Mt. McKinley: Okita and Team Visit the Edge of the World

Posted by: Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | June 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 1, 2014 11:47 pm PT

It has been a perfect rest day for us. Not perfect climbing weather, but plenty nice at camp to enjoy the day. Although many climbers took advantage of the relatively good weather to go for 17,200’ camp, many others were suspicious of the cloud cap over the summit that threatened winds on the Buttress. In fact, no guided groups went to 17,200’ today. But we had no such decisions to make. Instead, we slept in until 9:00 then, as we’ve done before, and feasted on a sumptuous brunch of smoked salmon, bagels and cream cheese. What decadence!

The guides had some chores and logistics to sort out, then we took the short tour east to the Edge of the World to take in the view from 14,000’ overlooking the Northeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, and affording views way down the glacier to where our very first camp of the expedition was.
We’ve done a lot of climbing since then, and have developed as a strong team caring for the well being of each other as much as ourselves. It’s nice seeing the kind of support these guys give each other.

Tomorrow brings us our biggest challenge of the trip, and everyone shares the mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness. We got through the headwall and fixed lines yesterday, but the Buttress itself is another beast. As is ascending the 3000’ to 17,200’, a new altitude record for many of us.
That this part of the route is the guides’ favorite part attests to the aesthetics of the climbing, and I think the team will get excited when they get on it.

We’re looking forward to a good, hard day. Because it will be a long day for us, which may even be followed by another even harder day (the summit?), this may be the last post of any length for a while.

Wish us luck!
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, and Nick Hunt

RMI Guide Brent Okita preparing a smoked salmon, cream cheese, and bagel feast at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Lindsay Mann Mt. Foraker as viewed from the Edge of the World at 14,000' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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Comments

Greg,
The girls and I are home from Alaska. We are thinking about you. Love You!!

Posted by: Robin Wagner on 6/3/2014 at 10:05 pm

Dan - hope the weather cooperates so you and your team can continue with this climb/journey! I’m def. enjoying all the pics and updates thus far! Rooting for you all! Miss you <3 Patricia

Brent - thank you for all the updates and wish everyone a safe return.

Posted by: Patricia on 6/2/2014 at 5:17 pm

Rick Popp
Enjoy the climb. Liv, Joy, Jeff, Marian, Gran, Poppa and I are cheering you on! We hope the next few days bring great weather and gorgeous views! I love and miss you and we are following along closely. Can’t wait to see you.
XOXOXO Carol

Posted by: Carol Popp on 6/2/2014 at 11:36 am

Hey Steven!
Keep it up, almost there! Be safe and know I will be thinking about you!See you soon:-)
GO TEAM!
Bianca

Posted by: Bianca on 6/2/2014 at 11:27 am

The O’Mara family cheering squad is here rooting for (and praying for) Brady, Bruce and your entire mountain family.  We wish you safe travel with blue skies, 5 mph winds and no more snow to the summit and back home.  We love you, Brady!!!

Posted by: Jane O'Mara on 6/2/2014 at 10:56 am

That’s your favorite breakfast!  Be safe and we love you!!!!!  Carin, Andy, David, Jordan and your godson Brian (he made me include that!)  :-)

Posted by: Carin Parella on 6/2/2014 at 10:54 am

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