Entries By brent okita

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Move Into 11K Camp

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | May 25, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

The sun doesn’t set at 11,200’ camp until after 9:30 sometime.  Then it just passes behind a mountain to cast shadows on this place that we’re now calling home.  And we’re soaking it all up after another nice day of climbing.

Today we made it to camp in under four hours, and for the first time had pretty reasonable sized packs. A cool down-glacier breeze offered us a change of pace from the sweat fest of the lower glacier, and I think most of the team welcomed the drop in temperature.

Pulling into camp in the early afternoon allowed us to walk into a vacated camp spot and relieved us of the tough work of building walls and excavating tent platforms. Most of us relaxed and enjoyed a well deserved break from our toils.

Another first for the trip: we enjoyed a fine meal from the comfort of our Posh House. This is a tent like thing that allows us all to sit, cook and eat, protected from the elements like the wind, cold, snow or even sun. It’s cozy and makes it fun to just linger over a couple of hot drinks and enjoy each others company.

Tomorrow we’ll be doing a back carry to pick up the cache we left there this morning. We’re looking forward to a fairly easy day, and hopefully another great day of weather.
Before we sign off, Ayla wants to give a big shout out to her sister. Happy Birthday Eva! (By the way, your sister Ayla is a rock star - she’s doing great.)

Until tomorrow ...

RMI Guide Brent Okita

11,200' on McKinley, Kahiltna Dome in the the distance. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Establish Camp at 9,500’

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | May 24, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,500'

Weary though we were last night, everyone bounced back after a good nights sleep. Looking up at Ski Hill and knowing we needed to haul these loads up it had us a little anxious in the morning, but we all found the strength and spirit and we made it up to camp at 9,500’ by 3:00 p.m.. We were pretty happy and relieved to get here, and it was wonderful to have another perfect day for it.
We’ve been enjoying the warmth of the afternoon to make camp, and perhaps more importantly, to relax a bit and even get out of our boots.

Tomorrow we start ferrying loads up the mountain, moving only half our gear at a time. This means that we’ll be spending at least two days at a time at each camp. Tomorrows plan is to pack up camp and bring just a few days of food and fuel with us, caching the rest here in a deep hole and away from the ravens who have developed a taste for candy and ramen. We’ll make camp at 11,200’, then come back the next day with empty packs to bring up what we left. What does all this mean? Light packs! Ok, perhaps I should be realistic and call them ‘lighter pack.’
Anyways, we’re firing on all cylinders here and things couldn’t be much better. What a treat it is to climb with a fun, strong team.
We’ll talk again tomorrow.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Logan Randolph and Leah Fisher

An RMI Team pulling sleds up Ski HIll on the Lower Kahiltna Glacier.  Photo: RMI Collection An RMI Team Camped at 9,500 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Ready in Talkeetna

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | May 24, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Hello from Talkeetna, Alaska
The result of a day of hard work sorting and packing stuff we’ll live with for the next two or three weeks. With a little luck we might be flying onto the glacier in a couple of hours or so. The weather looks promising here, but of course it could be completely different on the mountain.
We’re all set and doing great. But first, breakfast at the Roadhouse ...

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Packed and ready to fly.  Photo: Brent Okita The RMI Mt. McKinley May 21, 2013 Team ready to fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Brent Okita’s Team Begins Their Expedition in Alaska

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | May 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 346'

Everybody made it to Alaska just fine with just one not-so-minor hiccup. One duffel never showed up and had one of us spending the afternoon at REI replacing missing items. As luck would have it, we got a call from a climber in Talkeetna who had picked it up at the airport by mistake.  With that behind us we were ready for a beer and turned in after our big travel day.

Today we were busy getting the incredible amount of gear needed for this adventure ready for our flight in the morning.  Everyone is excited about getting started.  Me too, even after all these years.

