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Entries from Alaska


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Arrive at 14k Camp

Monday, May 22, 2023, 9:33am PDT


Burdened with heavy packs, we climbed the 3000' to Genet Basin, our new home. Climbing conditions were excellent; weather ranged from warm and sunny to cold and breezy to snowy pea soup. Five hours after leaving our 11k Camp we arrived at 14k Camp, then had another few hours of building camp, melting snow, and making dinner. This morning is beautiful and we will go back to Windy Corner to pick up our cache. Lots of resting and eating will ensue. 

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Could someone just let us know which expedition Scott Crist is on (don’t need any other details) but we would like to follow the blog for that particular trip he is on. He asked me to follow it before he left and after the 2-3 day delay when they could not get on the mountain.

Thanks, Doug Mitchell

Posted by: DOUG MITCHELL on 5/22/2023 at 2:34 pm

Making great progress now ! 

Posted by: Kim H on 5/22/2023 at 1:58 pm


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Retrieve Cache at Windy Corner

Sunday, May 21, 2023 - 9:59 pm PDT

It was a wonderful morning to wake up at 14k Camp. A classic 14k Camp morning includes sunshine and stunning views of Hunter and Foraker -- make this trip so special. We waited for the sun to warm the tents, and rolled into coffee with eggs, hashbrowns, and bacon for breakfast/brunch. We readied to run back towards Windy Corner to grab our cache. We made quick work of the back carry, 1.5 hours round trip, largely due to the sudden snow squalls and wind that rolled in hard on us. It motivated us to get back to tents. With all of our stuff now at 14k Camp, we are psyched. The weather looks to remain sporty tomorrow, so we will likely rest, but we are in place and ready to make our first tour up the fixed lines when the mountain says we may pass, and that will set us up to start looking for our summit window. Cheers from 14,000' on Denali!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Just wanted to let Bailey know I’m rooting for her! Enjoy the beautiful mountain, and good luck with the summit push to the whole group! (I hope this is the right group).

Posted by: Cecilie on 5/23/2023 at 5:13 am

Woot Woot!! Looks Amazing up there!

Posted by: Pete on 5/22/2023 at 10:34 am


Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Focus on Rest, Recovery & Reading

Sunday, May 21, 2023 - 9:47 pm PDT


Today was a big day! Our first official rest day of the trip. After a few long hard pushes, we decided to sleep in and take the entire day to recover, and prep for the big carry tomorrow. We woke with the sun, and had a few rounds of breakfast burritos. After a leisurely breakfast, the remainder of the day was spent resting, recovering, reading and napping. Just before dinner we reviewed a bit of cramponing and ice axe techniques to prepare for the terrain above 11k Camp, and then rolled into an early dinner. Tomorrow we'll make our way towards 14k Camp to cache some food, and gear before returning to 11k Camp. 

RMI Guide Nikki Champion and Team
 

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wow!  Amazing view!
Glad you got some rest time Kevin and team

Posted by: Karie Seubert on 5/23/2023 at 6:37 am

Climb Strong Kevin and team and rest strong too!!! Spectacular!!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 5/23/2023 at 3:27 am


Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Retrieve Cache

Sunday, May 21, 2023, 9:40pm PDT


Hello, hello!

Today we woke up to clear skies and chill to the air. The cold is a welcoming feeling after so much heat. We whipped up some bagels then headed back downhill to retrieve our cache. We made quick getting to it and steady work getting back up to camp. After another round of bagels we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. The sun warmed our tents and dried wet socks before evening showers drifted in. Camp has filled up with more eager climbers hoping for the chance to stand on top of this beautiful mountain. One RMI teamed moved to 14k Camp where another RMI team sits waiting. We are here at 11k Camp with one more RMI team. We have twelve RMI guides currently on the mountain and eight of them are female. It's pretty cool to have so many strong female guides on the mountain at once. Any who, we are all snuggled up once again in our sleeping bags reading books, listening to music, watching TV or eating snacks. It's a fun feeling knowing we do not have to walk anywhere tomorrow and get to sleep in. 

