Entries By walter hailes

Mt. Rainier: July 10th Summit!

Posted by: Jake Beren, Zeb Blais, Walter Hailes | July 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The RMI Four Day Summit Climbs led by RMI Guides Jake Beren and Zeb Blais reached the top of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  At 7:15 the teams were descending Disappointment Cleaver en route back to Camp Muir.  The teams are doing well and enjoying the blue skies and calm weather.

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons led by RMI Guide Walter Hailes reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning via the Emmons Glacier route.  The team has descended to Camp Schurman where they will spend the night before returning to Ashford tomorrow.

Congratulations to Today’s Teams!

A RMI Team practicing rope travel on Mt. Rainier.  Photo: Win Whittaker Snow School on Mt. Rainier in July. Photo: Win Whittaker Learning basic mountaineering techniques on Mt. Rainier in July. Photo: Win Whittaker The view of Mt. Rainier and the Emmons Glacier from Sunrise. Photo: Mt. Rainier Web Cam

Way to go Jason (and team).  You set a goal, worked hard, and stood at the summit.  Thanks for letting us be a part of the experience!

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Posted by: Kathy and Denny Meyers on 7/13/2014 at 2:47 pm

Way to go KH. You’re not so old after all!  How about Denali at 59?

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Posted by: Beth Parmley on 7/11/2014 at 7:11 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climbs on top!

Posted by: Brent Okita, Walter Hailes | July 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climbs led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Walter Hailes reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  Brent reported clear and warm conditions.  The teams are enjoying some time on the summit.  They will return to Camp Muir later this morning and then continue their descent to Paradise.  We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb Teams!

Happy Independence Day!

Climbers approaching the summit of Mt. Rainier.  Photo: Seth Waterfall

Congratulations !!!
I knew you could make it.
We are so proud of you & love you

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Posted by: Sookie on 7/4/2014 at 2:51 pm

CONGRATS, Jeff & team!! Amazing feat - I’m so proud of you, hon! What a way to celebrate the 4th!

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Posted by: Grace Roh on 7/4/2014 at 8:13 am

Mt. Rainier: June 19th Update

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Walter Hailes, Solveig Waterfall | June 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall and the Four Day Summit Climb teams were approaching the crater rim at 7:29 a.m. PT.  They reported very cold and very windy conditions on the Disappointment Cleaver Route.  The teams will be starting their descent soon after reaching the summit.

RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons aborted their summit bid at 13,200’ due to high winds and blowing snow. They are descending back to Camp Schurman.

An RMI team on top of Mt. Rainier. Photo: RMI Collection

So happy the Harriott/Lesch Team summited and relieved they are safe. Hope they are all warm and toasty soon.

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Posted by: Barb Chaney on 6/19/2014 at 9:49 am

It is Lesch, such a major accomplishment & I misspelled it. Too excited for them I guess. Apologies & Congratulations again.

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Posted by: Darlene Fatica on 6/19/2014 at 9:14 am

Mt. Rainier: June 15th Update

Posted by: Walter Hailes, Alex Barber, Bridget Belliveau | June 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by Walter Hailes reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning around 7:40 am.  The team spent an hour on the summit with clear skies around them.  Walter reported a cloud deck at approximately 8,500’ and decreasing winds.  The team began their descent just before 9 a.m.

Happy Father’s Day!

An RMI team taking a break at Ingraham Flats on Mt. Rainier. Photo: Seth Waterfall

Aconcagua: Nugent and Team back in Mendoza

Posted by: Walter Hailes, Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Nugent | January 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

Thanks to everyone that have followed along… The team is back in Mendoza and enjoying some of the finer things in life: food, wine, sunshine, hanging by the pool, etc. We had a great team dinner last night and are now hanging out and lazing around while we wait for our flights back to the states and Canada. Despite not getting the summit we had a ton of fun and a hell of an adventure. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the group for being fun, hard-working, and determined.

‘til next year,

RMI Guides Billy Nugent, Walter Hailes and Katrina Bolemsma

Aconcagua. RMI Photo Collection

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We’ve loved following your journey, team. Thank you for sharing it : )

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Posted by: Rocky the climbing pup (and Kendra) on 1/22/2014 at 6:46 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team at Pampa de las Lenas for the Night

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Walter Hailes, Katrina Bloemsma | January 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 9,000'

Hey everybody out there in RMI adventure blog land. Billy here, I’m checking in with our group from Pampa de las Lenas after our walk down from Base Camp today. Hot and sunny, lots of river crossings, sore feet but some of the mule drivers are cooking up a steak asado dinner for us tonight, and then we’ll hit the sack. Tomorrow we’ll continue our walk out of the Vacas Valley and hit the road, and then head back to Mendoza. So the next check in, we’ll be saying hello from the hotel in Mendoza. And that’s all for now.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Trekking through the Vacas Valley. Photo: Tyler Reid

Billy Nugent calls in from Pampa de las Lenas.

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Hello to you from blog land! I am so sorry the weather didn’t cooperate- I cannot imagine how frustrating that must have felt. I also cannot imagine having the strength… read more

Posted by: Barbara on 1/21/2014 at 4:11 am

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Return to Base Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Walter Hailes | January 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

Hey everybody,
This is Billy.  I’m back at Base Camp with the whole crew.  We are all a little bit bummed out but happy to be back down at least with the thicker air here and looking forward to a home cooked meal tonight from the Grajales staff.  It was a tough day up there yesterday and we spent most of the day today with heavy, heavy walk down.  But everybody’s in good spirits for the most part and we’ll check in again later on as we walk out from Aconcagua.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from Aconcagua Base Camp on their descent.

