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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Move to 7,800 and Set Up Camp

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 10:39 PM PT

We were up at 2 AM for our much anticipated launch from Denali Basecamp.  It was still cloudy and overcast and seemed to be moving toward being more cloudy and overcast, but we felt we had something of a window for moving.  After a hot breakfast, we knocked down tents and rigged up for glacial travel.  By 4:38 we were walking down the SE Fork of the Kahiltna with our snowshoes on.  A number of other teams had begun climbing in the hours ahead of our departure, so the soft snow trail was packed nicely for us.  As expected, glacier conditions were good and it was a relief not to be crossing open crevasses and sagging snow bridges.  There wasn’t too much to see with all of the cloud, so we just concentrated on walking steady for an hour at a push.  We very nearly saw the sun at one point just after 8 AM but that was it despite this being the Solstice and a traditional big day for sun worshipers.  Five and a half hours brought us to 7800 ft, and our intended destination.  By that point the clouds were right down on us and it was snowing lightly.  We built a quick camp and got inside before it got snowing a little more heavily in the early afternoon.  We snoozed and drank water to recover from the morning workout.  The wet snow continued right through dinner, but we weren’t so uncomfortable in our cozy dining tent with snow benches and countertops.  Now that all are in bed, the snow keeps on coming, but quietly… there is no wind and that is a good thing. 

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Glad to read all is going well, and Yay! for no wind! Message for the MackienRufWongHirschi peeps: Greg’s lucky streak continues - he had 3 hands over 20 and no hands under 10 last night. I narrowly avoided a double skunk. Hope everyone is warm and dry up there. Thinking of you constantly…. Love, Amy

Posted by: Amy Ruf on 6/22/2018 at 7:24 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Rest at 11,000’ Camp

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 10:16 PM PT

After the Hurricane Horiskey beatdown and yesterday’s big move we decided today was a great day to rest and let our bodies begin to acclimatize to the higher altitudes. So we slept until the sun hit our tents and then we enjoyed a hardy meal of breakfast quesos and talked strategy for our cache day tomorrow. Post breakfast we enjoyed an afternoon snooze (have to let the breakfast settle) and then did some organizational prep before rollin on into dinner and a celebration of Josh’s 48 birthday! He had a smile bigger than the solstice sun when we sung him Happy Birthday and presented him with a cheesecake and mini cake complete with a candle. After filling our bellies we dispersed to our tents and are enjoying the rest of solstice snuggled up waiting for our cache day tomorrow.

All is well here with our Super Crew!

Happy solstice everyone!
RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: King & Team Remain at 14,000’ Camp Hopeful for Break in Weather

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 10:04 PM PT

Yup, just another weather day here at 14,000’ Camp on Denali. Snow and calm air the entire day. Breakfast was ate, coffee drank and cards played throughout the day in the Posh. We were hopeful this low pressure system was breaking up tomorrow. Instead it looks to be a Saturday to Monday window. We’ll wake up at 5 am and check the weather. Fingers crossed we can get to 17 camp and be on the summit Saturday.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Move to 11,000’ Camp

Wednesday, June 20, 2018—11:14 PM PT

As it turns out, the sun does still exist!! We saw it last night— well actually just the cold sunlight that reflected off the moon— but it was surrounded by bright blue sky and we finally got to see the gorgeousness of the landscape we’ve been inhabiting for days. 
We woke in a white out but made the move to 11,000’ Camp anyway, with the thought that we must be right at the top of the clouds. Sure enough, we were right! Our new home at 11,000’ welcomed us with sunshine to dry out our gear and allow for lounging not in a tent.  After a big burrito dinner we are fat and happy back in our sleeping bags, but this time they’re dry and our alarms aren’t set to wake up every hour for shoveling. Much love to all of you who care enough to listen in! Sending special birthday wishes to Cody, Lindsey’s brother!

With love,
RMI Super Crew

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

That’s great news! So happy to read that the super team is moving up in sunlight. Happy Birthday to Josh. Great place to spend the longest days of the year.

Posted by: David Clemmons on 6/22/2018 at 6:52 am

Enjoy the sunshine!! Been praying for everyone and for better weather.  Good thoughts to everyone and a special love to you Shannon.  Love Mom

Posted by: Linda Walsh on 6/22/2018 at 5:20 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Fly to Kahiltna Base Camp

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 9:52 PM PT

This is one lucky team of climbers.  We woke in Talkeetna under cloudy skies… pretty much the same cloudy skies that had kept anybody else from flying during the past six days.  It sprinkled rain on us as we ventured out for breakfast but by the time we’d eaten, our pilots surprised us by announcing that basecamp was in the clear and that it was time to fly. 
We geared up, loaded the planes and lifted off by 9:15.  The ski equipped DeHaviland Otters got us through to Kahiltna Base Camp by about 10 AM.  Views while flying weren’t stupendous since there was still plenty of cloud hiding the big peaks, but as we got into the center of the range, the lower parts of the big peaks were stupendous enough in their own rite. Basecamp at 10 AM was a very busy and bustling place after a week of no-fly days.  Tyler Jones and his RMI team loaded onto the planes we vacated.  They’d finished a storm plagued trip and hadn’t been able to move to high camp or summit but they appeared happy and healthy just the same.  We built camp and spent the day reviewing glacier travel techniques and sorting gear and supplies.  The team seems pretty at home in this world already.  We’re hopeful this break in the weather will last… that said, now -at 9 PM- it is snowing lightly.  So much recent snow has sure been a good thing for healing up the lower glacier.  Word is that open crevasses are few and far between and sketchy bridges are scarce. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Job and Margaret, everyone back home is pulling for the two of you!  God speed!

Posted by: Frank Romano on 6/22/2018 at 6:51 am

Best of luck to Tom and the whole team—You all are awesome!

