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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Down and Out in Talkeetna

The longest day is finished.  We “woke” at 10 PM at 11,000 ft, broke camp and hit the trail by midnight, bound for basecamp.  Heavy packs and sleds and miles of glacier later, we pulled in to what had been basecamp three weeks ago.  That is all gone now though with the finish of the climbing season.  We saddled up one last time to go thirty minutes more for the “upper strip” -a better stretch of late-season glacier, and then two beautiful K2 Aviation Otters came in to fetch us.  We were back in Talkeetna by 10 AM and eating drinking drying sorting and celebrating for the next 24 hours… Oh yeah, and showering and sleeping too.  It was a fine finish to an excellent climb.  Thanks for following.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

My son Trevor climbed w/him years. He said last night that he had been notified that David died. Is this true

Posted by: Ruthie Bohnert on 7/29/2016 at 12:25 pm

Congratulations once more, Dave.  This was a tough one I bet.  Great following you from a distance.

Posted by: Chuck Roberts on 7/11/2016 at 10:11 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Arrive in Talkeetna

RMI Guide Dave Hahn just checked in with the RMI Office. His Denali team was able to take advantage of a good weather window and fly off of the Kahiltna Glacier this morning.  The team arrived in Takeetna at 10:00am AKDT. The team will spend some time celebrating their success before catching flights home tomorrow.

Congratulations to Dave and team, and to all of the RMI Expeditions Denali teams for a successful 2016 Denali season!

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Rest Up at 11K Camp

Saturday, July 9, 2016 - 8:46 p.m. PDT

As planned, today was something of a forced rest day at 11,000 ft.  By virtue of our having slept through the night here -which we certainly needed- the next option would have been to travel the lower glacier in the heat of the day… Or to rest up and aim for going out tonight when it gets cold and the glacial surface is frozen and safer for travel.  We are all about option two.
So the team woke late and folks talked about having gotten a real night’s sleep for the first time in weeks.  We ate long slow breakfasts and then went back to sleep.  It is possible that this will be our last full day in the park, so many took longer looks than usual at the ice and rock cliffs surrounding and towering over us.  At first the sky looked threatening, as if it might get to snowing again, but by dinner things had changed back to calm, sunny, blue skies… making us all optimistic about smooth travel out the glacier and the chance for prompt flying from the mountain tomorrow morning. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Descend to 11K Camp

Saturday, July 9, 2016 - 2:23 a.m. PDT

Yesterday was an unlikely summit day.  There were clouds everywhere and breezes blowing… But we’d begun to think we wouldn’t get anything better.  So we went for it, leaving high camp at about 10 AM.  Right out of camp though, we were breaking trail… And it went that way all day.  Slow going and strenuous climbing.  But it mostly went our way.  The winds died just before we reached Denali Pass.  It was a cold day - by July standards- but our team dealt well with the challenge.  Sadly, we never got much in the way of views due to the clouds, but when we topped out at 7:15 PM, no one seemed overly concerned with the things they might have seen on a better day.  We made it back to high camp at midnight and had a late late dinner.  Breakfast this morning was a rolling thing, with folks wandering through the kitchen one by one as they woke.  It was a stunningly nice day… Clear and sunny the way it never seems to be anymore.  But we could not have known such a fine day was coming… The forecasts didn’t hint at it.  In any case it was good for descending.  We dropped down the crest of the West Buttress, the fixed lines and the snowy hills above 14 camp.  It took time to reorganize there and then we set out for 11,000ft.  The route was barely recognizable as there’d been huge snow and plenty of avalanches.  We were sinking in deeply and engaging in a great sled rodeo on the steep side hills, but we kept on trudging and finally reached our old home at 11,000ft.  We look forward to some deep sleep and recuperation here -6,000 ft below our last home.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Wow! Impressively strong work! Tremendous congratulations to all for summiting…and, for surviving a side-hill-sled-rodeo.

Posted by: Julia on 7/9/2016 at 7:47 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Summit!

