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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Arrive at 11,200’ Camp

Another cloudy, snowy day greeted us this morning but didn’t stop us from pushing on. Typical of weather on the Kahiltna Glacier, there was enough new snow and poor visibility to make the going difficult, but certainly not enough to call it a storm day and relax in the tents.
Upon reaching camp at 11,200’ the sun broke through and we were treated to our first sunshine of the trip. What a nice welcome.
The sun sticks around late here, and we’ve enjoyed every bit of it, hanging out in the Posh for a couple hot drinks and sharing stories.
Tomorrow we look forward to our easiest day when we just need to retrieve the cache we buried at 10,000’.
The forecast calls for a little storm to brush by us tomorrow or the next day, but I don’t see any sign of that yet. If it does, we’ll just dig in and enjoy a rest day I guess.
Everyone’s climbing super well and in good spirits.
Good night from 11,200’.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale and JT Schmitt

On The Map

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Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Practice Crevasse Rescue

May 23, 2017

Woke up to better weather than the forecast said so we took advantage of the fleeting visibility. Most of the day was spent cycling thru crevasse rescue in a nearby crevasse and rigging sleds. We believe one of Sally’s sons had a birthday in the last 24 hours so a special shout out to her progeny. More weather is supposed to be on its way so we are taking it one day at a time here in base camp. Still lots of fun being had and learning as well.

RMI Guide Leon Davis

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Stay safe guys! Looks like an amazing view!

Posted by: Doug Mouradian on 5/24/2017 at 12:42 pm


Bolivia Expedition: Frank & Team Tour Isla del Sol

This morning started with a pounding rain through the night that magically let off just as the sun rose across Lake Titicaca. Once the sun peaked out, everything quickly dried up and we had perfect weather for a visit to the Isla del Sol. A beautiful boat ride along the banks of Copacabana and Lake Titicaca took us to the island of the sun; the famous home of the fountain of the youth. This mountainous island is steeped in ancient history dating back long before the Incas unified the Andean Plateau. We found ourselves walking in the same steps and drinking from the same spring as generations of pilgrims before us. I must say the fountain gave the group a special spring in our step as we climbed to the top of the island and took in the gorgeous surroundings of Peru, Bolivia and the massive lake between them. After that, all that was left was to descend to the shore for a lunch of delicious Andean food overlooking the water. We returned back to Copacabana well fed, a little better educated about the history of this amazing area, and for some maybe just a touch younger! 

RMI Guide Caleb Ladue

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Fortify Camp at 14,000’

Tuesday May 23, 2017 3:32pm

We got a little snow overnight, and it’s relatively pleasant outside today. The summit is still wearing a lenticular cap today and major storm with snow and extreme wind is forecast to hit us tomorrow. We’ve fortified camp and we’re ready for what it brings. Our hope is that in its wake we will have a shot at the summit.

We’ll let you know how it plays out.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

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Mike and Gang:  I remember hunkering down for a week at that very same location just five years ago - stay patient and optimistic.  Mike, I wish I were climbing with you again.  However, I leave in two months with Pete to take on Elbrus.  Stay in touch and keep your team focused and motivated!  Prayers and positive vibes your way, team - you’ve got this!

Peace, Lee Hoedl, Fellow RMI Climber (Denali, Aconcagua, Cotopaxi, etc…)

Posted by: Lee Hoedl on 5/24/2017 at 3:03 pm

Following you, Mike. Glad you are all hunkered down - hoping you get your weather break soon. Sure is beautiful there!!

Posted by: Ann Douglass on 5/24/2017 at 5:07 am


Bolivia Expedition: Frank & Team Explore Copacabana and Lake Titicaca

May 22, 2017

Hello from the shores of beautiful Lake Titicaca. This morning the team fought our way out of La Paz traffic, and made the stunning three hour drive to Copacabana, a small beach town nestled on the Peruvian/Bolivian border. We spent the afternoon learning about local history, dining on fresh caught trout and climbing a small nearby peak to gain an over look of the city. It started raining in the early evening, so we retreated to our lodge for a cozy dinner and an impromptu foosball tourney.
We know it all sounds like fun and games, but our bodies are working hard acclimating right now. Starting the trip at over 12,000 feet means that we need to take the time to work into things. We are laying the groundwork to perform well in high ascents later in the trip.
Wish us luck!

