Entries By brent okita

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Summit!

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | June 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 20,320'

June 4, 2014 - 7:43 pm PT

Hi, this is Brent from the RMI Okita McKinley Expedition. I am super psyched to report that we just summitted Denali about an hour ago, about 5:30 [Alaska time] this evening under perfect conditions. Minimal wind, hardly anything, and clear, blue skies. Everyone did a great job getting up to the summit. Was a fantastic effort by everybody. Right now, I’m calling down from the Football Field. We wanted to get off the summit, because there are a bunch of other climbers coming up and we wanted to get out of the crowds, as they say. Now we’re back on the Football Field, taking a little break before heading back to camp. And everyone’s doing super well.  I’ll give an update on our progress when we get back down to Camp 17 in a little while. All you friends and family who are listening, you guys should be awfully proud of these folks. They did a great job today. Alright, talk to you later. Bye Bye.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

RMI Guide Brent Okita and Team on the summit of Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Brent Okita Descending Mt. McKinley's summit ridge. Photo: Brent Okita


RMI Guide Brent Okita calls in from the descent of Mt. McKinley's summit.

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

17

Dan & Team!! We are super excited for you guys and so proud that you accomplished this feat! Can’t wait to hear all about it, safe travels down!

read more

Posted by: Allison & Christine on 6/5/2014 at 5:49 am

Congratulations Bruce and team!  It is so cool being able to follow your progress up the mountain!  You are almost motivating me to want to mountaineer….almost…
Your fellow WFR,read more

Posted by: Kara on 6/5/2014 at 5:16 am


Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Going for the Summit

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | June 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

June 4, 2014 - 9:30 am PT

Just spoke with RMI Guide Brent Okita and they are leaving high camp for their summit bid. His words on the weather this morning: “Massively glorious day on Mt. McKinley!”

Good luck to the team as they ascend to the highest point in North America!

On Mt. McKinley's West Buttress just below Washburn's Thumb. Photo: Brent Okita

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

12

Awesome work Mr. Wagner and all!

This is fabulous!!!

read more

Posted by: Bob on 6/4/2014 at 10:01 am

Rick Popp I hope it’s beautiful ❤️U
Carol

read more

Posted by: Carol on 6/4/2014 at 8:44 am


Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Reach 17,200’ Camp

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | June 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

June 4, 2014 - 12:53 am PT

The winds have finally abated now that we’re in our tents here at 17,200 ft Camp. For much of the day we we’re climbing head on into the breeze, making for an uncomfortable climb to camp. But we’re psyched now. Tomorrow promises to be a great day, and given the fact that we had to ascend less than 1000’ we should be in good shape.
It was unfortunate the Buttress was so windy because it was such a beautiful climb and day.
Wish us luck with the weather and perhaps our next chat will be from the summit.
Good night from chilly 17,200’ camp.

RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick

Climbers on the ridge toward 17,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection Camp at 17,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Brent Okita

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

2

Mt. McKinley: Okita and Team Visit the Edge of the World

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | June 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 1, 2014 11:47 pm PT

It has been a perfect rest day for us. Not perfect climbing weather, but plenty nice at camp to enjoy the day. Although many climbers took advantage of the relatively good weather to go for 17,200’ camp, many others were suspicious of the cloud cap over the summit that threatened winds on the Buttress. In fact, no guided groups went to 17,200’ today. But we had no such decisions to make. Instead, we slept in until 9:00 then, as we’ve done before, and feasted on a sumptuous brunch of smoked salmon, bagels and cream cheese. What decadence!

The guides had some chores and logistics to sort out, then we took the short tour east to the Edge of the World to take in the view from 14,000’ overlooking the Northeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, and affording views way down the glacier to where our very first camp of the expedition was.
We’ve done a lot of climbing since then, and have developed as a strong team caring for the well being of each other as much as ourselves. It’s nice seeing the kind of support these guys give each other.

