Mt. McKinley Expedition: Knoff and Team Check in from High Camp

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Mike Uchal, Zeb Blais | July 03, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

This is RMI Guide Adam Knoff, checking in from high camp on Denali at 17,000’.  We had a sweet climb from 14,000’, up the fixed lines and along the crest of the West Buttress, eventually dropping into the basin where camp is placed.  What an absolutely spectacular day of climbing!  Unfortunately, the predicted nice weather did not materialize and in fact, has deteriorated.  Such is life on Denali, where all movement is dictated by weather.  We are securely entrenched in camp, with sturdy walls and a posh cook tent.  We have plenty of supplies, and now it becomes a waiting game.  We will keep you updated.

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

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Happy Independence Day!  Mike R we’re thinking of you all the time!  Hannah has an impressive ball collection waiting for you…

Posted by: Susan on 7/4/2012 at 3:36 pm

Hey John, Happy 4th!!! Sorry you didn’t make the summit on the 4th, but the day is soon to come. Just got back from Maryland; very hot - it was 106 one day. Glad tobe home. Stay warm and safe. Jill

Posted by: Jill on 7/4/2012 at 3:05 pm

Happy 4th of July!  All is well here and I can assure you that your week is decidedly more picturesque and exciting.  Seems that you guys are waiting on a weather window.. at least you aren’t rushing up the mountain. Hope everyone is nicely acclimatized and have been able (and willing) to eat and sleep. 
Stay safe! Love you bunches,

Posted by: Stephanie on 7/4/2012 at 2:27 pm

John, doesn’t look anything like Kilimanjaro. We wish you a safe and successful climb and a safe descent to you and all your fellow climbers. Tom & Jen Rowe

Posted by: Jen Rowe on 7/4/2012 at 2:09 pm

Happy 4th of July to you all!  Sounds like the weather kinda turned on you.  Well, take this time to rest up and eat and lounge around.  Wow!  That sounds good right about now.  Third day of cherry harvest.  Everything’s going great!  Beautiful fruit!  Had Grandma Vera’s milk gravy for lunch, along with orange slices, juice, watermelon, scrambled eggs and milk.  Needless to say, they finished every drop!  Grandma said you can pick yours up when you get home.  Me and all the kids went and bought fireworks, so we will be staying up and lighting those.  We didn’t go to Brewster.  I was too scared I might get arrested for lighting those ones off.  That was so fun last year!  Well, hopefully, it won’t be long now.  please don’t take any risks.  your side of the bed is lonely and wants you back!  I love you so much and miss you and think of you so many times during my day.  hope

Posted by: Deb on 7/4/2012 at 1:26 pm


Happy 4th of July!  It is crazy hot here. I just dumped 100 pounds of ice in the pool. Wish you could send a few Denali ice blocks my way :)

On the way back to Anchorage I rode with 10 guys who had just finished climbing. They shared their photos, their videos of avalanches, their stories, and their frostbitten noses and fingers (luckily they left their boots on and did not share their toes). They also shared they had lost an average of 17 pounds each. SO….stay safe, stay warm, and eat….a LOT!! love you, dee

Posted by: deann on 7/4/2012 at 10:08 am

Mike R and all,  Praying for good weather and safe travel to the very top of America!  Lots of love! s, m, h

Posted by: Susan and Mel on 7/4/2012 at 8:57 am

Bummer! Hopefully the wait will not be too long. Dig in, rest, eat, stay warm. We are all pulling for you.
Love, Mom

Posted by: Jennifer on 7/4/2012 at 8:46 am

Bummer, but glad you are safe. Hang in there. Missing you, Chris. Hope the weather gets you there soon! Love you, Nickie

Posted by: Nickie on 7/4/2012 at 8:19 am

D.G.  Looks like all is going as planned.  I’ll be watching for the summit picture. Climb safe, see you soon.
Love You

Posted by: Caroline on 7/4/2012 at 8:18 am

Mike,  We have been following your progress, what an unbelievable experience.  Hope the weather holds out and you have a safe summit climb. Look forward to a fishing trip when you’re all done.  Steve, Kiki, Jesse and Luke

Posted by: Steve & Kiki Kovach on 7/4/2012 at 7:54 am

Great photos Adam,
Wait for the right moment, stay safe and good luck

Posted by: shamu on 7/4/2012 at 7:49 am

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