Entries By josh maggard

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Carry to 13,500’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard, Robby Young | May 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

May 21, 2014 - 12:28am PT

After yesterday’s blustery winds, snow, and ground blizzards, we woke up to silence. No shaking tents, no rumble from the ridge above, just a clear blue sky. Excited to move, we were the first team out of camp, cramponing up perfect styrofoam snow on Motorcycle and Squirrel Hill, then breaking trail through 5 or 6 inches of fluff on the Polo Field. The sun grew strong and bouncing off the fresh white snow, we were soon stripping layers. We cached 10 days worth of food and several gallons of fuel at 13,5k that we’ll retrieve in a couple days after we move to 14 camp. It was a perfect day in the Alaska range, and everyone was excited to keep pushing forward. We were back in camp with several hours of sunshine left to dry sleeping bags and clothes. Hopefully tomorrow we ‘ll be packing up camp and making our way to 14.

We’ll let you know how it goes.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer,  Josh Maggard, Robby Young & Team

The top of Motorcycle Hill, Mt. McKinley, Alaska. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Enjoy Rest Day

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young | May 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 18, 2014 10:57 pm PT
Today was a glorious day for a rest day. The sun was shining, and the winds stayed calm though we could tell they were blowing elsewhere. We spent the day watching clouds pour over the ridge of Kahiltna dome, rolling down the backside and dissipating. It was beautiful to watch, and we were glad to be protected from the gusts. After a big breakfast of quesadillas, we sorted some food and gear for our carry past windy corner tomorrow. A quick review of cramponing and self arrest was as much activity as we needed this afternoon. We finished up the day with a big pasta meal and called an early night. We’ll be heading uphill tomorrow to put in our 13,500’ cache, which will set us up to move to 14,000’ camp! The rest day was a great opportunity to recover from the last few days, and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow! 

All for now,

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

An RMI Team camped at 11,000' on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Settle in at 11k Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 17, 11:50 pm PT

Despite the forecasts that we have been getting the last few days, we woke to sunny skies and calm conditions. Everybody was excited to get the move to 11k done. Now that we are here, the first part of the challenge of McKinley is wrapped up. From here on out, we’ll be done with the sleds and snowshoes until we head back for the airstrip.

The move only took a few hours, but we spent several more hours building snow walls and digging in. Right around dinner time the clouds moved in and it started to snow, about an inch in the last two hours. It looks like we’ll wake to several more in the morning. The weather dovetails well with our overall plan however; we’ve had three hard days with big loads and tomorrow is the perfect time for our first full rest day. Our plan is to eat a fat breakfast, read some books, practice cramponing, prepare for a carry to 13k, and then eat a big dinner. Everybody is psyched with our progress even more so with the prospect of a mellow day. We’ll let you know how it goes!

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, and Josh Maggard

Tents and snow walls at 11,000'. Photo: RMI Collection Fresh snow at 11,000'. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Move to 9,700’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,700'

Another beautiful and successful day. We woke this morning to sunny skies and a cool, fresh breeze blowing. We put away breakfast and coffee, and then packed camp. The first stretch up ski hill is a steady, consistent grind, and in many ways we were happy for the breeze. Several other teams were moving around us as well, so we were trading leads with a handful of them. One of the great parts of climbing McKinley is meeting other climbers from all over the world. The camaraderie of the mountains is pretty special.

Once we reached our camp, we spent several hours setting up tents and building some burly snow walls. We aren’t sure if the winds will ramp up as forecast, but we’ll be ready if they do. We are going to play tomorrow by ear, but for now everyone is settled into tents with full bellies.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard

9,700' Camp on Denali. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Charging to 7,800’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

Hi all,
Today started on the early side and ended late, but we got so much accomplished today. We started with a last hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes, and toast with plenty of coffee, before heading to the H2 hangar to catch the first flight off the runway. The flight into Kahiltna Base Camp is always stunning, and today was no exception. The turn over the West Ridge of Mt. Hunter brought Base Camp into view, and we banked for the runway.

With all of our team on the glacier, we started preparing everything to walk. We weren’t sure the surface conditions would be firm enough by midday, but we prepared nonetheless. We rigged sleds, packed duffels and packs, sorted group gear, and at last decided it was time. Some thin, high clouds had moved in, helping to keep the heat from making things too sloppy, so we decided to go for it. We descended Heartbreak Hill, and made the turn up the main Kahiltna, walking to 7,800 feet, at the base of Ski Hill. Here we spent the evening setting our first camp.

