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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Denali Expediton: Van Deventer & Team On their Descent

Monday, May 27, 2024 - 11:30 PM PT

Our descent is well underway. We woke up a bit leisurely this morning and let things get a bit warmer, then packed our belongings and started down the West Buttress. Before long we were in the relative warmth of 14,000', wearing much less than all the 14,000' Camp dwellers themselves. Something about coming down from somewhere that's been - 25 to change perspective. We packed more belongings at 14 Camp, and started down towards 11,000'. We had a plan to see how low we could get. We made it to 11,000' Camp in great time, so the team decided to take a minute to brew up some more water, then keep going to the base of Ski Hill, our first camp of the expedition. We are there now, where things feel truly balmy. We're going to take a quick snooze, then wake up early and walk the last bit to Kahiltna Base Camp, where we hope planes will be flying first thing!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

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Denali Expedition: Wittmier & Team Bring you Denali Bingo

Monday, May 27, 2024 - 7:05 pm PT

The Denali Bingo card formulated by our team.
1. Get uncomfortably close to filling your pee bottle in the middle of the night.
2.Make eye contact with someone from the next camp while pooping.
3. Stand outside your tent for more than 30 minutes because you want to go pee before you get into the tent because once you're in you don't want to come back out.
4. Wear your bootys instead of your boots outside and almost slide to your death (or fall into the kitchen tent)
5. Have more than 5 blisters.
6. Read out loud to your tent mates for entertainment.
7. Read all the books you brought/watch all the shows you downloaded before day 16.
8. Eat 3 servings of breakfast/dinner.
9. Drink your warm food bowl cleaning water (gross)
10. Get very frustrated when you realize that all the music you downloaded on Spotify isn't working.
11. Eat a questionable snack.
12. Get woken up from condensation drops on your face.
13. Dig yourself out of your tent after a storm.
14. Be thankful for all the life choices that brought you here
15. Regret every life choice that brought you here.
16. Taste your last meal in your current meal.
17. Use your pee bottle for warmth.
18. Skip brushing your teeth because it’s cold outside
19. Use pee bottle as spit bottle when brushing teeth.
20. Tent yoga.
21. Finish packing your pack and then fully unpack because your gloves are at the bottom
22. Unusual shaped sunburn
23. Eat a pound of cheese in 3 days.
24. Get blasted by snow in the kitchen tent during an entire dinner
25. Wear the same pair of socks for more than 10 days

Denali bingo brought to you by Sharon and the team. We are all winners in this one!

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

“Make eye contact with someone from the next camp while pooping.”

Yikes, lol.

Posted by: Some guy from Puyallup on 5/28/2024 at 6:34 am


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Check in After Summit Day

Monday, May 27, 2024 - 9:30 am PT

Yesterday, we got the weather window we needed and on day 20 of this expedition, we stood on the summit of Denali.

What a day it was! We dawned all our gear (every layer! Brrr!) and were one of the first teams on the route. We climbed the Autobahn and took our first break in the sun. Up through Zebra rocks and onward we went. The clouds were below us and the views were beyond beautiful. A little breeze picked up as we crossed the Football Field and looking up at the summit ridge, we thought it might be too windy.  But by the time we made it to the top of Pig Hill, at the start of the summit ridge, the winds had died down and we carried on.

Quick photos and celebrations and “I can’t wait to tell my wife! my family! my friends!” sounded among our team. We know we wouldn’t be here without all the support of so many of you at home and we can’t wait to share more stories when we get back.

We’ll begin our descent today - after coffee and hot drinks, we’ll head down to 14,000' Camp, pack up all our gear and try to descend to 11,000' Camp tonight. With hopes to walk to the airstrip tomorrow!

With big full hearts,

RMI Guides Jess, Mike, Michael and the Denali #1 climbing team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

We are so very happy for your success! I’m so happy that our son Nick had the opportunity to go with your group and know that it had to be a journey for a lifetime for everybody involved! The Roberts

Posted by: Kathie Roberts on 5/27/2024 at 2:39 pm

Way to go!  Congratulations to all!

Love Spaulding’s!

Posted by: Sharon Spaulding on 5/27/2024 at 12:11 pm


Mt. Rainier: Five Day Climb Reaches Summit!

The Five Day Climb May 23 - 27 reached the summit of Mt. Rainier today.  RMI Guides Brent Okita and Sam Hoffman led the teams. The group reached the crater rim around 7:45 am PT. This is our first Mt. Rainier summit of the 2024 season.

Nice work team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Way to go Brent and crew!!!

Posted by: Julie on 5/27/2024 at 10:55 am


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Reach Summit of Denali!

The RMI Denali Expedition May 5th led by RMI Guides Mike Walter, Jess Wedel and Michael Murray reached the summit of Denali on Sunday, May 26th.  The team safely returned to High Camp, 17,000', after a 12 hour round trip climb.  After some much deserved rest they will begin the descent, returning to Kahiltna Base Camp and then onto Talkeetna.

Congratulations team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Congratulations!!! Well done. Glad all are safe. What an unbelievable accomplishment. Thank you for “including us” on your remarkable adventure. Amazing.

