Entries By kel rossiter

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Establish Camp 2

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,600'

Another beautiful day and another strong effort from our crew! We took advantage of more amazing weather and single-carried all of our gear and supplies up Ski Hill to set up shop at Camp 2, which sits at about 9,600’ on the upper reaches of the Kahiltna Glacier. Our guys clearly trained hard and the long hours on the stairmaster paid dividends today hauling massive loads. We rolled into camp around 4:30 which made for a leisurely afternoon getting situated and taking in the amazing views. After a hot dinner of tortellini alfredo, we all crawled into the tents and are currently waiting for the bitter cold to set in once the sun dips behind Kahiltna Dome.

That’s all for now, we’ll check in again tomorrow!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Pulling sleds up Ski Hill. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts

1

Mt. McKinley:  Nugent & Team “Walking the Pigs”

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,600'

“Pigs” is the term of endearment climbers use to describe any heavy load on a climb.  On Denali our “pigs” are our sleds, and today we took them for their first walk.  The team woke to a bluebird day—welcome after the days of gray—learned about packing, strapping, and roping up our sleds, and then took them out on the trail from Basecamp to 7,600’.  Day one of “walking the pigs” can often be a porcine rodeo with lots of grappling and twisting going on, but this crew made it look more like walking poodles at the Westchester Dog Show.  We’re now at the base of Ski Hill, firing the skillet with fajitas, enjoying the stunning scenery up the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna, and getting ready for tomorrow’s push into steeper terrain—this crew is ready for it.

RMI Guide Kel Rossiter

Climbing Teams Leaving Basecamp. Photo: Chris Villar

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts

2

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Fly on to the Kahiltna Glacier!

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Hey everybody, checking in from the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier where we are settled into Basecamp after a day of exciting weather. We woke this morning in Talkeetna to a couple inches of new snow on the ground and thought it was going to be another day of waiting around for flyable weather. But when I checked in with K2 at 8:00 they said it was actually clear at Basecamp and that as soon as the snow showers in town stopped we’d potentially be on our way.

Well, the clouds broke around noon and our intrepid crew loaded up onto a pair of otters and headed for the Alaska Range. Clouds enroute nearly forced us to turn around but our pilots were able to make it happen and delivered us safely to the Southeast Fork. Some unfortunate planes were forced to turn around after the runway shutdown because of a bank of clouds that rolled in soon after our arrival. These folks eventually made it in later on in the evening when everything cleared up. The views here are breathtaking, if a little humbling.

Wish us luck as we head out on the route first thing tomorrow!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

The May 14, 3013, McKinley Team Ready for Takeoff. Photo: Billy Nugent

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Have Another Day in Talkeetna

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 18, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 346'

Woke up this morning to snow on the ground and sleet falling from the sky.  It turns out that this doesn’t make for the safest bush flights or glacier landings so we spent another day hanging out in Talkeetna.  We ate a lot of food, hung out some, practiced crevasse rescue, hung out some more, and some of us even drank a couple beers. Tomorrow is calling for more of the same but with a chance of partial clearing later in the day.  We have our fingers crossed…

More to come as our expedition gets off the ground,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

K2 plane waiting for good flying weather. Photo: Billy Nugent Hangar training with RMI Guide Levi Kepsel. Photo: Billy Nugent

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts


Mt. McKinley: Billy Nugent & Team Waiting Out the Storm in Talkeetna

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 17, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 346'

Update 10:34 am PST
Billy called from Talkeetna to give us an update:  It is snowing in Talkeetna and the team will not be flying today.

Update from 5/16/13 at 11:00 pm PST
Checking in from a rainy Talkeetna… We woke up early this morning and headed over to the hangar after a quick breakfast at the Roadhouse hoping to finish up our last odds and ends and fly on to the glacier. While we were weighing the last of our luggage for the flight, the K2 staff told us the bad news: snowing at basecamp, flat light, and a low cloud ceiling. Translation: no go for us. So we hung out most of the day today eating food and worrying about what we forgot to pack while the rain gradually built up all day. Unfortunately, it’s not looking good for tomorrow either so we may have to organize a pingpong tournament in the hangar. Despite the crummy weather the team is in good spirits and looking forward to our big adventure. We’ll check in tomorrow, hopefully from Kahiltna Basecamp.

