Posts for Expedition Dispatches

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Carry to High Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | June 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 28, 2015 12:20 am PST

Big day today… In spite of the forecast for 6-12” of new snow to fall today we awoke to partly cloudy skies, sun breaks, and only occasional flurries. Our long-shot plan to carry was a reality. We got rolling and packed up loads of supplies for High Camp and after a quick breakfast we made moves for the headwall and the fixed lines. After a few growing pains the team hit their stride and were able to put a cache in all the way up at high camp. The need for a back-carry could have hamstrung us on our move but since we cached at camp we are sitting pretty, waiting for our summit attempt weather window to open up. We’re planning on a rest day tomorrow and then it’s game on. We’re a tired bunch but we know that today’s hard work will pay off.

All for now!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Climbers ascending the fixed lines on Mt. McKinley en route to High Camp.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn and Team Move to 9,500’

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Steve Gately, JM Gorum | June 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,500'

June 27, 2015 10:32 pm PST

We intended to get stirring by about 2:30 this morning, but to no one’s disappointment, that didn’t happen.  It was socked-in and cloudy then with wettish snow in the air.  Likewise at 3 AM, not so good, and not at 3:30 either.  But then things started looking up.  We got up just after five and were climbing by 8:45.  Conditions were once again great for climbing.  With snowshoes on, we stayed right on the snow surface, as did our sleds.  Without too much trouble, we got up “Ski Hill” and hit our intended camp at 9,500 ft around noon.  By then we were in the clouds again and light snow was falling, but we’d gotten high enough to make things cold and so wetness was no longer a problem.  The team all pitched in admirably to build a new camp and then retreated for afternoon naps.  It was burrito night in the POSH tent where we were comfortably seated on snow benches out of the weather. 
We’ll see about moving up to 11,000’ tomorrow if folks are feeling good and the weather gives a break. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Climbers pulling sleds up Mt. McKinleys Ski Hill to 9.500 ft Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection

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6

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit on Top with 100% of Team

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

RMI Guide Brent Okita and all of his climbing team were descending from the Mt. Rainier’s crater rim at 6:33 am PST.  Brent reported good conditions with some high clouds and winds 15-20 mph.  The team will return to Camp Muir, repack and then continue their descent to Paradise.
We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to the entire Summit Climb team!

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Ecuador Seminar: Walter & Team Summit Cotopaxi

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

We stood on top of Cotopaxi this morning! Our windy adventures in Ecuador continued yesterday and into this morning. Hiking to the climbing hut we battled 30 mph winds, which continued through the evening. When I woke up to check the weather at 11 pm it was windy but clear. I woke the team up at midnight and we had an alpine start breakfast and prepared to climb. By the time we left, clouds were intermittently blowing in and out. During the first hour of our climb a very humid cloud moved in that dampened our outer layers, which then turned to ice. The wind persisted, so did we. Climbing higher, our clothes began to wear a layer of rime ice as we fought with the wind to maintain good posture and climb efficiently. Clouds would come and go (mostly come) throughout our climb, but the wind would not relent. It made the ascent very difficult and also very cold. Our breaks were shorter due to the weather, but the team climbed strong and toughed it out. We reached the summit around 6:45 am, five hours and fifteen minutes after we set out (which, by the way, is a fast pace for Cotopaxi). The summit views were obscured by clouds so we didn’t spend much time up top. Did I mention it was windy?

The descent was smooth and now we’re all resting at the historic Hosteria La Cienega in Lasso, Ecuador, near the south entrance to Cotopaxi National Park. We’ll enjoy a well earned dinner here tonight, and a good night’s sleep with a leisurely wake up call before heading back to Quito tomorrow.

The summit of Cotopaxi was a heck of a way to end our two week volcano tour on the Ecuador Seminar. We’ll check in again tomorrow from Quito.

Saludos,
RMI Guide Mike Walter

Cotopaxi as seen from the Jose Ribas Refugio. Photo: Mike Walter The RMI Ecuador Seminar team with Cotopaxi in the background. Photo: Mike Walter

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Mt. Baker: Grom & Team Summit

Posted by: Casey Grom, Chase Nelson | June 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *North Cascades
Elevation: 10,781'

RMI Guides Casey Grom and Chase Nelson and team reached the summit of Mt. Baker via the North Ridge. Casey checked-in from the summit reporting a great route, strong team, and beautiful weather with a steady breeze.

Congratulations!

An RMI climber ascending the North Ridge of Mt. Baker, WA. Photo: Eric Frank

Forbidden Peak: Davis & Team Reach Summit

Posted by: Leon Davis | June 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *North Cascades
Elevation: 8,630'

Update - June 27th 3:24 pm

RMI Guide Leon Davis and team are back at camp in Boston Basin. They will spend the night before descending to the trailhead in the morning.

