Entries By robby young

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Move to 17,000’!

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young | July 04, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Hello all from 17 thousand feet! We made our move today through a whole mix of weather, though overall, it was a really pleasant day on the West Buttress. We left later than most groups, waiting to have some sun and warmth before we launched. As luck would have it we missed all the crowds on the fixed lines, and cruised to our cache at the base of Washburns Thumb. With our cache on board, it was one more mellow stretch, and we were rolling into camp at the perfect hour. A big dinner and hot drinks, and now we’re tucking in for the night, hoping to wake up and see our summit day tomorrow! Keep your fingers crossed for good weather! Best from here,

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and team

Climbers at 16,500 ft on the West Buttress of Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection Climbers on the ridge to 17,000 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Start toward 17, Then Return

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Geoff Schellens | July 02, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
We had a little bit of a false start here this morning. We woke at 5.30 to clear conditions, and lower winds up above. Altogether, it was a great looking scene, albeit cold; the coldest temps we have seen all trip. We ate a hasty breakfast, and packed camp to move to 17,000’. As we started to walk, clouds began to build, and the winds on the Buttress were rising too. At the base of the fixed lines, we decided that today wasn’t the day to make our move, and we retreated back to 14,200’ to reset camp. A day like today is tough, but we made the right decision, and everyone is in good spirits. We’re hoping that tomorrow morning provides a better opportunity!

Until then, best from Alaska.
RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and team

The fixed lines on Mt. McKinley above 14,000 ft.  Photo: Katy Laveck

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

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young | July 01, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

One can call it a rest day, or weather day depending on perspective, but we took the opportunity of winds up high and snow, to rest up our legs for another day at 14,000’ on Mt. McKinley. It hasn’t been too bad here, with sporadic gusts of wind, some snow falling from the sky, and most snow just blowing around the ground. Our walls are doing their job, and nobody was complaining about a day of sport eating in the tents, getting our reserves up for the big push. We’d love to see this weather move out and give us our chance, as we are all ready, but with no control over that, we’re going to patiently watch and wait. We’ll let you know what happens tomorrow: we may still be sitting here, or we may be up at 17, getting ready for a summit bid! Send positive weather vibes our way! Best from the mountain,

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and team

A storm at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Dave Hahn

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

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Geoff Schellens, Robby Young | July 01, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Sunday, June 30, 2013
What a perfect day for a rest day! The day dawned calm, but with frequent clouds blotting out the sun. We had a nice, leisurely breakfast, with lots of story telling, chatting, and coffee, and a great afternoon siesta. Then, right on que, the winds and snow that were forecasted to start, rolled into camp. All the work on our snow walls paid off, and we are happily sitting in our protected tents, listening to the freight train roar on the buttress above. It wouldn’t be Alaska without some weather, and we are happy to be sitting at 14k rather than 17k! With all our preparations made, we’ll sit here and patiently wait this out until the mountain and weather say it’s our turn to go.

Best from here,

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and crew

The block walls built by RMI teams to protect their camp at 14,000 ft.  Photo: RMI collection

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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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