Posts for Mount McKinley

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Rest at 17 Camp

Posted by: | July 04, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

Thursday, July 4, 2013
Whulp, the weather gods didn’t smile on us today. We went to bed under clear, calm skies, and high hopes for today, but when we awoke, it was to snow, blowing snow, and wind, and next to no visibility. It wasn’t a hard choice to sit tight in camp today, rest up, and hope that the next few days bring our chance! Everybody is in high spirits, albeit ancy and ready to go. Hopefully we’ll check in tomorrow or Saturday from the top! Happy Fourth of July to everybody out there.

RMI Guides Pete, Geoff, Robby, and team

Camp at 17,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Seth Waterfall

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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: Haugen & Team - Ground Hog’s Day

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Katie Bono | July 04, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
We woke up today to more of the same conditions at McKinley Basecamp. At least with these conditions, there is no waiting around to see if we are going to fly. There is always tomorrow!
We took a walk down to the lower airstrip to stretch our legs a bit.
With plenty of food and gas, at least we are eating well! The morale is still good and the team is hanging in strong while missing our loved ones (and real food).

RMI Mt. McKinley Summit Team 6

Mt. McKinley, 20,320'.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Train at 11,200’

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Zeb Blais | July 04, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
We hear that there was better weather in other places on Denali today, but not so much here at 11,000 ft.  Different day, same weather.  It was snow, blowing snow, cloud and blowing cloud.  We made good use of an afternoon sun break to put on harnesses and crampons and go for a short walk on the lower half of “motorcycle hill” which is just above camp.  It was a nice opportunity to stretch legs and review climbing techniques as well as a chance to see some cool blue crevasses.  After a fine Mexican dinner, we chatted to pass the time and listened to radio traffic from around the mountain.  It seems that we might have slightly better weather for a few days, at least according to our radio.  We’ll be ready to take advantage.  There are four other guided parties waiting things out with us at 11 K and I’m certain they are ready to get moving again as well.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI Team ascending Motorcycle Hill on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Remain at Basecamp

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Katie Bono | July 03, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Still here in base camp in case you were wondering. It is snowing with poor visibility. There were some “sucker holes” in the clouds that gave us some false hope at midday today.
We did get out and get some exercise today. Everyone in camp that is waiting to fly got on their skis/snowshoes and stomped down a runway in the snow. We all took it quite seriously since we want the airstrip to be ready when the weather is good enough to fly!
Everyone is happy and healthy and ready to be off the mountain. Cross your fingers!

RMI Mt. McKinley Summit Team 6

P.S. Lance wants his girls to know he loves them and will be home soon.
P.S.S. Steve will call Tania, mom and dad, & Bill and Lisa as soon as he is off the mountain.

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Rest and Lounge at 11,000’

Posted by: Dave Hahn | July 02, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
There was some reason for optimism at 6 this morning when snow stopped falling and we were granted a view of some blue sky and the upper mountain.  The guides got up and out to brew a cup of coffee and to watch the skies.  It was considerably colder at 11,000 ft this morning, down to about what should be “normal” for this place.  We watched clouds build up again and eventually we found ourselves in another snowstorm before we could even call the gang to breakfast.  Mike King taught a well-attended seminar on knots and hitches in the main dining tent for a good chunk of the morning.  Some lounged the day away in the POSH while others returned to their own tents to clear the snow and read/sleep/zone-out.  Our afternoon was brightened when our good friends Tyler Jones and Laura Rogers, of RMI and Whittaker Mountaineering respectively came skiing down out of the storm.  They are up to play and were just successful a few days back in climbing Denali’s North Peak.  They regaled us with all of the news of the other teams around the mountain and a pretty comprehensive wrap up of the entire season in the range.  Eventually, they moved down into the clouds to get a little closer to Basecamp and we moved back into our POSH tent for dinner and a final round of stimulating conversation before bed.  We remain optimistic that the snow will quit and the clouds will flee.
Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Camp set up on Mt. McKinley at 11,200 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: Haugen & Team Continue to Wait at Basecamp

Posted by: | July 02, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

July 1, 2013
We are still here. And by here, I mean McKinley Basecamp airstrip in a snowstorm. I am usually an optimist in these types of situations, but the forecast is for days of the muck.

In order to improve international relations, we have adopted two Russian climbers that reached the summit the same day we did and are stuck with us. Andre and Igor pretend to like our jokes and our cooking so we will keep them awhile!

I told the group we were making them Vietnamese Pho for dinner. Really it was Ramen with some dehydrated vegetables. Although they knew what it was, they put some Sriracha hot sauce in it and humored me!

RMI Summit Team 6

P.S. Cindee says Happy Birthday Roger!

Mt. Foraker as seen from McKinley Basecamp.  Photo: Chris Villar

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Hunker Down at 11,200’

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Mike King, Zeb Blais | July 02, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Monday, July 1, 2013
Our storm got real in the night, with cannon-like broadsides of wind and ice particles assaulting the tents.  It was serious enough that the guides were out stumbling around from midnight to 2 AM, cutting snow blocks and building walls, but not serious enough that the whole team needed to be in on the fun.  It snowed and blew for much of the night, with the wind changing direction every now and then in order to keep things interesting.  Although the alarm had been set early for climbing, it was obvious as the morning progressed that we’d simply have to hunker down and ride out the storm.  Around mid-morning we rallied the whole crew to eat breakfast, dig out tents and build more walls.  Then it was back into the tents for a few hours.  We finished the day with some avalanche transceiver training by Zeb Blais, a fine dinner by Erik Nelson and Mike King, and some tall tales by yours truly.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI Team hunkered down during a snow storm at 11,200 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection Stormy weather at 11,200 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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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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Recent Images From Mount McKinley

  • RMI Guide Dave Hahn snaps a photo of Mt. McKinley as the last RMI 2013 Expeditions flies from the Kahiltna Glacier.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • RMI Guides Erik Nelson & Dave Hahn return to Talkeetna on July 16th after a successful Mt. McKinley Expedition.  Photo: Suzanne Ruse
  • RMI climber traveling on lower Kahiltna Glacier. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Climbing Teams on Windy Corner. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The view from the top of Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Summit ridge of Mt. McKinley. Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • An RMI team descending from the summit. Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • Making a Call from 17,200'. Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Expeditions tent at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Mt. McKinley, 20,320'. Highest Point in North America. Photo: Bradford Washburn
  • RMI Guide Dave Hahn in deep snow at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • RMI Teams enjoy meals in the cozy POSH tent at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • Ascending the fixed lines on Mt. McKinley above 14,000ft camp.  Photo: Katy Laveck
  • Looking down to camp at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Garabashi Hut (12,000') on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Linden Mallory
  • An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Mt. Foraker is in the background.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team camped at 11,200ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Camp walls at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team ascending Squirrel Hill on Mt.McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • The West Buttress on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The RMI June 11, 2013 team celebrating their return to Talkeetna! Photo: Mike Haugen
  • An RMI team descending from the summit. Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • Motorcycle Hill on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI team traveling across the Polo Fields back to 11K Camp. Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team weathering a storm at 11,200 ft camp.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Camp at 17,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Seth Waterfall