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 3:19 a.m. PDT

Hey, this is Dave Hahn calling in from 17,000ft on Denali. We summitted today. It was a hard day- 14 hours out there, mostly due to new snow. It was a difficult day to guess what the weather was going to do. We spent a lot of it socked in cloud and light snow, but the good thing was we didn’t have much for wind. So it was a hard day, but we’re all safe back at high camp. We’ll let you know a little bit more about it in these next couple of days. Bye for now.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls in after their successful Denali summit.

On The Map

Congratulations on making it to the summit! Michael Waters, I am so excited to hear about your adventuring when you return :) I hope you logged that EarthCache @

Posted by: Megan Brown on 7/8/2016 at 10:29 pm

Was never a better feeling to hear your voice last night David, from the top of Denali!  All your hard work has paid off, what an adventure you’ll have to remember for the rest of your life. Hats off to you and an obviously strong & determined Team 8, so proud for you and that moment. A huge thank you to Dave Hahn and the rest of his team for making your wish to summit this mountain a reality. His expertise & knowledge is immeasurable, how awesome is it to say you’ve summited Denali with such a respected and admired mountaineer!  Now we’re all ready for you to safely travel home so we can hear all about it, love you long time!!

Posted by: Sondra Schnautz on 7/8/2016 at 9:18 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Hang Time at 17K Camp

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 9:37 p.m. PDT

As we suspected might be the case, today’s weather wasn’t quite right for climbing.  Ultimately there was good sun warming us at the 17,200 ft camp, but we could see wind and cloud whipping over the terrain we wanted to be on a thousand feet higher.  So we rested, which -after yesterday’s big workout to get up here- seemed about right.  Nice to catch up on hydration and sleep and to give the boots a chance to dry out.  Not many other people around us now, the mountain is rapidly clearing out as the end of the season approaches.  But it isn’t over until we say it is… We’ll hope to climb Denali tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

CONGRATULATIONS! You guys are all amazing! Now you just have to get back down safely!

Posted by: Ray DiZazzo on 7/8/2016 at 7:39 am

Go team, go!

Posted by: Kelly on 7/7/2016 at 10:49 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Move to High Camp

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 1:38 a.m. PDT

We were hoping for an accidental break in the weather today.  Some morning blue sky or a little unplanned sunshine, but that didn’t happen.  It was cloudy at every level of the sky that we could see from our camp at 14,000ft.  But we couldn’t see much sign of wind.  We ate breakfast and watched the weather, we got ourselves organized and watched the weather.  Finally we decided to go for it… to try moving up to high camp at 17,000ft.  We knew a couple of teams were coming down, which was important because we wanted to use the track they plowed through the deep snow.  We didn’t get much encouragement from the sky- it began to snow lightly, still we left 14K Camp a little before noon. It was tough climbing, as expected with all of the new snow, but our timing was pretty good for using the tracks hammered in by others.  At 16,200ft, our high point of the other day, the weather was still a little sloppy, but the team was strong and enthusiastic, so we went on up the steep crest of the West Buttress.  Normally climbers have to consciously avoid looking down the steep dropoffs under the crampons, but today, with all of the cloud shrouding the scenery, it wasn’t a very airy feeling walking along the ridge.  We got into 17K Camp around 7:00 in the evening in blessedly calm conditions and set in to the hard work of building a secure camp.  The team is excited to have capitalized on a slim opportunity and excited to be so close to our goal now after two weeks of trying. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Robin & Group:  Almost there.  Good Luck.

Posted by: Kent on 7/6/2016 at 3:59 pm

Can hear you now KMan - “Let’s Go”!  Hang Ten Bro!

Posted by: Charles Holliman on 7/6/2016 at 3:40 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Celebrate the Fourth from the Edge of the World

Monday, July 4, 2016 - 10:31 p.m. PDT

Seeing as how we got about 24 inches of snow in yesterday’s 24 hours, chances were small that we’d get to move higher today. Sure enough, even though we had some calm and cloud-free skies overhead this morning, the decision was made to let the avalanche slopes settle for a day. We contented ourselves with a trail breaking journey over to the “Edge of the World.” Clouds came in while we were out at the normally breathtaking vantage point, which lessened the thrill somewhat, but we all still enjoyed the chance to stretch our legs and mug for the cameras at the point where our plateau drops about a vertical mile down to the NE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.

The rest of the day was spent lounging in camp under cloud and light snow at 14,000’, reminiscing about all the Fourth of Julys when we hadn’t been lucky enough to be halfway up America’s greatest mountain. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn and Team

BEAUTIFUL!!!! Best of luck to all!

Posted by: Kelly on 7/5/2016 at 8:16 pm

Beautiful pictures! I hope you’re having a great time Robin! Looks like you all are making steady progress. Keep up the great work! Julia, Charlotte, and I had a great July 4th weekend at the beach with mom and dad. It was very hot though, totally opposite from your environment! Mom wishes you well too. She can’t post because it gives her an error message she says. Best of luck in the days ahead! Let’s do this Cletus!

Posted by: Russell Moore on 7/5/2016 at 6:51 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn’s Team Resting and Snowing

July 3, 2016 - 10:35 pm PT

Hey all,

Today was a day of rest for our team as snow piled up and continues to pile up as I write this.  We have received at least 18 inches of snow since last night and all we see is white, not a rock in sight. The team kept busy by reading, eating, and playing with electronics until they were surprised by some lunch time quesadillas; cooked up special by RMI guides Bridget and Hannah.

The snow flakes are still coming down but we are locked and loaded to move up to 17,200 camp when the weather breaks.

Stay tuned,

RMI Guide Ben Liken

On The Map

Thinking of you Andrew and your Team.  Sending warm 30 degree C wishes from hot and humid Cayman!  You are all our heroes!

Posted by: Sue on 7/5/2016 at 7:13 am

Congrats on your hard work and fortune so far, team. Seattle and Merica are sending out positive vibes for good weather the rest of the way. Keep on steppin, Mike Waters!

Posted by: Kyle Morden on 7/4/2016 at 12:15 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Carry to 16,200’

July 2, 2016 - 11:13 pm PT

It wasn’t really supposed to be a perfect day.  It was still snowy and socked in yesterday evening, the forecast called for the same thing it always calls for -more snow-  but when we poked heads out of tents this morning for a 7 AM check.., it was perfect.  No clouds above and no sign of wind on the crest of the West Buttress.  It was about as cold as we’ve been though, getting up and fed and ready in the shadows.  The sun doesn’t hit 14 camp until 9:20… Which is when we started climbing today.  Things were slightly tougher because we did a fair amount of breaking trail uphill through new snow, but there were a couple of other climbers out who seemed determined to stay ahead of us -so that helped.  We took two breaks before the start of the steep “fixed rope” section of the climb.  Most had been looking up for a few days and wondering how we’d get up something that appeared to be so difficult from afar.  It still looked hard from close up, but we did it anyway -step by step.  We topped out at the magical little notch in the ridge at 16,200ft to find magnificent views and a steady zero miles per hour in the wind department.  It was tough climbing, most said… but they said it while grinning from ear to ear.  Five of our twelve climbers broke altitude records today.  We dug a raven-proof hole in the snow and cached supplies.  Then it was back down the ropes, saying hello to several groups still on their way up to sleep at high camp (17,200ft).  It was hot and still on our way down, but our packs were light and the distances were small.  Clouds had formed up and we were enveloped by them before we reached 14 camp at 4:15PM.  Sure enough, it started snowing lightly as we climbed in the tents for a rest.  A few hours later, it was still snowing but we were sheltered in our dining tent, eating dinner and talking about another great day in the mountains. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

We are cheering you on from Alabama! Praying that the weather cooperates and the team has a safe journey to the top and back!! See you soon David! We miss you!

Posted by: teresa on 7/5/2016 at 6:47 am

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