Entries By garrett stevens

Mt. McKinley: Jones and Team So Happy Together

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Thursday, June 5, 2014 5:23 PM PDT

It’s always a little hard to leave the food you love in a cold dark hole on the glacier…wondering when you can get back there, whether it’s going to snow so much that you can’t find it again, or if the industrious ravens will dig into it. Fortunately for us, none of the above were issues today, and we completed our cache retrieval without incident.

We started the day with snow showers and overcast skies, and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of bacon, egg and cheese quesadillas with coffee and cocoa (clearly, we’re not starving). The food was just the fuel we needed for our two hour mission - we fired downhill, dug up the group gear and food we cached two days ago, and packed up our sleds for the trek back to camp.

The snow continued to fall as we pulled into camp, within 15 minutes we had all the gear stowed and were tucked into our tents, as warm and dry as we can hope to be. Now it’s time for a little lunch indulgence with the treats we brought, continued hydration, and resting from the output over the last few days. Tomorrow’s plan is a little up in the air - we’ll see if the weather cooperates for a carry or if we take a rest day here. Keep it locked in for more updates from the team!

RMI Guides Garrett Stevens, Tyler Jones, and Bryan Hendrick

An RMI team enroute to 11,200' camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Jones and Team Smooth Move to 11,000’ Camp

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 4:53 PDT

The morning came with no wind and optimal cool temps for our travels. After an oatmeal breakfast, the team packed for our quickest departure from camp yet. Our crew is strong and made great time during our climb, stopping at our cache to retrieve a handful of items from the surface, adding just a microscopic load for the final push into our new home for the next few days.

We plan to continue to fortify our camp by adding wind walls to our million dollar Posh house! The Posh house will serve as our kitchen,living, and dining room, bringing some comfort from the chill of the evening and protection from the blasting solar energy of the sun.

Currently, we are hiding from the sun’s torture and looking forward to a big dinner of tortellini with bacon and sun dried tomatoes. Tonight we will get a long night’s rest, and a leisurely breakfast tomorrow will lead us into a short back carry to retrieve the rest of our equipment!

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for RMI Guide Brent Okita and his team above us - as of last night’s radio check-in, they were planning to go for the top today. If the weather up high is anything like it is at our new camp, they stand a good shot. But for us, the name of the game is rest, recover, and prepare for the work ahead.

Cheers for now,
RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick, and team

An RMI camp at 11,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska with a Posh house in the background.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Carried the Cache and Commenced the Chill

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,500'

June 3, 2014 - 5:36 pm PT

Yesterday’s icy winds gave way to calm, clear skies overnight. The temperature, however, was quite chilly when we woke for breakfast. The hot coffee and tea started warming folks up, and a couple of bagels with cream cheese topped by delicious smoked salmon rounded out this morning’s feast.

We packed up the kits for the carry and were walking shortly after the sun broke in camp. Temperatures climbed quickly and soon we were sweating under the loads, but within three hours we had buried our cache at 10,000 ft. We passed a ton of teams as we returned to camp - let’s just say that we were happy to be heading down while the rest of them were baking on the way up.

So now we’re poised for a move to the next camp at 11,200 ft and looking forward to making more progress on the mountain. That’s all for now, stay tuned for tomorrow’s tales of wonder from the frozen north land!

RMI Guides Garrett, TJ, Bryan and the team

Pulling sleds up Ski Hill on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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Mt. McKinley: Jones and Team Sitting Pretty on the Kahiltna Glacier!

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | June 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Sunday, June 1, 2014 10:42 pm PT

We went to bed last night with clear blue skies fueling hopes for a good chance of flying onto the Kahiltna glacier today. When we woke this morning, the clouds dampened our hopes, and we slowly made our way to breakfast. After another hearty round of Roadhouse delights, we made our way to the hangar and settled in for a morning of discussion.

Within 2 hours, we had finished chatting and were dispersing around Talkeetna for rest and lunch. Some of us were still at the hangar when the K2 Aviation staff came out and started packing up our kit - it was on! We called the team in and got our clothes changed, boots on, and stood anxiously waiting for the green light to load and go.

Soon, we were in the Otter plane and flying towards the heart of the Alaska range. We landed amid the giants of snow and rock that characterize this special range, high-fived with RMI Guide Mike Walter and his crew and waved them goodbye as they headed back to the luxuries we’ve left behind. The team had a good early dinner and are now in bed, resting for the work to come. Stay with us as we climb towards our goal!

RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, and Bryan Hendrick

Planes landing at Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier, Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Jones and Team Soggy but Spirited in Talkeetna

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick | May 31, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

The wait continues here in the rainy village of Talkeetna. We have covered a whole gamut of skills and topics. Currently we don’t have a glacier under our our feet but we have many new tricks and tips to help us when our plane’s skis hit the powder-covered runway at KIA (Kahiltna International Airport), as many consider it. While the last flight in or out occurred this last Monday, our motivation is high and our spirits strong as we endure these fuzzy and rain filled skies. Maybe fishing for halibut would suit this weather well?