Tomorrow the plan is to move with all of our gear to 9600’. There is word of some weather coming in, so we’ll see how that impacts our plan, but we are psyched to have made our first moves towards the mountain. All for now, we’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Mt. Hunter and Mt. Francis from the Kahiltna Glacier. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Getting Ready for Takeoff!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Hi all! The skies are clear, winds calm, and it’s a great day to fly to Kahiltna Base Camp. Our team is heading in first thing this morning to start moving towards our objective! We’ll check in this evening from the glacier with more news of the day. All the best, and we’ll keep you updated on our progress over the upcoming weeks.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard and team

May 13th McKinley Expedition headed to the K2 planes for takeoff! Photo: Robby Young

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Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Finish Their Expedition

Posted by: Jake Beren, Josh Maggard, Leon Davis | June 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 358'

Thursday, June 20, 2013
The lower glacier was fully covered in fog when we turned in last night and to our surprise it had cleared completely by the time we decided to walk. The early morning light on the surrounding mountains and the waxing moon in the purple sky made an absolutely surreal walk out of the range. The team finished very strong, hitting the runway in style in the morning just as a pair of Otters hit the upper strip. Now in Talkeetna, the team is enjoying the comforts of reentry and in a few hours we are going to enjoy a big meal cooked over something more refined than a camp stove. What a treat!
  It is hard to believe that we are back in town already. Enjoying nearly perfect weather and a very strong team, we were able to take advantage of the weather windows and climb the route entirely by ourselves in quite reasonable conditions. Additionally if there was ever a team to handle some downtime and extra rest days with quality conversation, this was it. Yet the weather smiled upon us and our training and strength as a team really came together for an efficient ascent with great folks. Thanks again to everyone on the team for really rising to the challenge of Denali and matching themselves perfectly to their environment for a safe, successful climb. It has been a pleasure.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Head Down to 11 Camp

Posted by: Jake Beren, Leon Davis, Josh Maggard | June 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Well the wind finally died down yesterday afternoon and instead of hightailing it out of 17 Camp, we chose to relax and enjoy where a few weeks work can put you. It was a gorgeous day to rest and recover and truly enjoy the place we had spent so much time and energy getting to and have the recent memory of our time on top fresh in our minds.

This morning we made a move down the mountain and retraced our steps down the West Buttress towards the fixed lines and 14 Camp. Few teams were out and about, mostly holding tight due to the higher summit winds and we rolled into 14 Camp to find that our kind friends with RMI McKinley Team # 6 had helped us out by digging up our cache. Thanks a bunch guys, so nice to have friends out here.

After increasing our pack weights, we headed down to 11 Camp and had some grub before catching a few winks. Soon we will hit the glacier for our final approach to the Kahiltna BC and see if we can high five RMI McKinley Team #7 and hop in a warm seat for the return to “civilization.”  It has been a fantastic trip and we’ve still got one more day to go, but we’re certainly in no rush to leave this beautiful place and wonderful team.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Jake Beren & Team Rest & Refuel at 17,000’ Camp

Posted by: Jake Beren, Leon Davis, Josh Maggard | June 18, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,000'

Tuesday, June 18 , 2013
What a day yesterday was!  We were the only team to climb our route and truly enjoyed having the whole day to ourselves. It was a touch windy, but with warm air temps, it was perfectly manageable. The team climbed strong and stood on top in the afternoon with perfect visibility were treated to spectacular views the whole way up. The summit day is only possible with a combination of factors all coming together and we did a great job matching ourselves to the mountain. Bravo everyone!

Today really makes our call to go for it yesterday seem like the right one. The wind picked up last night and has been blowing hard ever since. We have been hanging out and resting at 17 camp and once the wind dies down we will tackle the Buttress and start the cruise home. We are going to wait a bit and maybe take off tomorrow after this spike in wind speed. For now we could use the rest after a few huge days.
 
Looking forward to seeing everyone as soon as Denali grants us safe passage.

RMI Guides Jake, Leon, and Josh

Looking down to 14,000' Camp on Denali - RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Return to High Camp

Posted by: Jake Beren, Leon Davis, Josh Maggard | June 18, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

Monday, June 17, 2013
Hello everyone.  We made it back to camp after a good day of climbing. Everybody is safe and sound. We’re just finishing up a little dinner before turning in for a little bit. Looks like we just beat the storm. We’ll move a little lower tomorrow. That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

An RMI team descending from the summit. Photo: Seth Waterfall


RMI Guide Jake Beren checks in after their successful summit.

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