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Entries from Denali


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Visit the Famous Edge of the World

May, 23, 2016 - 10:05 p.m. PDT

Fully prepared for Denali Storm Daryl overnight, we were pleasantly surprised to enjoy a quiet night and an even more beautiful morning. While cold and calm here at 14 Camp this morning, the upper mountain continued to impress with strong winds and an impressive lenticular cloud covering the summit. Our sights turned from climbing and caching, to rest and rejuvenation. We said goodbye to our friends Mike Walter and crew as they began their long descent back to civilization, and headed out to the famous “Edge of the World,” a must see for any climber lucky enough to call 14 camp home. The views were ‘out of this world,’ as always, looking out over the cloud-filled lower Kahiltna Glacier, 7,000’ below. Quesadilla Supremes nourished our rested bodies this evening before the setting sun coaxed us back into the warmth of our tents. Tomorrow, our waiting game continues as we look toward a weather window that will allow us entrance to the upper slopes of the tallest mountain in North America.

Goodnight from RMI Guides Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, and Jess Matthews and team.

On The Map

Great break in the weather for all as you acclimatize and get those red blood cell numbers up there.

Hitesh. Thinking about you and all goes well at SCH

Posted by: Rod Duboid on 5/24/2016 at 9:06 pm

Hi everyone and specifically Justin,
    Praying for a change in the weather for all of you so you can get to the summit!  Take it day by day.  I have a question that I know you will answer upon your return….what the heck do all of you do with your #2????  Yes, this is one of my questions (and my kids)!  Good luck everyone!  Janice, Scott, Ryan and Sarah

Posted by: Janice Kovach on 5/24/2016 at 7:29 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Climb to 9,600’

May 23, 2016 - 9:39 p.m. PDT

The fickle nature of the weather on the mountain lately was again evident as the wet snowfall of yesterday had passed leaving us with cooler temps and a bit better visibility. Today we even got some nice views of this wonderful part of the Alaska range. Our big challenge this morning was Ski Hill, our steepest hill yet. Leaving a cache of food and fuel buried at our camp here at 7,800’, our loads were a little more reasonable today, but Ski Hill still proved to be a bear. Hips and shoulders certainly got worked today, but I’m excited that everyone was up to the task and we arrived at our next camp with plenty enough spare energy to build a good camp.

I’m continually impressed with the crew. Their tenacity during the tough stretches and enthusiasm upon reaching camp bodes well for our having a great trip.

Life is good at 9,600’ Camp!
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling and the team

On The Map

Paul,
Hopefully all the evenings you spent wandering around Chicago with Izzy’s 50 lb dog food bag prepped you for this! Mike, hope you are having a blast as well.  Love you and miss you!

Steph

Posted by: Stephanie on 5/24/2016 at 8:18 pm

Hi Mike!
We are so proud of you! Its so awesome experiencing this with you through this blog. I hope your back is holding up. Love you!!

Love,
Alexis, Ollie, Felix, Reuben and Pepper

Posted by: Alexis Pappas on 5/24/2016 at 5:23 pm


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Waiting Out The Weather

May 22, 2016 - 11:34 p.m. PDT

We climbed out of the tents this morning hopeful that we would head uphill to cache. Though there was a cap on the summit, the ridge of the West Buttress looked doable. As we fired the stoves though that situation began to change as the cap lowered and the winds over the Buttress picked up. By the end of breakfast we had changed our minds and decided to stay put. That was further reinforced when a climbing ranger stopped by to let us know that NOAA had called with a special weather advisory with high winds and snow. The rangers have taken to naming the storms; this one is Denali storm Daryl. We spent the day resting and hibernating in tents, though so far Daryl has been pretty gentle with us. Tomorrow sounds like it will be another rest day, but if we wake up to something unexpected, we’ll rally and get our cache in.

Fra Tomas: Gratulerer med dagen Sinnekka! Jeg elsker deg, din Tomas.

Signing off,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, and Robby Young, and team

On The Map

Nobody messes with Daryl on TWD; so, I’m glad to hear that you are paying storm Daryl some respect.

Stay low and ride this out. Mother Nature is always in charge.

Posted by: leanne on 5/23/2016 at 3:48 pm

Stay safe .. No guts and glory stuff!!!

Posted by: Peter on 5/23/2016 at 9:45 am


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Move to Camp One

May 22, 2016 - 9:43 p.m. PDT

Our first day of climbing as a complete team went really well. Although clouds obscured our views of the incredible scenery around us, we had much better visibly than we had yesterday. Plus, our efforts yesterday lightened our loads just enough that today’s climbing was quite manageable. Our camp here at 7,800’ is nice, but the snow that’s been falling since we got here has made our kitchen/dining tent a most popular place. Our Posh House is always the center of community here; it’s the place we can eat and share a hot drink or two and be out of the elements. The conversations that come out of that place…

With luck, we’ll move camp to 9,600’ tomorrow, but we sure would like some improvement in the weather! Everyone is doing great and looking forward to moving up the mountain. Hopefully we’ll be talking from 9,600’ tomorrow.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling and the crew

On The Map

Hey Paul, SO incredibly proud AND jealous of you!  Just know that I am living every step vicariously through you and you make your journey to the top!  You make training for Whitney seem like a walk in the park - at sea level!  Be safe and ENJOY!!

Posted by: Virginia on 5/24/2016 at 7:19 pm

Wishing all a safe “walk” to the top.  Don’t forget the waking stick medallion of Denali for Stephanie.  Have fun!

