Entries By brent okita

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Carry to 13,500’

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | May 28, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Monday, May 27, 2013
At 6:00 am few climbers are stirring, preferring to crawl out of their tents when the sun is a little closer to chasing the cold shadows of the night away. But we had a big day ahead of us, and knew we would be comfortable having breakfast and hot drinks in our Posh tent.
A skiff of snow barely covered the tents and the gear we left outside, and a few more clouds lingered around for a short while after we lit the stoves, but the sun was also out and we knew it was going to be good enough to make our carry up to 13,500’.
The crew was super quick getting ready this morning, eager, and certainly a little anxious about the climbing to come. After all, it was to be the steepest terrain we’ve been on. And as I suspected, everyone climbed well. A very slight breeze kept us comfortable until the last fifteen minutes when the wind stopped and things got hot. We got to our cache site at 2:00, a very respectable time by any measure. Everyone was tired but smiling and happy. The descent was just as smooth, allowing us to enjoy a few hours of well deserved R&R before dinner.
Our plan for tomorrow is to move up to 14,200’ camp if we’re all feeling good in the morning. Otherwise we’ll take a rest day. If we do move up, we’ll definitely be taking a couple of rest days there, which are key to our acclimatization to the elevation of camp.
After dinner we read all your posts! Thanks so much for the kind words and well wishes. It was another bright spot to an already good day.
Until tomorrow!

RMI Guides Brent, Logan and Leah

An RMI Team makes a carry toward 14,000' on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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I am expecting to see a beautiful arabesque or maybe an attitude at the summit!  Enjoy the views everyone and have a blast!

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Posted by: Kris on 5/28/2013 at 8:15 am

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Carry and Rest

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | May 26, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Sunday, May 26, 2013
Bagels fried in butter, slathered in cream cheese and accompanied with smoked salmon and bacon. It was the perfect fuel to start us out on the perfect day. Clear, calm skies prevailed over the Alaska Range once again and shortly after 9:30 we were hoofing it down to pick up our cache at 9500’. Everyone cruised up and down, allowing us a quasi rest day upon our return to camp around 1:00.
A little afternoon training with our crampons and ice axes will serve us well as we start climbing some steeper terrain tomorrow. Motorcycle Hill, Squirrel Hill, the Polo Field and Windy Corner will be some of the areas we’ll climb through on our way to caching a bunch of food and supplies at 13,500’. We’re looking forward to an exciting and challenging day.
As we were preparing to settle in for our dinner of burritos we got a pleasant surprise when the first RMI trip arrived in camp after summiting on a perfect day yesterday. It is exciting to see our friends, and certainly gets us stoked for the climbing to come. We’re hoping for some similar conditions when it comes our turn to go for the summit. But for now, we’ll just concentrate on the matter at hand. Getting our cache to 13,500’.
We’ll be getting up fairly early in order to get back to camp with time to relax and prepare for the next day.
Until then ...

RMI Guides Brent, Logan, Leah

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

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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

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