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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Cifelli & Team Arrive in Talkeetna

Like we’ve said before, the weather hasn’t been in a good mood here in Alaska. Keeping with that trend, was the dramatic ending to our long and hard-fought expedition. As we resigned ourselves to sleeping yet another night on the glacier, we got the call that planes were in the air. 

Hopeful, salad eyed, and smelly we packed our stuff and waited for our return trip home. Then the rain started. As we stared down the southeast fork of the Kahiltna, we could only hear the buzz of the planes and the patter of the drops on our coats. Muttering “ cmon, cmon” as if to plead with Mother Nature to abate and let the clouds lift. We willed the weather to let up just enough for the pilots to pull off a landing and high tail it out of there. 

We slept in beds last night, took showers, and celebrated like it was going out of style. We can’t wait to see our friends and family soon. Thank you all for following along and cheers to another great, successful expedition on Denali. See you next year! 

RMI Guides Dominic Cifelli, Seth Burns, Dan May and Team

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Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Split Up, Some Return to Talkeetna

Wednesday, July 5, 2023 - 11:59 pm PT

Difficult day today, waiting for the weather to clear, then scrambling like crazy in the evening to fly and finally an unintentional split of the team. As some made it in to town and some remained on the mountain for the night. 

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Denali Expedition: Cifelli & Team Arrive at Basecamp

Wednesday, July 5, 2023 - 12:55 am PT

The team woke up to snow and wind distorting the shapes of the tents we call home for the last 21 days. We hit snooze and hoped for the best. While I wouldn’t say the best ever came the allure of Roestis, showers, and beds pulled us out of our sleeping bags and into the fray. From 11,000 ft to the base of Ski Hill was a near total whiteout. We persevered through the wind, moisture, and visibility to reach basecamp at about 6pm, but conditions didn’t allow planes to come and land. We’re hopeful that tomorrow we’ll be back in civilization.

RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli

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Yay!  Mission almost accomplished!  Such an amazing group you are

Posted by: Kim on 7/5/2023 at 8:53 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Reach Basecamp

Tuesday, July 4, 2023 - 11:57 pm PT

Long day, but it ended with us reaching basecamp safe and sound, so it was a very good day. The start was hard, it was still snowing and blowing as we packed. There was a lot to do since our gear had been buried under a few feet of fresh snow. We set out at 9:40 in a whiteout, working by Braille and GPS. The first three hours were like that, pushing through endless new snow. We started to come out of the storm below ski hill, but conditions were quite mushy. Our snow shoes were sinking in, which made finding crevasses fairly difficult. We trudged on in surreal lighting as the clouds came and went. Heartbreak Hill didn't break any hearts. We were happy to be on the home stretch. We pulled in to basecamp at 6PM. It was all ours for a few minutes. Dominic Cifelli's team pulled in just behind us, but otherwise, camp was empty and gone, closed up for the season. Weather didn't permit a flight so we camped.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Hey Dustin and Dave! Awesome job getting your team back to basecamp! You guys Rock!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 7/6/2023 at 4:48 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Waiting at 11,000ft for Break in Weather

Monday, July 3, 2023 - 9:05 pm PT

It has been a windy snowy 24 hrs at 11,000ft.  Not very pleasant to be outside of the tents for long. We are biding our time, waiting to make a break for it.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Congratulations & Happy 4th of July!
Jokes are all downhill from here… :D

Posted by: FAUSTINE SAMEC on 7/4/2023 at 9:24 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Descend to 11,000ft Camp

Monday, July 3, 2023 - 12:28 am PT

We battled our way down to 11,000 ft.  A big day of work.  Lots of packing, lots of dicey climbing down the tricky steps of the West Buttress. This day was supposed to be a nice one, but we could see every sign that the storm was coming in early.  We had to fight a little to get around Windy Corner. It snowed on us as we climbed down and as we fought to get a camp up at 11,000'. But we are happy to have made such progress should the storm now come in hard.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Denali Expedition: Cifelli & Team Reach the Summit!

Sunday, July 2, 2023 - 3:56 am

The RMI Denali Expedition June 11 led by RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli reached the summit of Denali on Saturday evening.  The team is safely back to camp at 17,000'.

Nice work team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Dear Saurabh
Congratulations on your team’s spectacular and adventurous climb to the ultimate height of 20310 ft above sea level in trying weather conditions and chilling cold amidst snow storms . Kudos to the dedication ,commitment, disclipline and team work which enabled you to reach your goal। We are proud of you my son . May you achieve even more goals in your life.
Ravi and Anjali
Your dad and MOM

Posted by: Ravi on 7/2/2023 at 8:17 pm

That’s awesome!!  Congratulations everyone!!

Posted by: Jenni on 7/2/2023 at 6:37 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Reach the Summit!

July 2, 2023 - 4:16 am PT

Summit!!! On a fine day. A little bit of a long one though -fifteen hours round trip. We got tangled with a couple of other guided parties.  Those other teams were breaking trail, so it is tough to fault them for being slow. We were on top at 8:30 PM and back to 17,000' Camp just after 2 AM. The weather was very nice, but it wasn't the warmest day on top.  Most of us had on all the clothing we had. 

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Congratulations Mitch!!! Such an inspiration at, dare I say, 61!
Safe travels back down and thank you to ALL the team for keeping making it happen.

Posted by: Marcelle Flowers on 7/3/2023 at 12:57 pm

Well done team! Cheers to a tremendous accomplishment. Special props to Dustin and Sam for their guidance on Rainier last month. Safe travels my friends!

Posted by: Joseph Mueller on 7/3/2023 at 7:51 am

Denali Expedition: Cifelli & Team Return to High Camp after Summit

People like to throw around the word ‘Conquer’ in reference to the mountains they climb. As if they defeated the mountain when they touched its apex. I find this to be a distasteful representation of summiting a mountain and as we crawled into our sleeping bags in the crisp, cold air of Denali’s 17,200K we certainly didn’t feel like conquerors. Tired, cold, and atrophied from the last 18 days on the mountain we slept knowing that Denali had granted us the opportunity to touch its peak and not that we had bested it.

The team awoke to clear skies and one of the first green lights we received from Denali, it was time to climb. At 10:25, we started our journey upward not reaching the summit until a hard, but well fought, ~10 hours. We are back down at High Camp; tired, sore, but satisfied with the effort and accomplishment. We start downward tomorrow in search of all of the cravings we have been fantasizing about.

RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli

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Denali Expedition: Cifelli and team Move to 17,000’

Friday, June 30, 2023 11:47 pm PDT

The gods of Denali blessed the team with the weather window needed to begin the hardest three days of our lives. We began our assault up The Wall and eventually the fixed lines. The sun was surprisingly warm and persistent. The black rocks jutting from the frozen snow reminded me constantly of the Oreo McFlurry I will no doubt consume when I get off here. We are thinking of you all as we attempt to summit tomorrow. 

RMI Climber Travis and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Lisa and Blair wishing you luck!!!

Posted by: Blair Johnson on 7/2/2023 at 7:16 am

Peace, gratitude and mental toughness…you’ve got it!!!

Posted by: Kim on 7/1/2023 at 9:35 pm

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