Entries By tyler jones

Mt. McKinley Expedition: Tyler Jones & Team Arrive in Alaska

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Tyler Jones | May 29, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 248'

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Greetings from beautiful Talkeetna, Alaska! The team arrived yesterday afternoon with big bags, bigger smiles, and high hopes for our Denali expedition. After a round of introductions, we hit the road and headed north from Anchorage. We stopped for last minute food and supplies in Wasilla, and pulled into town about 8 o’clock last night. We transferred all our luggage into the hangar, had dinner, and headed to bed in anticipation of an early start today.

Our morning started with a delicious breakfast at the roadhouse, and rolled right on into a massive gear sort/pack session at the hangar. The team gear piles started out big but have been trimmed down to nice tight kits for the mountain. This afternoon will be occupied by our briefing with the Park Service and a final round of packing, so we should be in great position to fly tomorrow morning (provided the weather cooperates, of course).

Blue skies and sunshine prevail today, so keep your fingers crossed that the high pressure will hold for tomorrow. More to come, stay tuned!

RMI Guides Tyler Jones & Garrett Stevens

Welcome to Talkeetna, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Rainier- May 26th update

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Pete Van Deventer | May 26, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 11,000'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by Tyler Jones and the Five Day Summit Climb led by Pete Van Deventer were forced to turn their climbs at 11,000’ due to limited visibility, high avalanche conditions, and blowing snow.  The teams are descending the Muir Snowfield en route to Paradise and will be back in Ashford later this morning.

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Mt.Rainier: Four & Five Day Climbs Summit

Posted by: Andy Hildebrand, Brent Okita, Tyler Jones, Tyler Reid, Mike King, Nick Hunt | May 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by Brent Okita and the Five Day Summit Climb led by Tyler Reid both reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning just after 7 am PT. Brent reported beautiful weather - bluebird skies without any wind.  The low marine layer of clouds we are experiencing in Ashford tops out around 6,000’ -7,000’.
The teams started their descent around 8:30 en route to Camp Muir.  They will take a break there before continuing their descent to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s teams!

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RMI Guides Tyler Jones and Zeb Blais Ski 21,000 feet on Mt. Rainier

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Zeb Blais | May 17, 2013
Categories: *Guide News

On May 8-10th RMI Guides Zeb Blais and Tyler Jones took advantage of the good weather in the Pacific Northwest to do a multi-day ski mountaineering tour on Mt. Rainier.  The duo spent three days on the mountain and skied an incredible total of 21,000 vertical feet!

We caught up with Zeb and Tyler before their next mountaineering adventure.

RMI:  On the first day of your trip you left from Paradise and skinned to Camp Muir.  What were the conditions like?

Zeb Blais: The conditions getting to [Camp] Muir were ideal with fast-gliding and supportable corn snow that made for quick travel. 

Tyler Jones: The warm afternoon snow conditions gave us a chance to get in a nice ski run in on the Cowlitz Glacier after we reached Camp Muir.  At the same time, it provided us with a good trail for the morning to climb the Gibraltar Ledges Route to the summit.  From there, our plan was to traverse to Liberty Cap to get a view of the big runs!

Tyler Jones Skis the Cowlitz Glacier Headwall. Photo: Zeb Blais

RMI: That night you left Camp Muir with the intention of skiing Liberty Ridge. Were you able to ski that line?

Zeb Blais: The key to skiing big exposed lines is always the snow conditions.  When you’re looking at skiing a line like Liberty [Ridge] you can only know what the conditions are like when you get there.  We were hoping that the north and northeast facing snow would be chalky, smooth, and wind packed, but when we looked at the entrance to Liberty it was clear that it wasn’t going to be skiable.  The Liberty Ridge Route looked like mid-summer, maybe good for ice climbing, but certainly not skiable.  The Liberty Cap Glacier was down to blue ice with lumps of rime glued to it, which I imagine is fairly common since it is so steep, but the skiing below looked the same. Rappelling the Liberty Cap Glacier and skiing the rest of the line did not look like an inviting option.

Zeb Blais climbs the Gibraltar Ledges Route. Photo: Tyler Jones

RMI: What did you end up skiing instead?

Zeb Blais: After realizing that Liberty was not suitable, we turned our focus to the Mowich Face - an amazing, steep face on the northwest side of the mountain.  This looked tempting at first, but it was heavily rimed with blobs of water ice.  It was not a place to be on skis! We retreated back to the ridge above and decided we needed to focus on warmer, spring like-snow.  We decided on the Sickle, a west-facing chute on the Tahoma Glacier.  The snow in the Sickle was prime for skiing!

Tyler Jones: On our ski we had nice soft spring snow down to 8,500 feet.  From there we were able traverse to our objective for the next day: Success Ridge between the South Tahoma Glacier and the Success Glacier.  We spent the night on the ridge, getting some well-deserved sleep, with the magnificent 4,000-foot Success Glacier Couloir above us waiting to be skied. The conditions on the Success Glacier were superb.  The snow was firm for climbing and soft for skiing.  After the amazing fall line decent, we continued traversing to [the trailhead at] Paradise.  As we hit the Nisqually Glacier we added more vertical to our trip and finished at the Nisqually Bridge.  In total Zeb and I traveled 24 miles, gaining 19,000 feet and skiing 21,000 feet in 3 days.

