- Melissa Arnot
- Alex Barber
- Gabriel Barral
- Bridget Belliveau
- Jake Beren
- Zeb Blais
- Katrina Bloemsma
- Katie Bono
- Nick Brown
- Adam Butterfield
- Anne Gilbert Chase
- Lance Colley
- Sean Collon
- Leon Davis
- Elias de Andres Martos
- Cody Doolan
- Paul Edgren
- Mark Falender
- Leah Fisher
- Eric Frank
- Steve Gately
- Josh Gautreau
- Thomas Greene
- Casey Grom
- Dave Hahn
- Walter Hailes
- Tim Hardin
- Mike Haugen
- Bryan Hendrick
- Andy Hildebrand
- Mike Hinckley
- Joe Horiskey
- Nick Hunt
- Tyler Jones
- J.J. Justman
- Levi Kepsel
- Mike King
- Adam Knoff
- Katy Laveck
- Ben Liken
- Zach Lovell
- Josh Maggard
- Paul Maier
- Linden Mallory
- Lindsay Mann
- Andres Marin
- Jeff Martin
- Robert Montague
- Erik Nelson
- Chase Nelson
- Billy Nugent
- Brent Okita
- Logan Randolph
- Tyler Reid
- Dave Reynolds
- Kel Rossiter
- Geoff Schellens
- Shaun Sears
- Garrett Stevens
- Jason Thompson
- Mike Tomlinson
- Mark Tucker
- Mike Uchal
- Pete Van Deventer
- Alex Van Steen
- Ed Viesturs
- Maile Wade
- Mike Walter
- Seth Waterfall
- Solveig Waterfall
- Peter Whittaker
- Win Whittaker
- Bryson Williams
- Dan Windham
- Robby Young
Entries By katie bono
Andres Marin: I guided the Alpine and Expedition seminars in Alaska, where our teams had an incredible time climbing and learning. When the seminars ended, I had a few days to spend climbing around Base Camp.
Katie Bono: Both Andres and I had time at the end of our trip for some personal climbing. We bid adieu to our team in Talkeetna and the next morning flew back into Kahiltna Base Camp.
Kahiltna Base Camp sits in the heart of the Alaska Range, surrounded on all sides by peaks such as Denali, Mt. Foraker, and Mt. Hunter. With the plethora of climbing options the pair decided to climb the Kahiltna Queen (12,380’).
AM: Around Base Camp there are so many cool peaks to climb and one of those is the rarely climbed Kahiltna Queen. This peak is located at the end of the southeast fork of the Kahiltna glacier. It is the only peak in the range that divides three different glaciers: the Kahiltna, the Ruth and the Tokositna.
KB: Andres and I spent a day skiing up the Southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, stopping along the way to look at different climbing options and to do some ice climbing. Kahiltna Queen looked like a gorgeous peak to climb and both of us were stoked about trying an unclimbed route.
The following night Katie and Andres began their climb up the West side of the Kahiltna Queen.
KB: The line we took followed a rib splitting the west face, starting from where the rib emerged from the glacier. The part of the climb was mostly steep snow climbing on some great and not-so-great neve (granular snow that accumulates near mountain tops from wind and precipitation). The route then transitions into ice climbing with some rock mixed in.
AM: The mixed climbing was great all the way to the summit. The day was incredible and the views were just amazing. At the top we stopped to melt water and high five. Then it was time for us to start descending the West Couloir Route. The descent ended up being longer and more difficult than I expected as we had to do over fourteen rappels.
Following the successful climb, Katie and Andres, skied two hours back to Base Camp. After 25 hours of climbing they returned safely to Base Camp.
KB: Seeing the moonrise while we were climbing was awesome! It came up for maybe an hour or so and just skimmed the edge of the horizon. For the whole way up we had splitter weather and were basking in the sun at the summit. After this trip I can definitely understand why my friends are excited about Alaska. It was great to be able to climb the Kahiltna Queen after guiding the Alaska Seminar since it enabled me to spend so much time in the Alaska Range. Andres has heaps of experience in the Alaska Range and I learned a lot from working and climbing with him.
AM: All and all it was a great climb with a great partner. I am already looking forward to next year’s seminar and more personal climbs in the Alaska Range.
Andres Marin is a senior guide at RMI leading programs in Washington, Alaska and Colorado. He is an off-width specialist and an accomplished ice and mixed climber. One of his recent achievements includes climbing the five hardest mixed lines in Ouray, Colorado, in a day. Andres is a fully certified alpine and rock guide sponsored by Millet, Blue Water Ropes, 5.10, Petzl, GU and Ice Holdz.
Katie Bono is an RMI Guide and accomplished climber with impressive ascents in North America and Canada. A retired Nordic ski racer and Millet athlete, she currently holds the women’s speed record on Mt. Rainier.
To see more of their climb check out Andres’ Kahiltna Queen video.
Saturday, July 6th, 2013 at 1:50 a.m. PST
We made it!
We stomped a runway.
Went like Vikings to raid a cache (unsuccessfully).
Made two hours of quesadillas.
Packed up camp for incoming airplane.
Listened as incoming airplane went away.
Made camp again.
Packed up camp as planes came back.
Flew back to civilization!!
On The Map
Thursday, July 4, 2013
It has been like a sunny beach vacation…except if it were sunny we would have flown far away from this particular snowy beach days ago. The snow keeps coming a bit harder and the forecast says through Sunday now. Could be worse; we have plenty of food, fuel, and great conversations!
