Entries By billy nugent

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Report from 17,000’ Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

June 28, 2014 -  10:27pm

Hey, it’s Billy calling in from 17 Camp on Denali.  Today was not summit day for us. We woke up to some inclement weather that’s been steadily working all day with winds gusting near 70 miles an hour or so. We build up pretty solid, fortified camp and everyone’s sitting tight and holding on. Winds from the storm are supposed to give way to nicer weather in the next couple of days so we’re just sitting tight with our fingers crossed. We’ll call and check in tomorrow, to let you know if we got up there. That’s all for now.

RMI Tents at 17,200' Camp.  Photo: Lindsay Mann


Billy Nugent checking in from 17,200' Camp on Denali

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Move to High Camp, Ready for Summit Bid

Posted by: Billy Nugent | June 24, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,000'

June 24, 2014 – 7:51 pm PT

Hey it’s Billy and team calling in from High Camp here at over 17,000’ on Denali.  Our crew moved up today from the 14,000’ Camp.  We enjoyed a nice walk and good temps up on the West Buttress, made our way up the ridge line in and out of the clouds all day.
And as we were building camp at 17,000’ the clouds parted.  We are enjoying blue skies and relatively calm winds.  If it looks anything like this tomorrow morning we are going to try and take a crack at the summit.
So, wish us luck and we will check in tomorrow, go or no go.
Alright, that is all for now.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

A climber on the ridge crest of the West Buttress en route to 17,000ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent and Team Rest at 14,000’

Posted by: Billy Nugent | June 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 23, 2014 - 5:21 pm PT

After a long, tough day yesterday putting in our cache at 17,000’, High Camp on Mt. McKinley, we decided last night that today would be another rest day. The team is spending the day relaxing in the tents, and catching up on nutrition and hydration after returning to camp at 14,000’ last night depleted. Yesterday’s exercise combined with today’s rest should make us acclimatize well and make us exceptionally strong on our summit push. It’s also good mentally to know what a long day is like and to know that we are strong enough to push through.

With our cache up at high camp in and the gang well rested after today we’re in a good spot to make our move up and take a crack at the summit. Fingers crossed for a good spell of weather in the near future…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent, from 14,000’.

A panoramic view of camp at 14,200 ft, Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Billy Nugent

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Carry to 17,000’ Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

June 22, 2014 - 11:26 pm PT

Hey, it’s Billy checking in here from 14,000’ on Denali.  Our team had a great day up on the West Buttress today.  We were able to carry a load of food, fuel and supplies up to 17,000’ and get the cache in at 17,000’ Camp.  It was a long day on the Buttress though.  We had mostly clear skies but lots and lots wind and lots of blowing snow.  So it made for a tough day all in all everyone did really well. 
Everyone is hanging in there and we are hoping to rest tomorrow and then set up for our summit bid whenever the weather decides to open up.
That is all for now.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Ascending Squirrel Hill above 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Brent Okita


RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Have a Snow/Rest Day

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 22, 2014 - 12:04 am PT

A snowy day here at 14K…

Howdy all. Our team enjoyed a weather/rest day after our back-carry yesterday. Winds up on the West Buttress and steady snow through most of the day kept us from making an attempt at a carry up to 17K Camp. Tomorrow’s weather outlook is a bit more promising and we are hoping to capitalize.

On a brighter note, the two successful RMI teams came down from the summit and spent some time with us on their descent to the airstrip. It was a fun reunion for everyone and I congratulated those guys on their success and wish them safe passage down the Kahiltna.

Wurd.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

An RMI team at Mt. McKinley's 14K Camp in a storm. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team are at 14K, Fully Stocked

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 20, 2014 - 10:08 pm PT

Back-carry from Windy Corner to 14K Camp? Mission accomplished.

We enjoyed the best weather of the trip today. Morning snow flurries gave way to sapphire skies and gorgeous views of the entire range. Our back-carry only took us a couple of hours to complete so we spent the rest of the day soaking in the grandeur of the Alaska Range.

They’re calling for over a foot of snow tomorrow so we may end up taking a weather day but the trend is supposedly clearing Sunday through Tuesday. Could be our window? We’ll see…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent from 14K Camp

Cache at Windy Corner with climbers in the background. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Establish Camp at 14,200’

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 19, 2014 - 10:41 pm PT

We have arrived at 14,200’! The weather today was marginal with moderate winds, occasionally heavy snow, and sometimes even hot sunbreaks. A little bit of everything made for an interesting move. McKinley’s 14K camp is uncharacteristically empty; lots of snowed in abandoned camps to choose from but they were all pretty crummy. We ended up digging out some old platforms and quarrying new blocks to rebuild some delapidated walls to protect our tents from the wind. We did find a great pre-dug posh that must have been abandoned by Jake or Tyler’s crew as they moved up to 17K today. Thanks guys! Our team is racked out already after our big day and eating a hot meal. Tomorrow’s plans call for an easy back carry and hopefully some rest in the afternoon.

Talk soon…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Looking through camp walls at Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Cached Around Windy Corner

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 18, 2014 - 9:00 pm PT

We went around Windy Corner! We dug a hole (or chipped one out of extremely hard snow)! We buried some stuff (food, fuel, overboots, etc.)! And then we came back down to our camp at 11k’. All in all, we had a great day; the team is moving well and getting more and more psyched as we make our way up the mountain. The weather is gradually improving and we enjoyed blue skies and beautiful views of the Messner Couloir and the Orient Express on the upper mountain from the cache site. We filled up with an early dinner tonight and are racked out in anticipation of a big day tomorrow on our move to 14k’ camp.

Check in again tomorrow…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Take a Rest Day at 11,000’

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 17, 2014 - 11:00 pm PT

A rest day on Mt. McKinley! And well earned. The weather has been kinda funky; we woke this morning to around a foot of new snow but things steadily improved over the course of the day. Eventually, the sun broke and we enjoyed some turbo-tanning for much of the afternoon. But now the flurries are back and the flow has shifted from southeast to westerly. We briefly got a view of the tundra over Kahiltna Pass with a wall of large cumulus clouds headed our way. We are now in those clouds but they haven’t hit with much wind so camp is still pretty pleasant. The gang is packing up for tomorrow’s forward carry where we are hoping to get a cache in around Windy Corner, setting us up for a move to 14,000’ if the weather cooperates.

We will talk to you later,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

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

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent and Team Experience Not So Perfect Weather

Posted by: Billy Nugent | June 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 16, 2015 - 6:07 pm PT

Snow, wind, sun… Repeat. That’s been the story of our day today with rapidly changing weather that seems to change every twenty or so minutes. Despite the moderate weather our team was able to descend to the cache at 9,600’ in a total whiteout, retrieve it, and climb our way by Braille back to our camp at 11. For a lot of our guys it was their first experience in not so perfect weather so it served as good training for the inevitably bad weather we’ll endure higher up. Even though it was a little crummy, we made short work of the back-carry and are settling back in with a planned rest day on the docket for tomorrow.

Also wanted to make a brief shout out to all the dads out there… Sorry I forgot to mention it yesterday but out here you lose track of what day it is at all. Happy belated Father’s Day!

More news as our saga unfolds,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

An RMI Team settled in at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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