Entries By garrett stevens

Mt. McKinley: Happy Father’s Day From 14,200’

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 15, 2014 - 11:35 pm PT

Well, the weather keeps us down in from higher altitudes. Though a short window during this morning allowed us to venture out to one of the best view spots in all of the Alaska Range, The Edge of The World. We took pictures and told stories as the clouds came in and out, enjoying the company and scenery. But we’d like to give some personal shout outs from each of the folks here, so keep reading:

Happy Father’s Day Dad, Ken, and Frank! Love you guys! Nicole, Emma, and Baby Jake- love and miss you guys! Mom- I am warm and happy. You can sleep now :) all of my love! Aunt Marie and Uncle Kelly- thanks for the prayers! Houston Nicole, thanks for all of the comments! Wish you and Shaun were here. Have a great trip Wade!  Thinking of everyone down there! -Jen

Hope all is well at home, can’t wait to catch up. Hopin for good weather as the clock is ticking. Happy Father’s Day a little late. The views are great as is the food. Missing my little lady a lot. See u all soon.
-jake

Hi Oz, I love you and miss you. So happy and proud to be your father. See you soon.

On this Father. Day at camp 14 I’m thinking of my father. When you were alive. you would say you didn’t ever want to know when I climb McKinley. I’m so glad that you are my gaurding angel on this trip. Dave Johnson

Happy father’s Dad and Tommy! To all the other dads in my family! Love you all. Ty

Happy Father’s Day dad! Thinking of you from a frosty 14 camp, hope you’re enjoying a sultry southern Sunday! Love, Garrett

RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens & Bryan Hendrick

The view from the Edge of the World, Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Hi Will,
Sitting here cheering you on from our cushie chairs, warm offices,sipping our hot herbal tea, sending you warm thoughts.
Way to go Will!
From your… read more

Posted by: Michael, Ray and Judy on 6/16/2014 at 8:44 am


Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team - Fun game of the Day: Add-on!

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 14, 2014 - 4:00 pm PT

It’s another rest/weather day here at 14k camp, and we’ve decided to combat a few hours of down time with a fun dispatch game called add-on! We’re going to pass the phone around and let folks contribute their own voice to the blog today…have fun guessing who wrote what!

So there I was tied up to Denali....eating cheez its, looking for makin bacon. Wondering how long before I will be done piggin out.
Just like our bacon pieces we were fryin.
Hard days are made easier by good company, good food, great views and most of all encouraging blog comments…and Jerry.. Yes, the comments are great and looking forward to those promised margaritas at Amado’s.. And the mountain diet will defo put magic into the armadillo hoppyum combo. The coffee could be better too bad there is no Berres brothers coffee.
I would prefer Jim Beam but whatever, I guess better coffee would work for now.  I think Charlie Brown ran past my tent. I guess I will go back to the posh and listen to Jimmy Buffett and wait for my cheese burger in paradise.

And there you have it. Some of these may be references to very personal items - we decided it was probably better not to ask too many questions. Time keeps on slippin’ by here in advanced base camp, but spirits are high and team No Troubles is ready when the mountain gives us a chance. Hasta pronto!

RMI Guides Garrett Stevens, Tyler Jones, Bryan Hendrick and the crew

Looking through Camp Walls at Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Jake, missing your company but glad to read all is going so well.  I can imagine you are having a great time helping to fortify the camp.  Don’t get too… read more

Posted by: Diane Wander on 6/15/2014 at 6:38 am

Jen - What a fun blog post! Hope the rest days are making the team stronger and stronger for that final push. I’m sure you’re keeping everyone in good spirits.… read more

Posted by: Nicole on 6/15/2014 at 6:12 am


Mt. McKinley: Jones and Rest and Re-Fuel

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 13, 2014 3:21pm PT

Denali is a mountain of many moods. Yesterday, as we carried our cache to our highest point yet, she gave us a taste of moderate winds and blowing snow, showing a little irritation. Today, she seems more benign, with light winds, high clouds, and intermittent snow here in camp. The tents are warm and comforting, and we’re all enjoying a well earned rest session.

To that end, we started the morning with plenty of hot coffee, endless strips of crispy, delicious bacon, and the Tyler Jones specialty of blueberry pancakes that would give the best griddle cooks a serious run for their money. The perfectly browned hot cakes, the secrets of which TJ learned from his grandpa, just kept coming, and we all ate our fill until we couldn’t stuff another one down.

The remainder of the day will be dedicated to recuperation, re-hydration, and maximum relaxation.  In fact, the main goal is to move as little as possible and save our energy for the climbing to come. Until then, we’ll be standing by, waiting for the best window for our summit push. Thanks for all the positive vibes and keep’em coming!

