Entries By pete van deventer

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Cache Gear at Washburn’s Thumb

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Geoff Schellens, Robby Young | June 30, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Sunday, June 30th, 2013
Greetings!
After spending some time resting and recuperating at 14K Camp, we jumped on the tiger today, aka the fixed lines, and climbed to 16,700’ to cache gear and food at Washburn’s Thumb. The steep and often exposed climbing was some of first of the expedition, and the team performed exceptionally. The hard work of the day was rewarded with a team favorite meal consisting of Annie’s Mac and Cheese with bacon. Tomorrow will be spent resting back in the comfort of 14K Camp while we wait on a favorable weather forecast to begin our final move up to Denali’s high camp. 

Best,
RMI Guides Robby, Pete, Geoff and Team

An RMI team near Washburn's Thumb. Photo: RMI Collection

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

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Geoff Schellens, Robby Young | June 28, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Friday, June 28th, 2013
We had a great rest day here at 14k! We spent most of the day in the clouds, but it was warm and calm. We took the opportunity to prepare for the fixed lines and running belays that we will encounter on the West Buttress, and to fortify the snow walls surrounding our tents. All in all, a great day! Congrats to Mike Haugen’s team for standing on top today!

Tomorrow, we plan to make our first foray onto the West Buttress proper, to cache a load of food, fuel, and supplies at the base of Washburn’s Thumb. Once that is done, all the pieces are in place and we’ll be waiting for our summit window! We’ll let you know how it goes.

Best from everybody here,

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and the team

Post tent at 14,200' Camp with the fixed lines in the background. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Geoff Schellens, Robby Young | June 27, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Thursday, June 27th, 2013
We woke to a beautiful clear morning at 14,000 feet on Mt. McKinley. After a big breakfast, we headed over to the Stanford medical research tent to take part in their hydration/oxygen saturation study. Each person had six minutes to walk as many laps of a set course as they could, and then oxygen saturation was measured before and after. Needless to say, things got competitive. After nap time, we headed back to our cache at 13,500’, and retrieved all of our food and gear. It was a short jaunt, and a great chance to stretch our legs. On deck for tomorrow is a rest day with fixed line practice and some wall building! We’ll be in touch.

Cheers,

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, et al

An RMI team carries supplies to 14K Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Team Van Deventer Moves to 14,200’ Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Geoff Schellens | June 26, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Hello all from 14k! We made our move up today to 14,200’ Camp under sunny skies and calm conditions, and moved into a beautiful camp with tent platforms, walls, and kitchen already in place, just needing a bit of buffing out. We’ve been napping for the last couple of hours, and are about to cook up a big burrito dinner. The weather looks to be holding for the foreseeable future, so we’re going to head back to our cache at 13,000’ tomorrow and try to keep the forward momentum rolling. We’ll touch base tomorrow!

Cheers from the team,

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and all

An RMI Team ascending towards 14,000 ft Camp, in the background is camp at 11,200 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Cache Gear at 13,200’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Geoff Schellens, Robby Young | June 25, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
We are back at our 11k camp after a very successful day of carrying and caching gear at 13,200. What had been a pretty busy camp now feels like a ghost town, as most teams in camp got an early start this morning to move to 14,000. We also had a decently early start to try to beat the heat, and by 1 pm, we were back in camp snacking and napping. We’ll be a day behind the main pack; everyone did excellently today, and so the plan is to move ourselves to 14k tomorrow! That will put us in great position, and one step closer to our goal. Best to everyone back home.

Cheers,

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and the gang

An RMI team ascending from 11,000' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Rest Day

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young | June 24, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Monday, June 24th, 2013
Today the team enjoyed a well deserved day of relaxation and gluttony.  After three days of early starts we had a leisurely morning of coffee and breakfast burritos followed by some high intensity competitive napping.  Unfortunately it was too close a match to declare a winner at this point, stay tuned for the sudden death nap-off during our next rest day.  Before dinner we reviewed crampon techniques and discussed our carry to 13,200’ tomorrow.  Mac and Cheese with bacon for dinner should provide sufficient calories to fuel us for maƱana.  We have been lucky thus far with excellent weather and the forecast is looking just as good.  Knock on wood, I sure hope that didn’t jinx us.  Thanks to friends and family for tuning in.

