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Entries from Denali


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Take a Weather Day

May 24, 2017

Well, the Denali storm has arrived (we are calling it the Horiskey storm). We woke to snow this morning, and as the day had progressed, the winds have strengthened. Lots of snow is moving around camp, and being out of a tent is really unpleasant. So we’ve stayed in the tents. Our cook tent is nice and tight, and our individual tents were occupied with napping, music, and reading. The storm is supposed to peak tomorrow, so probably more of the same in store. Our walls are strong, our sleeping bags warm, and our bellies full, so all in all, life is good.

RMI Guides Pete, Jess, Jenny and team

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Wait Out the Storm

We’re hunkered down in camp today as a strong storm is producing snow and wind over Denali. We can hear the winds howling a few thousand feet above us, sounding like waves crashing on a rocky shore. Here at camp it is windy but not nearly that extreme. Winds here are gusting in 20 mph range, which is not too bad at all. We have big walls built to protect our camp, so our tents are just barely shaking. We expect this storm to persist through tomorrow and hopefully we’ll have better weather in its wake with which to make a summit push.

Our fingers are crossed!

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

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Like the warmth of the sun
And the light of the day,
May the luck of the Irish
Shine bright on your way

Best wishes for Saturday’s push to the summit, Love Mom

Posted by: Cynthia Chitwood on 5/25/2017 at 7:34 pm

Well, the water heater has been replaced, the leaking toilet has been repaired, the weather has cooled off so no need for air conditioners or screens, the lawn is freshly mowed, and the sun is shining for the first time in days. Hope that portends good weather on Denali as well. Thinking of all of you hunkering down in your tents. Hope everyone has good reading material!
Nancy

Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/25/2017 at 5:23 pm


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Enjoy First Full Rest Day

May 23, 2017

We took our first full rest day at 14. The winds were moving snow up high, but it was a pretty glorious day here in Genet Basin. We spent the day improving our walls for winds that are forecasted to huff and puff, and also practiced for our eventual trip up the fixed lines. Mike Walter’s team challenged us to a jeopardy game this evening, and we’re happy to report that we took the prize, with a score of 200 to 0 (though both teams spent a long time in the negative area). We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, Jenny Konway and team

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Jordan!

Looks like you and the team are doing well, hope you had a good rest day. Seriously though stop being lazy and get to the top of the mountain! Miss seeing you, stay safe, and don’t worry the sky isn’t falling around here without you.

Regards,

TJ

Posted by: TJ Burns on 5/24/2017 at 7:38 pm

Such an amazing experience for you all. I am a friend of Joel Broder’s friend, Susie Okun. She was talking about your hike today and hooked me up with your blog. The pictures are beautiful. You must be having an incredible time!  Enjoy and be safe. XO

Posted by: Jackie Mossman on 5/24/2017 at 2:59 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Arrive at 11,200’ Camp

Another cloudy, snowy day greeted us this morning but didn’t stop us from pushing on. Typical of weather on the Kahiltna Glacier, there was enough new snow and poor visibility to make the going difficult, but certainly not enough to call it a storm day and relax in the tents.
Upon reaching camp at 11,200’ the sun broke through and we were treated to our first sunshine of the trip. What a nice welcome.
The sun sticks around late here, and we’ve enjoyed every bit of it, hanging out in the Posh for a couple hot drinks and sharing stories.
Tomorrow we look forward to our easiest day when we just need to retrieve the cache we buried at 10,000’.
The forecast calls for a little storm to brush by us tomorrow or the next day, but I don’t see any sign of that yet. If it does, we’ll just dig in and enjoy a rest day I guess.
Everyone’s climbing super well and in good spirits.
Good night from 11,200’.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale and JT Schmitt

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Fortify Camp at 14,000’

Tuesday May 23, 2017 3:32pm

We got a little snow overnight, and it’s relatively pleasant outside today. The summit is still wearing a lenticular cap today and major storm with snow and extreme wind is forecast to hit us tomorrow. We’ve fortified camp and we’re ready for what it brings. Our hope is that in its wake we will have a shot at the summit.

We’ll let you know how it plays out.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

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Mike and Gang:  I remember hunkering down for a week at that very same location just five years ago - stay patient and optimistic.  Mike, I wish I were climbing with you again.  However, I leave in two months with Pete to take on Elbrus.  Stay in touch and keep your team focused and motivated!  Prayers and positive vibes your way, team - you’ve got this!