Tomorrow brings us our biggest challenge of the trip, and everyone shares the mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness. We got through the headwall and fixed lines yesterday, but the Buttress itself is another beast. As is ascending the 3000’ to 17,200’, a new altitude record for many of us.
That this part of the route is the guides’ favorite part attests to the aesthetics of the climbing, and I think the team will get excited when they get on it.

We’re looking forward to a good, hard day. Because it will be a long day for us, which may even be followed by another even harder day (the summit?), this may be the last post of any length for a while.

Wish us luck!
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, and Nick Hunt

RMI Guide Brent Okita preparing a smoked salmon, cream cheese, and bagel feast at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Lindsay Mann Mt. Foraker as viewed from the Edge of the World at 14,000' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

6

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Ascend the Fixed Lines

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | June 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 31, 2014 - 11:21 pm PT

The weather cooperated, sort of, for our big day climbing the infamous fixed lines to 16,200’. These are ropes fixed in place on a steep part of our route that offer security to our team as we climb it. As seen from camp this headwall is particularly impressive, and intimidating.

The winds had calmed down completely by the time we got up, and the day was looking good. However by the time we actually started walking clouds had rolled in obscuring our views and the route. But the sun could be seen through this layer giving us confidence that we’d climb out of it. And we did.

The headwall itself was challenging, but our training yesterday helped immeasurably. We all made it to 16,200’ where we cached the supplies we carried up and took a well-deserved break. Our descent was slow on the icy terrain, but we managed it fairly well.
By the time we got back to camp, the team was deservedly happy to have climbed this much anticipated part of the route.

And now it’s bed time. We’re all looking forward to sleeping in and being lazy tomorrow.

All for now from 14,200’,
RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick

An RMI team ascending the Mt. McKinley fixed lines. Photo: Brent Okita

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

5

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team’s Good Living at 14,200’

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 30, 2014 - 11:12 pm PT

The view from the vestibule this morning was not what I’d have called heartening. Clouds and snow dominated the picture, adding visual texture to the soft but incessant howl of the winds coming from the Buttress above. We could still see most of the landmarks around camp, but in the shadow of the early morning it didn’t look promising for our carry. So, after talking with Leah and Nick, I happily crawled back into my warm sack.

We later awoke at the more reasonable hour of 9:00 to get the stoves fired up and start our day. No one complained about not climbing. I think having a real rest day was welcome by all.

So what do we do on these days? First of all, we hang out in the Posh an extra hour or two, then we cut a few snow blocks to further reinforce the walls we built around our tents yesterday. It was impressive seeing the team rally and build some really good walls. I think everyone was feeling good and happy to be doing something. Twelve hours in a tent can do that to a person.
But a rest day is a rest day and some good tent time is a must. A group was playing an animated game of BS next door to us in the Posh. Others were catching up on things on the radio. Naps are never a bad thing, and in this tent a few games of cribbage were contested.  We even got in a bit of rope craft review and knot tying practice. 

Such is life for the climber hanging out at 14,200’ waiting for Mother Nature to offer us a little friendlier weather to continue our climb up the flanks of one of her most beautiful mountain creations.
We’re all doing well and happily waiting this little set back out.

Cheers,
RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick

Post tent at Denali's 14,200' Camp with the fixed lines in the background. Photo: Lindsay Mann

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

8

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Settle in at 14,200’ Camp

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 29, 2014 - 11:07 pm

The team got through their first night here at 14,200’ in splendid shape. Most actually got their best nights sleep of the trip.

Although we got a few extra winks of sleep this morning,  we got up early enough to pick up our cache at 13,500’ and were back before noon. This allowed us plenty of time to get in some training before we hopefully make a carry up the fixed ropes and finally on to the West Buttress, the namesake of our route up Denali.
But before we could call it a day and enjoy some quality time relaxing in the tents, we built a ‘proper’ latrine complete with high walls to protect us from the wind and blowing snow. These walls do double duty to afford us some much appreciated privacy as well.
Walls were also built up around our tents, which will be of huge benefit if the forecasted winds appear tonight.
We’d like to end with a parting shout out to three generations of Greg’s family celebrating their birthday today. Happy Birthday Sarah, Robin and Ken!

