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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Climb Teams Unable to Climb

Due to wind and snow overnight the Four Day Climb teams led by RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Hannah Smith were unable to make a summit attempt this morning. The teams were safely tucked in at Camp Muir.  Dave reported snow drifts of 12+ inches.  The teams will return to Paradise later this morning.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

So crazy how much different things can be up on the mountain.  It’s shorts and t-shirts weather down in Seattle.  Bummer…

Posted by: Jordan Cook on 5/19/2019 at 1:11 pm

Sorry you guys weren’t able to make the attempt.  Next year!

Posted by: David Payne on 5/19/2019 at 9:36 am


Bolivia: Frank and Team Arrive on Isla de Sol

The team let a out a collective sigh of relief today as we left the big city of La Paz for the quiet Bolivian country side. A few hours of driving, a ferry ride and five miles of scenic hiking brought us to a harbor on the Bolivian/Peruvian border. The views in all directions are incredible here. The contrast of the terraced golden field with the deep blue hue of the lake make a gorgeous contrast.
After trekking uphill we arrived at our eco lodge and settled into our rooms. A dinner of quinoa soup and trout next to a crackling fire closed out our night. We all look forward to exploring the island tomorrow.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

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Denali Expedition: Gately and Team Retrieve Cache, Return to 11,000’ Camp

Saturday, May 18, 2019 10:11 pm PT

We awoke to clear skies this morning and the team enjoyed the extra sleep and a leisurely breakfast of toasted bagels, cream cheese and bacon. Just before midday we put the ropes back on and traveled back down glacier to about 10,000’ to retrieve our cache of gear. The weather stayed cool for us with high wispy clouds and filtered sun making the climb back to camp quite pleasant. The team then had the rest of the afternoon off and spent it snacking, napping and more snacking. Well earned time off after the long haul up the Kahiltna. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will try and climb higher to about 13,600ft to place another cache of gear and further acclimate. This though we lose the sleds and snowshoes for crampons and an ice axe! 

RMI Guide Steve Gately

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Move into 14K Camp

We woke early to perfect weather this morning and decided we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to move camp up to 14,200’ in Genet Basin. The weather remained great for us all day, with some clouds building mid morning and a few scattered snow flurries, but no wind to speak of. Laden with heavy packs, we made slow and steady progress and after about six hours we arrived at camp. It’s been a few hours now and camp is up, the climbers are resting in their tents, and stoves are cranking melting snow for water bottles and heating water for dinner.
Tomorrow we will head back down to Windy Corner to retrieve our cache. That will be a short day and we’re happy for that. We’re also looking forward to our first complete rest day the following day (Monday). It’s time to lick our wounds, rest, and acclimate.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Sounds like your progress is good as compared to last year! Enjoy the remainder of the climb, Tom M! Greetings to you from all the Mulvey-Temples ..... from the Oregon coast!

Continue to remain safe and enjoy!

Susan M

Posted by: Susan Mulvey on 5/19/2019 at 1:35 pm

Hi Mike, I understand from my cousin, Pieter Swart’s wife, that Pieter is part of your team. Hallou Pieter, so bietjie Afrikaans spesiaal net vir jou, daar op die berg. Seker die 1e keer dat Denali Afrikaans hoor!!  I’m so glad that your team is steadily making progress. Holding thumbs you’ll reach the summit safely! Judging by your pictures, your scenery is NEARLY, not AS, beautiful as that of Antarctica. Ask Pieter to explain this one to you. Good luck further on.

Posted by: Johan Wiesner on 5/19/2019 at 12:33 pm


Denali Expedition: Gately and Team Move to 11,000’ Camp

This one is going to be brief, I apologize but its been a long day!

We were graced with good weather this morning and we rose early to break down camp and move to 11,000’. The team did a great job moving through the terrain. Light snow flurries kept the temps cool and good for climbing. The final hill into 11,000’ Camp is a total butt kicker and the team styled it like pros. The team spent the afternoon building camp and setting up tents before enjoying a well earned meal and a good nights rest. Tomorrow we will travel back down glacier to about 10,000’ to retrieve our cached gear and then enjoy having the afternoon free. All is well and the team is doing great!

RMI Guide Steve Gately & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Keep up the good work! We really enjoy being able to follow along with these blogs.

Posted by: Dale Thompson on 5/18/2019 at 10:37 am

Great to read of favorable weather & all doing well!

Posted by: Tom Dietz on 5/18/2019 at 10:03 am


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Climb Reached Ingraham Flats

The Four Day Climb led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Bryan Mazaika reached 11,200’ on Mt. Rainier today. New snow from the last few days and high avalanche danger kept the team from going any higher on the mountain. The team is back at Camp Muir and will start the descent to Paradise shortly.

Congratulations to today’s team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Congrats, Hoger (and Team)! Pretty awesome!!