Posted by: Randy Salo on 6/22/2018 at 5:58 am

Denali Expedition: King & Team Went for a Walk Today

Wednesday, June 20th - 8:18 pm PT

We woke to clouds and snow at 14K Camp today. We were hoping for clear weather to make a carry to 17K Camp; unfortunately, the winds up high prevented us from getting on the fixed lines. We eventually went for a walk up towards 15,000’ to stretch our legs and lungs. The Team got a spectacular view of Genet Basin and the lower Kahiltna Glacier. We are back in camp now and continue to hang out at 14K. The forecast has been accurate for 17K and above but not so for 14K Camp. We’ll need to see decreasing winds up high to make our move and if we don’t get that in a few days the only option will be to descend.

RMI Guide Mike King

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Robby and Team—

Crossing my fingers for clear skies and a lull in the wind so you can keep moving up that mountain!

Rob, even in remote Alaska at 14,000’ , you made my birthday so special. Thank you <3


Posted by: Sharon Del Vecchio on 6/21/2018 at 6:40 pm

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Arrive at Base Camp

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 3:09 AM PT

Today we woke to more winter with the wind blowing in our faces as we crawled from our tents. We did an Alaska leisure start. This is when you wake up and wish the weather was better but… will pack slowly. So we crept through the white, snow blowing all around us, and trail blazed through the deep snow. After many hours we arrived in Base Camp in dashing style. The evening was caped with more quesadillas than we could eat and a celebratory beverage. As we nestle in our sleeping bags for what we hope is the last night, we dream of burgers and beverages on the other side….. it’s snowing now, of course. Don’t fret we have had a blast on this adventure though we are bitter with the weather. We will out chill Denali. You can count on it.

RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Bryan Mazaika and Nick Scott

On The Map

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Marc - super glad you are headed back to record setting heat here in sunny Las Vegas!! We are all looking forward to hearing your stories, seeing your pics, and having you back!!! Safe travels!! Denette

Posted by: Denette on 6/21/2018 at 11:00 am

Best news I’ve heard in days - Base Camp!  May the rest of journey home be an easy one!  You are all rock stars in my book for battling the elements and coming out on top!  Well done! Coeli.  P.S.  Nick, you know who your second phone call better be to?!  I’ll let Sabina have your first. :)

Posted by: Coeli Scott on 6/21/2018 at 8:40 am

Denali Expedition: King & Team Hanging at 14,000’ Camp

We turned in last night expecting another pulse of wind and snow from the large storm stalled out in Bristol Bay. Instead we slept well through a calm night with little in the way of wind and only minimal snow drift. The West Buttress was windy as noted by the plumes of snow being blown into the atmosphere. We decided to stay in camp should the storm send more weather our way. After a leisurely breakfast of pancakes there was a swell of climbers headed up to 17. Some to pull caches for a descent to Basecamp and some just to stretch the legs and lungs after sitting for several days. Choosing not to get in a traffic jam we decided to stay put. Tomorrow if we are fortunate we’ll head up the fixed lines and hopefully to 17 so we can get some climbing in. Unfortunately we still need a larger window of improving weather to move camp to 17. The forecasts are improving when compared to what we actually experience in camp. Fingers crossed we get 3-4 days of low winds above for a summi t bid. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Scott, hang in there man!  Hey, some good news from the Reece clan.  We welcomed a new boy this morning! 9lb!  Hatcher Chet.  Erin and kiddo are doing fine.  He was ready get out of his tent and stretch his legs…as you all are I am sure!

Posted by: Luke on 6/20/2018 at 12:33 pm

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Waiting out the Weather

If you were wondering what kind of scenery you can see while climbing Denali, don’t ask us because we haven’t seen anything in days! We are living in a giant ping pong ball where white snow meets white clouds.

We high fived Tyler Jones’s RMI team as they made their way down through the muck headed towards Basecamp.

All we need is a short break in the weather and a small assurance that the next camp will not be any worse than here. We are hoping that tomorrow morning gives us what we need.

The team really is in good spirits considering the amount of tent time that has been logged during this storm and we are not even really on the mountain yet! There has been nothing but positivity and hard work from our Super Crew. So proud!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi Hannah!
I’m glad you’re up above the snow and out of the ping pong ball.
Happy first day of summer, at the top of the world!
Sending a warm patronus with special attention for toes.
I love you, I’ll see you in our dreams,
PS Tommy sent me the sweetest post card!

Posted by: Lisa Nezwazky on 6/21/2018 at 10:13 am

Happy Birthday, Josh. We love your spirit and determination. See you soon. All our love. Mom and Dad

Posted by: David Levy on 6/21/2018 at 6:12 am

Denali Expedition: Dave Hahn & Team Arrive in Talkeetna, Alaska

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 12:29 AM PT

Victory!!  Eight climbers and four guides made their way -with heaps of luggage- from various far away places in the “lower 48” to Talkeetna, Alaska.  We met this afternoon down in the Anchorage airport and boarded the venerable Denali Overland van for a three hour commute to Talkeetna.  Of course we broke things up a bit with a last stop for provisions in Wasilla.  Not much in the way of spectacular views today as the Alaska Range was cloaked in cloud, but there was plenty of pretty scenery a little lower down and closer in to the highway.  We’ll dial down on lots of details tomorrow as we get oriented, prepped and packed for Denali. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

The Curtes Crew is with you in spirit every step of the way. Go Hirschy and Magpie - We love you guys!

Posted by: Jay Curtes on 6/20/2018 at 5:32 pm

Wishes for a safe climb for your entire team. Special shout out to Margaret & Jon, keep your eye on the prize! Praying the weather clears for you!

Posted by: Donna Elmer Weber on 6/20/2018 at 4:34 pm

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