Posts for Mount McKinley

Mt. McKinley: Hahn and Team Settle in at 11 Camp

Posted by: Ben Liken, Dave Hahn, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | July 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

Hello everyone!

Today has been a day of a little work and a lot of rest.  We woke up to a delightful breakfast of bagels with cream cheese and bacon and after some casual conversation it was time to go retrieve our 10,000’ cache.  All was well except for a minor raven attack…...thankfully the only casualty was a bag of ramen noodles.  It was a 3 hour round trip and before long folks were back to relaxing and drinking glacier fresh water.  Our plan for the rest of the day is to keep hydrating and get ready to carry a load to 13,500 ft tomorrow.  Stay tuned as we continue our slow but steady climb up this giant pile of rock and ice.

RMI Guide Ben Liken

An RM Team camped at 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Train and Re-Design Camp

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

July 2, 2014 - 12:09 am PT

Thank you for all of the blog comments. It is great to hear from everyone back home and it is always reinvigorating.

Today we got to sleep in and then scurried down to our cache above Windy Corner. It was nice to be reunited with our food, clean underwear and base layers that we left buried in the snow for a few days. We then spent the afternoon doing some kitchen redesign, fixed line training and more sorting of food.

Tomorrow is an exciting day! We will get to see some more challenging and exciting terrain—carrying to the top of the fixed lines!

RMI Guide Adam Knoff and Team

The views from Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Enjoy an Easy Day

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | July 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

July 1, 2014 - 11:13 pm PT

Today was a relatively easy move for the team.  We were walking out of our 9,000’ camp at 7 AM when things were crisp and cold.  The track was in pretty good condition due to the number of teams that had been over it in the preceding 24 hours and our loads were light.  We began in clear conditions but by the time we reached the big right hand turn at Kahiltna Pass, we were in cloud.  Passing our cached gear at 10,000’, we began the more serious hills leading to 11 camp.  The team rolled into camp at around 11:30 AM and set to smoothing out tent platforms.  Right about then it began to snow, just as had been predicted.  There are at least a half dozen other guided teams in camp, a few more than we expected to see, but most are staffed by friends and acquaintances.  The team took a well-earned rest for the afternoon. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI Team moving to 11,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 30, 2014 - 11:19pm PT

After an impromptu camp on the polo field we woke up to intermittent wind gusts rattling our tent flys. We crawled out of our shelters to crisp cold weather and blue skies. We ate a quick breakfast and began to break camp to complete our journey to 14,200’ feet. Amidst the chaos of packing our bags we spotted Billy Nugent and his crew descending from a successful summit, we exchanged high fives and and hit the trail. This time equipped with snow shoes and skis to deal with the waist deep drifts. We were feeling very happy about floating on the snow surface vs crawling through it. We had pleasant weather and relatively calm winds working our way around Windy Corner. We pulled into camp and made ourselves at home, feeling the altitude a little we began to take care of ourselves and focus on the mountain ahead of us.

We are all feeling good and hoping for the best weather possible.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team

Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Make Carry to 10,000’

Posted by: Ben Liken, Dave Hahn, Sean Collon, Zach Lovell | July 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,000'

June 30, 2014 - 9:44pm PT

Hey Everybody!

Last night we got our first taste of Denali weather as a wet snow fell, dusting our camp with six fresh inches.  The little storm began to lift after a leisurely breakfast of bacon, eggs, and hash browns and we were soon able to pack our bags for a carry to 10,000’ feet.  Along the hike we witness spectacular views down the Kahiltna Glacier and up to the start of the West Buttress.  We are now back in camp resting and awaiting a tasty dinner of tortellini prepared by Zach.  All is well here in the great north as the sun splashes some light into our dinning tent. 

Thanks for following along!

RMI Guide Ben Liken

View of 11,000' camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Chris Villar

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Return to 14 Camp - Will Continue Descent

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Levi Kepsel, Chase Nelson | June 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

Hey, it’s Billy here checking in from 14,000’.  Our team had a lazy morning today and packed up and moved down from the 17 Camp to the 14 Camp on Mt. McKinley.  We had some pretty slow going due to some wind and some kind of funky weather but especially due to very deep snow conditions, lots and lots of snow from the previous storm cycle that kept us at 17.
We are going to walk out of here early tomorrow morning, very early and head for the air strip.  So hopefully the next check in will come from the Kahiltna landing strip.

