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Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team at 17,000’

Hey everybody back at home, this is Billy I am checking in from our high camp at 17,000’. 

The team moved up yesterday.  It was looking a little bit iffy weather wise but it looked like we were going to get a window.  The weather cleared right up for us for our move and we moved right into high camp and set up shop.  We were considering taking a shot at the summit today but winds returned and we opted to rest here at 17,000’.  So everyone is snug in their sleeping bags, hanging out in the tent. Things are sunny here in camp right now but we had a fair bit of wind up on the ridge above Denali Pass that is going to keep us from going at least today.  We are keeping our fingers crossed for tomorrow.  We have enough supplies to last about a week up here. So we are hoping for a good weather window and the team should be able to get out there and punch the summit.

So we’ll give you a call tomorrow and let you know what we are up to.

Take care,
RMI Guide Billy Nugent

RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from 17000 on Mt. McKinley

On The Map

Comments (40)

Howzit Elizabeth!
Hope you’re staying warm up there at 17,000’...fricken crazy man!  Safe travels to you and the team
Dent & Jenny

Posted by: Dent & Jenny on

I just left a comment for the wrong team. Im in computer right now and Evelyn and I say hi. Don’t worry it’s freetime. Love you mom

Posted by: Sheena on

Dr Deeb It is June 1 2012 Are you at the top of the world yet??? We are all thinking of you and looking forward to the happy hour of stories and pics
Safe travels down
See you soon

Posted by: Robin Alexander on

I hope as you are all wrapped in your sleeping bags, you are remembering every joke you heard and attempting to smile and laugh.  Keep the + spirit and I know you will summit.  Couds and wind go away. So awesome what you have accomplished as individuals and as a team.  Proud- proud and more proud of you all.The blogging is fantastic, what stories you will be talking about for the next year to all of us here on lower ground. Hugs to all,  Elizabeth’s Mom

Posted by: Maureen Bartron on

UPDATE: I suppose this could change over the next couple hours, but it looks like a no-go for today.  Winds are pretty high and not likely to change before the summit day cut-off hour which is generally around noon local time.

Guide Brent Okita (from the RMI team behind ours) actually came up to 17K on his own from 14K yesterday and noted how bad the winds were—his team was supposed to cache on the West Buttress today, but might not, given the conditions.

So now we’re looking for tomorrow.  The Team is on their 4th day at high camp—this is not the most hospitable spot to be stuck in.  Let’s send them some positive thoughts.

Posted by: Kristian on

Hey Todd! We miss you buddy. The folks at Monkey Bar Gym Chicago are keeping up with the blog and are rooting for you and your expedition crew!  Keep it UP and have a blast up there!


Posted by: Jeremy on

  Roachie and Bo Bo are cheering for you everyday!!  They miss their auntie. Keep it up!!!! We love you!!!!

Posted by: Emily and julie on

Elizabeth and Brandi - thinking about you guys, I figure by this time you guy smust be pretty smelly.  I don’t want to even think about your tent. Hope you make it to the top very soon!  all the best! Dan Morison

Posted by: dan morison on

BB & Elizabeth—you guys are up at 17,000—the S&P is back down at 1300… Your achievemnet thus far has been truly remarkable - everyone is hoping that the weather does the right thing for you soon and that you get to finish what you set out to do. Wishing you and all the team the very best of luck and safe climbing.

Posted by: Paddy on

Go Elizabeth and Brandi!! So exciting watching you two do this!! Quick question, though—Elizabeth, how are you going to be in Yosemite Valley with us, climbing up Rainbow View on June 2nd?  You truly ARE amazing!  We’ll miss you guys this weekend, but will be sending Yosemite energy your way!  Slideshow at my house when you get back, ok?!?!  GO, GO GO!!!

Posted by: Laura Kelly on

Elizabeth! You go girl! I am so proud of you already and I know you will make the summit. I can’t wait to hear about your amazing stories and love you lots! Go “e” go!

Posted by: Carrie gross on

Elizabeth,  We’ve been following you daily.

Do you want us to give you your skis back- for the trip down? About your laundry, if you turn your clothes inside out, you can get another clean day that way.  What you’re doing is outstanding! 
Clark, Peggy, Brigid & Ingrid.

Posted by: Peggy, Clark, Brigid, Ingrid& Ronnie on

Hi Elizabitch!
We are so proud of what you have accomplished so far! Summit baby, you are almost there!!!
We have been thinking a lot about your climb these past few days and we are thankful that Jean led us to this Blog site. Now we can learn of your adventures in real time!
We miss you dearly. Celia wants to climb Denali someday just like you!
Good luck and we will pray for perfect weather for you and your team!
Lot’s of love,
The Hoffman’s

Posted by: Elissa, Bryan & Celia on

Elizabeth, Shannon, Dogo and I are wishing you the best and a speedy, safe summit so we can see you, Jean and Sheena back together sooner rather than later!  Can’t wait to hear about the adventure and challenges!

Posted by: Jeremy on


I saw Jean the other day and his hair was long, and frankly,  a bit greasy. He appeared a bit disheveled along with being unshaven with food stains down his shirt. I’m not sure he’s handling your absence very well.

I’ll try to check in with him regularly, but don’t let this distract you from reaching the top and getting back down again safely.

With love and best wishes!