Peace, Lee Hoedl, Fellow RMI Climber (Denali, Aconcagua, Cotopaxi, etc…)

Posted by: Lee Hoedl on 5/24/2017 at 3:03 pm

Following you, Mike. Glad you are all hunkered down - hoping you get your weather break soon. Sure is beautiful there!!

Posted by: Ann Douglass on 5/24/2017 at 5:07 am


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Sitting Comfortably at 14,000’ Camp

Yesterday’s hard day of work left everyone tired, and nearly everyone slept really hard last night. We woke up late, lingered over a breakfast of pancakes, and then set to work improving our camp. We put up some big walls to keep out the wind, and built a nice covered toilet to keep things comfortable. With the project finished, we ate a quick lunch, then strolled downhill to retrieve our cache. We’re in really good shape now, with a well fortified camp and all of our belongings here with us. Now, we wait for our opportunity.

We’ll be in touch,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, Jenny Konway, and team

On The Map

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Greetings from South Carolina.  You can do this…. Think of some place warm.  No seriously proud of you and glad your getting the chance to have this great experience.  Happy hiking. And to quote the Hunger Games “May the odds be ever in your favor”

Posted by: Crystal's mom :) on 5/24/2017 at 7:47 pm

Jordan,

The next days will be extreme in every way but I know you will get to the top of that hill. May the force be with you!

Grampa

Posted by: Edward Foss on 5/24/2017 at 6:10 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Cruise to 9,600’ Camp

Two days of carrying huge loads is finally over. We have single carried to Camp 2 at 9600’ and are ready to start packing lighter loads as we begin the routine of making double carries to get all our gear and food up the mountain.
What has impressed me most about this team is not just their strength, but their ability to endure and toil under mammoth loads without complaint. This is a special group.
Our weather has been snowy, but not bad enough to keep us in our tents. That said, we did set up our Posh House this afternoon which serves as our cook tent and dining room in one. It’s warmth and comfort allow us some fun and social time that provides a really nice balance to our climbing.
And what was on the menu tonight? Burritos with all the fixings. Yeah, we eat well up here. We sure as hec deserve it.
Ok. That’s a wrap for the night. Tomorrow we move to 11,200’ camp, if the weather gods allow.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale and JT Schmitt

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Remain at 14,000’ Camp

May 22, 2017

We’re just checking in from 14,000’ Camp again. We’re all doing well here, hopefully waiting for a decent weather window in order to try to go for the top. We had some snow last night and today, and winds were strong up above us. It looks like a very strong storm is set to move in here in a couple days, bringing a lot of snow and extreme winds. We’re hoping for better weather in its wake.
In preparation of the next storm we spent more time today reinforcing our walls. We should be all set to weather the storm.
We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

May 21, 2017

We had another pretty perfect day for climbing in Alaska, and we made full use of it to get up to 14,000’ and dig in a new camp. It was pleasantly warm and light clouds kept it from totally frying us. After maneuvering around some initial traffic on Squirrel Hill, we were able to hit cruise control and roll past our cache from two days ago. Once at 14,000’ Camp came the arduous task of digging new tent platforms and a kitchen. Our task tomorrow is to retrieve our cache and build some really, really big walls. It sounds like we’ve got a stronger weather system headed our way this week, so we’ll prep to wait it out.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jenny Konway, Jess Matthews and team

On The Map

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Wow, Most amazing journey ever!! Good luck for the last but….. Love to the Calvert’s.  Hendrik and Natasha.

Posted by: Hendrik Muller on 5/22/2017 at 8:32 pm

Glad to hear all is well. I worry so much about you guys. Stay safe. See you soon.

      All my love mom

Posted by: Melinda on 5/22/2017 at 12:48 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Fly to Kahiltna Base Camp

May 20, 2017

We were all excited at breakfast with the thought of flying on to Denali today. With cloudy weather in town nothing was certain, so when the flight service greeted us with a big thumbs up, we jumped into action.
When we hit the glacier the team climbed like they were born to do it. We had a flawless climb to camp, without any of the hiccups that are just normal as we get our feet wet starting out on a big expedition with the loads we’re sporting. This sure made carrying these outrageous loads easier.
So now we’re in the tents resting up for another big day. The crew is psyched to get up to camp at 9600’, and has certainly demonstrated the strength to do it.
I’m lucky to be in the company of such a strong, nice bunch of climbers.
Talk to you from 9600’.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale an JT Schmitt

On The Map

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