Entries By garrett stevens

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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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

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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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