Posted by: Steve Perham on

Elizabeth - how amazing to be where have gotten yourself.  It must be incredible.  Eric, the kids and I think of you, your friend Brandi, and your team daily and send positive thoughts your way. A success it will be!  Stay strong, be smart, ENJOY!  Can’t wait to hear all about when you return to SF.  We’ll be following the blog…

Posted by: Erica on

Hey Stuart,
Everyone here at Wicked is very excited for you! Tonight is our 3,000th show! Time sure flies. I hope all is well and that the summit will soon be yours! Well… and everyone’s on the team…

Much love coming your way!


Posted by: Patti Emmert on

Good luck to the team. Hoping good weather window appears soon. Thank you Kristian for sharing the updates. Donny, we’re all following along in Charlotte.

Posted by: Susan Banks on

we are keeping our fingers crossed for a window of opportunity for your group to summit in the next days. Enjoy the peace and wild beauty up there. Plenty of Earthly chores down here and a 100 on a cool day.

Posted by: janina on

Hey Dad,
We are hoping you will be back by fathers day! We are cheering you on. I really miss you. We are going to papas tomarrow, mom has to work. Swim meet on Tuesday. I have a dance recital this Sunday, mom will viedo it so you can watch it. Stay Strong.
Love always, Laura xoxoxo

Posted by: laura on

I am nearly 1 mountain below you. I hope you make it on this huge journey. I can’t wait till you come back!
P.S. I caught a fish in Pinetop lake.

Posted by: PETER on


I cant believe that you guys are that close to the summit. Amazing work. Please be safe and get back here soon. I’m becoming even more of a recluse without you to talk to.  BTW you owe me $20 for MLK’s birthday and I have taken one of the farm animals as hostage till I get paid. 

Posted by: Noddy on

Update from 17 camp:  No summit attempt today. Billy could see some serious gusting up higher on the ridge where you hook a right onto Denali Pass.  Also pretty poor visibility with all the now blowing going on. 

The current thinking is that, in all likelihood, their next legitimate weather window won’t be until Saturday.  Tomorrow is possible, but not considered likely.

Posted by: Kristian on

Congratulations to the whole team- well done.

Very stoked for you Elizabeth - enjoy the view and keep up the good work!

best wishes for safe and happy trails,

Posted by: Nils on

Hi John and gang,good luck for a safe weather window to summit.We are all thinking of you The Irish Gang.

Posted by: Gene Costello on

Hey fav cuz George,
We are so proud of you. Get your butt to the summit so you can get back to work.  Here in SV with the crew and Kelly. We are wishing you well.
YFC Angelle

Posted by: angelle on

Ok. I have butterflies and I am sitting at a whopping 0 altitude.  Be strong and be safe. We are really excited for all of you at the moment and cannot wait to see the summit smiles.

Posted by: Peter, Sherman and Bailey on

Go George! We are so happy for you and proud of you!!  Love from Mom and Mark…......

Posted by: Mark & Linda on


Capture your summit experience for us to share when you get home. 

You are brave, strong and loved more than you know!!!

Good luck team


Posted by: Sherri on

Good Luck Team!

Posted by: Lacey Meadows on

Hello Dr Deeb following you up mt mckinley. are you sure you are going to make it by next wed looks like you having to much fun!!! cynthia and i are working with you next week and planning the denali survivor happy hour:)

Posted by: erika castro on

Hello Dr Deeb We are following your progress with team nugent Wow!!! looks like your almost on top of the world!!! Hiking Hugs from your team aoms

Posted by: Robin Alexander on

Way to go guys! Fingers crossed for good weather soon. Super exited for you all to reach the summit. Sure its gonna be an awesome sensation. Donny, miss you and I am really proud of you! By the way, there was a soccer game last night of Brasil x USA in DC, Brasil won 4x1 and one of the goals was from Neymar. Thought you would like the info. Stay safe! Love you

Posted by: Tatiane on

Elizabeth!!  Incredible work by you and the team getting to 17,000 ft and the doorstep of Denali’s Summit.  I have no doubt spirits are high and you all are poised for the summit push.  Soak up the amazing environment, the experience, and those you’re sharing it with.  We miss you.  -DTB

Posted by: Damon Blechen on

Fingers crossed for good weather and a great summit! I can’t wait to hear from you all on how things go.
Love to Anne Gilbert,

Posted by: chris chase on

Hi Team Nugent! Good luck to all as you approach the summit. Hope the weather clears up!! John…we miss you! Everyone has been calling to check on your progress….I am watching this blog closer than I am the FT! Good luck with the summit and get home safely so you can save the Eurozone.

Posted by: Caroline on

Hello Everyone,  I am so excited that it is hard for me to concentrate on anything else but you all being so close to Summit :-)  Go team Go,  stay safe and use that inner core that you all have.Proud of you all,  Elizabeth feel my hugs and love.  OMM

Posted by: Maureen Bartron on

Go Team..Paul, take lots of pictures from the summit.  I hope you GoPro for the summit ridge.  Talked with Jake and have our 2013 trip ready to go..

Posted by: John Fletcher on

Hello- Bran
wow - 17,000”, so awesome, u and the team..
eat a good breakfast!!! and punch the summit, and send us a picture..
love Mom & Dad

Posted by: beverly bailey on

Sounds like you are all primed and ready to go.  A goos weather window, a breakfast of quesadillas and hot chocolate and one more big push. 

To all the hardcore ladies up thre, show those toughguys what you’re made of!  Best of luck and can’t wait to see the summit photo.  But mosty of all be safe…


Posted by: Chris Brill-Edwards on

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More Updates


May 29, 2012

Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir

Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar Update


May 24, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Back Carry and Train

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