Entries By geoff schellens

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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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: Upper West Rib Team Weathers Another Day

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 15, 2014 - 11:26 pm PT

We awoke this morning to blue skies and our excitement spiked. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that this was only a trap door, the forecast is still looking poor for the next few days. We decided to stay put here at 14 camp, and by early afternoon the clouds and snow were back. The team is beginning to become discouraged and there is talk of heading down hill without a better weather forecast. That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Eric Frank and the McKinley Upper West Rib Team

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Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Takes Another Snowy Rest Day

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 14, 2014 - 10:55 pm PT

Well another day has come and gone, but Denali refuses to give us a decent weather window to climb.The team is all prepped to go, and we have had numerous conversations that will improve our efficiency and safety up high. At this point we are just keeping our fingers crossed and watching both the forecast and morning skies to decide when we will move upward.

Thanks for following along.

RMI Guides Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens and the UWR team

Mt. McKinley's 14K Camp. Photo: John Race

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Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Waits for a Weather Window

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 13, 2014 - 6:45 pm PT

After caching food and gear on the ridge yesterday, we are back at our 14k camp waiting for a weather window to move up. The forecast is showing an improving trend in the next few days. For now we are waiting, passing the time by throwing the football around, playing ice axe horseshoes, and sport eating. We are, of course, anxious for the weather to improve, but spirits are high and the rest is only making us stronger. Well, that’s all for now, we are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather.

Thanks for following our progress.

RMI Guides Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens and the UWR team

Panorama from Mt. McKinley's 14K Camp. Photo: Billy Nugent

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Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Climb and Cache

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 12, 2014 10:25pm PT

After sitting watching the wind blow furiously for two days, we finally got the break we needed to climb up to the Rib and cache some gear. The trail breaking was deep, often between mid-calf and mid-thigh and required us to swap guides breaking trail every stretch. Conditions on the Rib itself were great. The wind had swept away most of the powder, leaving perfect Styrofoam snow- an ideal surface for cramponning. Eventually we found a cache location around 15,800’. The weather above us was windy and cold, but we were able to bury the gear and head downhill without getting punished by the weather. As we tuck into bed, the team has a content feeling that everything is in order and all we need is suitable weather to push for the summit.

Thanks to everyone who has followed our progress. Much love and warm thoughts.

RMI Guide Eric Frank and the UWR team

An RMI Guide digging Cache. Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team takes Weather Day at 14,000’

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

June 11, 2014 10:53pm PT

We awoke this morning to clear skies and the sound of howling wind thrashing the mountain above us. It was a cold day at 14 camp despite the winds easing a bit in the afternoon. We finished building our snow walls and made some snow statues- a mailbox and planter among them. At 3:00 pm the winds had let up enough that we took a walk to the Edge of the World, a vista point on the 14k bench. The forecast is looking better and we are hopeful that we can get a cache up on the Rib tomorrow.

Thanks for following along with us.

RMI Guides Eric, Geoff and The UWR Team

The View from the Edge of the Word. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Rest at 14,000’ Camp

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,200'

June 9, 2014 - 10:15 pm

After two days of climbing, we took a rest day today at 14,200’ Camp on Mt. McKinley. We enjoyed a leisurely morning of coffee drinking and a breakfast of cream cheese and lox bagels as we relaxed and enjoyed some sun in Genet Basin. In the afternoon we took to the snow saws and built walls around our camp that would make Troy look like a toy castle. More relaxing followed as snow began to fall. We are hoping to make a carry up to the West Rib, around 16,200’, tomorrow but we’ll see what the weather allows. That’s all for now.

Thanks for following

RMI Guides Eric Frank & Geoff Schellens

Camp walls built around camp at 14,000ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Frank & Team Make Camp at 14,000’

Posted by: Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens | June 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 8, 2014 - 10:49 pm PT

The team broke camp for the first time in three days this morning. We loaded our remaining gear into our packs and made the climb up to 14,000’. Even though the sun bore down on us for the last few stretches, we climbed strong and were in camp by mid-afternoon. As a group we are working on efficiency in building camps. So far we have had plenty of time and warms temperatures to put up tents and get organized. We are very strong and efficient when climbing, but on the upper mountain we can’t wast any additional energy setting camps. I’m confident we’ll get there.  Light snow is falling and we are all tired from a long day. Good night.

Thanks for following our progress,
RMI Guides Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens the UWR team

Andy sends love and hugs to his lovely wife Vivian and kids Jessika, Milli, Jayden, Jaylyn and Devon

Climbing teams on Mt. McKinley's Windy Corner. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Frank & Team Cache Gear at 14K Camp

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

June 7, 2014 - 7:33 pm PT

The team got busy today by hauling a load of food and personal gear up to the next camp at 14,000’.  Everyone performed well and we were able to cover the distance in just over four hours- a great pace.

All along the trail, we passed groups who were either hauling gear up to cache or moving camp from 11,000’ to 14,000’. It was fun to say “hi” and encourage groups we have met along the way. The small tent city that has surrounded us for the last few days will reassemble up higher as groups ready for a summit bid.

Sitting at 14,000’ this afternoon, the team got our first good look at the route. We talked through the flow of the climb and got excited. Hopefully, a few more short days will bring us the time to see if all of our preparations are sufficient to get to the top.

Thanks for following our journey.

RMI Guides Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens and the UWR team

An RMI team carries supplies to Mt. McKinley's 14K Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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