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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Load into the Planes

May 19, 2016 - 2:44 p.m. PDT

One plane is flying up in ten minutes, and with luck, the rest of the team will follow shortly thereafter. Here we go!

The pilot gives us a 30% chance of actually getting to the mountain. I think otherwise. More like a 30% of having to return to Talkeetna, but good to have a sober expectation of our chances.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

To my husband Mike Santoni,

Happy Anniversary my love. Thanks for a wonderful 5 years. Good luck to you and your team!! We all miss you here on sunset rd!

Love,
Alexis

Posted by: Alexis Pappas on 5/21/2016 at 5:55 am

You got this Dawn and team. God speed and safe flying.

Posted by: Tom Salata on 5/20/2016 at 7:56 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Wait for the Signal to Fly

May 19, 2016 - 8:25 a.m. PDT

We are awaiting breakfast before heading to the airport to see if we can fly out today. The drizzle falling this morning hasn’t gotten anyone’s spirits down. We’re all excited to get going!

Update - 10:14 a.m. PDT

The sun has been peeking out shyly this morning, which is a marked improvement from our earlier rain. The ‘rampers’ have just finished loading our gear into the two Otters that will fly the team onto the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier from where we’ll start our climb.

Boots are at the ready for when we get the word that the weather’s good enough to fly. For now we’re in the good hands of K2 Aviation to make the right decision to fly. They’re the experts, and share the same attitude towards safety that we do: it’s our top priority.

As I write sitting in the hangar, I’m watching a couple more sun breaks and hearing a plane warm up, droning out the classical music NPR is belting out on the radio. Both good signs, but not good enough yet to slip on the expedition climbing boots I’ll have on for the next two - three weeks.

With luck you’ll soon be getting a short, curt dispatch from me announcing a move. If not, our next dispatch may be coming from from the dinner table between sips of an Ice Axe Ale. Such is the waiting game here in Talkeetna.

RMI Guide Brent Okita and Team

On The Map


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Cache Gear Above Windy Corner

May 19, 2016 - 12:07 a.m. PDT

Today was a beautiful day to go for a walk, so we grabbed our already packed packs from yesterday and headed up Motorcycle Hill. A thin layer of high clouds kept it from getting too hot, and we cruised across a smooth, and relatively crevasse free, Polo Field to Windy Corner, and then around to our cache site at 13,500.’ After folding a shovel in half trying to dig through a surprisingly thick ice layer, we found and abandoned cache hole that had blown in and excavated that instead. With food and fuel buried, we made short work of the return trip to 11,200’. Should the weather be fair in the morning, we plan to pack up camp and head up to 14,200’ to join Mike Walter’s crew. With luck we’ll be checking in tomorrow from our new camp!

Do your favorite weather dance for us,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, and Robby Young, and Crew

On The Map

Any birthday cake today brother

Posted by: Mats Carlehog on 5/19/2016 at 2:57 pm

Yeah Tay!! We are all thinking about you (and in the groupchat) back in SB and how much fun you are having up there.  Can’t wait to hear your stories and see your photos!

Les and DC groupchat

Posted by: Les Morales on 5/19/2016 at 1:44 pm


Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Establish Camp in the Farine Basin

May 18, 2016 - 10:22 p.m. PDT

Hello all who may be reading!

A beautiful morning made for a pleasant exercise in breaking down our large camp and preparing our sleds for hauling up glacier. By 11:00 a.m. the team made their way down Heartbreak Hill to the main Kahiltna Glacier and upstream we paddled in snowshoes. Veering from the main trail we split off further west into a small basin tucked between a long black ridge and a peak known as Farine. We made camp on a high snow roll overlooking the Kahiltna to the south and it is a truly awesome sight. Tomorrow we will wake early for an attempt on the west ridge. Good luck and good night!

RMI Guide Leon Davis and Team

Hi Chip!  We hope you’re having an amazing time and it’s been everything you hoped it would be.  We’ve enjoyed seeing the pictures posted so far, but look forward to hearing all about it. Love you!  Mom and Dad

Posted by: Chris Nunan on 5/20/2016 at 2:11 pm

Chip,
We are so excited for you!  I’m sure it is everything you have dreamed!  We are all good at sea level…no worries!!!  We miss you and can’t wait to see all the pictures and hear all the stories!
Love,
Your Family

Posted by: Alexis, Izzy, and Logan Nunan on 5/20/2016 at 4:18 am


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Packed and Ready to Fly

May 18, 2016 - 8:17 pm PT

Finally,  all the checking and packing and repacking and a million other things that need to be done before we can fly on to the mountain are done.  Cool weather kept the mosquitos at bay,  and although it was overcast, word from up high on the mountain reported sunny skies. 
We’re hopeful for a good day tomorrow so we can start our trip.  Planes were taking off and landing on the mountain all day today, which is always a good sign.
With luck,  tonight will be our last dinner in town for a while.

Talk with you soon.
RMI Guides Brent Okita,  Christina Dale and Chris Ebeling

I hope the weather clears so you can start your journey to the top of North America!! Chris, your big sister will be watching each step of the way. So proud of you, and have fun!!!!!

