Posts for Expedition Dispatches

Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Back Carry from 14,200’ Camp

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 29, 2015 10:41am PST

As the sun hit our tent we woke up ready for our back carry to above windy corner. We could hear the wind in the distance scouring the buttress above us. But here at camp it was calm and brisk. Since we worked hard on our move to 14 camp and our back carry would only take a few hours, we opted for a relaxing morning before our work had to be done. After lounging in the posh till late morning we geared up and retrieved our cashed equipment and food.
 
When we got back it was only mid afternoon, so the next task was to fortify camp with walls in case the wind decided to give us trouble. Little did we know that our team consisted of Egyptian craftsman. In no time or camp was secure.With much of the day left we took a solid break and made some fresh coffee, which is a real amenity up here.  After being properly caffeinated we practice fixed line travel which will be a well needed review before cashing at 16,200.
 
We are feeling good and are putting ourselves in a position to head higher on the mountain. With a little more acclimation and calm weather we will be ready for high camp and a bid at the summit. We are all very excited.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team

Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team take a Well Earned Rest Day

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

After a big day yesterday, we took it easy today to rest up for a forthcoming summit push. We woke late and enjoyed a breakfast of eggs, bacon; and hash browns which stretched into afternoon. A few hours of sorting gear, napping, and reading led into a dinner of quesadillas. Unfortunately, the meat department may be getting low… From here on out its freeze dried dinners, ramen, and oatmeal. With that in mind we savored the fresh food, and wrapped up small details for tomorrow. Everything seems to be lining up for us to move to high camp tomorrow. We’ll wake early, beat the sun out of camp, and take our second stroll along the West Buttress. Everybody is excited and fired up.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

RMI Guides
Pete, Josh, Robby, and Team

An RMI Dining tent on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team on the Mountain

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Lindsay Mann, Chase Nelson | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

Thursday, May 28th 10:37 pm PDT

We woke up this morning to blue skies in Talkeetna, which meant great weather for flying! After a meal at the roadhouse we scurried over to hangar to transition from Talkeetna street walkers to Denali climbers. With climbing boots on and smiles on our faces we enjoyed a great flight onto the mountain.
Once we arrived at Basecamp the team was highly efficient organizing their gear. After a minimal amount of time at Basecamp we embarked on our journey up the Kahiltna Glacier. Several hours later we arrived at our camp for the night at 7,800’. The team immediately set up tents to shade themselves from sun and nestled in. After a delicious meal of Annie’s Mac and cheese we hunkered down for the night.

We will check in again tomorrow night after another day of good work.

RMI Guide Tyler Jones

A view from the flight into Mt. McKinley's Basecamp. Photo: RMI Collection

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1

Have fun sweetie looks like the weather is beautiful may it stay that way up and down the mountain for you and your team!  Love you!

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Posted by: Richard Larscheid on 5/29/2015 at 8:13 am


Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Starts Their Expedition

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Eric Frank | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

The Upper West Rib team assembled today at the Anchorage airport and started our journey north to Talkeetna. All of us are excited to have the trip underway. We have lots of logistics and preparing to take care of, but that will start tomorrow. Tonight we are going to get settled into our hotel, have some dinner, and relax. That’s all for now, thank you for following along with us as our adventure begins. 

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Mt. McKinley, 20,320'. Highest Point in North America. Photo: Bradford Washburn

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Plan to Move Up to High Camp Tomorrow

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 28, 2015 - 10:12 pm PT

The weather played out as forecasted today, with strong winds blowing plumes of snow off of Denali’s summit and West Buttress. We were happy to be down here at the 14,200’ camp where the winds were much more manageable. We enjoyed a leisurely brunch of bacon, eggs, and bagels while the winds howled outside. Much of the rest of the day was spent reading and napping in our tents.
The weather forecast looks good for us. We plan to rise early tomorrow (Friday) and make the strenuous climb to high camp at 17,200’. If all goes well, we’ll shoot for the summit on Saturday. This is by far the best weather forecast that we’ve had all trip and we plan to take full advantage of it. We’re well rested and acclimated, and eager to climb. We’ll let you know how it goes.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & team

Looking through camp walls at Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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McKinley: Jones and Team Ready to Fly

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Lindsay Mann, Chase Nelson | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

Thursday, May 28th 12:32 pm PDT

The team is all assembled and packed in Talkeetna! Yesterday we had a thorough gear check and sorting session in the K2 Aviation hangar. Everyone’s kits are dialed and we are ready to go. It seems like we have a great team and we are hoping for a great trip. Hopefully we have some good weather today and are able to fly on!

RMI Guide Tyler Jones and team

The RMI May 26th McKinley team sorting gear in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Lindsay Mann RMI Guide Tyler Jones sorting gear in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Lindsay Mann The RMI May 26th McKinley team ready to fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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3

Stoked for you, Lee Suring, and the team on this adventure. We are all very proud of you! Looking forward to more posts and to follow you all on this… read more

Posted by: Nicole Bartschi on 5/29/2015 at 8:33 am

You are all in my prayers for a magnificent and safe journey.  May the Lord your every step.

