Entries By brent okita

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Feeling Good!

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

May 26, 2014 - 10:46 pm PT

With just a little anxiousness about our carry up to 13,500’, the first real climbing of the trip, the team awoke early this morning to a pretty darned reasonable day. 7:00 AM at 11,200’ can certainly be chilly, and today was no exception. We washed down our oatmeal with some hot drinks to fortify ourselves for the big day, reviewing as we usually do some key points of the days.

Our climb of Motorcycle Hill was made before the sun hit the face, making for a chilly start to the day. But at the top we were rewarded with great views of the Northwest Buttress and Peter’s Glacier, not to mention the Alaskan tundra in the distance. Squirrel Hill followed and we found ourselves cramponing on perfect snow.

Conditions, in general, were quite nice all the way to our cache site at 13,500’. But what really struck us was how well the team was climbing. And how well everyone was feeling. Yeah, it was a good push for us, but we all took heart in having done well today. Our dinner of mac and cheese with loads of crumbled bacon stirred in hit the spot. There were no leftovers tonight. Cookies for dessert finished us off before we organized gear for tomorrow.

As for tomorrow ... As good as everybody is feeling, if the weather again cooperates, we might just move up to 14,200’ camp. Then, we’ll be ready for a couple of well deserved rest days.

We’ll see ...

RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick

Rest break at the top of Motorcycle Hill (just outside of McKinley's 11K Camp). Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Okita and Team Review Climbing Techniques

Posted by: Brent Okita | May 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 25, 2015 - 5:33 pm PT

Despite a poor forecast for today, we awoke to calm and only scattered clouds which allowed us to return to our previous camp and retrieve our cache. The scattered clouds made for some pleasant walking temps and our loads felt lighter than ever before… A nice change for our tired shoulders. We spent the afternoon reviewing climbing techniques for our carry up to 13,500 feet (hopefully tomorrow). Everyone is feeling well rested and we are crossing our fingers that tomorrow will bring another nice day!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Camp life at 11, 200 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Seth Waterfall

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Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Move to 11,200’ Camp

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 24, 2014 - 11:21 pm PT

Going to sleep last night we didn’t know exactly what morning would bring. The winds last night had picked up and was blowing spin-drift all around. We could hear the winds coming off Kahiltna Pass into the wee hours, but when we finally awoke and peeked out the vestibule of the tent we were happily surprised to find gloriously beautiful weather.

Our move up to our new camp couldn’t have gone better. The team crushed it! What a nice change from the loads we had making our single carries. Tomorrow we will head back down to our old camp to pick up the cache we buried there.

Getting in to camp at 1:30 this afternoon was almost like having half a rest day. We even built a ‘proper’ Posh House. This is a big shelter under which we cook and can all dine together. Tonight’s menu: Indian cuisine, served on a bed of rice and preceded by a tasty soup. Of course, this is always followed by an after dinner drink. Coffee, tea, hot cider or everyone’s favorite: hot cocoa.

Wish us luck on the weather front. It’s been good so far. But regardless of what happens, we’re sitting pretty right now and everyone is doing well and in good spirits.

A bientot from 11,200’ camp.

RMI Guides Brent, Leah and Nick

An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Okita and Team move to Camp 1

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 24, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,500'

May 23, 2014 - 11:11pm PT

We awoke to wonderfully beautiful skies and not a hint of wind. What a nice reprieve to yesterday’s gauntlet with the persistent cold breeze that hit us head on all day. It was with this nice weather that we started our climb to our next camp. We knew that our loads would be heavy, but Ski Hill always manages to humble even the most fit of climbers. But try as it might to torture us with it’s deceptively constant grade, the team managed well and arrived at 9500’ with energy left over to build camp and get settled.

Our dinner of soup and burritos will hopefully sustain us for our next push: 11,200’ camp. Thankfully, today was the last of the huge loads we’ll be carrying as we plan on caching food, fuel and some personal gear here. We’ll pick this cache up the following day and bring it up to our camp at 11,200’. It’ll be nice to get to 11,200’ where we’ll finally be settled at the same camp for a number of days.

