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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Take a Snow Day

May 17, 2016 - 6:02 p.m. PDT

We declared a snow day today. We woke to what could be described as a heavy fall of snow, and our hopes of heading uphill diminished. An hour later as we ate breakfast, the sky cleared, the sun came out, and our hopes rose. Just as quickly, the clouds, snow, and blustery gusts returned, and convinced us that today was a day to remain indoors. And so we have, napping, snacking, reading, and watching movies. The weather hasn’t relented either, reinforcing our decision. The low pressure that seems to be moving over us is hinting at moving out over the next few days, so we hope that tomorrow gives us a better opportunity to head up to Windy Corner and cache. In the meantime, we’ll take the opportunity to rest up and get ready for another round of big days. All for now from snowy 11 Camp.

Thanks for following!
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, and Jess Matthes, and team

On The Map

Hipp hipp hurra, ha den äran idag käre Thomas!! Happy Birthday!!
Grattis från hela familjen här hemma.
Äppelträden blommar, små vackra blommor kommer upp i gräsmattan…sommaren är på väg efter några svalare dagar.
Önskar Dig en fin dag och fortsatt upplevelserik expedition! Mycket mod, kraft och kärlek, älskar Dig.

Posted by: Sinikka on 5/19/2016 at 6:50 am

It has been a miserable few days in the east, Weather 46-54 and drizzle, You guys surrounded by visual splendor are in the right zip code. Saying some prayers to pull your nasty weather away! Go git’em, when it’s right! Happy Trails Lisa! - Greg

Posted by: Greg Hurley on 5/19/2016 at 3:55 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Cache Supplies above Fixed Lines

May 17, 2016 - 12:29 a.m. PDT

I woke up at the chilly hour of 5:00 a.m. to start the stoves. It was a perfectly clear morning with barely a breath of wind. After a hearty breakfast we packed our backpacks with supplies to cache up above the fixed ropes. We started climbing in the shade, as the sun still had not poked out around the West Rib. The cold temps were perfect for climbing and we warmed up quickly. After an hour and a thousand feet of vertical gain, the sun welcomed us at our first break.

We continued climbing and employed our mechanical ascenders to aid us up the fixed ropes. A couple hours later we were on top of the West Buttress proper. The team climbed hard today and we accomplished our goals, with one team putting a cache in below Washburn’s Thumb (16,700’), and the other team pushing on to high camp (17,200’) to establish a cache. We’re all back at camp and in our sleeping bags now after a long day of climbing. A much deserved rest day awaits us tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

This is for all of you…......

” In a sense everything that is exists to climb.  All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form.
  Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit.  We have always
  honored the high places because we sense them to be homes of gods.  In the mountains there
  is the promise of… something unexplainable.  A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars.
  So we climb… and in climbing there is more than a metaphor;  there is a means of discovery.”


(Love you Blake!)

Posted by: Maria Votilla on 5/18/2016 at 8:01 am

Hello Rob.. Unbelievable accomplishment! So excited and proud for you and the team! You all have accomplished so much and looking forward to pictures from the summit!! Enjoy the much deserved rest.  Continue to be strong! We are all cheering you and the team on to the summit! Take care! Be safe, Love, Mom, Dad and Katie

Posted by: Robert & Toni Caldwell on 5/18/2016 at 4:36 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer and Team Retrieve Cache

May 16, 2016 - 11:45 p.m. PDT

We woke this morning from a deep, deep night of sleep to sunny skies and a thin coat of snow over everything that sparkled brilliantly white. It was a gorgeous morning that energized everyone as they glanced up at Denali, down the Kahiltna, and across at Foraker. We had a leisurely breakfast of hash browns and eggs, listening to teams pack and walk out for carries to Windy Corner or moves to 14. We eventually made our own move, returning to our cache of food and fuel at 10, and hauling it back up the hill to camp. We reviewed some climbing techniques that we’ll need above here, then crawled into the tents as the clouds crept up glacier to rest and relax. Tomorrow we hope to make our own carry up to Windy Corner if conditions allow. Until then, we’ll eat more food, tell some tall tales, and catch several more hours of deep, deep sleep.

Best from 11,

RMI Guides Pete, Jess, Robby, and Team

I love it when you talk about holing up to sleep and eat. It means your out of danger’s way. Windy Corner sounds uninviting. Wish there was a way around it. A mother is a mother, no matter the age of the child.

Be safe!!!!

Posted by: leanne fosbre on 5/17/2016 at 3:58 pm

We’ll keep sending those good weather vibes your way, especially for Windy Corner!!! Keep up the great work everyone!