So goodnight all,
RMI Guides Hannah Smith, Devin Guffey, Erika Birkeland and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Hannah! Tell your team that Farmer Dave said they are Lucky to have you for their guide!! All the best to you and your Team!! Climb Strong!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 5/23/2023 at 3:30 am

Woo go Corey! So proud of you

Posted by: Mom and Dad Burley on 5/22/2023 at 6:09 pm


Denali Expedition: Hahn and Team Reach Summit!

Monday, July 4, 2022 - 1:50 a.m. PDT

Briefly…Because it is 12:38 a.m. at 17,200 ft…we did it! Fabulous climb to the top of North America. The day started out a little more windy than predicted, so we pushed our start back to 10:15 a.m., by which time thinks were looking more promising. We went back and forth all day between a little cool and a little hot. Luckily, when we hit the top at 6:30 p.m., it was calm and easy.  In fact we enjoyed it so much we spent 50 minutes on top! There was only one other team today and we will likely be some of the very last for the season. Beautiful views down into all the fascinating glaciers and valleys surrounding Denali. We picked our way carefully down, leaving the summit at 7:20 p.m. and arriving back at high camp at 11:00 p.m. Late night dinner and then crawling into sleeping bags for well earned rest. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

nice to visit this site.

Posted by: Ruhiarsha on 3/13/2024 at 2:36 am

Congratulations to Jim Karmozyn and the entire team on reaching the summit!  I knew you could do it.

Posted by: Ted Wioncek on 7/7/2022 at 10:56 am


Denali Expedition: Hahn and Team Move to 17,000’ Camp

Friday July 1, 2022  11:25pm PDT

We were repetitive today.  “What a gorgeous day” was heard over and over.  We were out of our sleeping bags and firing the stoves at 7 AM and … as usual… it was calm and clear and perfect at 14,000 ft.  A little cool in the shadows, but by the time we’d eaten breakfast and done another big gear sort, it was 9:50 and the sun was coming on strong.  We headed up the now-familiar terrain leading to the fixed ropes and the crest of Denali’s West Buttress.  The work was certainly hard, carrying big packs on steep snow, ice, and rock at high altitude, but the scenery was magnificent.  It was even more magnificent once we loaded up the supplies from our cache at 16,600 and pushed on to new ground.  It was a thrill to walk along the ridge crest, balancing between the big drop down to Genet Basin on one side and the Peters Glacier on the other.  We rolled into 17,200 ft at about 4 PM in calm and sunny conditions and began to build our high camp. 

The decision was made, over dinner in our rather compact high camp dining tent, to take a rest day tomorrow (Saturday) and to focus on a summit bid Sunday.  Conditions look good for Saturday, according to the forecast, but even better for Sunday and we’d like everybody to have their best shot at the top after so much hard work. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

On on everyone!  You’ve all worked SO hard.  You are ALL amazing!  MASSIVE GOOD LUCK guys n gals!

Posted by: Margaret Nolan on 7/2/2022 at 9:23 am

So proud of everyone and with you in spirit!!  You can do this!!!  Cheering you all on!!!  Go, Jim, go!!!!

Posted by: Deborah Karmozyn on 7/2/2022 at 8:49 am


Denali Expedition: Hahn and Team Journey to the Edge of the World

Thursday, June 30, 2022 11:25 pm PDT

Another beautiful day, but this was an easy one.  We just rested and solidified our acclimatization today.  And ate and ate and ate.  It was great to see Andy’s RMI team come back into the camp at 14,000 on their way lower.  We congratulated them and wished them a safe journey out. 

In between afternoon naps, the team roped up and walked to the “Edge of the World” overlooking the Kahiltna Glacier’s NE Fork.  Camp at 14,000 is in a broad and mostly flat basin, but at the edge, there is a fairly breathtaking view straight down… seemingly for miles.  The gang enjoyed watching clouds race up the face and catching glimpses of the Cassin and West Rib climbing routes.  Back at camp we had dinner in calm sunshine and prepared for the big move up to 17,200 ft.

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

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Denal Expedition: Summit Day!