RMI Guide Mike Uchal made almost five hours worth of pancakes in a continuous stream for most of the camp. We have a small backlog of climbers around us. There are not many new climbers in basecamp since the weather has prohibited much movement on the mountain from any of the different camps.
RMI Mt. McKinley Summit Team 6
On The Map
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
We woke up today to more of the same conditions at McKinley Basecamp. At least with these conditions, there is no waiting around to see if we are going to fly. There is always tomorrow!
We took a walk down to the lower airstrip to stretch our legs a bit.
With plenty of food and gas, at least we are eating well! The morale is still good and the team is hanging in strong while missing our loved ones (and real food).
On The Map
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Still here in base camp in case you were wondering. It is snowing with poor visibility. There were some “sucker holes” in the clouds that gave us some false hope at midday today.
We did get out and get some exercise today. Everyone in camp that is waiting to fly got on their skis/snowshoes and stomped down a runway in the snow. We all took it quite seriously since we want the airstrip to be ready when the weather is good enough to fly!
Everyone is happy and healthy and ready to be off the mountain. Cross your fingers!
RMI Mt. McKinley Summit Team 6
P.S. Lance wants his girls to know he loves them and will be home soon.
P.S.S. Steve will call Tania, mom and dad, & Bill and Lisa as soon as he is off the mountain.
On The Map
Sunday, June 30, 2013
After waking up at 2 in the morning and making a massive push to get to the landing strip, we are stuck in freezing rain with no hope for a flight today.
Peter- Cannot wait to see my loving wife and daughter Maggie. Had a great trip!
Grasshopper- Dream realized. Love to everyone!
Cindy- Thanks for all of the great comments! Maija, the Internet code is Zootrubie :)
Sandra- Cant wait for Thanksgiving in Hawaii!
Quinn- Save my seat on the couch. Give everyone a hug! See you all soon.
Lance- Cannot wait to see my three girls! Kisses to all.
Steve- To Bill and Lisa, where are the gluten free Pop Tarts? Tania, can’t wait to see you as soon as possible my darling!
Uchal- family : I love you all so much and thank you for the understanding and support. I can’t wait to see everyone when I get back. I have decided to leave NC this winter so I can spend more time in Roc City. Keep the couches open - I am coming home.
Katie- To Mom and Dad, love you and miss you. See you soon!
Haugen- Love you Amber, Paris, Paige, Brigitte, Jack, Alex! I love you mom and dad and I for sure owe you a Halibut dinner!! Thank you all for the blog comments!
On The Map
Saturday, June 29th, 2013
After a good sleep, we woke up and started packing. The goal for the day was to get as low and as far as possible to set us up for flying off the mountain tomorrow. The crux of the walk out is timing the walk out on the lower Kahiltna Glacier. We have to walk across this part while the snow bridges over the crevasses are frozen. This means a late night/early morning walk to the air strip. We made it all the way to 11k Camp so we are set up to walk the glacier at the right time…as long as we only sleep for two hours!
Wish us luck and good weather so we can fly tomorrow!
P.S. Grasshopper wants to thank Annie and Rose for the support and sacrifices!
On The Map
Friday, June 28th, 2013
Summit Team 6 finally hit the summit! Second time is a charm.
We left camp around 8:45 this morning with perfect weather. As we got higher, Denali decided to challenge us again; this time with some wind. The wind was blowing very hard as we approached the summit ridge. We were all bundled up ready to get pummeled by wind on the ridge, but the ridge actually blocked the wind making the summit really nice! We stayed on top for quite some time before we headed back down into the wind for a safe descent back to 17,000 feet.
Time to get some well-deserved sleep!
RMI Guide Mike Haugen and RMI Summit Team 6
RMI Guide Mike Haugen calls from the Mount McKinley summit.
On The Map
Thursday, June 27th, 2013
After our almost summit yesterday, we took today to rest up for another hopeful shot tomorrow. RMI Summit Team 6 is really a great group of folks. We got sooooo close to the summit yesterday and got shut down by terrible weather. We did not hear any complaining or what ifs… instead we heard about what an adventure the day was and started to plan for another attempt.
Keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer, or do some kind of a weather dance to help us get some good weather and another chance to summit tomorrow!
On The Map
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
We woke up around 7:30 with clear skies and no winds. We set off towards the summit with all of the crew feeling great. We experienced a little bit of wind and clouds at Denali Pass, but that is pretty normal. The climb was going smoothly and the weather was about as perfect as you can get. We were about 150 feet below the summit ridge when the clouds came in and blocked out our sun. All of a sudden we heard a crack of thunder and all of the metal around us began to buzz. We hightailed it down to a depression in a feature called the football field where things seemed to be calm. By calm, I mean a whiteout snowstorm came out of nowhere! We hunkered down and waited to see if things would settle down. When we were certain they would not, we worked our way down the mountain with GPS and some wands that mark the trail. After a fourteen hour climbing day, our whole team is back in camp happy, healthy, and fed having come a few hundred feet short of the summit but without a permanent stutter from electrocution!
Our plan is to rest tomorrow and perhaps give the summit another go in the next few days. We will see.
RMI McKinley Summit Team 6
RMI Guide Mike Haugen calls in from 17 camp after their summit attempt.
On The Map