That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Looking down upon 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn and Team Ascend to 9,000’

Posted by: | June 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,000'

We lit our stoves at 3 AM today and had breakfast a short time later while enjoying the beauty of the Alaska Range in shadow.  It took until 6 AM to get moving out of camp at 7,000 ft, but when we did, we were pleased to find that the snow surface was a hundred times more user friendly than it had been the previous afternoon.  Our sleds slid easily along and we didn’t have the problem of “post holing” that we’d experienced in the warm part of the day.  We got to the base of Ski Hill and began the hard work of the day, pulling heavy loads uphill for several hours.  Clouds came over, giving some relief from the sun, but also bringing a new storm.  Just as we picked and prepared a campsite at 9,000 feet, it began to snow.  We spent a good chunk of the afternoon warm and dry in our tents as the snow intensified.  Dinner was in our POSH dining tent, skillfully constructed by the guide team who battled to serve up a hearty supper in less than comfortable culinary conditions.  Now as we are all in for the night, the snow continues to pile up outside.  We’ll wait and see what the morning brings. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI Mt. McKinley Team pulling sled up Ski Hill on the lower Kahiltna Glacier, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection An RMI Team camped at 9,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team - A Fun Game of Polo

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 12,500'

June 29, 2014 - 9:51 pm PT

Hello to everyone out there in blog land.  We all wish, in some selfish way I suppose, that there was a sure fire way to teleport any curious individuals straight to our location here on what is commonly called the Polo Field of the West Buttress.  As I mentioned yesterday, a move to 14,000 foot Advanced Basecamp was on the ticket and we were gonna “make some hay” while the sun did shine.  Oh how the “High One” can take any given plan and turn it into any thing she wishes.  Like the oxymoron I spoke of about a “windless” Windy Corner.  Can you say JINX!  As it turns out, not only was the corner as windy as a Dave Hahn Everest story, the sun only shined for a few minutes before it started dumping snow again.  Combine this with heinous trail breaking in the multiple feet of new snow and out pops a midway camp spot used only when the going gets tough.  So tomorrow the tough will get going again and try for 14,000 feet once more.

Wish for warm toes, a better trail and quite winds. 
Until Tomorrow. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Looking back at 11,000' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Back in Talkeetna

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Josh Gautreau | June 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

June 29, 2014 - 8:23 am PT

We finally got off Mt. McKinley as the snow stopped and the clouds parted. We wrapped up a great adventure with a great meal that did not have to be rehydrated.
I want to thank Bruce and Josh for being great partners in our adventure. Bruce is one of my heroes. Even though he is blind, he climbs with a natural ability and has a great mountain sense. He truly understands what mountaineering is all about. I look forward to our future adventures together!

RMI Guide MIke Haugen and Team “The Ocho”

River near Talkeetna, Alaska. Photo: Eric Frank

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Ready for Some Exercise

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 29, 2014 - 12:16 am PT

I believe the saying goes “when the sun shines, make some hay!”  Well metaphors are going to have to do because Toto, we ain’t in Kansas anymore and nothing grows up here except foot fungus and beards.  So, with the sun finally shining brightly and the snow settled to what seems a safe consistency,  the team is ready to make some hay and move to 14,000 camp tomorrow!  This morning we didn’t crawl out of tents until the sun warmed them up at 9 am.  After that, massive coffee presses, eggs, bacon and hash browns followed.  Yup, we do it right up here.  It was Andy’s birthday today so he got to be served all morning and surprised after breakfast to a tent full of balloons thanks to Lindsay’s pre-trip preparations.  After breakfast the team read, sun bathed, still sunk waist deep in snow when not on the trail and prepared gear to bring up the mountain.  We are all excited to move our rested legs and make our way up hill.  It will indeed be a doozy of a day, breaking trail, dealing with the sun and carrying heavy loads.  I know we are all up to the task. 

Wish us luck. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff signing off

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

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Recent Images From Mount McKinley

  • Flying into Kahiltna Base Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The Talkeetna Airstrip in view. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Sunset in Talkeetna. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • An RMI Team camped at 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Sunset from Mt. McKinley's 17,200' Camp. Photo: Katy Reid
  • An RMI Guide breaks trail on the Autobahn, Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • 16,500' on the West Buttress, Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Tents at 17 camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • A populated 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The RMI Posh Tent at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: LIndsay Mann
  • View from the Edge of the World from Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: LIndsay Mann
  • Expansive views from the Edge of the World, Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection
  • A view up the fixed lines on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Katy Reid
  • 14,000' Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • An RMI team experiencing a snow storm at 11,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI team's 14K camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI climber on McKinley's Summit Ridge. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Cache at Windy Corner with climbers in the background. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • An RMI team above Denali Pass on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Brent Okita
  • Looking up from Mt. McKinley's 11K Camp. Photo: Katy Reid
  • An RMI Guide breaks trail on the Autobahn, Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • An RMI Team ascending from 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Climbers approaching Windy Corner, Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • The view from the Edge of the World at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The view from the Edge of the World at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection