Mt. McKinley Expedition: Team Okita on the Summit!

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher | June 05, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 20,320'

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Hi, this is Brent calling from the RMI Okita McKinley Expedition and we’re calling you from the summit of Mt. McKinley.  Right now it’s 5 o’clock in the afternoon on a beautiful day here, minimal winds and a few high clouds around.  It is just gorgeous! The team did a super job getting up here today.  We are taking photos right now and getting ready to head out and get back to camp.  I will try and give another call when we are back to camp.  I just wanted to let you know everyone is doing super well at 20,320.  Congratulations to the team!  I am a bit emotional.  It has been a great day. Bye.

An RMI Team on the summit ridge of Denali.  Photo: RMI Collection The RMI Mt. McKinley May 21 Team on the summit, June 5, 2013.  Not pictured: Brent Okita.  Photo: Brent Okita

RMI Guide Brent Okita calls from the summit of Mt. McKinley, 20,320 ft.

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You are amazing Gerald!!!!  You are one in a million, always have been and always will be!!!  We miss you tons! Please come and visit with family ASAP!  The Hamptons in the summer isn’t the same without you!  Love you Gerald!

Posted by: KImmy on 6/24/2013 at 7:35 am

Simply phenomenal!

Posted by: Tom H on 6/8/2013 at 12:53 pm

Congrats..cant wait to see the pics and video…hurry up back to the gym…elyse

Posted by: elyse on 6/8/2013 at 9:07 am

Gerald and team, ongratulations!!  What an impressive accomplishment.  Gerald, i am so proud to call you my friend.  Have a safe journey down.  And you might want to consider keeping the beard. :o) -Tricia Arsis

Posted by: Tricia Arsis on 6/8/2013 at 5:32 am

Gerald my friend, You did it… hard work, love and passion does it all!  Such a rewarding, meaningful and extraordinary journey.

I wish I could emulate it!  YOU ARE OUR HEROE.



Posted by: Maria on 6/8/2013 at 4:42 am

AMAZING!  Congratulations Gerald & team!  This must be the Best feeling ever
This is a Great accomplishment….u can accomplish anything after this!  See u soon! Luv ya, Nancy

Posted by: Nancy sgro on 6/8/2013 at 4:24 am

Gerald, Great job my brutha!  Congrats to you and team.  If you get down soon, you can catch the last set of Phil Lesh and freinds on the Moutain Jam Cam! :)  C U soon.  Craig

Posted by: Craig on 6/7/2013 at 5:35 am

So incredible!  I am so impressed Gerald with you and your team’s strength, endurance and passion.  I admire your will and grace.  None of us writing to you can understand what it must feel like to reach the summit.  Its amazing. Safe travels down and I can’t wait to celebrate with you.  Everest watch out!

much love - stacy

Posted by: stacy millus on 6/7/2013 at 4:31 am

Congratulations team! You are all incredible. Way to go Gerald!Have a safe trip down and enjoy! Did you plant a Steal Your Face flag on the summit? We are everywhere!Lol Rock on my brother!
Much love,

Posted by: Mike Arahill on 6/6/2013 at 9:50 am

Congratulations Uncle Gerald!! We love you. XO

Posted by: Ashley on 6/6/2013 at 9:07 am

A and B,
It’s been 10 hours since the SUMMIT was announced (a moment in time that none of us will forget!!!!!) and the emotions are still running high back here. We are getting ready for the ticker-tape parade to welcome you home.
Descend safely, know where you’ve been, and know that you are coming home to people who love you deeply.


Posted by: Doni on 6/6/2013 at 7:22 am

Perfect landing.  Wow, what a great team.  Looking forward to everyone’s safe return and all of the great stories everyone will bring home.

Great job team.  A beautiful day!


Posted by: Leah's Dad on 6/6/2013 at 7:15 am

You made it!!!!
Make it safe down. 
We miss you a lot.  Can’t wait to see you back.  Have lots of fun coming back down.
Love Kenny, Alex and sophia

Posted by: Kenny, Alex and Sophia on 6/6/2013 at 7:08 am

Little A & B,

I can’t even express the enthusiasm coursing through my veins right now. SO proud of you guys! You have put so much into this and are getting so much out. Keep your head in it and your footing sure. Excited for you to come down and start generating new brain cells ;)
See you at Base Camp Simons soon!!!!

lots o’ lovin,

Posted by: eva on 6/6/2013 at 7:06 am

May the 4 winds bring you safely home!! So so happy for all of you! Touch a cloud for us all!!
Love arielleolivierjadejulianjasperemiliebau

Posted by: Arielle Olivier on 6/6/2013 at 6:43 am

Gerald and team!  Way to go!  Very proud of you! All that preparation really paid-off! What an accomplishment!  what a view! Safe journey down.  Love ya!

Posted by: Rob Carrizzo on 6/6/2013 at 6:35 am

Way to go Dennis, Congrads!!!  Can’t wait to hear the stories and see a picture or two.  Proud of you Bro!

Posted by: Scott Uhlir on 6/6/2013 at 6:34 am

GERALD! Very proud of you buddy! And to everyone… you’ve seen something most people never will. Amazing.

Posted by: Mike Paulison on 6/6/2013 at 6:24 am

Who’s laughing now

Posted by: john flynn on 6/6/2013 at 6:15 am

Congrats G! Way cool! Call us when you can!

Posted by: Bruce on 6/6/2013 at 6:14 am

Congrats my brother you are the man Love ya now come down

Posted by: John Flynn on 6/6/2013 at 6:12 am


Posted by: Memere on 6/6/2013 at 6:07 am

GERALD!!!!! MOUNT FRIGGIN’ MCKINLEY!!!!!! WOW!!!!! Congratulations!

See you soon,

Posted by: Scott Schultz on 6/6/2013 at 6:02 am

Awesome Gerald so AMAZING, Congratulations!!  We’re all so proud of you!! xoxo

Posted by: Jackie on 6/6/2013 at 5:59 am

Gerald my man! well done call when can miss ya!

Posted by: george on 6/6/2013 at 5:38 am

Great job Virg and the team.  Jacob and I are very proud!  Be safe on the way down.  We can hardly wait to hear about your experience and see pictures. 
Love Nora, Ed and Jacob

Posted by: Nora Hall on 6/6/2013 at 5:21 am

WAY TO GO JO.. you the man , said you would do it and you did , you worked hard buddy , be proud . Congrats to all


Posted by: mike weber on 6/6/2013 at 5:08 am

Was Gerald “Best dressed” on Summit?

Posted by: charles on 6/6/2013 at 5:00 am

Logan!! So so happy to hear that you all reached the summit, and on such a great day! Everyone here on the east coast loves looking at all of the pictures and reading the blog… the pictures are unreal. Maybe you should skydive down now?
Can’t wait to hear from you
Love, Carter

Posted by: Carter Makin on 6/6/2013 at 4:45 am

We are so proud of you Virg!!  Be careful coming back down and like Dad said - It is time to come home now!
Love Mom

Posted by: Barbara Hall on 6/6/2013 at 4:36 am

GERALD ROCKS. You inspire me!



Posted by: Anouk on 6/6/2013 at 4:30 am

Incredible!!! Congrats to all and especially the
ever fearless Gerald Flynn!! Can’t wait to hear
all about it! Safe return to all!!!xxx

Posted by: Janine on 6/6/2013 at 4:22 am

Well done I am so proud of you.  You rock.  Safe trip down and can’t wait to hear all about it.

Posted by: josette on 6/6/2013 at 4:15 am

Congratulations to each one of you! I am so happy to hear this news. Safe travels down the mountain and I can’t wait to see you soon, Monica. I hope you have wonderful pictures and stories to share.

Posted by: Kate on 6/6/2013 at 4:14 am

Monica…congratulations…you are superwoman…enjoy, enjoy and enjoy the trip down.  Be safe…have an Ice Axe or two for me from the West Rib…and don’t forget that full standard breakfast from Roadhouse…

Posted by: Fletch on 6/6/2013 at 3:49 am

YAYYY!!!!! Congratulations Erich and way to go TEAM! How AMAZING!!! I’m so happy for you! Be safe coming back down, I can’t wait to see you!!! LOVE YOU!

Posted by: Amberly Abbott on 6/6/2013 at 3:30 am

CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU ... YOU DID IT!!!  You have remined us all that achieving very challenging objectives is possible.  You have shown us that if we believe in ourselves, set specific goals, properly prepare and are persistant in pursuing our dreams ... Achieving extraordinary things is possible. 

I hope each of you take a moment to personally process what you have accomplished, look around and admire what your team has achieved, and let each other know what you intend to pursue and accomplish next.

Please remain focused as you descend ... And once again congratulations and thank you!


Posted by: Fred Klingbeil on 6/6/2013 at 3:27 am


Wowie, wowie, wowie. YOU DID IT!!!  CONGRATULATIONS to the whole amazing team led by the amazing Brent—always knew you would get there eventually—you always do;). Easy does it on the way down.  Can’t wait to hear your voice.  The girls and I couldn’t be prouder. BIG hugs and kisses xoxo Aliki, Riley & Charlotte

p.s. Should I tell Jo to start working on Argentina flights ;) xxxo

Posted by: Aliki on 6/6/2013 at 2:54 am

Hey Son (Virg) and Team, there are moments a father is sooo proud - a great feeling. You know.  It is 2:21 AM 6/6.  I want to awaken the rest of family but must waite.  YOU CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN AND LOOKED AT THE WORLD!!!! Now come home.  Love Dad.

Posted by: Virigil Hall on 6/6/2013 at 12:51 am

Congratulations Monica and team—You did it, you did it, you did it!!!
We are a bit emotional, too.
This is the stuff that dreams are made of.
May you have a safe trip down and home, and bask in your achievement.

Posted by: Marianne and John on 6/5/2013 at 10:08 pm


Don’t get in a rush to get back down.  Enjoy the scenery and take it slow.

-Larry Seaton

Posted by: Larry Seaton on 6/5/2013 at 10:05 pm

It is beyond amazing !!!!!
You touched the top!!!!
Come down carefully—-we can’t wait to see you!!!!
Mom / Doni

Posted by: Doni on 6/5/2013 at 10:01 pm

Ayla and Betzalel and team,

There are no words!!!

Luv u and miss u

Posted by: Nancy on 6/5/2013 at 9:20 pm

Congrats to Logan and team! So stoked to hear you reached the summit. Hope you’re doing well Logan, im super excited to hear all about it when you’re down! And if you got a little frost bite, don’t worry about it! I can take care of it now that I’m officially an EMT!

Posted by: Morgan Randolph on 6/5/2013 at 9:09 pm

VIRGILIO!!! This means you continue to be the coolest and most bad ass old guy I know! Despite your “good” bad knee, your “bad” bad knee, a jacked up shoulder, that thing with your arm, the other thing with your face and whatever other various ailments that you were inevitably stricken with on the way up, you stood atop Denali.  Another reason to keep looking up to you in awe.  Big ups to you, your crew and your fearless leader.  Many congratulations to you all.  Safe travels on your way down the hill.

Aaron and the G-Fam

Posted by: AG on 6/5/2013 at 9:08 pm

Ayla! Betzalel! Summit! Survival! A- I’ve been texting your phone, like a nutcase. Leaving you messages for whenever you return. Miss you both. A LOT!!!!

Posted by: Isaac Simons on 6/5/2013 at 8:59 pm

Hooray, and congratulations! Can’t wait to see the pictures! Have a safe journey down.
M & M

Posted by: Karen & Mike on 6/5/2013 at 8:46 pm

Congratulations Monica and team!!! That is such a huge accomplishment to summit Denali! All of your friends back in Boise are so proud!!!

Posted by: Melissa Ritter on 6/5/2013 at 8:45 pm

Congratulations on a successful summit!  We are so proud of you, Dennis!
Watch your step on the way back down! We want to see you soon and hear all about it!

Lots of love,

Your DC fam, Shelly, Jon and T

Posted by: Shelly on 6/5/2013 at 8:33 pm

Jeff Hooper we are so proud!!!!
Congrats Jeff and team.
See you soon

Posted by: Veronica on 6/5/2013 at 8:24 pm

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