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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team See Improvements in the Weather

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 18, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

The weather has definitely been improving for us. The winds have calmed, and only light snow has fallen today. The storm produced a little over two feet of snow, with deeper drifts. Hopefully the improving trend continues and we can move camp tomorrow. We’re all ready and rested for some more climbing.

That’s all the news from up high today.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Mt. McKinley: Waiting Game Continues at 11,000’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 17, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Another day goes by and we are still here at the 11k Camp. The winds have died down for the most part, but it is snowing and visibility is nearly zero. We’re still doing well, tent bound mostly. Hopefully the storm passes soon and we can move camp up higher.

Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Wait Out a Storm at 11K Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 16, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Our team is hunkered down at the 11,000’ camp still, as the weather has progressed to become a pretty significant storm. Snow is falling and winds are howling as we sit tent bound for the majority of the day. Save for breakfast and dinner, and some quick forays to the bathroom, there is really no reason to leave the relative comfort of our tents today.

We’re all doing well, albeit a bit eager to go climbing. Hopefully the weather breaks soon so we can get up the the 14k camp.

That’s all the news from this end…

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Camp at 11,000' on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection An RMI team at 11,000' on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Staying at 11K Camp Another Day

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 16, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Well, we’re still at the 11,000’ camp below the West Buttress. The temperatures dropped and the winds picked up considerably today as a cold storm system is affecting Alaska.  Apparently, it’s snowing in Anchorage; that’s about 11,000’ lower altitude than our camp.  So yeah, it’s cold here.  But we’re all doing well.  Most of the day found us either in our sleeping bags in our tents, or in the cook tent, staying out of the wind and passing the time by reading, playing scrabble, and telling stories. We’re hoping the winds abate tomorrow and we are able to move camp up to 14,200’. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

11K Camp in Storm Conditions. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Cache Gear at 13,600’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 15, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 13,600'

We woke up early to a beautiful morning today: cloudless and calm, but very cold. After fueling up for the day with a good breakfast, we started up Motorcycle Hill in the shade, bundled in warm clothes. Our packs were loaded with supplies to cache up high. The weather couldn’t have cooperated much better for us today. After the initial chill on Motorcycle Hill and Squirrel Hill, the temperature was very comfortable on the Polo Fields and around Windy Corner to our cache sight at 13,600’.

We climbed and descended about 2,500 vertical feet today before arriving back at our camp at 11k. We had a big meal and plenty of fluids, and now we’re all horizontal for the night. Our next step will be to move camp to 14k. We’ll keep you abreast of our progress…

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

The Polo Field - RMI Photo Collection Top of Motorcycle Hill - RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Acclimate at 11,000’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 14, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

Hello again from the 11k camp on Denali!

We decided to take another day to rest and acclimate to the altitude. We spent most of the day lounging around, reading, listening music, napping, and telling lies, all the while getting stronger for our forays up higher.

The weather was cloudy, cooler, and windier today, and a trace of snow fell overnight. But as I lie in my sleeping bag typing this dispatch, a cloudless sky sits above us. We’re hoping for good weather tomorrow so we can carry supplies up to around 13,600’. We’ll stay in touch.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & team

11'000 Camp Mt. McKinley - RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Enjoy a Rest Day

Posted by: Solveig Waterfall, Mike Walter, Ben Liken | May 13, 2013
Categories:
Elevation: 11,200'

We got a good night’s sleep last night, and even slept in until the sun warmed our tents. Then we indulged in a hearty brunch of eggs, bacon, hash browns, and plenty of coffee.

We took a much needed rest day today, and enjoyed lounging around in the sun. We also did some work, like building walls around our camp and improving our kitchen area, as well as preparing our equipment for our cache tomorrow. Barring poor weather, we will carry supplies up to around 13,600’ and then return to our camp for the night. Tomorrow will bring a much anticipated change, as we trade our snowshoes and trekking poles for crampons and ice axe. Motorcycle Hill, right out of camp will provide the first of many challenges tomorrow, we’ll let you know how it all plays out.

Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter

The views from 11,200 feet on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection Looking up from 11,200 ft. Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Reach 11’ Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 12, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

We’ve been enjoying good weather on the Kahiltna Glacier, and today was no different. After a trace of new snow overnight, we awoke to partly sunny skies. A breakfast of smoked salmon with bagels and cream cheese started off our day. After breakfast, we packed up camp and began the climb up towards Kahiltna Pass, en route to the 11k camp. We’re taking advantage of the good weather and making good progress so far. Tomorrow we’ll sleep in and take a rest day and prepare a cache of supplies to carry up around Windy Corner.
We’ll keep you posted on our next move. Until then, we’ll be resting…we’ve earned it.
Mike & team

An RMI Team moving to 11,200' Camp. Photo: Lindsay Mann Tents at 11,200' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Arrive on the Mountain and Travel to Camp 2

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 10, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,400'

Greetings from the Kahiltna Glacier. We had a great day yesterday, as we flew into Kahiltna Basecamp in the morning, prepped our gear, and started climbing. The weather was beautiful and the snow conditions were perfect for efficient travel. We took all of our gear to our first camp, at the confluence of the Kahiltna Glacier and the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, at the base of Ski Hill.

We started this morning with bagels & cream cheese, with bacon, before we packed up and started climbing. Leaving camp, Ski Hill provided the first (of many) up hills of our journey.  We climbed once again with great weather and snow conditions, hauling our heavy expedition loads on sleds and in our backpacks. With tired legs, sore shoulders, and tender hips, we arrived at our Camp 2, 9,400’ on the Kahiltna Glacier. A hearty dinner of Indian food filled our stomachs, along with plenty of hot drinks to rehydrate.

We’re in our tents now, looking forward to a restful night’s sleep. It’s snowing lightly, with no wind. We’re hoping for good weather tomorrow, and moving up to Camp 3, at 11,200’.  We’ll be in touch again soon with an update.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

May 7th, 2013, Denali Team before takeoff. Photo: Mike Walter

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Gearing Up in Talkeetna

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Ben Liken | May 09, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 346'

Yesterday was spent at K2 Aviation’s hangar, putting the finishing touches on our packing and preparing.  The weather is beautiful herein Talkeetna, and we fully expect to be able to fly into the Alaska Range today.  Hopefully the next time we touch base will be from the Kahiltna Glacier.

Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter

Mike Walter goes over logistics in the K2 Hangar. Photo: Ben Liken RMI's Ticket to the Glacier, K2 Aviation. Photo: Ben Liken Talkeetna Main Street in early May. Photo: Solveig Waterfall

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