Mt. Rainier: Summit Climbs Unable to Climb Due to Weather

Posted by: Win Whittaker | July 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

The Four Day Summit Climb teams led by RMI Guides Win Whittaker and Geoff Schellens were unable to make a summit attempt of Mt. Rainier due to poor weather.  The teams experienced high winds, hail, rain and lightening overnight, fortunately they remained safely tucked in a Camp Muir.
The teams will start their descent from Camp Muir later this morning and will arrive at Paradise in the early afternoon.

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

Alpamayo: Elias and Team arrive at Camp 2

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos | July 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Peru
Elevation: 17,880'

Good Afternoon,

This is the Alpamayo Climbing Team calling from Camp 2.  We had a really good climb to here this morning.  We arrived a couple of hours ago. It is 4:00pm local time, everybody is enjoying some resting time in the tent.  We are melting water right now; you can probably hear the stoves.  The weather is really good - stable.  We are looking at the face, we might be climbing tonight, but we are going to see how it goes through the afternoon before we make a decision before we go tonight. Or we might take a rest and do it the next day.  We will keep you posted.

Everybody is doing well.  That’s if for now, Elias’ is out.  We will call again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Elias deAndres Martos & Team


Elias and Team Checking in from Camp 2 on Alpamayo

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team See the Sights and Bid Farewell to Russia

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Our final night in St. Petersburg!

The team had a great last day here in Russia, with a visit to several beautiful churches full of mosaics. We then visited the very famous Hermitage Museum, where we saw paintings and sculptures by many well-known artists including Picasso, Rembrandt, and even Da Vinci. We took a small break and wrapped up the day with a fantastic evening boat cruise to see this amazing city by water.

It’s been a wonderful adventure here in Russia, but it’s time to say our goodbyes and return to family and loved ones.

Thanks for following,
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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

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2

What a trip for you all. Thanks Casey for updates each day. It was fun to follow the trip. Loved the pictures. Mom and Granny

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Posted by: Cornelia / Granny on 7/23/2014 at 5:58 am

Congratulations to all! It sounds like it was a great adventure. And thanks, Casey, for getting them up and down safely!

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Posted by: Susan on 7/22/2014 at 2:00 pm


Mt. Rainier: Summit Climb Teams on Top!

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Pete Van Deventer | July 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Both the Four and Five Day Mt. Rainier Summit Climb teams tagged the top!  RMI Guides Mike Haugen and Pete Van Deventer reported a sleet/snow mix and moderate winds.  At 8:45 a.m. they radioed basecamp to say they are beginning their descent.

RMI climbers on the upper flanks of Mt. Rainier. Photo: Ed Viesturs
1

Congratulations Pete on yet another Rainier summit - What was this # 400 ? ! :)...Best + Bless…Waltero…Spain and 500 miles of El Camino in Sept

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Posted by: waltero glover on 7/23/2014 at 3:22 am


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Stretch Their Legs on Peak Cheget

Posted by: JJ Justman | July 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 11,000'

We had a fun day acclimatizing on Peak Cheget in beautiful weather. The views were breath taking and it certainly was nice to stretch the legs.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

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2

Hi you crazy russian mountain goats!! L O V E the intro video, you all look like bad asses.

Triscuit! I’d leave you a tour update but you know… read more

Posted by: Maija Markula on 7/22/2014 at 2:06 pm

Be safe and enjoy another adventure.

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Posted by: sandy on 7/22/2014 at 11:31 am


Alpamayo: Elias & Team Stay One More Night at Camp 1

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos | July 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Peru
Elevation: 14,270'

Good afternoon. This is the Alpamayo climbing team. It’s 2 PM local time, calling from Camp 1. We decided to stay here. Different factors made the decision happen… some of them, a little bit of a dust of snow last night and a lot of teams coming down from High Camp made us decide to wait another day here and enjoy the benefits of acclimatization at this elevation. The plan is to move up tomorrow and, hopefully, climb the next day. Everything’s looking good—weather, team spirits, and everything. So, we’ll keep you posted in a couple days, hopefully from the summit. Regardless tomorrow we’ll check in from High Camp. I hope everybody back home is doing well. Take care.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos


RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos checks in.

