb led by Lindsay Fixmer reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  The teams were able to spend an hour on the summit before starting their descent.  At 7:00 am they were approaching the top of Disappointment Cleaver on their descent.  The weather is beautiful with clear skies, warm temperatures and light winds.

Congratulations to today’s summit climb teams!

The Four Day Summit Climb Team July 13 - 16, 2014 ascending to Camp Muir.  Photo: Win Whittaker RMI Climbers approaching the summit of Mt. Rainier on July 16, 2014.  Photo: Win Whittaker
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Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Explore St. Petersburg

Posted by: JJ Justman | July 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

I’m not too big of a man to admit…our adventure is officially over…and I’m actually sad. Our team took off early this morning after a grand finale here in St Petersburg. We had a tour of all the historical sites and finished with a great canal tour.

I want to thank every team member who I now consider friends. And ask my 3rd grade school teacher Ms. Buchanan, I have a tough time making friends!

Yes, we climbed Elbrus. Yes, we all made the summit. And yes, we all had a safe climbing experience…always number one on the list.

But for some reason this team was pretty much the same as all my RMI teams from the past. They were AWESOME!! I can’t wait to climb with all of them again. Plans are already being made for Vinson and Aconcagua.

In the meantime, here is a short video of how we ended our time on this incredible adventure…

RMI Guide JJ Justman

The canals of St. Petersburg, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Alpamayo: Elias and Team Stretch Legs and Prepack

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos | July 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Peru
Elevation: 10,000'

July 15, 2014 - 4:21 pm PT

Hello again from Huaraz!

Relaxing day we had after all the travelling today… A two hour walk after breakfast took the team the overlook above town from where we devised the closest peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. It served also to get the blood pumping, on this the first day above 3,000 m, elevation we reached yesterday by car, so all benefits. We had a great meal afterwards (pizza from the stove oven restaurant of “El Horno”, a classic in Huaraz) and an easy afternoon of pre-packing the duffles prior to tomorrow’s departure to the trailhead.

We´re getting ready for dinner and an early bed time; Cashapampa trailhead and eventually Llamacorral Camp await tomorrow. Next post will be from the trails.

Best regards,
Elias de Andres Martos

View of the Peruvian mountains from the hotel in Huaraz, Peru.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt McKinley: Significant Snowstorm Keeps Hahn & Team at 17K Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | July 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

July 15th, 2014 - 7:16 pm PT

Yesterday’s storm hit hard at 17,200 ft.  The heavy snow continued through dinner and the night, with plenty of wind to make things noisy.  The team took turns through the night, going out to dig snow in order to keep tents from being crushed.  The hard workers would come back into the tents coated head-to-toe in rime ice.  By morning, several things were clear.  Significantly, the sky wasn’t one of them.  Our climbers were wet and cold from the rough night and our summit ambitions were now going to take a back seat to getting down the mountain safely.  Even before we could see the Autobahn, we knew it couldn’t receive two plus feet of snow overnight without gaining a significant avalanche risk.  Sure enough, after the morning shovel session and breakfast we did get some clearing and couldn’t see any evidence of our track to Denali Pass.  The slope had dramatically wind sculpted snow slab from top to bottom.  We won’t mess with it.  Winds died in the afternoon, which made it a little easier for the team to dry out and get some rest.  We’ll give the slopes below us a day to cook in the sun and stabilize and we’ll hope the next storm pulse holds off long enough for us to get down from the ridiculously high West Buttress.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Sunset from Mt. McKinley's 17,200' Camp. Photo: Katy Reid

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Acclimate in Cheget

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 11,000'

All is well here in the Baksan Valley, at the base of Elbrus. We’ve settled into our comfortable hotel here in Cheget, which doubles as a ski town in the winter. It reminds me of Jackson Hole with Mt. Rainier instead of the Grand Tetons.

We woke to a beautiful morning and finally we were able to get out and stretch our legs a bit. We made the most of the local ski lifts, (to save our knees of course) and hiked up the neighboring peak to start our acclimatization. It started off a little cloudy today, but eventually cleared for some decent views of Elbrus. After our ascent we headed back down to town for a nice lunch and headed over the local climbing shop to pick up a few last minute things. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, getting our bags packed and just wrapping up another enjoyable Russia dinner with plenty of borscht.