Cheers for now, check back tomorrow…

Team No Troubles

Posh Tent at 14,000' on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Pancakes? U put cocksauce on those, too!?Keep up the good work, guys, rooting big time for you all!!! Ben

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Posted by: Ben Alvarez on 6/13/2014 at 3:06 pm

D.G.  Looks like you are getting close.  Wishing you success on the summit.  Prayers, Mom

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Posted by: Caroline on 6/13/2014 at 3:00 pm


Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team - Locked and Loaded, Luggaged Lugged

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 12, 2014 - 9:47 pm PT

Climbing in Alaska, so close to the Arctic circle is never an easy task. Formidable and imposing features surround the landscape we travel through. Climbing, especially on “The High One” presents the added challenge of high winds, low temperatures, and high altitude.

Today, we awoke to one of these elements; low temperatures. It makes for a unique challenge when faced with the need to begin the days work. Forcing ones self to leave the warm cocoon you have been comfortably nestled in all night. We began our day with a warm dose of oatmeal and hot drinks, and soon took off towards the fixed lines that lay above our current camp at 14,000 feet, in Genet Basin. As an expedition this was our first time above our current camp.

As we struck out from camp we welcomed the warmth of the sun on our backs. After climbing to the base of the fixed lines, we began our steepest climbing of the day. Travel was smooth and the reality of the climbing set in. From the top of the fixed lines we ran the ridge of the West Buttress and made efficient work to the base of “The Thumb,” at 16,700’. We created a cache of food and some personal items needed for high camp and our summit attempt. From our cache we retraced our steps back to camp. The team made quick work of dinner and now are fast asleep.

For now we wait and rest, ready to launch. All we need is a window and bang! We’re off. Keep it locked in…

RMI Guide Tyler Jones

An RMI team at the top of the Mt. McKinley's fixed lines. Photo: Linden Mallory

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McKinley: Jones & Team Cold Temps & Wind = Another Rest Day

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 11, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 11, 2014 3:14pm PT

Greetings from Team No Troubles,

Sitting here for another rest day at 14,200’. Cold temperatures and steady wind have been the story of the day, and we made the right decision to stand by for the time being.

Last night saw the mercury plummet to an ambient temp of -17F, which is much more common up here in April than it is in June. Combine that temp with winds in camp of about 15mph and you have a recipe for immediate freezing of any exposed skin, as the wind chill hovers somewhere between -45 and -50F.  Brrrrr shiver!

So instead of our planned carry to the top of the fixed lines, we’ll stay in camp today, on a steady orbit around our posh and sleeping tents.  The team is on guard against any uninvited trespassing into our bathroom, too, as we’ve had more than one inquiry from other folks about using our lovely on-mountain comfort station.

Keep sending warm thoughts, and hopefully warmer weather, our way! Keep the comments coming too, we love to hear from y’all. From a frosty 14K camp.

RMI Guides Bryan, Tyler, Garrett and the No Troubles Crew

An RMI team's 14K camp on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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Hi David and team. I like the sound of the No Troubles Crew! Thanks for the beautiful pictures. Dave - what color coat are you wearing? I try to find… read more

Posted by: Pam Johnson on 6/11/2014 at 6:16 pm

Be safe, we are all praying for your climb to the summit! We love you, Dave Johnson!

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Posted by: Sandi on 6/11/2014 at 5:23 pm


Mt. McKinley: Jones and Team Acclimating in the Arctic

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 4:10 PT

The first real weather day for us this trip. The overnight temps dropped to -7F not including the wind chill. Our early morning plans to move a few items for caching up to our high camp were foiled by the high winds—35mph winds at 17,200’ and negative temps!  Not to mention the squalls of crystalline snow flakes flying in all directions.

The sun peered out from the flanks of the west rib shedding enough solar rays to warm the tents. With the brim of a ball cap we scraped the tent walls free of the frost of our night’s breathing. Lighting the stoves in our kitchen tent soon brought the smells of coffee, bacon, and cream cheese with bagels.

This motivated our spirits to make our camp a fortress. We spent two hours building large block walls and remodeling the bathroom—which, I might add, could be the best one currently on the mountain featuring a snow free enclosed taj ma-stall! Not to mention the fact that RMI Guide Bryan Hendrick took on a project to expand and improve an igloo just outside camp…soon we’ll have a monstrous underground lair for additional resting and wind protection. Sick!

We are now taking a rest, drying out and warming up after a great session. The wall building serves as great acclimatization through light exercise, team building, and making camp even better for this time we’re spending in this harsh Arctic environment.

We will keep our hopes high for lighter winds, less snow, and a bit of warmth.

RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick, and the crew!