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1

Hope the climb is going well.  I am excited to hear about the trip!  Wishing you all a safe climb!

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Posted by: Chelsea Beauchamp on 7/22/2014 at 8:01 am


Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Arrive in St. Petersburg

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Hello everyone!

Today was our travel day from the mountain to St. Petersburg. It was a pretty long day with the four-hour bus ride to the airport and then a three-hour flight. It was a pretty uneventful day, but the team is doing very well. Everyone is happy to be here in this beautiful city and looking forward to our city tour tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Rooftops of St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Linden Mallory

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2

Enjoy that beautiful city! From underground in the subways to the glories of the Hermitage amid memories of the long siege—it is a glorious city. So glad you are having… read more

Posted by: MaryAnn on 7/22/2014 at 7:32 am

Down off the mountain and now you get to visit a city that many of my friends and relatives want to visit or have visited and think it is great.… read more

Posted by: Cornelia Granny on 7/22/2014 at 5:47 am


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Arrive in Cheget

Posted by: JJ Justman | July 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 11,000'

Sometimes the most difficult part of any expedition is just getting on the mountain. Today, our Elbrus team got one step closer.

We jumped on a flight from Moscow and arrived in Mineralnye Vody and then had a 2 1/2 hour shuttle ride to arrive in Cheget.

We are now sitting under the glistening Caucasus Mountains that surround the valley. Some of our team are exploring the shops in town while others are sorting mountaineering gear.

Thanks for catching up with is and stay tuned for some photos and video of this wonderful area.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Sunset view of the Caucasus Mountains above Cheget. Photo: RMI Collection Cheget, mountain town at the base of the Caucasus Mountains. Photo: JJ Justman

On The Map

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Mountaineering Training | Staying Hydrated: Water Bottles or Hydration Systems?

Posted by: | July 21, 2014
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

Climbers heading to Rainier often ask the question, “water bottles or camelback?”  Nearly every backpack sold now is “hydration system compatible” and many endurance athletes are training and competing with hydration systems.  Are these systems best suited to mountaineering however?

In the past, many guides simply asked their climbers not to use hydration systems, but to carry hard sided water bottles instead.  The belief was that the drawbacks of hydration systems outweighed the benefits.  As hydration systems have improved to be less prone to leaking or punctures, this stance has shifted.  There still are drawbacks to hydration systems, but given the right conditions, precautions, and expectations, they can be used effectively in mountaineering for a climb such as Rainier. 

The main concerns we see with hydration systems are:

The hoses freeze: During midsummer climbs with high freezing levels, this doesn’t tend to be as much of a problem.  On cooler climbs however, ice buildup in the hose can quickly block any water from getting through.  The neoprene hose insulators are pretty ineffective, since they are thin, and it doesn’t take much ice buildup to completely block the flow.  Blowing the water back through the hose after every drink can help, but still isn’t 100% effective.  The best practice is to bring an empty, hard sided water bottle (even if only ½ liter capacity) that you can pour the hydration bladder into should it freeze, so that you still have access to water.

Rationing water:  Climbers can only carry so much water for a climb before the weight becomes cumbersome.  Typically we recommend 2-3 liters of water for a Rainier summit day.  This is plenty, but requires climbers to ration it; for example, 2 liters allows a climber 1/3 of a liter of water at each break.  If climbers are sipping more consistently from a hydration system, often they lose track of that rationing, and find themselves partway into a climb, with no water left.  Diligent attention is the only way to solve this, and this is difficult when you can’t actually see how much water you have left. 

Distractions:  Trying to turn a hydration hose on and off and drink from it on the fly distracts from the climbing, the terrain, and the overall situation.  When climbers are roped up and in climbing mode, each member of the team is relying on all of the others to remain vigilant to catch a fall, and to not cause a fall.  A hydration hose is a distraction from this, and the solution is to either keep the hose tucked away inside the pack (where it is inaccessible) in climbing terrain, or for climbers to carefully assess the hazards of the terrain they are in at that moment, and to choose benign stretches to get their hydration. 