That’s the news from the Kahiltna Glacier these days.
Cheers,

RMI Guides Brent, Leah, Nick & Team

Hauling gear to camp. RMI Photo Colleciton

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Mt. McKinley: Okita and team Fly onto Glacier

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 7,800'

May 22, 2014 - 11:00 pm PT

Our day started great. Breakfast at the Roadhouse again and an early departure from Talkeetna, courtesy of the best air service in town: K2 Aviation. The first hint that conditions were not warm and pleasant came when we landed on some pretty hard snow. Then getting out of the plane we were hit by a chilly wind. But, everyone was excited to be on the mountain and we just put on a few more layers.

Our climb to camp went well, though we were challenged the whole day by that irritating and cold breeze. But that sure didn’t slow the team down any. Everyone really did well on this ordinarily difficult day with the heavy loads we were sporting. A quick dinner in bed and the team is now resting comfortably in their tents, getting ready for tomorrow and Ski Hill.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Leah and Nick who have been making sure that were all fed and ready for tomorrow. Wish us calm winds and more pleasant travels tomorrow. Goodnight from 7,800’ Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier.

RMI Guides Brent, Leah, Nick and the whole Team

Flying into Alaska Range with McKinley in the Background.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. McKinley: Okita and Team Busy in Talkeetna

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

May 21, 2014 - 7:12 pm PT
The day before flying on to the mountain is always an incredibly full day. At breakfast we discuss our expedition goals, strategy, schedule and everything else under the sun. This is followed up by our orientation with Denali National Park. And then on to the hangar of our air service where we spend half the day making certain we have everything we need to survive the weeks on the mountain. The other half of the day is spent putting this incredible amount of gear and food in some semblance of order so that when we actually fly on to the glacier we can pick up and go.
It’s been a long day, but one well spent. Tomorrow we’re all set for the flight on to the mountain. But tonight, a final dinner where we can relax with a burger and a beer. A well deserved treat after such a busy day, and one we’ll be dreaming of in the not to distant future.

RMI Guides Brent, Leah, and Nick

Welcome to Talkeetna, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection Gear and food sorted for a Mt. McKinley Expedition in the K2 Aviation Hanger, Talkeetna, Alaska.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Okita and Team Transfer to Talkeetna, Alaska

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | May 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

May 20, 2014 - 8:29 pm PT

We are closing in on Talkeetna enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, being driven by our shuttle driver Louisa. It’s nice to finally be all together and underway after so much anticipation and preparation.
No lost luggage or late planes. Now all we need to accomplish is to unload our gear at the hanger, check into our wonderfully quirky hotel run by our friends Pam and Al, before heading out for a bite and a beer or two.
If first impressions mean anything, I think were going to have a good time on this expedition.

Cheers!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

The RMI Mt. McKinley May 20th Expedition team.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. Rainier: May 18th Teams Summit!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Sean Collon, Bridget Belliveau, Chase Nelson | May 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Five Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Adam Knoff reached the summit of Mt. Rainier yesterday afternoon in cold and windy conditions.  The team descended back to Camp Muir for the night.  The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Brent Okita reached the summit this morning and reports blue skies on top with a cap beginning to form.  Both teams will be back in Ashford later today.

The Four Day Summit Climb May 15 - 18, 2014 nears the summit of Mt. Rainier.  Photo: Brent Okita The view from Disappointment Cleaver on May 18, 2014.  Photo: Brent Okita The Four Day Summit Climb May 15 - 18, 2014 makes their summit attempt.  Photo: Brent Okita
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Mt. Rainier: Brent Okita and Team en route to Camp Muir

Posted by: Brent Okita | May 17, 2014
Categories:

We enjoyed some surprisingly good weather on the way up to Camp Muir. Dry, cool, but at the cost of minimal visibility. That’s ok though, because now that were up at Muir it’s beautiful.
Everyone is doing great!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

The Four Day Summit Climb May 15 - 18, 2014 led by Brent Okita takes a break en route to Camp Muir.  Photo: Brent Okita

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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