RMI tents at 14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska protected by snow walls.  Mt. Foraker

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Rest at 14,200’ Camp

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Bryan Hendrick, Garrett Stevens | June 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Today was a pretty chill day for team No Troubles here at 14,200’. We took the concept of a rest day very seriously, and slept in until the sun hit the tents late this morning. Breakfast was a delicious combination of retort eggs/bacon/sausage/gravy meals and freshly fried hash browns with cheese. The hot coffee was the perfect complement to our leisurely meal, and we waddled out of the posh sufficiently stuffed for the morning.

After a couple of hours of relaxation, we took some time to refresh our skills with the ascenders for the fixed lines, as well as practice for the running belays we’ll encounter up on the West Buttress. The afternoon’s weather turned a little more arctic, and we crawled into our tents after dinner to escape the frigid temps (-5F) and the blowing snow.

For now, we’re hoping for a break tomorrow morning so we can get our cache up onto the buttress. But as we all know, the weather has the ultimate say up here, so we’ll make a game time decision in the morning. Thinking warm thoughts from 14 camp, ta ta for now!

RMI Guides Garrett, Tyler, Bryan, and the team

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

Posted by: Bryan Hendrick, Garrett Stevens, Tyler Jones | June 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 8, 2014 - 5:50 pm

This morning we woke to warmer and windless air. The team packed our camp, had quick coffee with oatmeal and a granola bar. We then packed tents away, and organized snowshoes along with most of the sleds, some trash and few extra things we could spare to leave behind in a cache for us to pick up on our decent.

The travel was as calm and nice as we could ask for with light clouds passing over head. If we could complain about our weather we would just say we were too hot at times. This was a welcome change to the chilly morning we climbed in for our carry yesterday. Our crew made great time, even adding a rest stop on a completely windless Windy Corner.

Once we arrived at camp our days work was far from over as the snow began to fall. We dug tent platforms, built another priceless kitchen posh house and prepped camp for a storm that is expected over the next few days. We are now getting some rest and fluffing our feathers. Soon will have a deluxe meal of quesadillas with chicken, fresh veggies, beans and rice to fill our bellies and help us sleep warm in our new camp in the Genet Basin at 14,200 ft. Tomorrow we have earned a full rest day of eating, drinking and acclimating.

Will be in touch soon!
Cheers,
RMI Guides Tyler, Garrett, Bryan and the “No Troubles” crew!

An RMI Team ascending Windy Corner en route to 14,200 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team - The Stage is Set…

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 7, 2014 - 6:49 pm PT

...and the players are ready! Hello from our cloudy camp at 11,000. The team had a productive morning rising to a cold clear day! We started the day with a classic mountain breakfast of instant grits with a side of pop tarts. We know it’s not likely many would approve but for us it hit the spot and was the fuel we needed on a breezy, cold morning lugging our cache loads all the way to our next camp at 14,200 ft.

This was our first day of more technical climbing - we’ve been referring to the mountain behind us as the long heavy approach. The rope teams climbed with crampons and ice axes up Motorcycle Hill around to the famous Squirrel Hill. Lore has it that one early expedition had a furry stowaway on board that jumped from a member’s pack at a break on this stretch of mountain, resulting in the long-standing name “Squirrel Hill.”

After this section we made great time up to and around Windy Corner, which gave us a taste of some icy breezes as we crested over into the sun. The remaining stretch of glacier went quickly, and we were dropping our kit into yet another snow hole before noon. The group climbed flawlessly as we were back to our tents at 11,200’ before we knew it. Now we’re resting and preparing for tomorrow’s move up to our fourth camp,the highest so far. Don’t touch that dial, we’ll be back with an update tomorrow!

RMI Guides Garrett, Tyler, Bryan, and the team

Pulling sleds on Motorcycle Hill, Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Enjoy a Day of Leisure, Training, and Preparation

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 6, 2014 - 8:37 pm PT

Today we woke to a grand flurry of climbers packing and moving up to the fourteen thousand camp. For us though, it was a day of rest and we crawled out of our sleeping bags after the sun warmed the air in the tents. We ate another great breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and bacon, firing our spirits for a day of organizing our gear for tomorrow’s carry up to the 14,200ft camp.  We’ll once again be separated from a few of our goodie bags and the gear we will use on the upper mountain.

We had a great review of advanced crampon technique, ice axe use, and general efficiency skills needed for our continued success at altitude as we move higher up. The real climbing starts from here, and we’ll don our crampons and ice axe for climbing steeper, more technical terrain and entering the more challenging altitudes.

With this day of rest, light activity and acclimatization our carry should be no sweat for our crew. Send some more nice weather our way and we’ll let you know when our cache has landed at its next destination!

Cheers,
RMI Guides Tyler, Garrett, Bryan, and the crew

Upper West Rib Team and Tyler Jones Team having dinner at 11K Camp. Photo: Eric Frank 11,200' on McKinley, Kahiltna Dome in the the distance. Photo: RMI Collection

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