Entries By ben liken

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Moving in the Right Direction

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | June 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,000'

June 28, 2014 - 10:07 pm PT

So good to be on Denali.  So good to be on the move again.  With our late flight onto the mountain yesterday evening, there wasn’t so much time to be ready for the late season tradition of walking out of basecamp at 4 AM this morning.  We built our camp and put priority on getting good rest instead.  Our thinking was that with so much snow (30 inches from the last storm) that we might get by just fine without the early start.  We’d plainly seen the lower Kahiltna Glacier during our flight and it certainly didn’t look like crevasse bridges were going to be a problem.  So we got up at a civilized 7:30 AM and did our organizational work and set out for a daytime Denali departure.  As we’d allowed ourselves to hope, crevasses were no problem.  In fact the glacier was in better condition than it had been for late season in decades.  We made three hour-long pulls with some fifteen-minute restbreaks in between.  But in the end we decided not to push on to our normal first day camp goal of 8,000 feet.  Despite our snowshoes, the walk was getting strenuous due to the great amount of unconsolidated new snow softening with the heat of the day.  We camped at 7,000 ft where the East Fork meets the main glacier and we’ll happily begin earlier tomorrow to get ideal surface conditions.  Nice to see a few of the other late season guides on the move today as well, a bit of a reunion.  Especially nice to hear from Adam Knoff at 11K on the radio and Billy Nugent on top.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Dave Hahn's June 24th, 2014, Denali Expedition team. Photo: Dave Hahn RMI's June 24th, 2014, Denali Expedition guides. Photo: Dave Hahn Flying above Denali Basecamp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Train in Talkeetna on a Rainy Day

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | June 27, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

June 27, 2014 - 12:00 am PT

We were up and hustling to get ready this morning, anxious for the chance to get on Mount McKinley.  But it turned out, after breakfast and a walk in the rain to the airstrip, that there wasn’t too great a chance for flying today.  The word was that several feet of new snow had fallen overnight at Basecamp.  The snow, cloud and wind were predicted to continue up there for the day, but we were put on standby just in case things broke.  We made good use of the day in the K2 Aviation hangar, reviewing rope techniques for glacier travel.  The rain and low cloud persisted, but we stayed dry enough.  We had one more “last” dinner in town and turned in to be ready for another day and another try.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Guide Sean Collon prepping the McKinley team on a rainy day in Talkeetna. Photo: Dave Hahn Team Hahn's gear ready for Mt. McKinley. Photo: Dave Hahn

On The Map

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McKinley: Hahn & Team Make Final Preparations

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | June 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

June 25, 2014 - 11:35pm PT

A rainy and grey morning in Talkeetna didn’t stop our team from a seven o’clock breakfast meeting at Talkeetna’s great Roadhouse.  We were primed and ready for our important orientation at the Talkeetna Ranger Station at 8:30.  Our climbers were honored to have Roger Robinson himself give the presentation.  Roger has been climbing Denali and rescuing Denali climbers for close to four decades now.  Then it was out to the K2 Aviation hangar where we spread out our gear and got down to the nuts and bolts of figuring out exactly what to bring on the climb and what to leave behind.  It took much of the afternoon to sort gear and to get it all weighed, inventoried and ready for flying.  So it became an “indoors” day, which was just fine.  Rain kept falling and there was precious little flying going on out at the normally bustling Talkeetna Airport.  The team got together finally for what we hope will be our last dinner in town for some time.  It was a fine feast, but we’d just as soon be on climbing rations when supper time rolls around tomorrow.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Dave Hahn and team at the Road House in Talkeetna.  Photo: Ben Liken

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Mt. McKinley: Dave Hahn & Team Arrive in Alaska

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | June 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 248'