Posted by: Patrice La Vigne on 5/17/2016 at 2:53 pm

Alaska Seminar: Team Explores the SE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier

May 16, 2016 - 3:07 p.m. PDT

Hello Everyone,

Despite a bleak forecast we woke to sunny blue skies today. This morning the team ventured further up the SE fork for some glacier travel and exploring around Radio Tower. While Base Camp below was busy with planes dropping off more climbers we enjoyed a birds eye view of the lower Kahiltna, and a direct view of the north buttress of hunter. The air was hot and surrounding slopes reacted with constant wet slides and rockfall. Returning to camp was a sweltering affair, all of us sun baked by the relentless sun. Tomorrow we will stick around the area for some more skills training. We are still hoping for more of those sunny skies.

RMI Guide Leon Davis & Team

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Receive a Foot of Snow at 14,000 ft Camp

May 15, 2016 - 10:35 pm PT

The day started with our camp above the clouds deck and good views of Mt. Hunter and Foraker. After breakfast we headed downhill with empty packs to retrieve our cache at 13,700’. After a fifteen minute walk downhill and an hour back to camp, we are all set with all of our gear at 14k.
After we returned to camp, the clouds lifted and it began to snow. It snowed all afternoon, with about a foot of accumulation. As I write this dispatch from my sleeping bag tonight, there is blue sky above us. Hopefully the snow is done and tomorrow we can climb. We’re hoping to carry a cache of supplies up above the fixed ropes tomorrow, up above 16,00’.
We’ll touch base again tomorrow to let you know how it goes, thanks for following our trip.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Absolutely beautiful pictures.  Glad for all information.  Cheers to the team.

Posted by: Donna on 5/16/2016 at 4:57 pm

Hi Rogan and team, well done, it’s been marvellous following your trip. Congrats so far!

Rogue your beautiful wife is fine, the op looks as if it was really successful and by the time I fetched her she had already walked and climbed stairs with the crutches. In fact she could probably climb Denali with a bit more practise!

You are well past the halfway mark, according to the map, one more stop and then the summit. Never give up! Ever! I didn’t with Wfm and that was also really difficult.

You trained so hard,  you are quite capable of reaching the summit, your Angels are with you!
I’m so looking forward to seeing all your photos.

I suppose you know that 4 guys reached the top of Everest, the first in two full years!

I wish the blue skies remain, you must be sick of snow by now?  Focus on the wonderful scenery, not seen by many, it’s such a privilege you are experiencing.

Hope you all have a great climb tomorrow, it will be different by the looks of things. Good luck and vasbyt!
Love you so much, mom xx

Posted by: Daphne Carew on 5/16/2016 at 1:36 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Check in from 11,200 ft Camp

May 16, 2016 - 1:31 am PT

Howdy to everybody from 11,200 feet! We had a great move up the Kahiltna, experiencing every type of weather along the way: smoking hot sun, thin clouds that turned on the microwave, thicker clouds that cooled us off, snow with wind, and finally snow without wind. Despite all of that, our travels were very smooth, and we walked into camp in the late afternoon. Move days are a lot of work; not just the climbing, but once at camp, we have to construct a whole new camp with platforms, walls, and kitchen. All told it’s a lot of digging and a lot of snow to move, but this crew’s teamwork was exemplary, and with a couple of hours of pounding away, we have a solid new place to call home for a few days. We’ll say hi tomorrow,

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

On The Map

Well done team ,looks like ur making good progress moving on up to ur next plattoe it looks awesome from up there the team looks like they r enjoying this venture be safe, keep us all posted, ur friends from “The Downs"xo

Posted by: Joe&Patty; on 5/17/2016 at 3:20 am

Good job! You’ve got a lot of people rooting for the team from Denver! That’s a lot of snow. I guess you better get used to it! Keep on trekking and good luck. I know the team can accomplish its goal!

Posted by: Jamie on 5/16/2016 at 7:57 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer and Team Enjoy Rest Day

Saturday, May 14th - 3:32pm PST

We put our intention to move to 11,000’ on hold today and decided that after a couple of big days with big loads, a rest day was in order. A leisurely wake up and breakfast led to naps and lunch, which led to more naps, photography sessions, and dinner. All together, the perfect rest day. Tomorrow, we’ll wake, pack up this lovely camp, and make the move to 11,000’. This has been a great home but everyone is excited to move on and check out some new scenery. We’ll check in tomorrow.


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

Go Hitesh!!! We’re with you in spirit!

Posted by: Purvi on 5/16/2016 at 2:38 pm

Looking good team!  Keep on keepin’ on!

