Entries By pete van deventer

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Comfortable at 14,000’

Posted by: Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard | May 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 28, 2014 - 11:25 pm PT

We weren’t surprised to wake up to more snow and evidence of winds up high today. It’s part of the process, and it took the team one glance up to the Buttress to know that we’d be sitting in camp again today. To combat the sitting, we made a checkers/ chess board, with jolly ranches and butterscotch for checkers, and Robby’s artistic renditions for chess pieces. The forecast we got tonight looks like it may be another few days before we get our window, but spirits are high, and we’re very comfortable here at 14 until that time comes. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the shift in weather we’re looking for.

We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

A panoramic view of life at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Billy Nugent

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Get a Brisk Dose of Winter

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 27, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 27, 2014 - 10:34 pm PT

Greetings!

The team awoke this morning at Denali’s 14K camp to a brisk dose of winter. A few inches of snow fell overnight and winds were blustery and it was apparent another weather / rest day was in order. The team enjoyed a casual breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and our go-to guilty pleasure, bacon.  Regretfully, we said goodbye this morning to our friends Mike Walter and team as they began the journey home after spending the last few days enjoying their company here at 14K camp.  We are in great position for a bid for the summit as soon as the weather allows, and we are anxiously awaiting our opportunity. Until then, hope all is well and thanks for following!

RMI Guides Robby, Pete, Josh and Team

Mt. Foraker from Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Weather/Rest Day at 14K Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 27, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 26, 2014 - 10:12 pm PT

Now that we are in the holding pattern, waiting for our window, any day could be our chance to move to 17K and take a shot at the summit. This morning wasn’t it though, as we woke to a large, gray lenticular cloud hanging on to the upper mountain. We rested, traded books, listened to music, did a little 14K Camp crossfit, and took a walk to the “Edge of the World,” where the Genet Basin looks over the lower Kahiltna. From the vista we could see our first camp of the trip at the base of Ski Hill. The forecasts continue to be mixed, so we’re taking it day by day and seeing what opportunities the mountain provides us. We’ll send the news of tomorrow when we know what it is. Until then, we’re going to bury ourselves in piles of down and get some shut eye.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

View from the Edge of the World from Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Rest Day for Van Deventer and Team

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Gautreau | May 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 25, 2014 - 11:56 pm PT

We took full advantage of our rest day today, eating a big brunch of egg, bacon, and veggie quesadillas (there is a recurring theme here involving our meals). The storm that was forecast for last night and today didn’t materialize, so it was a great day for chatting in the posh, catching some sun, and catching up on journals and reading. Everyone’s legs appreciated the recovery from yesterday’s big effort. 

The forecasts going forward are pretty scattered, and aren’t really painting a clear picture, so at this point we’re in standby mode, waiting for our weather window to present itself. We’ll see when that happens, but until then, we are living really comfortably at 14 camp. We’ll be in touch with more news tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

Enjoying the view from 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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McKinley Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Head up the Fixed Lines

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Gautreau | May 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 25, 2014 - 1:57 am PT

After several days of winds up high, and cold conditions that turned several teams around, we hit the jackpot today. We walked out of camp just as the sun hit, turning a pretty chilly morning balmy. We stopped just below the fixed lines to get ready, then headed up for our first run at them. Despite pretty blue and icy conditions, the climber traffic over the last couple days left some nice buckets for our feet scratched into the surface of the ice. Once above the lines, we headed out the West Buttress proper, which offers some of the best climbing and views of the whole route. At the base if Washburn’s Thumb, we set our cache of food and fuel, then turned back the Buttress to descend. We rolled into camp just in time for dinner and to catch the weather report. It sounds like we’re going to have a proper snow storm tonight and tomorrow, with 1 to 2 feet forecast. With that news we spent some more time fortifying camp, then crawled into sleeping bags just as the snow started. We’ll give you an update tomorrow and let you know how we fared.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

Ascending the fixed lines above 14,000 ft camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Katy Laveck

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Take a Rest Day

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 24, 2014
Categories: *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 23, 2014 - 10:19pm PT

We took today to acclimate and let our legs recover from a couple of good days and heavy packs. A late wake up once the sun hit the tents led into breakfast, then major architectural planning and construction of a new kitchen/dining area. Our new digs are 10 feet below the snow surface, giving us ample headroom. After an afternoon siesta, we rigged and practiced for the fixed lines, that we hope to ascend for the first time tomorrow.

The plan is to try to get our high cache of gear in tomorrow, and hopefully the weather will cooperate. We’ll check back in tomorrow, but send us wishes for fair weather.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh and Team

Dining tent on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: C.Villar

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Check in from 14,000’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Gautreau | May 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 22, 2014 - 6:51 pm PT
We’ve been in and out of the clouds all day here at our 14,000’ camp on Mt. McKinley. Despite the clouds and requisite light snow, the solar is pumping, and it feels like we’re in a greenhouse. We woke on the later side, giving the sun time to make it to us, and ate another big breakfast of hash browns, eggs, and bacon. Anything to get calories in. After a bit of camp tending, we set out for a quick jaunt to our cache at 13,500’. We retrieved all of our food and personal gear, then turned and headed back for camp. The afternoon was for relaxing, drying sleeping bags and clothes, wet wipe bathes, and general self care and rest. More than likely we’ll be resting tomorrow and training for the fixed lines.

Thanks for reading,

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

An RMI Team in and out of the cloud at 14,200' Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Move to 14,000’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Gautreau | May 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 22, 2014 - 1:55 am

We are tucked in tight at 14,200’!

It was a beautiful, clear morning, so we crashed our camp along with a few other groups, cached our sleds and snowshoes (no one was sorry to leave them behind), and once more pointed our feet towards Motorcycle Hill. The going was a lot easier today with the trail that we put in yesterday having had a fair amount of traffic. We passed through a once more windless Windy Corner, and headed for 14,000’ with everyone moving well under heavy packs. Mike Walter and team were at 14,000’ to greet us, and made our move in easy, helping with water, tent platforms, and a kitchen. We definitely owe them a big thanks. We lose the sun a bit earlier here, and the extra three thousand feet definitely makes itself evident in the temperature. No one needed coaxing to crawl into the sleeping bags and call it a day.

We are psyched to finally be here, in position to set ourselves up for a summit bid. It’s nice to check off another milestone too. We’ll let you know what adventures tomorrow brings.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

An RMI Team ascending Motorcycle Hill en route to 14,000 ft Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection

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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 Take a Weather Day

Posted by: Josh Gautreau, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer | May 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

May 19, 2014 5:34 pm
The winds started to blow last night, and the temps dropped. The winds weren’t steady, but periods of calm were punctuated by gusts that slapped and rattled the tents. All morning we watched huge plumes of snow stream off the West Buttress, indicating steadier strong winds up high. Needless to say, it wasn’t a day to head around Windy Corner. We spent the morning moving and fortifying our walls, as the wind has conveniently switched directions by 180 degrees. A long siesta in the afternoon should have everyone well rested and ready to go for a carry tomorrow. We’re hoping hard for the weather to improve, to continue our progress, but the day of acclimatization can only help us at this point. Until then we are well dug in and will tuck in for a cozy night here at 11,000’. We’ll be in touch tomorrow!

Hasta maƱana,

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

From 11,000 ft camp on Mt. McKinley, watching winds and weather above.  Photo: RMI Collection

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