RMI Guides Geoff, Robby, Pete, and our stellar team

11,200' on McKinley, Kahiltna Dome in the the distance. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Settle into 11K Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Geoff Schellens, Robby Young | June 23, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013
Hello all,

We’re checking in from 11k! We woke at a more reasonable hour this morning to a centimeter or so of new snow, and crystal blue skies. There was nothing to do but eat a big breakfast, crash our camp, and bounce to 11,000 feet. Just over two hours later we rolled into camp, psyched to finally be setting up shop for a few days. We dug a big kitchen, got the tents all bomb proof, and enjoyed an afternoon lounging in (or hiding from) the sun. With a full rest day tomorrow, it was a relaxed evening, and we spectated as the rangers skied a few laps above camp. The group’s competitive personalities are coming out, and tomorrow we have scheduled a competitive napping event. We’ll let you know who the winners are!

Until then,
Happily resting at 11k.

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, et al.

Moving to 11,000' Camp. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Carry Heavy Loads to 9,600’ Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Geoff Schellens, Robby Young | June 23, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,600'

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
Greetings from Pete, Geoff, Robby and Team,

Under cool temperatures and partly sunny skies, we moved uphill again this morning from our camp at 7,600’ to 9,600’.  The slopes of Ski Hill offered up our first significant climb of the expedition given our full loads weighing down our packs and our sleds.  After building camp at 9,600’, we continued to lighten our loads and fill our bellies by feasting on soups and Tasty Bite delicacies, followed by some hot beverages and storytelling.  Our team is feeling strong and weather looks accommodating for a move to 11,000’ camp tomorrow morning, where we’ll finally post up for some rest and acclimatization. 

RMI Guides Robby, Pete, and Geoff

Pulling sleds up Ski Hill. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Fly into the Alaska Range

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Geoff Schellens, Robby Young | June 21, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Thursday, June 20, 2013
We have begun! Talkeetna was warm and sunny this morning, with perfect weather for flying into the Alaska range. We had our last big breakfast at the Talkeetna Roadhouse, putting down heaping portions of eggs, toast, and reindeer sausage. Within an hour of finishing, we had the two Otters loaded up, and were climbing on board for takeoff. The scenery flying in is always stunning, and our excitement built as we watched the lush green swamp land give way to glacial toes, rocks, and finally, the steep and imposing walls of the Range. We had a great view of Denali, before banking sharply and descending to base camp. With record setting warm temps this week, we had to set camp at basecamp and wait to move until tonight to give the glacier time to freeze up. So we had a leisurely day of sorting gear, rigging sleds, and getting our kits dialed. It will be an early morning for us as we try to make it to the base of ski hill at 7,600 feet tomorrow before the sun turns on the heat!

We’ll be in touch!

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and gang

Mt. McKinley as seen from the K2 Aviation plane flying to the Kahiltna Glacier.  Photo: Dave Hahn Base Camp of Mt. McKinley, 7,300 ft on the Kahiltna Glacier.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: June 18th Expedition Led by Pete Van Deventer Readies in Talkeenta

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Geoff Schellens | June 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 358'

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The team is assembled and ready to go! Yesterday, we all stepped off the plane into the fire; both literally and figuratively. Alaska has been experiencing a strong heatwave, and Anchorage was toasty. We also had a lot to get done, buying the rest of our food for the mountain and making the drive to Talkeetna. We settled in to relax for the night, leaving the gear sorting and packing for today.

Now, all of our gear is packed and weighed for the plane, tents have been set up and checked to make sure that they are good to go, and everyone is excited for the flight through the Alaska range. Now we just need the weather to cooperate tomorrow AM long enough to get us onto the mountain! Hopefully we’ll check in from the glacier tomorrow!


Cheers
RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and the team

The RMI Mt. McKinley June 18th Expedition Team in Talkeetna, Alaska.  Photo: Pete Van Deventer

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