Original Post

In the North Cascades of Washington, RMI Guide Leon Davis and team reached the summit of Forbidden Peak via the West Ridge this morning. Leon reported perfect weather for climbing today.

Way to go climbers!


Mt. Rainier: June 27th Teams Summit

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Solveig Waterfall | June 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb teams led by RMI Guides Adam Knoff and Solveig Waterfall reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. While on the summit, the teams enjoyed light winds and high clouds. The teams will return to Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford this afternoon.

Congratulations Climbers!

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Congrats guys! So proud of you Tyler. Wish I could have been there to greet you.

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Posted by: Karri K on 6/27/2015 at 7:54 am


Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Hoping for Clear Skies at Base Camp

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Friday, June 26, 2015 - 11:40 pm PT

We made it… almost. We left our camp at 11,200 feet around 4 am this morning.  The group was traveling quickly in spite of heavy packs and sleds. All was well until we encountered a wet, snowy drizzle around 7,800 feet. We trudged on knowing the end was just a few hours away. When we finally reached base camp, the snow stopped, but the clouds did not permit planes to come and pick us up. The rest of the day consisted of napping, to compensate for the lack of sleep over the past few days, and hoping for clear skies tomorrow. RMI Guides Pepper and Uchal are working on their clear skies interpretive dance in the event that we wake up to clouds tomorrow.

RMI 7 “El Siete”

Tents covered in snow at McKinley Base Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Settle in Below Ski Hill

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Steve Gately, JM Gorum | June 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 8,000'

Friday June 26th 9:13 pm PT

Our weather took a dive.  But our timing and luck have been pretty good anyway.  We were up at 1 AM this morning and on the trail by 4 AM (getting breakfast and gearing up while tearing down camp takes a while the first time).  The clouds were getting lower and lower until about 7 AM when we were swallowed up by the murk.  Wet snow was falling by 8:30, but luckily we were pulling into our intended camp at 8,000 feet by 9:15.  So we were indeed lucky to get flown on before the weather deteriorated and happy we were able to make use of what otherwise might have been considered a storm day today. 

Just as the snow began to fall, we met up with Mike Haugen’s victorious team on their way out.  Nice to see them, even if just in passing.  Once our new camp at the base of “Ski Hill” was built, we climbed in to rest away the late morning and afternoon.  Dinner was under the shelter of our POSH tent in a well-dug dining/kitchen snow pit. 

Aside from the weather, glacier conditions were quite good for traveling today and we had very few issues with the multitude of crevasse bridges that needed crossing. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Pulling sleds up Ski Hill on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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Ecuador Seminar: Walter & Team Prepare for Cotopaxi

Posted by: Mike Walter | June 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,953'

We’re up at the Jose Ribas Refugio on Cotopaxi at 15,953 ft. Tomorrow is climb day on Cotopaxi so we’re hitting the sack early tonight in preparation for our alpine start. We’ll check in again tomorrow and let you know how things go.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

The Jose Ribas Refugio on Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection

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Recent Images From Expedition Dispatches

  • Fresh Snow at 11,200' on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection
  • An RMI team on Squirrel Hill, Mount McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The Peru Seminar team from the hills above Huaraz. Photo: Robby Young
  • Huaraz, Peru, as seen from the RMI team's acclimating hike. Photo: Robby Young
  • Climbers on the ridge en route to Camp 5 at 17,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.
  • RMI Guides Elias & Robby arrive at the Lima Airport. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos
  • Huaraz City in Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Moving to 11,000' Camp on Mount McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The RMI Dining tent at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection
  • The RMI El Siete team on the summit of Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: Mike Haugen
  • Climbers ascending the fixed lines on Mt. McKinley en route to High Camp.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • Climbers pulling sleds up Mt. McKinleys Ski Hill to 9.500 ft Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Cotopaxi as seen from the Jose Ribas Refugio. Photo: Mike Walter
  • The RMI Ecuador Seminar team with Cotopaxi in the background. Photo: Mike Walter
  • An RMI climber ascending the North Ridge of Mt. Baker, WA. Photo: Eric Frank
  • Tents covered in snow at McKinley Base Camp. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Pulling sleds up Ski Hill on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Jose Ribas Refugio on Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Photo: RMI Collection
  • A stormy day at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, AK for an RMI Team. Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Traversing off Disappointment Cleaver on Mount Rainier. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Ecuador Seminar enjoys a rainbow seen from Illiniza Norte, Ecuador, acclimating climb. Photo: Mike Walter
  • An RMI team traveling across the Polo Fields, Mount McKinley, back to 11K Camp. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Cache at Windy Corner, Mount McKinley, with climbers in the background. Photo: Lindsay Mann