Entries By eric frank

Mt. McKinley: Frank & Team Take a Rest Day at 11K Camp

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 6, 2014 - 9:55 pm PT

Today was a very productive day building red blood cells. We rested at 11,000 camp.  After sleeping in, we spent the morning eating eggs, hash browns, and bacon and drinking coffee. We got to know some of our neighbors and packed for our carry to 13,400’ tomorrow. Everyone is feeling strong and ready to keep working up hill.

Thanks all for following along with us.
RMI Guides Eric, Geoff and the UWR Team

Jesse says:
Family- John and I have hardly gotten into any trouble. The guides are great and like us. Today we played football and built snow thrones. I’m having such a blast.
Kelly- I’ve been thinking about you. We should check out that cliff house restaurant when I get back. Or maybe that white door place on filmore. I’ve been thinking a lot about food too. Miss you babe!

Looking up from 11K Camp, Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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6

Mt. McKinley: Frank & Team Pick Up 9,900’ Cache

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 5, 2014 - 11:57 pm PT

We slept in a bit this morning as light snow fell on camp. After a leisurely breakfast of bagels with bacon and cream cheese, we walked 30 minutes down to our cache at 9,900’.  After returning to 11K Camp, we rested before building snow walls around our tents.  Everyone is doing very well and excited to keep working up. With light snow still falling this evening, we are going to keep watching the weather and take it day by day.

Thanks for following along with us.

RMI Guides Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens and the UWR team

An RMI team's 11K Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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5

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Moves to 11,000’

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

Today we packed up our camp at 7,600’ on Mt. McKinley and began climbing at 8:30 AM under perfectly blue skies. Our team was strong and did very well on the move, despite the hot temps once the sun was high.  11,000’ Camp is currently the size of a small town with all the climbing teams that flew on the same day that we did. After setting up our new camp folks enjoyed an afternoon nap before dinner and hot drinks. We are all happy to be here at 11 camp.

Thanks for following along with us -

The Upper West Rib Team

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

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6

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Cache Gear at 9,900’

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,600'

June 3, 2014 - 7:55 pm PT

Wow, it’s nearly dinnertime and the team finally has a few minutes to check in. We have had a busy day. Despite a slightly ominous forecast, we awoke this morning to clear skies and no wind. Things looked favorable for us to move some group food up to a higher site. We ate a leisurely breakfast of bagels with bacon and cream cheese before loading up on a four-hour walk up to the cache site.

This cycle of carrying gear up high, then returning back to a lower camp to sleep is crucial for our acclimatization. It exposes the body to a new altitude, but gives it time during the night to rest and recoup. We will be repeating this process with each of our higher camps.

RMI Guides Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens and the Upper West Rib team

An RMI climbing team hauls sleds on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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3

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Moves to 7,600’

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,600'

June 2, 2014 - 9:56 pm PT

We woke up early this morning, broke camp and set off down the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.  By 7:00 AM we turned to the north and began making our way up the main flow of the Kahiltna, snowshoeing through some of the towering mountains of the great Alaska range.  We arrived to the 7,600’ camp at the base of Ski Hill at 11:30 AM with a light wind helping to keep us cool during the heat of the day. The afternoon was spent snacking, drinking water, and napping. We just finished a delicious burrito dinner and are enjoying the views over a cup of hot cocoa. 

Good night everyone and thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

An RMI Team crossing the Kahiltna Glacier enjoying views of Mt. Hunter and Mt. Francis.  Photo: RMI Collection

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2

Mt. McKinley: Frank & Team Fly to Kahiltna Basecamp

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

The clouds parted long enough for our team to fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier today.  We have been packed and ready for this day and now we are ready to climb!

Once we are settled in at Kahiltna Base, we’ll check in again.

RMI Guides Eric Frank and Geoff Schellens

The Upper West Rib team just before boarding their flight onto the glacier. Photo: Geoff Schellens

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2

Mt. McKinley: Frank & Team Waiting for a Break in the Weather

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

May 31, 2014 - 11:02 pm PT

Not a plane was buzzing this morning when we awoke to dark skies and a slight breeze here in Talkeetna. Today was our fly day, but we are waiting out a hefty storm that has hundreds of climbers waiting on both sides of the Alaska Range. We met at the K2 hangar to wrap up some last-minute packing with high hopes for hopping on a plane; alas, we stayed stuck on the green-side, in Talkeetna along with swarms of anxious climbers. We are all psyched for tomorrow’s potential - crouched and ready to jump on a plane at a moments notice. For now, we will continue to exercise our patience, a vital skill that we will need on the mountain.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

RMI's Ticket to the Kahiltna Glacier, K2 Aviation. Photo: Ben Liken

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2

Mt. McKinley: Frank & Team Ready as soon as the Weather’s Ready

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | May 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

May 30, 2014 - 7:43 pm PT

Hello from Talkeetna, Alaska! The Upper West Rib team arrived in Anchorage yesterday afternoon and shuttled north to Talkeetna, our launch site for the mountain. Right now, this sleepy little town is bursting at the seams with climbers waiting to fly onto the glacier. The skies are overcast and the planes have been grounded since early in the week. Everywhere you look, there are softshell clad people trying to pass the time. 

Our team was distracted from the constant refreshing of weather websites by plenty of prep work today. After meeting with the National Park Service for a general orientation, we rolled our sleeves up and got right to work. Eight hours later, our bags are packed and we will head to dinner to discuss the only thing on waiting climber’s minds… “when will the clouds break?”
For now all we can do is relax and know that we are prepared whenever that eventuality comes about.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

Denali Upper West Rib team in Talkeetna. Photo: Eric Frank No flights leaving Talkeetna, AK, today. Photo: Eric Frank Upper West Rib team organizing gear in Talkeetna. Photo: Eric Frank

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2

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Turns Around Due to Poor Weather

Posted by: Eric Frank | May 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 12,300'

The Four Day Summit Climb May 23 - 26, 2014 was forced to turn around at the top of Disappointment Cleaver today due to poor weather.  RMI Guides Eric Frank and Pablo Puruncajas made the call to start the descent.  The team will return to Camp Muir and then start their descent to Paradise later this morning.  We look forward to seeing everyone at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

1

Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Back in Talkeetna

Posted by: Leon Davis, Eric Frank | May 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Greetings from Talkeetna!

So we made it off the glacier just in time!  This morning we woke at 3:30 am to start the 5.5-mile walk back to basecamp. The forecasted storm was slowly creeping in from the southwest and as we walked down glacier in the twilight, clouds came spilling over Mt. Foraker, threatening to shut down visibility. At 11:30 we could hear the mosquito hum of K2’s Otter as Randy flew in just below the cloud ceiling and set the plane down on the runway. Forty-five minutes later we were in sandals and t-shirts in downtown Talkeetna enjoying the warm air and flowering fauna. It has been an excellent experience for our folks. As we dry our gear on the lawn, everyone is quietly reflecting on the last six days spent in the Alaska range.

RMI Guide Leon Davis

After six days on the glacier, the team dries out their gear in the K2 lawn. Photo: Leon Davis

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