Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Take it to 11K Camp

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Geoff Schellens | June 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

June 22, 2014 - 12:49 am PT

Today we woke to a cold, windy morning at high camp after yesterday’s amazing summit. The blowing snow and frigid temperatures kept us tent-bound until mid-day, when the allure of thicker air and warmer temperatures finally got us motivated to pack up and get moving.

The first stretch down the buttress was windy and cold, but by the time we reached Washburn’s Thumb it was much warmer and calmer. We made quick work of the last stretch to the lines, and then shot down the fixed ropes like it was our job. Soon we were dropping packs back in 14k camp, saying hey to Billy Nugent and Mike Haugen and their respective teams, picking up our cache and getting ready to move further down.

Soon enough, we got past Squirrel and Motorcycle Hills, revisiting our old stomping grounds at 11k. We pulled out all the cheese, meat, tortillas, and bagels we had, and commenced to put them all onto the griddle for the annual tradition of the “11,000’ Cheese Fry”. Basically we just cook all the goodness until folks are full, and then it’s off to bed for the early am launch.

We’re definitely missing the team members who had to head home early, and hope that everyone is warm and dry. Lots of walking left, but we should be at the airstrip tomorrow if all goes according to plan. We’ll check back then!

RMI Guides Garrett Stevens, Tyler Jones, Geoff Schellens and the No Troubles team

RMI Climbers descending above Washburn's Thumb on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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I can’t begin to know how you feel about what you’ve accomplished! Can’t wait to see you and hear it all through your eyes. Besides we need you…Tristan can’t keep up the pace and is buckling under the pressure of trying to fill your shoes :-)

Posted by: Suzanne on 6/23/2014 at 1:34 am

John, so proud of you and the rest of the team, have been helping you along, knew you could do it!  See you soon here in the nice hot valley. Farmor

Posted by: Farmor on 6/22/2014 at 6:14 pm

Jen - Glad to hear the descent is going well. Can’t wait to hear all the details!

Posted by: Nicole on 6/22/2014 at 5:21 pm

Glad to hear you’re all safe, warm, healthy and making good progress. I’ll keep watching for updates. Love Dad.

Posted by: Nick Boekenoogen on 6/22/2014 at 10:56 am

It is good to hear that you are making good progress on your descent down the mountain that ALMOST got the best of you.  But you were all tenacious, determined and patient…and SUCCESSFUL in your quest!!!!! Take care on your descent. Enjoy the last hours of your adventure and comraderie of your RMI teammates!  Thank you for update. 

Posted by: Patty Stenderup on 6/22/2014 at 10:47 am

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