Posted by: Chris B on 5/15/2016 at 10:47 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Move to 14,200’

Saturday, May 14th - 2:57pm PST

Hey Guys,

This is RMI Guide Billy Haas checking in for the May 3rd, Mike Walter, Denali, West Buttress expedition.  We are currently comfortably camped at 14,200 ft after making the move up today from our previous camp at 11,000 ft. We experienced hot, but ideal conditions on the mountain today for our move. Calm winds and blue skies made for a pleasant climb around Windy Corner, allowing us ample time to establish our new camp here in Genet Basin.  Tomorrow we hope to reclaim our cache of food and supplies at 13,500 ft, and look forward to positioning ourselves for our eventual move to High Camp.

The team is in great spirits and excited to be in a new camp, and we are all looking forward to the light back carry day tomorrow.



Die fotos is indrukwekkend. Bly koel. En druk die gidse vas teen ‘n sneeuman as hulle woer-woer speel.

Kyk nie na die spits nie. “one step at a time”. Maar, wie sal dan beter weet as jy my ou Duifie. Mooi dinge.

Posted by: Ken on 5/17/2016 at 10:29 am

Hey Rogz - keep climbing - been thinking about you a lot since our last chat.
It was a long day but home safe and sound. Don’t give up - keep going and Go Large - never give us - love you and miss you xxx

Posted by: Melanie on 5/16/2016 at 9:22 am

DENALI EXPEDITION: Van Deventer and Team Move to Kahiltna Pass

May 13, 2016 - 6:02 PM PST

Progress in the mountains comes in small, incremental pieces. Today that meant moving 17 days of food and fuel, as well as the bulk of our lunch food, up to 10,400’ at Kahiltna Pass. It was an impressive pile that went into our cache hole, and will make our loads much friendlier tomorrow for our anticipated move to 11k camp. It was a warm day, scorching even, when we lost the light down glacier breeze, but everyone did great, and cruised the return trip with empty packs and sleds. We had a sumptuous meal of quesadillas, and now everyone has crawled into sleeping bags to escape the chill that happens as soon as the sun drops below the mountains, reminding us that this is still May in Alaska. We’ll let you know what adventures we find tomorrow.

Thanks for following

RMI Guides Pete VanDeventer, Robby Young, Jess Matthews, and Team

Keep up the good work guys, and keep sending the pictures.  It inspires those of us who want to do it.


Posted by: Kevin Stone on 5/16/2016 at 11:56 am

Hi Lisa looks like ur making good progress on this adventurous climb, just to drop a line the Downs was tough yesterday with 25-30 mph came home in 36 though hit it real solid 2 birdies one on 18 for 78 not trying to rub it in but letting u know the Downs is calling u, everyone is asking for u so I’m filling them in on ur tough journey. Bill was asking for u as was Tom Sepp and the crew anyway be safe and climb on.

Posted by: Joe&Pat; on 5/16/2016 at 3:11 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Resting at 11,000 ft Camp

May 13, 2016 - 3:11 pm PT

We’re here at 11,000’ resting and acclimating for our move to 14,000’, which will hopefully happen tomorrow. The weather is great right now, and we expect that to persist through at least tomorrow.
Hopefully our next correspondence will come from 14,000’. Conditions and weather are good, and we are well rested, acclimated, and eager. We’re ready to make the move!

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Hi Rogan, you must be well acclimatised by now so hopefully you can start your climbing tomorrow once again. That’s what you trained for isn’t it?  I wish you good luck with the weather and the climb.
We are having late drizzly rain today, we are gratefull for this rain as I think it will be our last till next summer, temps have dropped to 18 but will rise again when the wet front moves on.
I hope you are well and enjoying your snacks, thinking of you every day, am so proud of you,  always have been. Love you stukkend, mom xx

Posted by: Daphne Carew on 5/14/2016 at 2:34 am

Hi there kid Adelle..still resting i see. Move the butt and get up the mountain. Onwards and upwards i always said when i last climbed Everest..                  Kids are fine and chubby.  Dean is playing guitar like a dream.  There is a lot of talent in that little soul.  Kaela is studying a lot and has tests coming up so we shall see.  Very much like her mamma in that you cant tell her anything.  And i have so much to tell!!!          Anyways we look forward to the blog everyday.  Please thank the bloggers for the families left on Mother Earth.  Enjoy your time and bring me a Yeti back.  There should be one around the next corner.  Bring Jaco a Unicorn….you just never know.  Actually just bring yourself back. Love you SOOO much!  ME.

Posted by: Maureen on 5/14/2016 at 2:03 am

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