Good night everyone.

RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

3

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Reach 14,200’ Camp

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 28, 2014 - 10:33 pm PT

Evaluating the weather at 6:20 this morning from the vestibule of our tent I saw a somewhat similar scene to what I saw yesterday. With one exception. A little lightness shining through the clouds to the north. Faint in the early morning light, but there it was. So with that small glimmer of hope that the weather might cooperate for us today, we set the wheels in motion. Stoves were fired up and the call to wake up made. Still uncertain if the weather would improve enough, we held off packing up the tents until last.
But finally the clouds parted enough to give us the confidence to head to 14,200’ camp. We could see the sun about 1,000’ above the clouds we were in. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t want to make it too easy and threw some gusty winds our way on Squirrel Hill. It seemed like the weather might be changing, but everyone was climbing well so we persevered and by the time we got above that hill, things had mellowed out. Even Windy Corner wasn’t too bad.
We eventually made it to camp at 14,200’ where the sun was out and it was warm and pleasant. To make things even nicer, we were greeted by the RMI group ahead of us who were camped there. Led by Pete Van Deventer, the whole team came out to lend us a hand getting camp set up.

Everybody had great appetites at dinner, a good sign given that we had just moved 3,000’ to our higher camp. It was a tired, but very happy team that put down bowl after bowl of Ramen tonight.

We’re all ecstatic to be here tonight, and I couldn’t be prouder of how the team climbed today.
Well, it’s about time that I hit the sack as well.
Goodnight!

RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick

RMI Guide Brent Okita takes a break near Motorcycle Hill on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann An RMI Team ascending Squirrel Hill, Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Brent Okita

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

5

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Pull into 11K Camp and Team Okita’s Hospitality

Posted by: Mike Walter, Brent Okita | May 27, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 27, 2014 - 7:21 pm PT

Update on Mike Walter’s team from Brent Okita:

While basking in the warmth and comfort of our tent this afternoon, Mike Walter and his team pulled in after spending an epic thirteen days at 14,200’ camp without getting a break in the weather suitable for a realistic summit bid. That no other guided group has summited the mountain attests to the particularly bad weather they’ve encountered.

The team joined us for some soup and are now walking down the Kahiltna Glacier headed for the airstrip and hopefully a plane back to Talkeetna tomorrow morning. We wish them well and praise their tenacity, fortitude and strong work on the upper mountain. They deserve huge kudos for their efforts! Nice job team.

Looking up from Mt. McKinley's 11K Camp. Photo: Katy Reid

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

1

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Have Wind, Snow, Wind and Some Relax Time

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 27, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 27, 2014 - 7:08 pm PT

Hearing light snow hitting the fly of our tent this morning prepared us for the possibility that today might finally be the day that stopped our upward progress on the mountain. Very light snowfall coupled with wind and clouds were part of the view from our vestibule. Neither the best nor the worst weather Denali has to offer, so we decided to get up and at least have breakfast while we waited to see if the day might take a turn for the better.
Over a breakfast that would rival the best your local greasy spoon could offer, the outlook for the day became ever more apparent, we were going to enjoy our first rest/storm day. That no one really voiced any complaint reflected the shared sentiment that we were all ready for a break from the constant pace of the trip so far.

Following our breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns, we set to explore and debate many of the world’s challenges and recount some of our personal histories. Of course, such heady conversation, fueled as it was by caffeine and unexpectedly unused climbing energy, soon left even the strongest of us deserting our Posh House tent for the cozy comfort of our tents and sleeping bags. And so has passed our day, playings cards, reading, listening to music, and just plain relaxing.

Life is great!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

An RMI camp at 11,200' on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2014 Email Alerts

3

Previous Page More Entries