June 25, 2014 - 12:26 am PT

And so it begins…  The last RMI Denali team of 2014 took shape today in the Anchorage airport.  We assembled, seven climbers and four guides from around the world lugging about 23 or 24 giant duffel bags of cold weather gear.  The team took a ride with Denali Overland, our shuttle service to Talkeetna.  The three hour trip was broken by a stop for provisions in Wasilla, but then we powered on up the Parks highway to our Talkeetna turnoff.  We had pretty good views of the Chugach Range as we left Anchorage but the Alaska Range stayed mostly hidden under cloud.  There were some scattered rain showers to see, and a Bald Eagle or two, but no moose this time.  We were in Talkeetna by 8:30 PM and getting settled into the comfortable Talkeetna Motel not much later.  The big work of preparing to fly onto Denali begins in the morning.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Talkeetna Alaska, the starting point for the Mt McKinley Expeditions.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb and Expeditions Skills Seminar - Kautz Updates

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Ben Liken, Robby Young | June 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer checked in from Camp Muir at 6:45 am.  The Four Day Summit Climb team was forced to turn around at Ingraham Flats due to deteriorating weather.  They experienced gusty winds, drifting snow and heavy precipitation.  Camp Muir had a small accumulation of snow throughout the morning.

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz led by Elias de Andres Martos checked in from their high camp.  The team was expecting to make their summit attempt today but we unable to do so due to the poor weather.  The team experienced a very stormy night with consistent winds.

The Four Day Summit climb will return to Rainier BaseCamp later today.  The Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz will continue their training and spend another night on the mountain.  They will return tomorrow afternoon.

 


Mt. Rainier: June 14th SUMMIT!

Posted by: Lindsay Mann, Josh Maggard, Zach Lovell, Ben Liken, Katrina Bloemsma, JJ Justman | June 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb Teams Led by JJ Justman and Lindsay Mann reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  The teams reported great climbing conditions with winds of about 5 - 15 mph as they climbed above the clouds.  The teams will spend some time on the summit before starting their descent back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to Today’s Teams!

The June 14th Summit Climb Team at Sunrise on Mt. Rainier.  Photo: JJ Justman
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Mt. Rainier: June 7th SUMMIT!

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Ben Liken, Josh Gautreau, Solveig Waterfall, Zach Lovell, Mike King | June 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

RMI Guides Mike Haugen and Solveig Waterfall and their Four Day Summit Climb Team reached the top of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  The team reported clear and beautiful weather with light winds of about 10 mph.  The team has started their descent and will be back at RMI Basecamp this Afternoon.

Congratulations to Today’s Team!

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Mt. Rainier: May 24th Summit!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Ben Liken, Sean Collon | May 24, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb Team led by Adam Knoff reached the summit of Mt. Rainier at about 7:00am this morning.  Adam and Team reported great climbing conditions with light winds and clear skies above 6,000’.  We expect the team back to Ashford Basecamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to Today’s teams!

Climber at Sunrise on Mt. Rainier. RMI Photo Collection
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Mt. Rainier: May 19th Summit!

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Kel Rossiter, Ben Liken, Katie Bono, Zach Lovell, Sean Collon | May 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Tyler Jones and Kel Rossiter stood on top of Mt. Rainier this morning!  The teams enjoyed calm and warm conditions while on the summit and are making their way back to Camp Muir.  We will see them back in Ashford later today.

Congratulations!

RMI Climbers ascending the upper mountain. Photo: JJ Justman

Mt. Rainier: May 14th Summit!

Posted by: Brent Okita, Tyler Jones, Chase Nelson, Mike King, Nick Hunt, Ben Liken | May 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Camp Muir reported that RMI Guides Brent Okita, Tyler Jones and the Five Day Summit Climb Team reached the Summit of Mt. Rainier at about 7am this morning.  The team reported clear skies and absolutely beautiful climb weather.  The team has started their descent and are en route to Camp Muir. We expect them back to RMI Base Camp this afternoon.

This is the First Summit of the our 2014 summer season! Congratulations Teams!

Team on the Crater Rim. Photo: Brent Okita Team on Summit. Photo: Brent Okita
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