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Posted by: Amy Curtis on 5/28/2015 at 9:09 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Carry to High Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Thursday, May 28th 3:49 am PDT

After so many posts about waiting for weather, this one is different. We headed for the fixed lines this morning under clear, sunny skies. The day turned into the nicest that Robby, Josh, or I have ever had on the West Buttress—warm and without a breathe of wind. Because the weather was so nice, the climbing conditions so perfect, and the group climbing so well, we decided to push all of the way to 17 Camp and leave our cache there. The climbing on the Buttress is some of the best of the entire route, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the huge views, interesting climbing, and the accomplishment of getting it done. It was a big day, just under 10 hours round trip, so everyone is knackered but elated, and we will more than likely sleep in and take a rest day tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

Looking up at the West Buttress on Mt. McKinley, AK from 14 Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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8

Pete thanks for the updates, fun to follow along.  Brian, following along, hope to see a post that you made Camp 17 in the next day or so, best of… read more

Posted by: Oscar Berke on 5/29/2015 at 8:32 am

Hi Renee, hope all is going well. Ralph & Meissa are on their best behaviour (so far…..)
What an epic climb you have undertaken!!!! I am very proud of… read more

Posted by: Steve Telford on 5/28/2015 at 7:48 pm


Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

Posted by: Andy Hildebrand, Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 28, 2015 - 9:39 am PT

In the big picture breakdown of Mt. McKinley’s climbing days, it would be said that historically the move day from 11,000 foot camp to 14,000 foot camp would prove to be one of the most difficult.  Today I would say that we beat the odds.  We broke camp at 7 am this morning in quick time and after a delicious breakfast of instant oatmeal and instant coffee we were ready to tackle the day’s first objective.  Directly out of 11 camp, a swell steep uphill called Motorcycle Hill greets you.  Next is Squirrel Hill and after that Windy Corner.  Now I’m not sure how we have gotten in such good graces with the often grumpy weather gods but today those gods, sitting around their big weather God dinner table, decide today should be the nicest day all month.  With clear skies, no wind and perfect walking temps we all zipped right through those hills and corners to a breathtaking camp here at 14,000 feet.  We were in no rush because the day was so amazing so we created our own camp out of scratch and are all feeling rewarded and strong.  Big move days rarely go this smooth.  We could not feel more psyched for what’s to come. 
I am thinking about you Liam.  I can’t wait to see you. 
Wishing all of our family and friends big hugs. 
RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Looking up toward Windy Corner en route to 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Colleciton

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13

Looks like very good, uh- great, luck so far!  Have fun.

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Posted by: Cathy S. on 5/29/2015 at 9:33 am

Glad for the weather.  Stay strong.  Enjoying the posts.

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Posted by: Patty on 5/29/2015 at 9:22 am


Mt. Rainier: Expeditions Skills Seminar - Muir on the Summit!

Posted by: Brent Okita, Garrett Stevens | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Garrett Stevens reached Camp Muir on Monday with their team.  This week has been beautiful and the team has spent their time on the mountain honing their mountaineering techniques.  This morning the team left Camp Muir en route to the summit.  They arrived around 6:30 am PT and were able to enjoy the blue skies and sunshine from the top.  The team will return to Camp Muir for their final night on the mountain and some additional training.  Tomorrow after noon they will return to Rainier BaseCamp.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

Seminar Climbers en route to Camp Muir on May 25.  Photo: Brent Okita The Expeditions Skills Seminar - Muir team on the summit of Mt. Rainier May 28th.  Photo: Brent Okita Enjoying the sunrise from Camp Muir during the Seminar.  Photo: Brent Okita
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What an awesome adventure! Congrats to my son Michael and Chris and the rest of the team! SO happy you made it to the summit, can’t wait to hear from… read more

Posted by: Diana on 5/29/2015 at 5:36 am

Congratulations to the team! Very proud of you, Ben!

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Posted by: Gail Fine on 5/28/2015 at 8:07 pm


Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Remain at 14,000’

Posted by: Billy Haas, Solveig Waterfall, Mike Walter | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 27, 2015 - 10:38 pm PT

We woke early this morning, ate, took down our tents and packed our backpacks. We even had our harnesses on. The weather was perfect. But after checking multiple weather resources, our decision was clear. Weather models were in agreement, forecasting gale force winds in excess of 65mph tomorrow at high camp. It would not have been prudent to risk going up high today and deal with potential tent-crushing winds tomorrow. So we unpacked and set up our tents anew.
Throughout the emotional swings of this morning, our team has remained resolute. Safety is our number one priority up here in the mountains, and we will try for our summit push after tomorrow’s winds abate. In fact, the forecast looks quite good for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re optimistic that we’ll have good shot to move up to high camp on Friday.
In the mean time today, we’re enjoying the best weather day of our whole trip. It’s sunny, calm, and warm here at 14,200’.
Pete Van Deventer’s expedition is up high on the ridge today, caching supplies for their stint at high camp (which will likely coincide with ours). Adam Knoff’s expedition rolled into camp today also, and they’re busy setting up their camp. It’s good to see a lot of friendly RMI climber faces here at camp.
We’ll keep you posted any news from our end.

Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Recent Images From Expedition Dispatches

  • Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Brent Okita
  • An RMI Dining tent on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection
  • A view from the flight into Mt. McKinley's Basecamp. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Mt. McKinley, 20,320'. Highest Point in North America. Photo: Bradford Washburn
  • Looking through camp walls at Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The RMI May 26th McKinley team sorting gear in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • RMI Guide Tyler Jones sorting gear in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The RMI May 26th McKinley team ready to fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • Looking up at the West Buttress on Mt. McKinley, AK from 14 Camp. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Looking up toward Windy Corner en route to 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Colleciton
  • Seminar Climbers en route to Camp Muir on May 25.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • The Expeditions Skills Seminar - Muir team on the summit of Mt. Rainier May 28th.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • Enjoying the sunrise from Camp Muir during the Seminar.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • Looking out over the Edge of the World from 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The view from the Edge of the World.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, with Kahiltna Dome in the cloudy distance.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Climbers below Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team approaching 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RM Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley with new snow.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley fortifies snow walls and clears tents after new snow.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Crevasse Rescue on the Alaska Mountaineering Seminar. RMI Chris Villar
  • A snowy camp at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • An RM Team climbing towards 11,200 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The Mt. Rainier summit crater. Photo: Linden Mallory