Zeb Blais climbs the Success Glacier. Photo: Tyler Jones

Sunrise from the top of the Success Glacier. Photo: Zeb Blais

Zeb Blais drops into the Success Glacier Couloir. Photo: Tyler Jones

RMI: How does being a Guide help prepare you for trips like this?

Tyler Jones: Being a guide helps to develop your intuitive mountain sense, which is very important for making good decisions in the mountains.  It is that gut feeling that can make all the difference.

Zeb Blais: Guiding also gives me a good base-line fitness for doing long days in the mountains.  Mountaineering is a unique sport that requires specific techniques and fitness to be efficient.  The more you do it the better you get!

RMI: What was your favorite part of this ski trip?

Tyler Jones: My favorite part of this trip was seeing a few new places, skiing a new run, and enjoying the views of the Tahoma Glacier from Sunset Ridge.

Zeb Blais: A huge part of the trip was sharing it with Tyler.  Moving in the mountains with a partner who you enjoy and trust makes all the difference.  There are thousands of big and small decisions to be made when doing a trip like this, from what gear to bring to what line to ski to ‘do we go left here or right?’ Making these choices and learning from other experienced climbers or guides is always something I enjoy.

Can’t forget skiing!  Maybe I should have said this first, but the skiing was awesome! Steep, exposed skiing with great snow is one of the most exhilarating things a person can do.

Ski Turns down the Success Glacier Couloir. Photo: Zeb Blais

RMI: What adventures do you have planned next?

Zeb Blais: I am guiding a mountaineering trip on Shasta at the end of the month, and then I’ll be back on Rainier for the climbing season with a Denali West Buttress trip at the end of June.

Tyler Jones: I am guiding a Denali trip in June.  After that I am planning on flying back onto the mountain for a ski trip with my fiancé Laura.  After that I will return to guiding on Rainier and the Grand Teton.  Then, I am getting married in September!

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Mt. Rainier: Muir Expedition Skills Seminar Summit!

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Tyler Jones | September 20, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

RMI Guides Seth Waterfall and Tyler Jones reached the summit of Mt. Rainier!  The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir team enjoyed beautiful, warm weather on top and after taking summit photos, began their descent at 10:00 a.m.  The team will stay at Camp Muir tonight and descend to Paradise tomorrow afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s summit climbers!

RMI Guide Tyler Jones on the Mt. Rainier summit September 20, 2012. Photo: Seth Waterfall

Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Update

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Tyler Jones | September 19, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,000'

Hi this is Seth.  Today we did a dry run for our climb by heading up to Ingraham Flats this morning.  The wind was blowing us around a bit but at least the sun was still out.  After spending an hour at ‘The Flats’ we dropped down onto the Cowlitz Glacier for a round of crevasse rescue training.  The crevasse that we picked out was great and everyone was brave enough to go down in it.  Now we’re relaxing for the evening.  Tonight we climb!

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Climbers on their way back from Ingraham Flats. Photo: Seth Waterfall

Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Update

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Seth Waterfall | September 18, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,060'

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir is on our third day of the program and our second day on the mountain.  After a great day of training at Rainier BaseCamp on Sunday, we spent most of the day yesterday getting up to Camp Muir and today we are launching into our training.  The weather has been great so far and it’s supposed to hold for the week.  We’re psyched for that.  Here’s a pic of Senior Guide Lindsay Mann teaching ice axe arrest.

We’ll check in again soon.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

The ESS- Muir Team learning Ice axe arrest skills from RMI Guide Lindsay Mann.
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Mt. Rainier: September 7th Summit!

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Tyler Reid | September 07, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: Summit

Our Four Day Summit Climb Teams led by Tyler Jones & Tyler Reid reached the summit of Mt. Rainier today.  Tyler Jones radioed in from Columbia Crest reporting beautiful calm weather and very warm temperatures.  The teams enjoyed some time on the summit and are now en route to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today’s teams!

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Mt. Rainier: September 3rd Update

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Geoff Schellens | September 03, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Summit!  Both Mt. Rainier teams reached the summit by the light of the moon and then the rise of the sun.  What a beautiful day on top!  RMI Guides Tyler Jones and Geoff Schellens radioed in with a bluebird report- light winds, blue skies and a bit chilly. The route is in excellent shape and both teams left the crater rim by 8:15 a.m.

Views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens as seen from Mt. Rainier.
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Mt. Rainier: August 26th Summit!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Tyler Jones | August 26, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

RMI Guides Adam Knoff and Tyler Jones led their teams to the Mt. Rainier summit this morning!  A cloud cap was snuggled over the top of the mountain, which brought on some 30-40 mph winds.  Both teams are doing well and began their descent at 7:30 a.m.

Congratulations to today’s summit climbers!

View of Little Tahoma Peak from Muir Ridge The Emmons shoulder on the descent via Disappointment Cleaver Route

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