Entries By levi kepsel

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Take a Rest Day at 11,000’

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 17, 2014 - 11:00 pm PT

A rest day on Mt. McKinley! And well earned. The weather has been kinda funky; we woke this morning to around a foot of new snow but things steadily improved over the course of the day. Eventually, the sun broke and we enjoyed some turbo-tanning for much of the afternoon. But now the flurries are back and the flow has shifted from southeast to westerly. We briefly got a view of the tundra over Kahiltna Pass with a wall of large cumulus clouds headed our way. We are now in those clouds but they haven’t hit with much wind so camp is still pretty pleasant. The gang is packing up for tomorrow’s forward carry where we are hoping to get a cache in around Windy Corner, setting us up for a move to 14,000’ if the weather cooperates.

We will talk to you later,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

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

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Move to 11,000’ Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 15, 2014 - 10:31 pm PT

Greetings from Camp 3 at 11,000’... We enjoyed a sunny and warm wake up today while we packed for a quick move up to 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley. After a few hours on the trail in mostly whiteout conditions we arrived and set to work digging and building platforms and walls to protect our tents and posh (dining tent). The weather has been coming in and out all day with sun breaks punctuating a generally cloudy day. It’s actually begun snowing moderately as I write this… Anyway, we left a sizable cache of food and fuel buried down at 9,600’ that we hope to retrieve tomorrow morning after sleeping in and enjoying a more substantial breakfast. Breaking camp every morning for the last 3 days has meant quickie breakfasts like oatmeal or granola. We also got to enjoy a visit with some of our comrades from higher on the mountain as they came through camp. Good vibes all around.

All for now,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Camp life at 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Rob Lindner

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Grooving on in to 9,600’

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,600'

June 14, 2014 - 10:44 pm PT

Checking in from 9,600’! All is well up here, despite a very hot day cooking in the microwave. A breezy and chilly morning made for a brisk break of camp this morning but it eventually gave way to stillness and a low level cloud clinging to the glacier. With full humidity and scorching temperatures we poured sweat despite stripping down to just our base layers. By the end of the day, a nice breeze greeted us as we neared Kahiltna Pass and put in our camp. We enjoyed the evening with a good meal outside and are all crawled in waiting for tomorrow and our planned move up to 11,000’.

More as the situation develops,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

An RMI team at the 9,600' Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: John Lucia

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Reach Camp 1

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

June 13, 2014 - 9:40 pm PT

Welcome! To the first of many blog installments for the June 10, 2014, RMI expedition to Denali. Our team first met a couple days ago in Anchorage and enjoyed a cramped van ride up to Talkeetna. There, we spent the following day packing and prepping for our bush flight in the midst of a shaky weather forecast. We went to bed on Wednesday night locked and loaded with our fingers crossed for blue skies in the a.m… As luck would have it our good friends at K2 Aviation were able to drop us off at Kahiltna Basecamp in a pair of Otter ski planes first thing in the morning! After building and moving in to our camp we spent the rest of the day making our final preparations for the trip.

Today was the first real day of the expedition. We woke early and broke camp and packed up for our single-carry to Camp 1 at 7,800’. A single-carry means we are loaded down with all of the equipment, food, and fuel to sustain our expedition for 22 days… It rounds out to about 100lbs of gear per climber split between a sled and backpack. We had a couple of occasional breaks of clear skies but spent most of the day sheltered from the blazing sun by a thin layer of clouds and light snow flurries. While it might sound inclement, it actually kept temperatures from getting too warm and made for nice walking. We are all settled in at 7,800’ for the night and are hoping to continue up tomorrow with another single-carry to 9,600’ and Camp 2.

We’ll check in again and let ya’ll know how it went…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

The Mt. McKinley Expedition starting June 10th, 2014, led by Billy Nugent ready to fly! An RMI climbing team hauls sleds to Mt. McKinley's Camp 1. Photo: RMI Collection

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Justman & the Emmons Seminar Complete Their Week on Mt. Rainier

Posted by: JJ Justman, Levi Kepsel, Alex Barber, Bryan Hendrick | June 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier

RMI Guide JJ Justman and team returned to Ashford today after completing their six-day Emmons Expedition Skills Seminar.  JJ captured brilliant views on their summit day.  See the video below.


Mt. Rainier: Emmons Skills Seminar at Schurman and Ready for Summit Bid

Posted by: JJ Justman, Levi Kepsel, Alex Barber, Bryan Hendrick | June 17, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 9,440'

The Expedition Skills Seminar – Emmons has reached Camp Schurman.  JJ reports that the team is doing well.  The weather is currently sunny with some clouds above and below.  The team is planning on making their summit attempt tonight.  Wish them well!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Mt. Rainier's Emmons Glacier. Photo: RMI Collection
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Mt. Rainier: Emmons Skills Seminar at Glacier Basin

Posted by: JJ Justman, Levi Kepsel, Alex Barber, Bryan Hendrick | June 16, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier

The Expedition Skills Seminar – Emmons is soaking up the sun and setting up camp in Glacier Basin.  The team is doing really well and everyone is excited to be on the mountain.  There are clouds building so taking advantage of the sun is the number one priority for training this afternoon.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

An RMI Emmons team hiking out to the training area. Photo: RMI Collection

Mt. Rainier: Emmons Skills Seminar at School Today

Posted by: JJ Justman, Levi Kepsel | June 15, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 5400'

RMI Guides JJ Justman and Levi Kepsel led their Emmons Seminar team through a mountaineering school at Paradise today.  It was a beautiful day as shown in JJ’s video of photos.


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Continue Descent with Stop at 11K Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 31, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Hey everyone, this is Billy. I’m checking in here with our group. We are at 11,000’ part way through our descent.  After our big summit day yesterday, we packed up our camp at 17,000’ and then moved on down. Brent Okita’s crew was kind enough to cook us up some dinner at the 14K Camp, and we continued on down to 11,000’, where the crew is all, actually snug as a bug, in their sleeping bags out in the open because it is so warm compared to where we’ve been living. We plan on getting up in the middle the night tonight and making a run for the airstrip hoping to get a flight off tomorrow sometime before the weather takes a turn for the worst.  We’ll give a shout when we reach Basecamp. That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Looking up from 11K Camp. Photo: Katy Reid


Billy Nugent calls in from 11,000 feet Camp.

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Summit!

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Kel Rossiter, Levi Kepsel | May 30, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 20,320'

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:41 a.m. PT
Hi, this is Billy checking in. We are back in camp safe and sound from our successful summit bid. We got 100% of our team to the summit of Mount McKinley today, aka Denali. We are back in camp. Everyone’s hanging out, rehydrating, eating some delicious freeze-dried meals, and hopefully going to get a great night’s sleep before we gear up to head down and head home. And that’s all for now. We’ll check in again as our descent continues.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

RMI Climber on the summit ridge of Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection On the summit of Mt. McKinley May 30, 2013.  Photo: Billy Nugent


Billy Nugent calls in from High Camp after successful summit.

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18

Congratulations to the whole team!  Awesome!  you did it Craig!

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Posted by: Jean Beasley on 5/30/2013 at 6:14 pm

Hurray!!  Proud of you!!

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Posted by: Shelley on 5/30/2013 at 5:23 pm


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