RMI Guides Eric Frank, Caleb Ladue and the Bolivia crew

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Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Sitting Comfortably at 14,000’ Camp

Yesterday’s hard day of work left everyone tired, and nearly everyone slept really hard last night. We woke up late, lingered over a breakfast of pancakes, and then set to work improving our camp. We put up some big walls to keep out the wind, and built a nice covered toilet to keep things comfortable. With the project finished, we ate a quick lunch, then strolled downhill to retrieve our cache. We’re in really good shape now, with a well fortified camp and all of our belongings here with us. Now, we wait for our opportunity.

We’ll be in touch,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, Jenny Konway, and team

On The Map

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Greetings from South Carolina.  You can do this…. Think of some place warm.  No seriously proud of you and glad your getting the chance to have this great experience.  Happy hiking. And to quote the Hunger Games “May the odds be ever in your favor”

Posted by: Crystal's mom :) on 5/24/2017 at 7:47 pm

Jordan,

The next days will be extreme in every way but I know you will get to the top of that hill. May the force be with you!

Grampa

Posted by: Edward Foss on 5/24/2017 at 6:10 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Cruise to 9,600’ Camp

Two days of carrying huge loads is finally over. We have single carried to Camp 2 at 9600’ and are ready to start packing lighter loads as we begin the routine of making double carries to get all our gear and food up the mountain.
What has impressed me most about this team is not just their strength, but their ability to endure and toil under mammoth loads without complaint. This is a special group.
Our weather has been snowy, but not bad enough to keep us in our tents. That said, we did set up our Posh House this afternoon which serves as our cook tent and dining room in one. It’s warmth and comfort allow us some fun and social time that provides a really nice balance to our climbing.
And what was on the menu tonight? Burritos with all the fixings. Yeah, we eat well up here. We sure as hec deserve it.
Ok. That’s a wrap for the night. Tomorrow we move to 11,200’ camp, if the weather gods allow.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale and JT Schmitt

On The Map

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Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Receive New Snow, Enjoy Weather Day

May 22, 2017

We had a warmer night due to the current snow storm that rolled in last night, a few inches of snow blanketing our tents and gear. Weather days are a breeze when you have such an engaging and talkative group. We enjoyed a casual breakfast with multiple rounds of coffee while the group shared all sorts of conversation ranging from favorite cocktails to the intricacies of interviewing international terrorists. Our day progressed with more snow, Avalanche beacon clinic, naps and skills practice. We are hoping for the weather to lighten up and move camp in the next few days. Until that point the group continues to be eager to learn, laughing often and practicing the variety of mountaineering skills taught so far. To finish the day the team engaged in group snow Yoga and began building a shrine of some sort. Time will tell.

RMI Guide Leon Davis

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Aracely (Sally)—much love from the walking trail across from Bradford. I’m still walking up and down that hill without you. No snow here. Enjoy!!!

Posted by: Debra Solomon on 5/23/2017 at 6:41 pm

A big cheer from those at sea level!  Hope the gear is holding up, the boots comfy enough and the sleeping bags cozy.  In the next update can you give a quick summary of the next several days plan. To Sally meet you by the tree!  Tell Patty Cloud Computing won the Preakness.

Posted by: Gary Mouradian on 5/23/2017 at 8:26 am


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Remain at 14,000’ Camp

May 22, 2017

We’re just checking in from 14,000’ Camp again. We’re all doing well here, hopefully waiting for a decent weather window in order to try to go for the top. We had some snow last night and today, and winds were strong up above us. It looks like a very strong storm is set to move in here in a couple days, bringing a lot of snow and extreme winds. We’re hoping for better weather in its wake.
In preparation of the next storm we spent more time today reinforcing our walls. We should be all set to weather the storm.
We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

May 21, 2017

We had another pretty perfect day for climbing in Alaska, and we made full use of it to get up to 14,000’ and dig in a new camp. It was pleasantly warm and light clouds kept it from totally frying us. After maneuvering around some initial traffic on Squirrel Hill, we were able to hit cruise control and roll past our cache from two days ago. Once at 14,000’ Camp came the arduous task of digging new tent platforms and a kitchen. Our task tomorrow is to retrieve our cache and build some really, really big walls. It sounds like we’ve got a stronger weather system headed our way this week, so we’ll prep to wait it out.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jenny Konway, Jess Matthews and team

On The Map

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Wow, Most amazing journey ever!! Good luck for the last but….. Love to the Calvert’s.  Hendrik and Natasha.

Posted by: Hendrik Muller on 5/22/2017 at 8:32 pm

Glad to hear all is well. I worry so much about you guys. Stay safe. See you soon.

      All my love mom

Posted by: Melinda on 5/22/2017 at 12:48 pm

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