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Entries from Mount McKinley


July 7, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Hahn’s Team Ventures Out to the Edge of the World

Monday July 6th 11:23 pm PT

Our rest day at 14,200 ft was jam packed with naps and meals in the POSH tent.  It wouldn’t have been a great day for moving higher anyway since we watched a storm take over the upper mountain.  Steve Gately led the team out to the “Edge of the World” before the clouds came around and each climber got the thrill of looking down thousands of feet to the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.  In the late afternoon, we all put in a work session to improve the snow walls protecting our tents.  By dinner, the storm had arrived at 14K Camp and snow and wind took over outside.  We’d love to move up tomorrow so we’ll hope this weather moves on through. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Peter Thomas - your Simpson Thacher DC team is cheering you on!  Way to go!

Posted by: Ally Meringoff on 7/7/2015 at 10:09 am


July 6, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Cache Supplies at 16,200’

Sunday July 5th 10:26 pm PT

We started walking uphill at 10 this morning.  There was a mean-looking cloudcap on Denali when we first looked up, but things mellowed as we ate breakfast and geared up.  We made excellent time, climbing up the fixed line section to 16,200 ft on the West Buttress, and in the process, we shattered altitude records for Gary, Peter and Pat.  It took a few minutes to cache food in a raven-proof snow hole up there and then we cruised down with light packs.  It turned out to be a sunny and warm day down at 14K Camp and we were happy to rack out for a few hours in warm tents before dinner.  We’ve earned a rest and acclimatization day tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Peter, your a monster!

Posted by: Jordan Friedson on 7/7/2015 at 7:40 am

Super news!  Congrats Peter for crushing previous heights, and for bravely climbing to new ones.  We are all pulling for you down here at sea level with kayaks and paddle boards as our adventure travel.  Be safe and keep warm.

Posted by: Laura Taft Paulsen on 7/7/2015 at 7:30 am


July 5, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Leave 11K Camp Headed for Base Camp

Sunday July 5th 10:45 am PT

RMI Guide Billy Nugent just called the office to check in.  The team had a long, tough day yesterday breaking trail through the new snow that had fallen on the route. After sleeping in this morning, they are getting ready to depart Denali’s 11K Camp.  They are hoping to be at Kahiltna Base by late afternoon/early evening.

On The Map


July 5, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Backcarry Gear to 14K Camp

Saturday July 4th 11:00 pm PT

Our first morning at 14K camp was calm and easy.  We slept in until the sun peaked over Denali’s West Rib at 9:15 AM.  We had a leisurely breakfast in our new POSH dining tent (stolen from Billy Nugent’s RMI Team) and then we geared up for retrieving our cached food, fuel and equipment from 13,500 ft.  That just took us about two hours, round trip, and then the team took it easy for the afternoon.  Billy Nugent’s team made the top yesterday and we were happy to share camp with them for a couple of hours as they passed through on their descent to 11,000 ft.  After dinner, we had a short refresher training session on climbing fixed ropes as of course that is our next goal, to climb the fixed ropes to 16,200 ft.  As usual, we’ll need to see what the weather does… it started snowing again this afternoon. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Gary Ross/Team Hahn:  USA Women win the World Cup 5-2….now its time for Team Hahn to go on strong and scale Denali in championship fashion!!!!!!!

Keep Charging…Score the big Goal!!!!!!!

Sherpa Executive Director

Posted by: Chip Sniffin on 7/5/2015 at 6:15 pm


July 4, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Summit!

Hey, it is Billy here just checking in after a safe and successful summit bid.  We got up, kind of stalled a little bit because it was a cold morning.  We left around 10 pm, it took us about 12 1/2 hours round trip.  We were super psyched. So we’re back in camp, and like I said before everyone is safe and sound. Now we’re just hoping for good weather to beat feet for the airport.  That’s all I have for now.  We are going to eat dinner and get some sleep.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent


RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls from High Camp on Denali after a successful summit bid.

On The Map

Congrats to All and especially my friend Jim Latorre! What an incredible achievement!

Posted by: Matt McKittrick on 7/7/2015 at 5:36 am

Way to go Rhonda…you’re awesome! Can’t wait to hear about it - AFTER you thaw out:)
Sue

Posted by: Sue Mamer on 7/6/2015 at 3:28 pm


July 4, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Move to 14,000 Camp

July 4, 2015 1:11 am PST

This was the day.  The weather was a whole lot better than the last few days, but it wasn’t perfect.  A little blustery.  We needed to take advantage though to get out of 11,000’  and up to 14,000’ Camp.  Even having had a handful of teams break trail on the route before we made our effort today, we still anticipated a tough haul with knee deep snow on such steep hills.  Motorcycle took longer than normal, Squirrel took longer, the Polo Fields went on forever, Windy Corner was windy (and it took longer).  It was all pretty tough going until we got around the corner and reached our cache location from the other day.  Finally there was less new snow, less wind and a decent track to follow.  It was still uphill though.  It took us 8.5 hours to cover what should have taken 6 hours, but what a wonderful feeling to roll into 14 Camp after thinking of it so much when we were stuck down below.  We’ve got different and magnificent views now, of Denali, but also of Mount Foraker and Mount Hunter and about a thousand other peaks when the clouds allow.  We did a late dinner after camp was built and then hurried in to the tents for the night.  It is colder up here, and colder still when the sun goes behind the mountain.  Everybody deserves good rest after such a big day. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Gary Ross, You really are going to great lengths to prove that happiness is found in being “cold, wet, tired and hungry”.  I am following the RMI blog everyday and from the sound of things, you must be positively joyful!
Here at 465’ I am thinking of you and wishing you plenty of happiness along your journey up and down that magnificent mountain. 
Mary