Posted by: Bruce Wilhelm on 5/27/2024 at 8:56 am


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Summit Denali!

Sunday, May 26, 2024 - 10:56 pm PT

The break in wind we had hoped for materialized and this morning was gorgeous. We got going early to take advantage. The Autobahn was chilly as always, but good walking thanks to the efforts of the multicompany guide effort yesterday. We had a bit of wind as we approached the Football Field, and were a bit worried about the winds streaming over the summit ridge. A passing friend described the ridge as savage. As we climbed Pig Hill in relative protection, they seemed to abate and as we crested things were relatively pleasant. We worked our way along the exciting terrain of the summit ridge and around 15:30, stepped onto the top of Denali. We shared some hugs and photos, and then scooted back across to beat the onrush of traffic still coming up. We had a pretty casual walk back, and 12 hours after we started we were back in camp in sunshine, recovering from a mighty day. We'll sleep well tonight, and then start to work our way to the airstrip tomorrow. We will be moving quite a bit with little rest until we reach base camp and the planes arrive to bring us to town. We'll try to stay in touch, but we will be home soon!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulation…Bravo…Well done Pete and crew.
From hoop courts and race ovals of flat IN.

Posted by: Waltero Glover on 5/28/2024 at 1:10 am

Wonderful news!  Big congrats to you all!

Posted by: Lisa Hankin on 5/27/2024 at 2:29 pm


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Hoping Tomorrow is Summit Day

Saturday, May 25, 2024 - 5:35 pm PT

This morning wasn't quite what we had ordered up. The wind was moving quite a bit of snow at Denali Pass, and it was immediately clear it wasn't the day for us. New forecasts also showed the wind rising this afternoon, but letting off tonight and tomorrow, so tomorrow sounded like the better day anyways. Big shout-out to RMI Guides Andy Bond and Henry Coppolillo for the constant weather updates now that we are in go mode. Camp was calm and pleasant, with snow falling lightly in the afternoon, but warm overall. In a showcase of camaraderie and teamwork, guides from several different teams, including ours, took the opportunity to get into the Autobahn and ensure the pickets and walking are ready for us tomorrow. On to tomorrow!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Get some Batch!!!!!!

Posted by: Jasyn Voshell on 5/26/2024 at 4:17 am

Get it Scott Lico! You got this!!!!! Good job everyone.

Posted by: Priscilla Littmann on 5/25/2024 at 10:07 pm


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Waiting Out the Winds at 17,000ft Camp

Saturday, May 25, 2024 - 4:39 pm PT

Well, today didn’t go as planned but it was still a helpful day on our journey to reach the summit of Denali. We woke to high winds above us, deemed it too windy for a safe summit attempt and chose to take a rest day at 17,000' Camp. The sun came out this afternoon and we all enjoyed sitting outside our tents resting, hydrating and taking in the views.
All the guide teams are working together up here and Mike lead a crew of guides up the Autobahn (a long stretch of climbing right out of camp) this afternoon. They checked out conditions and put in work shoveling and digging out pickets so that it’s in good shape for tomorrow.

We are all watching the weather closely and so hopeful tomorrow will be our summit day.

Here we go!

RMI Guides Jess Wedel, Mike Walter, Michael Murray and the Denali team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

You are all so amazing!  Sara you are so astonishing! I can’t wait to see the pictures. Summit!!!

Posted by: Becky Killian on 5/26/2024 at 7:57 pm

Stay safe up there, team! And pls tell Nick Roberts his Unc B is rooting for him!

Posted by: Unc B on 5/26/2024 at 6:34 pm


Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Return to Talkeetna

The team came to the challenging decision, where part of the team chose to continue uphill and part of the team called yesterday their high point. 

For those who chose to continue uphill, you can follow along with their journey on the May 12th Expedition with Dustin Wittmier. For the remainder of the team, we packed up late last night, walked through the night and flew back to Talkeetna mid-morning where we can now enjoy a shower and beer for our hard work.  

RMI Guide Nikki Champion & Team

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Denali Expedition: Wittmier and Team Settle In to 14,000’ Camp

After a long and heavy day, the team made it all the way to 14,000' Camp with a warm greeting from some fellow RMI teams. We’ve settled into camp, retrieving our gear from below during our back carry. Now being fully set up at 14,000', we are taking advantage of the bluebird skies to rest, practice fixed line travel and walk to the Edge of the World for the beautiful views and photo ops.

Life may be colder up at 14,000' as opposed to 11,000', but no one here seems to be complaining. Life is good.

RMI Guides Dustin, Lacie, Dan, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Sarah:  What a view!  What an adventurous niece!  Talked to your Dad this evening and caught up
on his adventurous family.  Beautiful weather down here for one day.  Wishing you the very best.

Posted by: Coreen on 5/26/2024 at 8:43 pm

Sarah. Of course the summit is the ultimate goal, but the real goal is to enjoy the climb.
We are. Hope you are too. Bob and Pat

Posted by: Bob Brandt on 5/26/2024 at 9:32 am

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