Posted by: Karen Ebeling on 5/19/2016 at 2:43 pm

Have a great climb!  Your niece and nephews will be tracking you guys.  Be safe!  Love, Carin, Andy, David, Brian and Jordan

Posted by: Carin on 5/19/2016 at 8:07 am


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Explore the Edge of the World

May 18, 2016 - 5:07 p.m. PDT

Howdy from 14,200’ Denali! We are lounging in the sun at camp, waiting for the winds up high to decrease so that we can move to our high camp and get in position to take a crack at the summit. We’re comfy here at camp but eager to club higher.

After breakfast this morning, we headed over to the Edge of the World, a viewpoint 15 minutes from camp that looks down some 7,000’ into the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier and across to Mt. Foraker. Amazing.

If anyone could pull some strings with the weather deities, that’d be swell. Thanks!

That’s it for now,
RMI Guides Mike Walter, Billy Haas, and Blake Votilla

On The Map

Hi adelle.  Sitting at Fego having a cuppa and watching the water.  It is two in the morning in your valley…sorry ...mountain.  and i suppose you are nice and warm and cosy in your sleeping bag.  NOT…  thinking about you all the time.  Your brother wants to join you when you do Everest.  Then i have two to pray for.  (I wonder if God has a special file labelled Mountaineers? To which he pays special attention)  Hope so….      Well,;enough of my rambling. I will leave you and your group to do some rambling of your own.  Love.  ME.

Posted by: Maureen on 5/20/2016 at 2:14 am

Holy smokes…what a view!  I am so glad you all got to see such beauty!  May the weather be calm, clear and ready for you all to reach the top!  Stay healthy brother Dave.  Love, Jules

Posted by: Julie Beckner on 5/19/2016 at 9:59 am


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Arrive in Talkeetna

May 17, 2016 - 10:28 p.m. PDT

Grey clouds greeted the team in Anchorage as we began our movement towards the mountain but the wet skies could not dampen everyone’s excitement to start the trip. Finally, after all the preparation and training, we are on our way!

At first glance, on this first day, I’m excited about the team. All seem fit, experienced, and fun to be around. Dinner, dessert, and drinks were a nice conclusion to our long day of travel to get here. Now for some sleep so we’re fresh for a busy day of gear preparation tomorrow…

Until next time, good night.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling

On The Map

Shout out to Mike Probstfeld…can you hear me? Wishing you and team a hell of an adventure.
I’ll buy when you get back to my elevation

Posted by: Tom Hines on 5/25/2016 at 9:20 pm

Great looking team. Cheers to you all. I see success in your smiles.

Posted by: Lori Golding on 5/18/2016 at 10:59 am


Mt. Rainier: Muir Seminar Team Reaches Summit!

We made it to the summit! It was a long day involving a lot of new route finding and high winds. The team did great! We are resting and refueling at Camp Muir and will be finishing up the remaining training tomorrow and Friday!

RMI Guides Seth Waterfall, Walter Hailes and Team!

Congratulations to all on your successful summit!  Way to go!

Posted by: Janice Jones on 5/18/2016 at 3:22 pm

Congratulations on reaching the summit!

Posted by: judy mcCrary on 5/18/2016 at 3:16 pm


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Take a Rest Day

May 17, 2016 - 10:49 p.m. PDT

We slept in until the sun hit our tents this morning as we enjoyed a well deserved rest day. After a hearty brunch, we lounged around camp all day doing a lot of nothing. The weather was sunny in the morning, with strong winds up high on the West Buttress above us. This afternoon a squall came through with a little snow and windy conditions at camp.

The forecast is for see strong winds up high the next few days. We’ll pay close attention to the changing conditions as we get ready for our final push to high camp and a chance at a summit bid.
We’ll touch base again tomorrow to let you know the latest.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

On The Map

Justin,

I spotted you in one of the blog post photos! You are the one with the thumb up!

The final push - wow! I hope the winds die down and weather conditions are optimal. You are doing something mind-blowing. I’m scared for you and proud at the same time.

Love,

Mom:)

Posted by: Leanne Fosbre on 5/18/2016 at 5:21 pm

Go Rogan and crew. Watching the blogs and photos in awe!
God Speed!

Posted by: Sean O'Keeffe (and son Cianan) on 5/18/2016 at 12:18 pm


Alaska Seminar: Team Practices Crevasse Rescue and Avalanche Forecasting

May 17, 2016 - 9:52 p.m. PDT

While we had hoped for sunny warm skies, we were delivered a snowy cloudy morning. After a nice pancake breakfast we set out to do some training in the area. Avalanche education and crack rescue took up our entire day and folks picked up the skills pretty quickly. The clouds lifted long enough for us to drop a few folks into the hole and let their teammates pull them out. That certainly was a comical and educational experience for the team. Just before dinner the temps dropped off significantly and it started to snow again. Seems to be a bit manic weather here at 7000’ but everyone is rolling with it in style. Tomorrow we hope to move up glacier for some exploring.

Stay tuned,
RMI Guide Leon Davis & Team

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