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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Carry and Rest

May 29:
Holy guacamole, another sabbath (day of rest) here at 14 camp. Definitely well-deserved after yesterday’s hard work getting a cache in up on the West Buttress. We spent the day hanging out and worrying about ambiguous weather forecasts, philosophizing as usual, and helping Mike Walter’s crew get settled in and reinvigorated after their successful summit push yesterday. Our plan is to make our move up to high camp at 17,000’ tomorrow and hopefully put ourselves in a good position to take a crack at the summit in the near future. The weather is a definite concern but with a little luck the team will hopefully be standing on top in the next few days!
Lots of hard work lies ahead.

Wish us luck,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent and the gang

May 28:
Caching at Washburn’s thumb
A clear and cold morning slowly gave way to a hot climb to the fixed lines.  As we managed our layers we climbed higher gaining better views of Mount Hunter and Foraker.  Ascending the fixed lines with out incident we reached the West Buttress proper and began climbing towards Washburn’s thumb.  Picking our way through rock outcroppings and steep snow ridges with GoPros rolling we made our cache at 4:00 PM.  Retracing our steps we reached the fixed lines and descended into the afternoon clouds.  A long day concluded back at 14 camp with Indian Fare, rice, and hot drinks.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens


On The Map

Comments (16)

we have been following your progress. We weren’t able to write from Pinetop but could log on at the rec center and see where you and the other two teams are at. Laura says it seems as if the trail never ends…Kids miss you. I do, too. God’s willing the weather cooperates for your summit. take a lot of photos.
Hugs and kisses from the three of us

Posted by: janina on

To Paul from Chloe:
I can’t wait for you to get to the top & come home.  I really miss you. xoxo air kiss and air hug

Posted by: Regan on

Hi John,going well summit will soon in your sights,true saying tough at the top.Be good,be safe.The irish gang.

Posted by: gene on


Thanks so much for the message from Paul and the updates on the teams progress.  They’ve been a blessing for me and I’m sure for the other friends and family members of the team.


I love you too baby and I miss you so much!!


Posted by: Sherri on

one more thing…one of Charles’ tentmates grabbed the phone and asked me to post a very specific message:  “Paul loves Sherri!”

Posted by: Kristian on

John ..... May the weather be with you! Once you are resting at high camp, the hardest part is behind you.
Best of luck on a successful summit and a safe trip down and home.


Posted by: Peter Amantia on

Hey John,

Hope it’s going well. Almost rather be climbing Mt McKinley than be at work at the moment ! By the way, Caroline has taken your job, as she’s proven indespensible to the firm.

Go Johnny go, go….

Posted by: Bret on

Hi team , I wish I could send some of this hot humid weather to you all. My fingers are crossed that the weather will break but it is what it is and I know you are all prepared and will keep climbing. Keep your spirits high stay focused all our love and hugs are pushing you upward for sure. Elizabeth tons of hugs and love.  Mom &  Dad

Posted by: Maureen Bartron on

For the record, that last post was supposed to say ‘how awesome are you guys?!’
Love ya! xoxo

Posted by: Kelly Facemyer on

GO BRAN!!  How are are you guys?!  Thinking of you lots and can’t wait to catch up when you’re back at boring ol’ sea level :)  Stay safe, keep rockin’ it out and love ya loads!  Big hugs, Kelly xoxo

Posted by: Kelly Facemyer on

We hope you are loving those Sour Patch sweets, endless Pop Tarts and your white chocolate!!! How are the platypus’s working out for you and Brandi? hehe
We are into the final stretch for chorus - quite the week now, but Sherman is doing good. Bailey says hi and wags her tail.
Hoping for stable weather and an opportunity to summit soon. Love you so and we are pushing you from San Fran!
Love xxx

Posted by: Peter, Sherman and Bailey on

Hope the climb is everything you wished for. We had a pretty nasty week of wet/cold weather. We were worried about you & your group, hope it didn’t slow down the progress. Spoke w/Susan going for a B-Day ride Thurs. We miss you. Stay safe… Best Wishes The Simpson’s :)

Posted by: Pat & Karen Simpson on

John, was biking up Erskine in torrid heat and started to think how comfortable you are in a cooler climate and eating gourmet meals.  I’m a bit annoyed at you, lending your Porsche to some large guy with 11 fingers screaming around the neighborhood with a a blonde in the passenger seat.

hope the weather breaks your way, we admire what you are doing.

Posted by: Anton on

hello - bran
wont be long till u and team will make the summit!!
sooo very proud of u…
love u
mom & dad

Posted by: beverly bailey on


I’m so excited and very proud of you.  Cannot wait to hear that you and the team made the summit!!!  Love you bunches and miss you beyond words…  Thanks to John for keeping me up to date on your summit timeline…


Posted by: Sherri on

Hope you are well.  Fingers crossed that the weather gods are on your side for the next three or four days.  I can see you guys on the top on Thursday or Friday.  I told Sherri it night be as early as Wednesday…looks like later now.  Hang in there.

Posted by: John Fletcher on

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