Our afternoon will take us to the Talkeetna Ranger Station for a documentary video that outlines the process of climbing and the reality of this difficult and rewarding climb to the summit of North America! We continue to send positive thoughts to the teams on the hill, hoping to high-five with then as we land.

Any high pressure you can send up here would be appreciated by all…

Until tomorrow,
RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick, and team

RMI Guide Tyler Jones and team continue training while awaiting a flight in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Tyler Jones The RMI May 27th Mt. McKinley Expedition prepares in the K2 Aviation hangar, Talkeetna, Alaska. Photo: Tyler Jones

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Passing Some Time in Talkeetna

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Bryan Hendrick, Garrett Stevens | May 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

May 30, 2014 - 10:16 pm PT

The Alaska Range remains untouched by eager climbers awaiting a green light on a weather window. Our team awoke to our second day of uncertainty, hopes high that we might catch a break in this persistent southwesterly storm. Everyone’s enthusiasm and patience has been key while we perfect the “Talkeetna hang”. We spent the majority of our day at the hangar working on vital skills that will get us moving quickly once we hit the glacier. Everyone’s psyched for tomorrow’s potential, feeling optimistic that we might get our chance to fly!

RMI Guide Tyler Jones and the gang

RMI Guide Tyler Jones buying some time in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Tyler Jones

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Weathered and Waiting

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Bryan Hendrick, Garrett Stevens | May 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

May 29, 2014 - 5:55 pm PT

Winter’s grip on North America’s tallest mountain stays strong, while climbers surround the flight office in anticipation of what lies ahead. A sudden roar, cough, cough, an engine turns over. A lone pilot off to scout the weather towards Basecamp takes off from the Talkeetna air field. With him he carries the hopes of the climbers on either end. So far, no one has made it in or out, and we stand by, sending good wishes and warm thoughts to our friends currently sitting on the mountain.

Here in Talkeetna we are lucky to have a meal in arm’s reach, to enjoy one another’s company, share stories, learn new skills and refine the existing ones. A team bonds, creating an experience that each of us will remember for a lifetime. But for now we wait, hope, and learn. For this is just another day of one intrepid group in Alaska.

All the best for now.

RMI Guides Tyler, Garrett and Bryan

Welcome to Talkeetna! Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Tyler Jones & Team Getting Ready in Talkeenta

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | May 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

May 29, 2014 - 12:06 am PT

Greetings from beautiful Talkeetna, Alaska! The entire team finally arrived today, after one of our team members experienced a slight delay coming up yesterday. We had a great day here, spending most of the morning talking about the personal climbing kits, the gear we’ll need and the food we’ll eat, and what to expect in the days to come as we prepare for our grand adventure in the heart of the Alaska range.

We met with the park service this afternoon, and then headed back to the hangar to finalize packing. Our team is dialed and as a result we had no troubles as we culled out the superfluous gear from what we brought. Everything’s looking tight and right, and we’re all excited to get underway. While the forecast doesn’t look incredibly promising, we’ll be ready to launch at a moment’s notice tomorrow, and we hope to be on the glacier soon. We’re standing by, filled with anticipation for the expedition and respect for the task ahead.  Stay tuned for more details, and keep the positive vibes coming!

Until next time,

RMI Guides Tyler, Garrett, and Bryan

A busy day at the Talkeetna Airport.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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Mt. Rainier: Teams Forced to Turn Due to Weather

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Garrett Stevens | May 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 13,000'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by Billy Nugent and the Five Day Summit Climb led by Garrett Stevens were forced to call 13,000’ their high point today.  The teams reported high winds, low visibility, and a descending cloud cap.  The teams will rest for a short time at Camp Muir before beginning their descent to Paradise.  We expect to see them back in Ashford early this afternoon.

An RMI Climber on Mt. Rainier in low visibility. Photo: Ed Viesturs

DHAULAGIRI: Team Returns to Base Camp and Wraps Up Expediton

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Garrett Stevens, Geoff Schellens, Jake Beren | May 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Guide News

Hello Everybody,

This is the Dhaulagiri Climbing Team we are calling here from Base Camp.  We have to let you know that unfortunately there was no summit for us.  As we have said in recent blogs the weather has been pretty bad for us.  We have had a lot of snow and we had to turn around at the very last day.  We have a few member of the team at Camp 3 and had a decent chance at a summit push, but conditions were no good.

We are currently at Base Camp and will start to hike down tomorrow, and we should be back in Kathmandu in four or five days and we will try to write down details to wrap up our expedition.  We have worked very hard and have been the first the first team on the mountain and the one that got the highest.  It will be neat to see everybody follow in our steps all the time going up and down the mountain.  Like I said, we had a ton of snow breaking trail was very difficult and we made it as high as we could.  Other than that everybody is doing pretty well, and we are very satisfied with our work.  Again, we were a team going unsupported and did everything on our own. Getting to where we got with day in and out snowstorms dumping up to three to four feet of snow, the work wasn’t easy.  We are pretty proud of what we have done.

We want to thank everybody for their support given to us, and we hope everything is going well back home.  We will touch base from Kathmandu in a few days.

Thanks Everybody! Talk to you all soon!

RMI Guide Elias deAndres Martos


Dhaulagiri Team Checking In.

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