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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Visit the Edge of the World

May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day!
We celebrated Mother’s Day by taking a rest/acclimatization day at 14k. The weather was beautiful and we were able to get some much needed rest and dry out all of our gear. We took a leisurely stroll out to the Edge of the World to take on the magnificent views of the Kahiltna Glacier nearly 7000’ below us.
We also took time for continued training with fixed rope travel and running belays, which we will likely employ tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, we plan to carry a load of supplies up high on the West Buttress so we will be ready to move to high camp soon. We’ll keep you posted.
Again, happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there. Especially: Jeanne, Liz, Mimi, Kelly, Cynthia, Diane, Jarah, Victoria, Lea, Judy, Gale, Roberta, Pam, Joanne, Martina, Meme, Ann, Nancy, Debbie, & Renee.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Denali Expedition: Team Van Deventer Packed & Ready

May 14, 2017 - 9:35 am PT

The May 12th Denali Team is loaded and ready to climb. We spent yesterday in town packing, repacking, sorting food, and enjoying the Talkeetna restaurant scene. Our bags are weighed, sorted, and now we just need weather to fly. Rain moved in overnight, but the news this morning is that weather in the range is good, so once things clear out here, we should be ready to launch for base camp. Hopefully that’s sooner than later. We’ll give another shout this evening and let everyone know how it went.

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi everyone… (Lax, Raghu’s wife)

Really awesome feeling to see all the progress guys :) Keep going and be safe…

Raghu- Mauna is doing great… :) can’t wait to hear the stories of the journey and of course to see all those beautiful pictures ;)


-Thanks for the updates !! and we are waiting everyday for the new post..

Posted by: Lakshmi gompa on 5/19/2017 at 12:51 pm

Hey there Jt!

I know you are having the time of your life now and I am so happy for you! You’re on my mind and in my heart daily. I know you will do great! I can’t wait to see all the beautiful pictures and hear the amazing stories when you get back. I love you bunches!

With love,

(To the whole team, prayers and best of luck! You got this!)

Posted by: Crystal Kingsbury on 5/16/2017 at 5:22 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Back Carry Supplies to 14K Camp

May 13, 2017 - 10:43 pm PT

Our team had another productive day today. After a well deserved rest this morning, we headed back downhill to our cache near Windy Corner. Fifteen minutes after leaving camp we found ourselves back at our cache. Upon digging up our supplies, we loaded up our packs and headed back to our camp in Genet Basin. In less than an hour we were back at camp.
We also spent some time today reviewing and practicing fixed line travel using ascenders. We will tackle the fixed lines on our next active day as we plan to make a carry of supplies up near high camp. We will likely take a rest day tomorrow and try to make a cache up high on Monday.
We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

So glad to hear all signs point to a summit later this week. Back on the home front, I had to call a plumber to replace our leaking water heater and running toilet, Pat D. to fix the pump in the pond, and I haven’t figured out who I could call to put in the air conditioners as we are looking at 90 degrees this weekend and house guests for two nights. Please summit soon!
Wishing all were quiet on the home front…Nancy

Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/17/2017 at 6:01 am

You are actually going to do it ... I’m a little jealous!!  Well done guys and keep pushing hard.  Wishing you calm winds, warm sunshine, good company, a fabulous experience and - soon - some cold beers at base camp.  Be safe.

Posted by: Adelle on 5/17/2017 at 1:32 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Move to 14K Camp

May 12, 2017 - 10:49 pm PT

We rose early this morning to bitter cold temperatures and clear skies, with just a light breeze blowing through camp. Reluctantly we left the comfort of our sleeping bags and fired up the stoves. After a few hours we were fed, hydrated, and had camp broken down, and we were off climbing up Motorcycle Hill. We were the first group out of camp by a long shot, so we had the mountain to ourselves.
After cresting Motorcycle Hill, we tackled our next challenge, Squirrel Hill. After Squirrel Hill, we had a little reprieve on the relatively flat Polo Fields. We climbed up and around Windy Corner, passed our cache site from yesterday, and continued into Genet Basin, the 14,200’ camp.
It was a hard day with heavy packs, but everyone climbed hard. We arrived in camp with plenty of time to build camp in the sunshine and get some rest before dinner.
Tomorrow’s plan will involve sleeping in before breakfast to let the sun warm our chilly tents. Then we will head back downhill to Windy Corner to retrieve our cache.
We’ll check in again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Go go Mike + crew ~ Wish you great / safe climb…Best and Bless Waltero…Just back from Peru ~ Summit Rainbow Mtn / Vinicunca

Posted by: Waltero Glover on 5/14/2017 at 6:34 am

Well done - Thom Todd David and team. Following you all like a real stalker. Wishing you all the best.
Sunny South Africa

Posted by: Adelle on 5/14/2017 at 5:17 am

Denali Expediton: Walter & Team Carry to 13,700’

May 11, 2017 - 11:07 pm PT

The weather was perfect and we took advantage of it by carrying heavy backpacks loaded with supplies to our cache at 13,700’, on the far side of Windy Corner. Climbing conditions were great and everyone did well. After burying our cache, we returned back to our camp at 11,200’. Hopefully tomorrow’s weather will cooperate and we can bump camp up to 14,200’. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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So glad you were able to make such good progress today, and that you had such good weather. Sam arrived safely last night and got his vaccinations this afternoon. Tomorrow we are having lunch with the Bashyals to talk about Nepal and India. Sunday it is brunch with Auntie Anne, and then he heads back to Montana.

Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/12/2017 at 8:29 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Sit Tight at 11,200’ Camp

The snow has stopped and the storm has passed. We ended up getting 3-4 feet of snow. Today was beautiful with plenty of sunshine and light winds here at 11,200’ Camp. We decided to take another rest day today to let the snow settle and reduce the avalanche hazard. We spent the day drying our gear and getting ready for our cache tomorrow. Tomorrow (weather permitting) we will carry supplies up around Windy Corner and make a cache at around 13,700’. Or at least that’s the plan. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi Rue and Mike,

Following along and wishing you a safe and amazing climb!


Posted by: George Nimmo on 5/11/2017 at 10:25 am

Hi Todd, Thom, Dave & Mike,

Watching your progress and hoping for good weather and safe conditions.

All the best


Posted by: Rogan Davies on 5/10/2017 at 10:14 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Receive New Snow at 11, 200

May 9, 2017 - 6:26 pm PT
Yesterday’s light snow increased in intensity over night and turned into a full on powder day today. We woke to dig out the tents around 4:30 am an they were nearly buried again by 10 am. We have received over three feet of snow overnight and it is continuing as I write this.
So, we spent the day resting and enjoying one of our favorite rest day activities: digging out camp.
We actually needed this rest day, so the snow comes at an opportune time. We would like it to stop though, so we can make our carry to Windy Corner tomorrow. Right now that doesn’t seem to be the case, but better weather is forecast for later in the week.
Everyone is doing well and enjoying some down time. We’ll let you know what tomorrow brings.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Robby,

Given the down time at 11K, hope you found a cribbage partner.  Looking forward to seeing your pics when you get back.  Good luck to you and the team.

Elevation 644’ !!
Northbrook, IL

Posted by: Art Muir on 5/10/2017 at 10:00 am

Hi Mike, Thom, Todd and David, I am so regret I missed this time. Best wishes for you guys with a good weather window. Dr. David, don’t bend your phone again and shoot some great pictures. I have been thinking what you guy’s schedule this year. I am so jealous!!
Be safe and good luck!!!

Lei from Albany, NY

Posted by: LEI WU on 5/10/2017 at 7:35 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Retrieve Cache Below 11K Camp

We slept in this morning and then enjoyed a breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon. Then we headed back down glacier to retrieve the cache we left there two days ago. It was a warm day with light snow and no wind. Now that we have all of our supplies with us at 11k, we’ll start to strategize our move to the upper mountain. The next move for us is to carry supplies up around Windy Corner and establish a cache at around 13,700’. We’re still not sure if that will happen tomorrow or if we will take our first full rest day. Weather will certainly play a role in that decision. We will let you know what we decide and touch base tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

...don’t sleep in too long DWH! love you and am so proud of you! - mom sends her love as well! Prayers for a safe summit AKS

Posted by: Ann Kathryn Hines-Scott on 5/10/2017 at 3:37 am

Beautiful sky! Hope the rest of you got out of your tents to see that glorious sight!

Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/9/2017 at 6:29 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Move to 11,200’ Camp

I’m writing this dispatch from our new home at 11,200’. Everyone did great on our move today, hauling our sleds and heavy backpacks up 3,400’ from the base of Ski Hill. The weather started as mostly cloudy, then transitioned to white out conditions where you could not differentiate sky from glacier. We flew on instruments most of the day today. There was also snow and drifting snow that made the climbing even more challenging. Everybody climbed strong and came into camp in style.
Tomorrow we sleep in and rest a little bit and then head back down to 10,300’ to retrieve the cache that we left there yesterday. It should be a much easier day than today.
We’ll check back tomorrow to let you know how it goes.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Thanks for the update! Glad to hear all is well. Keep up the good work everyone, and remember the power of meditation, David!
P.S. The wheelbarrow is now full of gray, moldy peanuts, being nibbled on by squirrels who are sneaking into the garage…what should I do?

Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/8/2017 at 9:09 pm

Way to go Rue and team!!!! #beastmode


Posted by: Cindee on 5/8/2017 at 7:14 pm

Denali Expedition: Mike Walter & Team Fly in to Base Camp

May 6, 2017 11:34am PST

We had perfect weather yesterday that made for smooth flights from Talkeetna to the Kahiltna Glacier in two of K2 Aviation’s ski planes. After a couple of hours sorting gear and digging our Base Camp cache, we donned our backpacks and started pulling sleds en route to our first camp. Beautiful weather continued the entire day and we’re now at 7800’ at the base of “Ski Hill”. After a solid night’s rest, we have the stoves back up and rolling for breakfast. Our plan today is to carry a cache supplies (mostly food and fuel) up another couple thousand feet and then return back to this same camp tonight. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

RMI Mike Walter & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Mike, Thom, Todd and Dave—

Reflecting daily on your climb and remembering our adventure last year.  Wishing you strength, good health and excellent weather during your climb. Eat! Get those calories! Stay strong. It’s is an outstanding achievement, give it your best and come home safe.

From Brussels, Belgium.


Posted by: Kevin on 5/7/2017 at 12:48 pm

Hi Todd, Thom, Dave and Mike.

Following your progress, climb strong and safe. Hope you have fantastic weather this year.

All the best

Rogan Davies

Posted by: Rogan Davies on 5/7/2017 at 8:53 am

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