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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Take Another Weather Day

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 - 9:44 pm PT

Another weather day in the books. We woke up hoping to carry this morning, but instead were greeted by another morning of strong winds and snowfall. After looking up Motorcycle Hill for a bit, and watching to see if weather improved we crawled back in our sleeping bags and decided it was going to be another rest and weather day. We needed winds to die down a bit to make it around Windy Corner. After camp warmed up a bit, we made some coffee and breakfast burritos and settled into another day of acclimating and resting. The weather broke a bit, and we were able to get the caches reading for tomorrow, practice putting our crampons on and just getting a bit of fresh air. Tomorrow we are yet again hoping for a bit better weather, and the chance to carry.

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi Will and team! Glad you got a small break in the weather and hoping for the best in the coming days. Congrats on your determination and preparation to make the trip - enjoy this adventure to the fullest!

Posted by: Rebecca on 5/24/2024 at 5:15 am

Hey Pops!
Hopefully mother nature chills out a bit and you guys can continue the climb up!  Stay safe and we love you

Cody & girls

Posted by: Cody,amanda,addie & ava on 5/23/2024 at 10:40 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Take a Weather Day

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 3:23 pm PDT

We're resting again at 14k. We're in the sun, but the cloud deck is just below us. And strong winds continue to ravage the upper mountain above us. After a lengthy brunch, our team spent a few hours building snow walls to fortify camp. We're hopeful that the weather change we're looking for will arrive by the weekend so we can make a summit push. Signs are optimistic and our team's spirits are high.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

You are almost there!!! Patience and the time will be there before you know it! We are with you.

Posted by: Bruce Wilhelm on 5/22/2024 at 7:53 pm

Stay safe out there!

Posted by: Some guy from Puyallup on 5/22/2024 at 5:19 pm

Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Ready to Carry to Windy Corner If Weather allows

May 21, 2024

Our first real rest day - and our first real weather day. Winds picked up overnight and didn't let off all day. Along with the winds came the snow. We spent all day in our sleeping bags or battling to keep track of our belongings in the snow. We wrapped our first weather day up with some hand delivered burritos, and crawled in bed hoping to carry beyond Windy Corner tomorrow.

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Stay strong, stay focused. Praying for better weather. We’re rooting for you! Love, Noel and crew

Posted by: Noel on 5/22/2024 at 6:30 pm

Sending prayers of strength and endurance. Amazed to watch your progress and thrilled you got rested for next milestone! Windy Corner here you come! Love to Tim! Teri

Posted by: Teri on 5/22/2024 at 6:01 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Wait Out Stormy Rest Day at 14,000ft Camp

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 - 6:55 pm PT

It's been a stormy rest day at 14,000' Camp. Early this morning, things were calm in camp and relatively clear. We could hear the wind above at 17,000', and large cloud banks seemed to hang all around. There was a large wall of white to the south of us, and by the middle of brunch, that had overtaken camp. We had little visibility and snow fell lightly. As the day went on, the wind direction moved just enough to subject us to it's gusts. The tents shake, spindrift is invading through any opening it can find, and snow continues to fall, harder now, drumming on the tents when the wind isn't shaking them. It has been a perfect day to stay deep in the sleeping bags, napping reading, snacking, playing cards, and venturing out occasionally to fortify our compound with walls cut from snow blocks. We are snug and riding it out. More tomorrow.

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Leave a Comment For the Team

Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Enjoy Well Deserved Rest Day

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 - 9:58 am PT

Our first relaxed morning in the books. We woke up with the sun, and had an experimental breakfast of pan fried cinnamon rolls. Update, the experiment went well - and we've got another two cans for higher up the mountain. After breakfast we took some down time and then rigged up the empty sleds to make our way down to our cache. After a quick 40 minute downhill, we were reunited with the rest of our group, and personal food and gear. We rigged the sleds back up now full, and made our way back to camp. Once back at camp, we had a relaxing afternoon and prepped camp for some incoming weather. We wrapped up the evening with some butter chicken, and then crawled in bed looking forward to our first full rest day.

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

We are all rooting for you and praying for you and your crew Jimmy! I check here daily to see where you all are and how it is going. Then I can tell the sisters when they ask about you. Keep up the good work, stay strong, and believe!

Posted by: Sister Michelle on 5/22/2024 at 10:44 am

I couldn’t be prouder Jimmy.  Everyone is constantly asking about you and so excited about what you’re doing.  You can do it!  Open the way!  It sounds like you have an incredible group, keep up the good work.  -Much Love, Hannah

Posted by: Hannah Peters on 5/22/2024 at 6:02 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Establish Cashe at High Camp

We had good weather yesterday and climbed to High Camp (17,200') to establish a cache. Twelve hours round trip back to 14,000' Camp deserves a rest day today as we wait for a weather window for a summit push. We'll touch base again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

So fun to read about your progress up that beast of a mountain.  We’re thinking about you all, a lot, and hope you find a treasure on the summit.  Thanks for your amazing spirits and sending lots of love from VT!  Stay safe and have fun.
Tracy and Bruce

Posted by: Tracy and Bruce WIlhelm on 5/22/2024 at 10:01 am

Great job to all! Shout out to Pouliot. He is supposed to take pictures to bring home & our most pressing issue at home is that the exchanger by Darla failed on Mon and Tue.)