Posted by: Joanne & Richard on 5/24/2016 at 2:37 pm


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Check in from 14,000 ft Camp

May 22, 2016 - 1:54 pm PT

Once again we’re checking in from 14k on Denali. There is not much new to report here. The winds up high remain strong, and the National Weather Service has issued a special high wind warning for this storm.
We are all comfortable and safe at camp and we’ll just have to see how this one plays out. Today is day 18 on the the mountain for our team, and high winds are forecast through at least Thursday. We’ll keep you up to date with the latest news.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Thinking alot about you Blake !!
Love you !!

Mom

Posted by: Maria Votilla on 5/24/2016 at 12:58 pm

Team Walter, you guys are already my heroes coming so close to the summit. Respect storm Daryl! No gut or glory stuff! Come home in one piece, Lei. Love you. Hao

Posted by: Hao on 5/23/2016 at 7:31 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Reunited at Kahiltna Base Camp

May 22, 2016 - 1:12 am PT

Late tonight the sound of planes filled the air with the sweet roar of Turpin prop engines. Our flight service, K2, had taken advantage of a very short and rare window of marginally clear weather to ft three of their Otters onto the glacier to pick up some climbers anxiously awaiting a trip back to civilization, but more importantly to us, they were bringing the rest of our team to finally join us.
Day three and we’re finally together!
This all happened just fifteen minutes after we had returned from a nine hour climb to carry food and fuel to 7800’, Camp 1. Everyone did a fantastic job on the climb, and our efforts will make our move tomorrow a bit less tortuous, as normally we carry all our gear up from Base Camp in one move.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates and we can finally start climbing this mountain.

Until tomorrow,
RMI Guide Brent Okita and crew

On The Map


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Pick up Cache and Review Techniques

May 21, 2016 - 11:43 pm PT

Though there was a cap on the upper mountain when we woke, that wasn’t the direction of our concern. The snow and winds had abated, and down towards Windy Corner, the sun was shining through thin clouds, setting everything to sparkling. After another great brunch, we grabbed our packs and feeling light as feathers, cruised downhill to our cache. We made quick work of retrieving it, and an hour later were back in camp with a small mountain of food. We spent a bit of time before dinner rigging our ascenders and reviewing fixed line techniques for what we hope to be our carry up onto the West Buttress tomorrow. If the weather cooperates we’ll make our first trip up the lines, and all the boxes will be checked for our summit bid.

All for now,

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and team

On The Map

Following your trail Lisa and it must be incredible. Must be so beautiful. You are awesome!

Posted by: Trix on 5/23/2016 at 6:14 pm

So close.. enjoy every step and the fabulous view, Lisa..!  Go higher !! Look forward to seeing the flag !

Posted by: greg hurley on 5/23/2016 at 12:27 pm


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Watching High Winds Blow Above the West Buttress

May 21, 2016 - 7:25 pm PT

We spent another day here at 14k. Today the weather at camp was quite pleasant, with periods of sun and just some light wind. Up above on the West Buttress, where we are hoping to climb, the strong winds persisted today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, as the weather forecast is still calling for high winds the next few days. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Take Rest Day at 14,000’

May 21, 2016 - 1:18 am PT

For most of today it huffed and puffed and the snow fell heavily. We haven’t been able to see much, and the wind has been gusting pretty strongly. We made the easy choice to take today as a rest day and fortify our camp, which proved to be the right decision as the gusts grew stronger as the day went on. Instead, we ate a great brunch of smoked salmon and bagels, then set to work reinforcing our compounds with big walls (some wondered how much of a rest day it was carrying a couple hundred 20 pound blocks of snow). With our camp solid, we retired to the tents for naps and rest, before a delicious dinner of Mac and cheese with bacon. It’s still snowing hard, though the winds are starting to calm. We’re expecting to still wake up to some snow, but hopefully the winds abate, the visibility improves, and we take a quick walk back to retrieve our cache. If not, we still have plenty of delicious food up here and we’ll continue to acclimate and get strong in the thinner air of 14.

Best

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and our stellar team of high altitude athletes

On The Map

Geez, you all seem to be eating well!  Scott I hope you’re getting some good many ideas for our next climb—no more of those just-add-water instant dinner thingies!  ;-)

Be safe y’all, and enjoy the journey.

Posted by: Chris Beaudette on 5/22/2016 at 1:02 pm

Mac and cheese Justin??? I feel bad for your tent mates!!!!!!! Hopefully the storm will relent soon enough. This past week, we finally had a nice stretch of sunny weather here in Colorado and I am missing you on my hikes. I almost stepped on a rattlesnake and realized I really need to review my WFR notes ...

Posted by: Patrice La Vigne on 5/21/2016 at 3:35 pm


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Waiting Out the Weather

May 20, 2016 - 5:36 pm PT

We’re hunkered down in our tents today as a significant storm rages outside. Fortunately the snow walls we constructed are taking the brunt if the winds. It’s been snowing all day, and visibility is near zero.
We’re all safe and relatively comfortable in our camp between our tents and our cook tent. High above our camp you can hear the winds crashing over the West Buttress like waves on a rocky coastline. The winds up at that altitude are forecast to reach 85 mph.
This storm will hopefully start to taper off tomorrow and give us a chance to move up to high camp for a summit bid. We’ll keep you posted, but for now we’re in a holding pattern.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Hi Della, dis rof besig hier met die winter konserte en Kaela was siek met Tonsilites. Ons mis jou baie. Die koppie klimery moet nou klaarkom. Anyway, for those who did not understand. Get to the top in double quick time and get your buds of the mountain. Your family’ s need you..
Cherio…

Posted by: jaco on 5/21/2016 at 1:54 pm

Hey Rob!, So excited to hear from you! Stay strong and stay well.  We are praying for good weather so you and the team can go for the summit. Love to you. Mom, Dad and Katie

Posted by: Robert & Toni Caldwell on 5/21/2016 at 5:27 am

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