On The Map

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Wow, I can’t even imagine the adventure you have had. Glad everyone is back. Oh, the stories you will share.

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Posted by: Debbie on 1/21/2014 at 3:05 am

Dawn & Len,we are happy to hear all are back at base camp safe. What an incredible adventure you and your team have had! A huge thank you to your… read more

Posted by: Sue on 1/20/2014 at 7:51 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team Forced to Turn Back on Summit Attempt

Posted by: Katrina Bloemsma, Billy Nugent, Walter Hailes | January 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 21,500'

It’s a cold, cold world.

We woke up and fired the stoves at about 3:30 this morning and things were looking good: clear skies, bright moon, and calm winds. We scarfed a quick breakfast, had a quick cup of coffee, packed up, and hit the not so dusty trail. The consistent snowfall of the past week has blanketed the mountain so what is normally a gravelly trail out of Cólera was a very snowy sendero. Our team moved well, per the norm, despite the large number of other climbers clogging the route and before too long we had climbed past the Indepencia Hut (ruins) and hit the traverse into the Canaleta. At some point along the way we found ourselves no longer enjoying the clear skies but instead traveling under consistent snowfall. In fact it was snowing heavily and visibility was poor. Despite the worsening weather the snowpack seemed ok until we reached the center of the traverse. Walt and myself headed out further without the group and found the normally gravelly trail under several feet of snow. In fact the whole Canaleta was smoothed over with the storm snow. Every other team on the mountain had already turned around due to avalanche hazard but we hadn’t seen anything worth turning around until the deep storm layer that we encountered in the lower Canaleta. While the snow didn’t seem super reactive the steeper part of the Canaleta was surely more dangerous and there was no way to see without exposing ourselves to the hazard. With worsening weather and continued snowfall we decided that the dire consequences of an incident were too much for us to shoulder. We weren’t willing to bet our lives on it so we did the smart thing and turned around at 21,500’. Now we are back at high camp and the weather is still crappy. So much for the forecasted sunny day…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

The traverse to the Caneleta en route to the summit of Aconcagua.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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Sorry to hear you didnt make it to the top this time but I’m glad you made a smart decision and did what was best.  I’m sure it was still… read more

Posted by: Rich on 1/22/2014 at 10:47 am

Billy k- you have accomplished so much on this trio. Even without the summit you must have so many stories. I can’t wait to hear all about!  Now get you… read more

Posted by: Libby on 1/19/2014 at 12:30 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team at High Camp Ready for Summit Bid Tonight

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Walter Hailes, Katrina Bloemsma | January 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 19,600'

We’re at high camp, poised and ready! Last night we had quite the snowfall, almost 8”, which is quite a lot for Aconcagua. We spent the morning digging out and packing up for our move up. The large majority of the climbers who were queued up at Camp 2 made the move up to Camp Cólera with us today so trail breaking wasn’t so bad. Our team stayed together and moved smoothly through the terrain despite very hot temperatures. Blue skies and direct sun at almost 20,000’ coupled with the reflective blanket of new snow made for some serious UV exposure not to mention the high temperatures. It felt like being in the Mega-Tan 9000 industrial strength, Baywatch endorsed tanning bed all day. Then as we arrived at Camp Cólera the clouds rolled in and it started to snow again.  If the last seven days are any indication, the snow should stop and the clouds should lift sometime overnight. We have our fingers crossed for a clear and comfortable summit attempt tomorrow.

We’ll check in tomorrow after the hurly burly’s done!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Views of the Andes while approaching High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection An RMI Team at High Camp on Aconcagua. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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Best wishes Mer and to all climbers! We’re so excited for you!

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Posted by: Delese on 1/18/2014 at 4:48 am

Len and Dawn
We hope the weather cooperates for you and the team and you have an enjoyable and safe summit attempt.  Good luck and we will be thinking… read more

Posted by: Jack and Sue on 1/17/2014 at 10:23 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent and Team Wait out Weather at Camp 2

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Katrina Bloemsma, Walter Hailes | January 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 18,000'

Today marked the passing of yet another rest day. We hung out at Camp 2 along with many others; Katrina counted more than 67 tents in camp today. We sat the day out watching all sorts of crazy weather over the course of the day: Intense sun/heat, chilly breezes, pelting graupel and hail, puking snow, and continual thunder and lightning all afternoon… Pretty exciting. It seems the horde of other climbers have a very similar strategy to us. Our team is well-rested and ready to move up to Plaza Cólera (our high Camp 3) in what looks to be marginal weather tomorrow putting us in position to take a crack at the summit in better weather on Saturday. A strong wind event is forecasted to begin ramping up with moderate winds on Sunday and over 60 mph winds forecasted for Monday. Hopefully we can nail it but it certainly has been a bit of a chess match with the mountain and the weather.

Wish us luck as we roll out on our summit push over the next two days,

RMI Guides Billy, Walt, Katrina, and the Whole Gang!

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Scott - Good luck on making the summit on the first try. Be well! Dad & Mom

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Posted by: Ralph on 1/17/2014 at 2:24 pm

Following this blog feels akin to watching classic Hitchcock.  The suspense!
Sending positive thoughts your way for favorable conditions, focused minds, and strong bodies.

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Posted by: Geoff on 1/16/2014 at 10:16 pm

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