Hard sided water bottles have been the standard in mountaineering for decades and still provide the simplest method of carrying water.  They generally do not freeze, it’s easy to see how much you are drinking, and they are away in the pack while climbing.  That being said, since they are tucked away in the pack, they are inaccessible, and do not allow a climber the opportunity to get a quick sip of water on a long stretch.  Hydration systems may have a place in your mountaineering kit, but practice with them, have a plan, and know how to minimize the drawbacks.  If in doubt, water bottles will still work fine!

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here on the RMI Blog!

RMI rope teams at the top of Mt. Rainier's Disappointment Cleaver (Robby Young).
1

Not to mention that if you put something other than water in the hydration pack, it can get a bit more complicated to clean-up after a few days on the… read more

Posted by: charles on 7/23/2014 at 3:33 am


Mt. Rainier: July 21st Update

Posted by: Brent Okita | July 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

At 7:05 a.m. RMI Guide Brent Okita and his summit climb team were five minutes from Mt. Rainier’s crater rim.  The route work, completed yesterday, was great and well wanded.  Brent also reported great weather.

Congratulations to the team!

An RMI Team led by Brent Okita crossing the Mt. Rainier crater. Photo: Brent Okita

More Entries

Expedition Stats

Vinson Massif
11/19 - 12/11/2013
Summit
Ecuador Volcanoes
12/10 - 12/20/2013
Cayambe - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Vinson Massif
12/1 - 12/23/2013
Summit
Aconcagua
12/9 - 12/29/2013
21,700'
Aconcagua
12/14 - 1/6/2014
Summit
Aconcagua
12/20 - 1/12/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
1/5 - 1/10/2014
10,080'
Aconcagua
12/27 - 1/19/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador
1/7 - 1/20/2014
Cayambe - Summit / Antisana - 18,500' / Cotopaxi - Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
1/18 - 1/26/2014
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Orizaba - Summit
Aconcagua
1/10 - 2/2/2014
Summit
Aconcagua
1/3 - 1/26/2014
21,500'
Kilimanjaro
1/25 - 2/8/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
2/9 - 2/14/2014
7,100'
Kilimanjaro
2/8 - 2/22/2014
Summit
Ecuador Volcanoes
2/11 - 2/21/2014
Cayambe - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Aconcagua
2/2 - 2/25/2014
Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
2/15 - 2/23/2014
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Orizaba - Summit
Kilimanjaro
2/10 - 2/21/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Ecuador
2/14 - 2/26/2014
Illiniza Sur - Summit / Cotopaxi - Summit
Mexico's Volcanoes
3/1 - 3/9/2014
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Orizaba - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
3/9 - 3/14/2014
Summit
Everest Base Camp Trek - Island Peak
3/16 - 4/10/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
4/13 - 4/18/2014
Mt. Rainier - 13,400'
Everest Base Camp Trek
3/19 - 4/8/2014
Base Camp
Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition
5/4 - 5/14/2014
Radio Tower - 7,300' / Kahiltna Dome - 10,500'
Five Day Summit Climb
5/10 - 5/14/2014
Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
5/12 - 5/16/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/14 - 5/17/2014
Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
5/14 - 5/18/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/15 - 5/18/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/16 - 5/19/2014
Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
5/21 - 5/25/2014
Mt. Rainier - 13,600'
Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir
5/18 - 5/23/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/21 - 5/24/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/22 - 5/25/2014
Mt. Rainier - 13,700'
Four Day Summit Climb
5/23 - 5/26/2014
12,300'
Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition
5/17 - 5/27/2014
Kahiltna Dome - 10,700'
Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir
5/25 - 5/30/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/28 - 5/31/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/29 - 6/1/2014
Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
5/28 - 6/1/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/7 - 6/10/2014
Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/30 - 6/2/2014
Summit
Mount McKinley Expedition
5/6 - 6/2/2014
Mt. Mckinley - 16,200'
Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir
6/1 - 6/6/2014
Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir
6/1 - 6/6/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/4 - 6/7/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/5 - 6/8/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/6 - 6/9/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Mount McKinley Expedition
6/10 - 6/28/2014
Mt. Mckinley - 16,200'
Mount McKinley Expedition
5/13 - 6/4/2014
Mt. Mckinley - 16,400'
Mount McKinley Expedition
5/20 - 6/7/2014
Mt. Mckinley - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
6/6 - 6/10/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/8 - 6/11/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/9 - 6/12/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/10 - 6/13/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