All is well here and we’ll check in again tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

Ski Lift in Cheget. Photo: Casey Grom

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Alpamayo: deAndres Martos & Team Arrive in Huaraz

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos | July 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Peru

Good morning from Huaraz!

The team is on its day one of the expedition. After meeting in Lima, we took the mandatory 8 hour ride to Huaraz and checked into the hotel. We met with Peter, our outfitter and best asset in Peru, and headed for a much needed dinner. Early bed time to overcome the many hours of international (and domestic) travel and we´re now ready for breakfast. The plan for today? A 2 to 3 hour walk in the vicinity of town, a thorough gear check and pack for tomorrow’s departure to Cashapampa, the trail head for Alpamayo.

Best regards,

RMI Guide Elias deAndres Martos & Team

Team Breakfast in Huaraz. Photo: Elisa deAndres Martos

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Mt. Rainier: July 15th Teams Summit

Posted by: Peter Whittaker, Pete Van Deventer | July 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

RMI Guide Peter Whittaker and the Four Day Summit Climb team reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning around 5:20 am.  The team is making their descent back to Camp Muir and enjoying a light wind.  We look forward to seeing them in Ashford this afternoon.

The Expedition Skills Seminar – Emmons led by RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer reached the summit of Mt. Rainier around 7:00 am.  Pete reports clear skies on the summit and 15 mph winds.  He says it is fairly warm and a really nice day to climb. The team is enjoying some time at Columbia Crest and will begin their descent to Camp Schurman around 8:00 am.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

Mt. Rainier as seen from Sunrise this morning.  Photo: Mt. Rainier Web Cam The path leaving the summit of Mt. Rainier via the Disappointment Cleaver.  Photo: Brent Okita The Expeditions Skill Seminar - Emmons teams on the summit of Mt. Rainier July 15th.  Photo: Pete Van Deventer
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Recent Images From Expedition Dispatches

  • Camp on Fisher Chimneys. Photo: Mike Walter
  • The RMI Kilimanjaro July 21st team at dinner at the Dik Dik Hotel, Tanzania.  Photo: Mark Tucker
  • The July 21st Kilimanjaro team stretching their legs in Tanzania.  Photo: Mark Tucker
  • The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 18th team on an acclimazation hike.  Photo: JJ Justman
  • The RMI team ascending to Camp Muir on July 22nd.  Photo: Win Whittaker
  • The Four Day Summit Climb July 20 - 23 team enjoyed nice weather for their Mountaineering School on July 21st.  Photo: Win Whittaker
  • Grom and Team visiting St. Petersburg after Elbrus summit. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Elbrus team enjoying the St. Petersburg canal tour. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Casey Grom & his Elbrus team's farewell dinner in St. Petersburg. Photo: Casey Grom
  • RMI climbers on the upper flanks of Mt. Rainier. Photo: Ed Viesturs
  • Rooftops of St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Sunset view of the Caucasus Mountains above Cheget. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Cheget, mountain town at the base of the Caucasus Mountains. Photo: JJ Justman
  • An RMI Team led by Brent Okita crossing the Mt. Rainier crater. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The RMI July 11th team enjoying a celebration dinner in Cheget, Russia. Photo: Casey Grom
  • St. Basils Cathedral near Red Square Moscow, Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The outer walls around the Kremlin, Moscow Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The RMI July 11th team on the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Russia, 18,510 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • Fisher Chimneys camp just below 7000', on a rock ridge in between the Upper Curtis Glacier and the White Salmon Glacier. Photo: Mike Walter
  • Training on the lower slopes of Mt. Elbrus. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Flying into Kahiltna Base Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The Talkeetna Airstrip in view. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Sunset in Talkeetna. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • The new huts on Mt. Elbrus, 12,000 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The July 11th Mt. Elbrus team on an acclimatization hike to 15,000 ft on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • An RMI Team camped at 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 11th team takes a break during their acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • An acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus by the July 11th team.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The RMI July 11th team loading the gondola to reach Base Camp on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Four Day Summit Climb Team July 13 - 16, 2014 ascending to Camp Muir.  Photo: Win Whittaker
  • RMI Climbers approaching the summit of Mt. Rainier on July 16, 2014.  Photo: Win Whittaker
  • The canals of St. Petersburg, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  Photo: RMI Collection