All for now,
RMI Guide Billy Nugent

The May 14th McKinley Expedition Team. Photo: Billy Nugent The team practicing with fixed rope in the Talkeetna hangar. Photo: Billy Nugent All the team's gear is organized and ready to go. Photo: Billy Nugent

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts

1

Mt. McKinley: Billy Nugent & Team Ready in Talkeetna

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 16, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Hi all, today kicked off the official start of the second RMI Denali expedition of the 2013 season!  We spent the day dealing with the more unsavory and tedious parts of mountain climbing in our preparation for tomorrow’s flight into the range. Namely, we checked (and re-checked) gear, completed our orientation and permitting process with the NPS, and packed up and weighed all of our food and equipment for loading the planes.  We enjoyed a team dinner on what is hopefully our last evening in civilization.  The team is psyched, strong, and maybe a bit nervous but certainly ready to go - we just need the weather to cooperate tomorrow morning so we can get into Basecamp.

we’ll see…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Welcome to Talkeetna! Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts

1

Alaska Alpine Seminar: Marin & Team Complete Seminar and Head for Home

Posted by: Andres Marin, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 10, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

After our beautiful bluebird day on Mount Frances we went to bed satisfied with our climbing. We spent our last full day dialing in rescue techniques and ice climbing in crevasses.

Yesterday we woke up early for our flight back to Talkeetna and enjoyed a celebratory toast.  A sweet success!  Everybody left for home with lots of knowledge on modern climbing techniques and as more experienced climbers.

Thank you very much team for the great times in the Alaska Range and I’m already looking forward to next year’s Alpine Seminar.

All best,
RMI Guide Andres Marin

Sunset in Talkeetna. Photo: Linden Mallory

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Marin & Team Attempt the Summit of Mt. Francis

Posted by: Andres Marin, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 08, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Our attempt on Mt. Francis was great.

We were making good time up the southeast ridge until conditions got really icy.  We climbed a pitch of ice and then we made a group decision of turning back down.

The views, as well as the learning experience, were incredible.  Now we are all back in camp enjoying a hot cup of tea.
 
Today we did our last seminar review and will be starting to pack for tomorrow’s flight back to Talkeetna.

Looking forward to a shower and a big salad.

RMI Guide Andres Marin

Upward on Mt. Francis. Photo: Kel Rossiter Bringing up the belay on Mt. Francis. Photo: Kel Rossiter East Ridge on Mt. Francis. Photo: Kel Rossiter

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts


Alaska Alpine Seminar: The Team Puts Their Skills to the Test

Posted by: Andres Marin, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 07, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Today we put what we’ve learned the last few days into action.  We headed to a crevasse and practiced our rescue techniques using the complete system.

Going down in the crevasse was an incredible experience for everyone.  It was written all over the team’s faces in the great photos and big smiles that made this day just fantastic.

We are going to bed early and hoping for good weather for our summit attempt to the East ridge of Mt. Francis.

Wish us luck.

All best,
RMI Guide Andres Marin

An RMI Team practices crevasse rescue. Photo: Chris Villar

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts

1

Alaska Alpine Seminar: The Team Summits Radio Tower!

Posted by: Andres Marin, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 06, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

This place just keeps getting better and better.  Today we climbed Radio Tower!!!  The weather was incredible and the views just fantastic.

We climbed this peak via the southside and gained the east ridge to the top.  The entire group had the chance to learn a lot and had a great time while climbing our first summit.

After a long day we are eating dinner and planning a day of ice climbing and crevasse rescue that we have in front of us.

All best, 
RMI Guide Andres Marin and the Alaska Alpine Seminar

An RMI team on the Summit Ridge of Radio Tower. Photo: Chris Villar

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2013 Email Alerts

3

Previous Page More Entries