Posted by: scott robertson on 5/21/2024 at 12:36 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Climb Fixed Lines, Ascend to 17,000’ for Carry

Monday, May 20, 2024 - 11:30 pm PT

At 6am, 14,000' Camp is a cold, quiet place as everyone tries to stay deep in their sleeping bags. It was also gorgeous this morning, so we rallied everybody and headed uphill towards the mythical fixed lines well before sun hit camp. It was a chilly start, but gave us the advantage of being among the first teams headed up. We clipped in and started up and that walk made us work today. Much of the ascent was steep, blue ice with little in the way of texture or foot holds in it. But we not only persevered, we cruised up quite smoothly. We then traversed the West Buttress, admiring the views and seeing 14,000' Camp well below. It was a perfect day for climbing and we took it all the way to 17,000' Camp, where we dug a hole to hide our goodies, and then headed back for our cozy home. The fixed lines were quite blue on the way down too, burning calves and feet, but soon we were past and stepped back into the sunlight of camp. It was a great effort from everybody, and tomorrow we plan to rest.

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Keep up the the great work! You guys are killing it!! So exciting

Posted by: Jacqueline Millen on 5/21/2024 at 7:28 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Rest at 14,000ft

Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 10:59 pm PT

This morning every peak around us, including Denali, was wearing a funny cloud hat - lenticular clouds and a sign of high winds. It made the decision pretty clear: we would rest at 14,000' Camp today. We did all of our usual rest day things and watched as camp was engulfed by a calm, white cloud, before it started to snow lightly. Despite all that, the tents were catching quite a bit of solar radiation and it was quite warm and comfy inside. We made a decent start at building snow walls to protect camp should the weather turn worse. The forecast sounds decent tomorrow, so we are hoping for weather in the morning that let's us carry to 17,000'.

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Hey Jackson! I got my Mothers Day postcard today from Denali! It made my day!

Posted by: Amy on 5/20/2024 at 3:05 pm

Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Break Camp And Move Up to 11,000ft Camp

Hello from 11,000' Camp on Denali!

After a quick breakfast of oatmeal, we tore down camp and retraced our steps from yesterday. As we worked our way in and out of the clouds and limited visibility we finally pushed past our cache site, and continued to 11,000 ft. Once we rolled into camp, the work for the day wasn't done. We made quick work setting up tents and building camp. After many hours of hard work we finally wrapped up the evening with some ramen as it lightly snowed at camp. Tomorrow we will make the quick jaunt downhill to our cache and get the rest of our gear. Check in tomorrow!

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Keep going!! Love to you Tim! Go team!!

Posted by: Teri on 5/21/2024 at 12:40 am

Way to go Pops! We’re rooting for you. We love you.

Posted by: Noel on 5/20/2024 at 8:19 am

Denali Expedition: Wittmier & Team Take a Rest Day at 11,000ft Camp

Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 8:56 pm PT

Of Hypoxic Dreams, Luxury Items, and the Suspension of Olfactory Senses I was sitting at dinner, sipping a glass of aged Saperavi wine with a perfectly-cooked ribeye steak, describing to my friends an expedition up Denali. One of my friends then asked "so what happened after Camp 2?" I stared down into my glass and a panic set in: why couldn't I remember anything else of the trip? I shot awake, back to the reality of where I was: in a Trango 4 tent, at 11,000 feet, in the middle of the sunny night, cold, with my tent mates Chris & Ilya. There are still weeks to go. Our tent, tent 2, as it were (we have no idea which ones are 1 and 3, but we're in the middle, so we'll call it number 2), has been affectionately (or derogatorily?) referred to as the "manferno" and "the pile." And it was beginning to smell, as you might imagine after 6 days without showers, but the mind has a way of shutting out the involuntary gag reflex when confronted with fermenting sleeping bags, excessive sunscreen, and jambalaya in a confined space, heated by the nearly all-day sun.

Today was a rest day for the team, apart from a crampon refresher, to recuperate from the last few days of dragging sleds uphill, and to acclimate. A day to eat, and relax. In tent 2 today, we prepared a charcuterie board with various cheeses, meats, olives, chocolates, hot sauces, and crackers. The olives in particular added the missing ingredient in our mountaineering potpourri. With the aforementioned lack of breathable oxygen, you might even say that tent 2 is the perfect place to prepare for higher altitudes. Each of us finds solace with some small item to still feel human on days like today: a pillow, a paper book, or, in my case, an electric razor to avoid looking like a grizzly mountain hermit–at least from a distance, the smell would surely give it away up close.

Off we go tomorrow, crampons beating against the ice, sleds pulling on our backs, on to cache gear higher up to build the next pile.

RMI Climber Skyler Parkhurst

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

This team always seems to have the most creative posts. (Definitely have been getting a kick out of reading these every day.)

Posted by: Some guy from Puyallup on 5/20/2024 at 1:45 pm

A new literary classic is born- “The Manferno” by Skyler Parkhurst!

Love you, great job so far, and keep up the pace! Go team!

Posted by: Matt Milford on 5/20/2024 at 10:09 am

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