Posted by: K-Man on 5/19/2019 at 9:26 am


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Climb to 13,600, Return to 11,000 Camp

We’re on a roll now with another great day today. We woke to clear skies with a cloud deck slightly below our camp. There was some blowing snow visible up towards our destination, Windy Corner. So to drag our feet a bit and let it warm up and see what the winds were going to do we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of toasted bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon—not bad for breakfast at 11,200’ on Denali.
The sun eventually hit our camp and the winds abated. So we followed suit and finished packing up, donned our crampons and off we went. We were loaded down with food and fuel in our backpacks, intent on establishing a cache around Windy Corner. The first obstacle out of camp was climbing Motorcycle Hill, which took us 45 minutes to climb. Next we climbed Squirrel Hill and crossed the Polo Fields. Before we knew it we rounded Windy Corner and arrived at our cache site at 13,600’. We dug a deep hole in the snow, buried our gear, then headed back to camp. We were psyched to see the second RMI Denali team, led by Steve Gately, building camp next to ours here at 11,000’.
The next stage of the game for us is to move camp to 14,000’. We’ll see what the weather does and that will influence whether we try to move tomorrow or take a rest day.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir had a Successful Week of Training

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Team along with RMI Guides Adam Knoff and Walter Hailes had a successful week of training on Mt. Rainier. The team spent the week learning crevasse rescue, setting snow and ice anchors, route finding, avalance training, and many other alpine climbing techniques. The team was able to take several walks above Camp Muir, but the winter like weather kept the from the summit. The team is on the descent and will be back at Ashford Basecamp in the early afternoon today.

Congratulations to today’s team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Summiteers made a good call today, live to climb another day.

Posted by: Willy on 5/17/2019 at 5:02 pm


Denali Expedition: Gately & Team Ascend Ski Hill, Prepare to Move Camp

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A few short waves of snow showers passed through camp overnight and we woke up to a fresh dusting of new snow. A quick breakfast of oatmeal, dried fruit and nuts got us ready for the task ahead today. The terrain ahead would be a bit more challenging then our first day and the team was eager to explore new parts of the range. A decent amount of recent climber traffic has resulted in a well kicked in trail and we were grateful for the easy travel.

From camp our first obstacle is “Ski Hill”. In any other setting this slope wouldn’t make you bat an eye lash, but with Denali loads it poses quite a challenge. The team did fantastic with the increase in gradient. A short wave low pressure system was forecast to pass over the region today and we were greeted to a few intense snow flurries that reminded me of the Kahiltna Glacier that I’m more used to seeing. From the top of Ski Hill however, the terrain eases off quite a bit and we meandered our way to about 10,000’ where we left a cache of gear to be retrieved later. A quick descent brought us back into camp in seemingly no time at all and the crew is currently taking a load off before an early dinner in anticipation of another long day tomorrow.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, our goal will be to move to 11,000’ Camp. Its great to finally settle in at 11,000’, build a fortified camp, build the best kitchen this mountain has ever seen and look forward to our first rest day of the trip. That’s all for now, thanks for following along!

RMI Guide Steve Gately

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

That is a big glacier. Keep it up team. Looking forward to following your progress thru all phases of fun.

Posted by: Darren Beck on 5/18/2019 at 3:27 am


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Back Carry in Good Conditions

After three consecutive days of hard work, we had a lighter day today. But it wasn’t all rest; we had work to do, to go back down to 10,000’, dig up our cache, and haul it in sleds and backpacks back to our camp at 11,200’. It wasn’t easy work, but compared to the last three days it sure felt that way.
The snow conditions were excellent for travel on snowshoes and the temps were enjoyable. Intermittent clouds and light snow showers added to the great day. By the time we made it back to camp it was snowing a bit harder, but with no wind it didn’t really bother us too much.
This afternoon we are resting, eating and drinking, and preparing gear and supplies for our next cache, which will be up around Windy Corner at about 13,600’. If the weather is good, that might happen tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Thank you for all the great updates and pictures, Mike! So happy to hear you all are making some good progress and the weather is cooperating.

Tom M, we all are thinking of you and hope your fingers and nose are happy this year!

Posted by: Susan Mulvey on 5/17/2019 at 8:23 am

I’ve been away from internet/cellular coverage for several days but finally I’ve been able to read up on your progress.

So good to hear you’re now well on your way after the initial delay and a couple of false starts -although still fun to catch a flight or 3.  Loved the video from the May 10 flight –Hi Tom M xoxo

Here’s hoping the weather continues to cooperate so the team can continue with more of the awesome progress made over the last few days.  Mike, thanks so much for the updates –much appreciated.

Best wishes to all.  Stay strong, stay safe and enjoy the adventure!!

Go Team Walter!!

Posted by: Jacquie Byatt on 5/16/2019 at 9:38 pm

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