Posted by: Mary R on 7/4/2015 at 11:19 pm

We’re all rooting for you!! Happy 4th, miss you!! xoxo

Posted by: Anne Thomas on 7/4/2015 at 6:42 pm


July 3, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Smoke & Snow for Hahn & Team at 11,200’

The wind and snow conspired to make for a tough and noisy night in the tents last night.  A few intrepid souls got out in the storm to dig away the encroaching drifts.  Morning brought less wind, but the snow continued as the guides served breakfast in bed.  It was slightly surreal to have the strong smell of forest fire smoke mixed in with heavily falling snow while camped so far from trees.  Eventually the snow slowed and then stopped, but by that point, several feet of it had accumulated.  The clouds stayed right in on us until about 8 in the evening.  We were enjoying an open air dinner when the mist fell away, the sun came out and everything got beautiful.  The team stayed out well into the evening, staring at Kahiltna Dome, Mount Foraker and Denali’s West Buttress.  Our prospects for going up in the morning were improved as we watched several teams come down Motorcycle Hill, plowing a trail and cutting whatever tension the otherwise suspect snow-pack was under.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn and Team

On The Map

Hey, Rob,

Aunt Carol & Uncle Richard got your postcard.  Their thoughts and prayers are with you and your team.  Stay Safe.  Love Aunt Carol and Uncle Richard.

Posted by: Mary Ahlbrand on 7/3/2015 at 6:31 pm

Go Team Hahn!  Safe travels and hoping your weather turns.  Mine certainly hasn’t.  Can’t fly anywhere north of here without serious thunder.  We are cheering every second that you get up that mountain.  Keep Living the Dream.

Posted by: Mike Gorum on 7/3/2015 at 1:12 pm


July 2, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Take a Snow Day at High Camp

Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 3:15 pm PT

RMI Guide Mike King called the RMI Office from high camp at 17,200 ft on Mt. McKinley. The team spend a snowy and windy night at camp last night. Today they spent the day resting and drying their gear. The team has received the forecast for tomorrow and are hoping the weather will allow them to make a summit attempt. If the weather permits, they will be heading up hill.

We wish the team luck!

On The Map

Doug! We are following your journey. Love from us! Mom n Lar

Posted by: Blythe on 7/3/2015 at 8:25 am

May the odds be ever in your favor team!

Doug - you know the drill…be safe, be great, move with grace.
~Belladonna

Posted by: Belladonna on 7/3/2015 at 3:29 am


July 2, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Take a Snow Day At 11,200’ Camp

July 2, 2015 12:36 am PST

This day didn’t start out all that bad, but then it didn’t waste too much time getting bad.  It got snowing about an inch an hour by mid morning.  That didn’t stop some of our neighbors from picking up and moving to 14K anyway, but it stopped us.  We didn’t want to risk getting caught at Windy Corner when the wind started.  So it was a quiet day for us, sitting in our tents listening to the snow.  Just about right in the middle of a nice dinner in our beloved POSH tent, a cannon shot of wind hit and ripped the shelter nearly in half.  We sat for a few minutes more anyway, chowing down, looking out the big new vent and wondering who’d be first to abandon ship.  Then it was a mass exodus back to the tents for what promised to be a windy, snowy, stormy night on Denali.  We’ll figure out a different plan for our cooking and dining shelter needs. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Hi Rob:  We are following your progress every day!  Stay safe and remember, YOU WANTED TO DO THIS! :)  Love you. Cheryl

Posted by: Cheryl Stuckwish on 7/3/2015 at 10:44 am

Hope you can “McGiver” a repair on the POSH! Rooting for you guys. Tell Gary Ross we say hello.

Posted by: Chris Phillips on 7/3/2015 at 6:40 am


July 1, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Retreat from 18,500’

July 1, 2015 6:25 pm PST

Hey, it’s Billy here checking in from 17,200’ on Denali.  We are back in camp after our foray up the Autobahn and around the corner on Denali Pass but it was quite windy. The wind along with zero visibility and blowing snow and some wind slab instability conspired to shut down our summit attempt.  So we turned tail at just above 18,500 feet and everyone is back down in camp, in one piece safe and sound.  We’re trying to regroup and figure out what the future holds for us. We’ll check in tomorrow and let you know we’re up to you.

All for now.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent


RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from 17,200 ft on Mt. McKinley

On The Map

I’m rooting for good weather so you can attempt the summit again! Keep the spirits up, Rhonda! You’re a stud-ette:)
Sue

Posted by: sue mamer on 7/2/2015 at 1:36 pm

Foiled by wind slab and zero vis!  I’m wishing for a blue bird day coming up for your next attempt.

Posted by: Matt McKittrick on 7/2/2015 at 11:40 am

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