Entries By garrett stevens

Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Sitting Sassy at Seventeen

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Geoff Schellens | June 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

June 19, 2014 - 6:43 pm PT

Today on our next to last day for up hill travel we got the window we needed! The no troubles crew had no trouble with our move, reaching our high camp at 17,200ft! An early departure from our 14K camp meant cold hands and feet as we approached the fixed lines, but by the time we reached our first break the sun had crested the ridge to our south. We basked in the most welcome UV, and continued up to the base of the fixed lines without feeling the bite of the -5F temperatures.

We dispatched the fixed lines without incident, and were soon taking a break in a crisp little nook on the buttress proper. High, wispy clouds took the heat right out of the sun, and the constant winds reminded us of our arctic location. The last little bit of steep fixed line at Washburn’s Thumb posed no issues, and we climbed into some of the most spectacular terrain of the West Buttress.

Steep walls fell away on both sides as we climbed the last stretch into camp, and soon we had reclaimed a couple of tent platforms, set up our shelter and had stoves running for water. The constant burn is a reminder of our high location and is helping to drown out the stiff northeast breeze currently moving through camp.

Tomorrow looks like it’ll be our window for a summit attempt, provided the winds die down and the temperatures stay reasonable. We’re psyched for the camaraderie of sharing camp with Jake Beren’s team, and look forward to being on the route with them tomorrow. Wish us luck!!

Cheers,
RMI Guide Tyler Jones and The No Troubles Team

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

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Make Final Preparations

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Geoff Schellens | June 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 18, 2014 - 4:51pm PT

Well, it’s time to light this candle. We’re getting ready to vacate the premises at 14K and head up for the thin air of 17K camp, after our extended stay here in advanced base camp.

Yesterday we put the final pieces in place, as a group of guides took on an afternoon mission to move some group gear from a cache at 16,700 up to our future high camp. The afternoon was a perfect day for fast movement and by 6pm we were comfortably situated with the food, fuel, hardware and kit that we’ll need to launch for the top. Team No Troubles gets to reap the benefit of yesterday’s work, as the normally heavy group load is now up high, and folks will get to move with their bad selves and a little bit of personal gear. Woot!

It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster these last few days, wishing for good weather and then having forecasts dash our hopes. But this latest round of prognostication seems to give us the glimmer of goodness we need, opening the window just enough for us to make a tactical strike. Stoke and energy is at an all time high, and we’ll channel that energy into upward movement as soon as we can in the morning.

We really appreciate the love and support - keep it coming the next few days!

Until tomorrow,

RMI Guides Tyler, Garrett, Geoff and Team No Troubles

Climbers on the Ridge to 17,000' on Mt. McKinley

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25

You guys got this!!! Have fun and be safe.

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Posted by: Paul Kinneberg on 6/19/2014 at 11:16 am

Dave J, climb strong and be safe!

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Posted by: Georg Zimmer on 6/19/2014 at 8:51 am


Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Hope for a Good Weather Window

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Geoff Schellens | June 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 18, 2014 - 12:24am PT

Today we got some news that a window may come our way in the next few days! We woke with the sun warming us. Granola and coffee got our day started at 14k camp. We saw fairly good weather throughout the day, yet a forecast for another big pulse of heavy snow for the near hours! Our equipment, attitudes, and stoke for the future are high and our methods of getting there are well calculated.

We wait another day hanging in there for the final push up the mountain. This season has not given many opportunities for a summit push but if we try and give it our whole effort we may just succeed! Tomorrow we will make our final preparation to stay or plan our departure Keep your eye on us and think high pressure weather.

Cheers,

RMI Guides Garrett, Tyler, Geoff and the No Troubles Team

Storm on Mt. McKinley at 14,200'. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Can’t Get No Satisfaction!

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 16, 2014 11:05pm PT

Well, the Rolling Stones hit the nail on the head with this one. We’ve sort of adopted it as our theme song of the day, as the weather continued to thwart upward movement for our team. Temperatures and wind in camp were more conducive to resting inside than hanging around outside, and the team spent most of the day relaxing in our posh, eating pancakes and sharing stories with the other climbers who stayed in camp.

While the forecast isn’t the greatest we’ve seen, we’re still hoping for a window of high pressure for a summit attempt this week. We are getting close to a go/no go date, but spirits remain high and the stoke for the experience is strong. Keep sending the positive vibes and we’ll do our part if the mountain cooperates!! Cheers from a well-lived-in 14K camp,

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

 14,00' Camp on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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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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