6/11 - 6/14/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/12 - 6/15/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/13 - 6/16/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
6/12 - 6/16/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
6/14 - 6/17/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
6/15 - 6/18/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
6/14 - 6/18/2014
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz
6/13 - 6/18/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
6/16 - 6/19/2014
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons
6/15 - 6/20/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
6/17 - 6/20/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/18 - 6/21/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/19 - 6/22/2014
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Mount McKinley Expedition
5/27 - 6/23/2014
Mt. Mckinley - Summit
Mount McKinley Expedition
6/3 - 6/23/2014
Mt. Mckinley - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
6/19 - 6/23/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/20 - 6/23/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/21 - 6/24/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons
6/20 - 6/25/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
6/21 - 6/25/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/22 - 6/25/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/23 - 6/26/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/24 - 6/27/2014
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz
6/22 - 6/27/2014
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Ecuador's Volcanoes
6/17 - 6/27/2014
Cayambe - 16,300' / Cotopaxi - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/26 - 6/29/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
6/27 - 6/30/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Mount McKinley Expedition
6/10 - 7/2/2014
Mt. Mckinley - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
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Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
6/28 - 7/1/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
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Five Day Emmons Climb
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Four Day Summit Climb
7/3 - 7/6/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
7/4 - 7/7/2014
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Five Day Summit Climb
7/3 - 7/7/2014
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7/6 - 7/9/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
7/5 - 7/8/2014
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz
7/4 - 7/9/2014
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Five Day Summit Climb
7/5 - 7/9/2014
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Cotopaxi Express Ascent
6/28 - 7/6/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
7/7 - 7/10/2014
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Mount McKinley Expedition
6/17 - 7/9/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
7/8 - 7/11/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise
7/6 - 7/11/2014
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons
7/6 - 7/11/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
7/9 - 7/12/2014
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Peru
6/29 - 7/13/2014
Nevado Urus - Summit / Ishinca - Summit / Tocllaraju - Summit
Forbidden Peak - West Ridge
7/7 - 7/10/2014
Forbidden Peak - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
7/10 - 7/13/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Forbidden Peak - West Ridge
7/10 - 7/13/2014
Forbidden Peak - Summit
Alpamayo Expedition
6/29 - 7/14/2014
19,512' - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
7/11 - 7/14/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
7/10 - 7/14/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Mount Elbrus
7/4 - 7/16/2014
Mt. Elbrus - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
7/12 - 7/15/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
7/12 - 7/16/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
7/13 - 7/16/2014
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons
7/11 - 7/16/2014
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz
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7/14 - 7/17/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
7/17 - 7/20/2014
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Four Day Summit Climb
7/18 - 7/21/2014
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Forbidden Peak - West Ridge
7/15 - 7/18/2014
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Mount McKinley Custom Expedition
6/24 - 7/18/2014
Mt. Mckinley - 17,900'
Mt. Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys
7/18 - 7/20/2014
Mt. Shuksan - 7,000'
Five Day Summit Climb
7/18 - 7/22/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
7/19 - 7/22/2014
Mt. Rainier - Summit

Recent Images

  • 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
  • RMI rope teams at the top of Mt. Rainier's Disappointment Cleaver (Robby Young).
  • 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
  • View of the Peruvian mountains from the hotel in Huaraz, Peru.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Sunset from Mt. McKinley's 17,200' Camp. Photo: Katy Reid