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Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Okita & Team Move to High Camp

Sunday, June 2, 2013
The weather has finally changed. No more perfectly sunny , windless days. Instead, this morning we saw some clouds both below us and above. But they were fairly light clouds and the winds remained calm. A change none the less. After sixteen days of perfect weather these clouds might seem ominous, but in reality the weather was fairly nice. So, we picked up and moved up to high camp at 17,200’.
Gambling on the weather is one of those things that is just a part of mountain climbing. Do you stay or do you go? Given the relatively benign weather forecast I opted to take advantage of a nice day to move up.
An early start allowed us to reach camp by 3:00 where we were able to have our pick of walled tent spaces. We were even able to dig in the Posh House. After a little while some snow started falling and we figured we’d just have a simple dinner and allow the team to eat in the comfort of their tents. After all, we had had a big day with heavier packs that our previous climb and folks could feel the effort. But, not this team. It’s impressive that when offered room service at 17,000’ everyone of the team chose to get together for dinner.
No, today there was no singing, but everyone was in good spirits and hoping to get a good nights sleep. Our plan is to check out the weather in the morning and go for it if things are good. Otherwise, we’ll have a good rest day.
It’s great to be in position for a summit bid finally. All we need now is one good day.
Wish us luck!
RMI Guides Brent, Logan and Leah

On The Map

Comments (25)

Stay strong! You are almost there! Well, actually you are already doing and seeing places and things that most of us only dream of, so please appreciate how far you have come as well!

We love you, Dennis!

Shelly, Jon and Tasha

Posted by: Shelly Uhlir on

Jeff H and friends—Hoping today is the day! Here’s to a fabulous summit.

Posted by: Jill Cathey on

Congrads on making to 17,200 and here’s to a perfect day for the summit bid!!  Can’t wait to hear the stories!

Posted by: Scott Uhlir on

Yeah Team!
Wishing you all the best of fortunes!
Keep up the good spirits and God Speed.
We’re cheering from afar.
Mike and Karen

Posted by: Mike and Karen on

Hello Gerald love,

My heart has been racing since I woke up this morning not knowing if you made a summit bid yesterday—I can’t wait for the next blog entry! So, so proud of you and what sounds like an amazing team. Sending you all positive vibes for a safe journey to the top (and bottom).  We miss and love you so much ( too quiet around here;)) xxox Aliki, Riley + Charlotte

Posted by: Aliki on

Gerald! So excited for you and super proud as we
all are for the amazing effort and beautiful
journey you’re taking us on! God bless all and
may the rest of your trip be as glorious as it
has been so far…nice one on the duck btw
Gerry. You never disappoint. XxxxJC

Posted by: Janine Corletta on

A and B

Posted by: doni on

We’re so excited for you all! Enjoy the climb and stay safe. We’ll look forward to the pictures!
Love, Mom

Posted by: Karen on

Best of luck Virgil, looks like you have a strong team and are in great position for a summit.

Posted by: David Zeps on

Yahoo!  Way to go!  Positive thoughts for clearing weather!


Posted by: Lorraine on

Ayla, Betzalel, and the rest of the team,
I’m so proud of you guys! You’ve prepared for this for so long and you’re about to accomplish such an amazing goal. You’re so close! You are all so awesome!!! Keep going! You got this!

Much love from South America,

Posted by: Becca Elliott on

A, B & all of team Brlegan (mashup ala US weekly power couples),

I am giddy just thinking of how close you are to your goal! You have worked so hard mentally and physically to achieve this. A- I’ve been envisioning you as a tiny Darth Vader wearing your balaklava scaling the mountain. Stay strong, stay focused and go bag this SUMMIT!!!!

Hugs, kisses and eternal mushiness,

Posted by: Eva on

Joey 17,200 thats up there. Am so excited for you all. Fantastic. Can’t wait for the pics and stories. Wake up every morning wishing you all the best. Summit is coming fast. Enjoy. Peace brother.

Posted by: Frantz on

Jeff Hooper
You are almost to the top!!!! Keep going. 
Looking forward to seeing you soon. Holding good thoughts—M & D, Vee

Posted by: Veronica on

Not far to go now Del, keep at it mate.  Lets hope the weather window holds and you can see Ireland from the top!!! Climb Hard & Stay Safe Huw
p.s. Mourinho back at Chelsea!!!

Posted by: Huw on

Everyone on the team has our blessings to a beautiful ascend to the Summit and a safe return with many happy memories to share with all.  We are watching every morning from Winthrop and Marta from Hungary.  What excitement and we love the pictures.


Posted by: Leah's Dad on

correction: I’m SO psych for all! damn blackberry!! you all are probably not missing those stupid devices at 17K!!  Enjoy the summit and Best of luck guys!

Posted by: Rob Carrizzo on

Way to go team!  such great news about weather and spirits.  I’m praying you wake up to blue skies and make the summit!  Gerald when you are up there give a big Joey shout out!!!!  We’ll hear it!  I’m some psych for all! All the best!


Posted by: Rob Carrizzo on

Here’s to good weather windows and strong steps as Monica and the team push for the summit! It’s been so fun following your adventure. Thanks to some pretty awesome guides for such great reports. Good luck and safe return!

Posted by: Kelsey on

Almost there Monica! You and your team have been so inspiring to see move up the mountain.
Praying for good weather for you to stand at the top in victory. Oh yea,remember to smile big!


Posted by: Jim Gentle on

Hi Monica—
We’re thinking of you at seventeen-two.
We’re thrilled by all your successes.
May the weather hold for a glorious and well-deserved ascent to the summit!
All the best to you, and all the crew.

Posted by: Marianne and John on

Thinking about you and your team. Sending love, and imagining your joy at the summit.

Posted by: Elliot Marseille on

Here’s to good weather windows, a successful summit for Monica and team, and a safe return!!! It’s so cool to “follow” your trip! Thanks for the great summaries from some pretty awesome guides!

Posted by: Kelsey on

Goooooooooooooo Monica!  Great pace so far - keep it up!  Thinking about you constantly now… pics of the summit!!!!

Posted by: Paul Stanford on

This is SUCH fantastic news! I’m praying that the weather stays good for y’all and that you get to summit REALLY SOON! YAY! I don’t think I can say it enough, but I’m so proud of you! Mom and Major wanted me to tell you hey and that they’re thinking about you, too! We are all ready for you to come home so we can hear all about this adventure! Enjoy these next few days. Take lots of pictures! Love you!


Posted by: Amberly on

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