More to come soon…

RMI Guide Brent Okita

The McKinley May 21, 2013, Expedition after breakfast in Talkeetna. Photo: Brent Okita Meeting of Friends in Talkeetna. Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt.Rainier: Four & Five Day Climbs Summit

Posted by: Andy Hildebrand, Brent Okita, Tyler Jones, Tyler Reid, Mike King, Nick Hunt | May 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by Brent Okita and the Five Day Summit Climb led by Tyler Reid both reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning just after 7 am PT. Brent reported beautiful weather - bluebird skies without any wind.  The low marine layer of clouds we are experiencing in Ashford tops out around 6,000’ -7,000’.
The teams started their descent around 8:30 en route to Camp Muir.  They will take a break there before continuing their descent to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s teams!


Mt Rainier: May 15th Summit!

Posted by: Brent Okita, J.J. Justman, Mike King, Nick Hunt, Walter Hailes, Steve Gately | May 15, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Our Five Day Summit Climb Teams led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and JJ Justman reached the Summit of Mt. Rainier today.  The team reported fair weather with winds of about 15mph and a cap on the top of the mountain.  The teams spent some time on the summit and are now on their way back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations Brent, JJ, and teams on the first summit of our 2013 Mt. Rainer climbing season!


Mt. Rainier: 2013 Climbing Season is Underway!

Posted by: J.J. Justman, Brent Okita | May 14, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,300'

Well, yesterday the first climb of the season had to grit its teeth in high winds and low visibility. Low and behold, the team did great making it up to Camp Muir at 10,000 feet.

Today the teams woke up to gorgeous weather and a view stretching well into Oregon. We will rest, relax and go for a little walk uphill to do some photo taking.

The plan then will be to get ready for our summit tomorrow.

RMI Guides JJ Justman & Brent Okita

Five Day Summit Climb Team Heading to Camp Muir - Photo JJ Justman The Five Day Summit climb team enjoying a much nicer day on the mountain.  Photo: JJ Justman

Mt. Rainier: Winter Seminar Completes Week of Training

Posted by: Brent Okita, J.J. Justman, Katie Bono | April 12, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 5,400'

The last RMI winter seminar of the season is almost complete. The team is getting close to the Paradise parking lot and we can smell the cheeseburgers already. We had a great week of training and climbing. Thanks for following along everyone.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, JJ Justman, Katie Bono & Thomas Greene

The RMI team descends from Camp Muir to Paradise on the final day of the Expedition Skills Seminar.  Photo: JJ Justman

Mt. Rainier: Winter Seminar Team Trains and Reaches Top of Muir Peak

Posted by: Brent Okita, J.J. Justman, Katie Bono | April 11, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,000'

Update 5:27 p.m.: What a day! What a day! The team made it high up on the mountain and we finished the training with a Muir Peak rappel. After a full day it’s time to relax, unwind and tell some stories!

8:33 a.m.: We made the summit!! Of Muir Peak. Yesterday the weather cleared and the team got out to play in the snow. While practicing cramponing we made the top of Muir Peak just above 10,000 feet. It is always a beautiful view looking down on the Mount Rainier glaciers below.

Today we have another beautiful day to continue our expedition skills training. While we go through crevasse rescue, Brent and Katie are going to check out the conditions higher on the mountain. If all is good we will venture up the mountain later this afternoon.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

The Mt. Rainier team members on Muir Peak. Photo: JJ Justman The winter seminar rappelling from Muir Peak. Photo: JJ Justman The winter seminar with Little Tahoma in the background. Photo: JJ Justman

Mt. Rainier: Winter Seminar Experiencing Some Weather and Training at Camp Muir

Posted by: Brent Okita, J.J. Justman, Katie Bono | April 10, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,000'

With 80 mph winds and a blinding snowstorm at Camp Muir, it is a perfect day to conduct training inside. Our bunkhouse serves a cozy atmosphere in the storm allowing us to learn essential expedition skills. If we were in tents all we would be doing is hanging on!

Our team is in great spirits and we are waiting out the storm until we venture outside. In the meantime, we’re going to continue to sip coffee, lecture and do some rope work.

Stay tuned!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

The winter seminar team training in the Camp Muir hut. Photo: JJ Justman JJ Justman at Camp Muir in the elements. Photo: JJ Justman

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