Thursday, July 30, 2022 10:20 am PDT

I’m going to start with the spoiler-100% of our team made it to the summit! This was very special because of the excellent chemistry we developed on this trip. To get to the summit, we had to travel across the Autobahn-clipping in and out of over 50 pickets, climb past Zebra rocks, take in the views at Denali pass, do the 100 yard dash across the football field, tackle pig hill before finally arriving on the summit ridge all while changing layers of clothing throughout the day. The summit brought tears to many of our eyes.  It took us just under 7 hours to reach the summit from 17,000 camp. At the summit, everyone exchanged hugs and laughter. Some commemorated with flags and special notes for loved ones. We took lots of pictures and celebrated our hard effort before we descended back to camp in 3 hours and were completely exhausted. Our celebration included watching Steve, who carried a hula hoop he found in Talkeetna to the summit, break the world record for completing over 30 seconds of hula hooping at the highest elevation recorded for the activity. We all videoed the event for the record book. 

We were blessed with incredible weather; 1st rate guides-Andy, Grayson and Ben; interesting, accomplished, funny and caring team mates.

I want to also share my own personal story which motivated me to climb Denali- The highest mountain in North America. After hiking the Appalachian trail in 2018, I decided I needed a new challenge which was tackling the highest point in every state. I quickly realized this goal included Denali and Mt Rainier and that i better get working on those two mountains since I wasn’t getting any younger. Having no mountaineering experience, I did some research and decided to climb with RMI since they guided on both mountains and came with high reviews. To get some experience, I decided to take the kahiltna seminar followed by a climb of Rainier. Covid initially delayed my plans by a year but in May 2021, I completed the Kahiltna seminar only to find out a month later that I had stage 1C ovarian cancer. I had surgery in July and started 6 rounds of chemotherapy which ended in December. I wanted to have a goal to focus on during chemo, so I signed up for the June 15th climb of Denali. Knowing this was a daunting task, I went hiking everyday during the four months of chemo no matter how sick I felt. Amazingly, I continued to get stronger and fitter and climbed a 13,000 foot mountain in Colorado in November. I think I had this overwhelming desire to push myself because I didn’t want to let cancer interrupt my goals. Another part of me wanted to do something that was as close to mentally and physically demanding as combating cancer as I could find. I certainly believe climbing Denali fulfilled that objective!  Standing on the summit was thrilling but at the same time I realized the yearlong journey was the meaningful part not the single destination.

Mary-Beth and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Late to the party but my congratulations are just as strong.  You all rock!  Steve and his hula hooping self and Mary Beth.  MB for you I am just without words.  I was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer in 2018 and just getting through it all about broke me.  Reading what you accomplished during your treatments and since is just so motivational.  I’m so glad you were part of this team whose blog I followed because of Steve.  The Universe sure is magical.

Posted by: Melanee Strootman on 7/5/2022 at 10:12 am

Congratulations to the whole team!!  What an accomplishment for you all.  Mary Beth you’re just amazing and I can’t wait to hear what your next adventure might be.

Posted by: Jan Sgroi on 7/2/2022 at 9:44 am


Denali Expedition: Bond and Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

Saturday, June 25, 2022 12:27 pm PDT

Today, we waked up at 6:30 am with a blue sky and still a beautiful view over the mountains. We ´ve had a nice warm drink and breakfast with Bagel cheese and bacon. We took off our tents, made ready our backpack.

We have filled up our 11000 cache with duffels bags, snow shoes and some foods. We started moving from 11,000' camp at 9:30am and come to 14,000’ camp at 2 pm. We went through motorcycle hill, polo field, squirrel point, windy corner. We didn’t see horses at Polo Field, but we heard noises of horses couple of time from the group :-) Getting higher, we saw the valley with the rivers getting water from the glaciers. We have been lucky with a Moon walked above our head.

We saw the beautiful Mount Hunter and the difficulty to climb this mountain.

When we arrived, we set our camp and are ready for the rest day tomorrow.

-Yann

 

Thanks to Yann and Sebastian for writing the last two dispatches in their 2nd and 3rd languages and giving our group a diverse and international feel.

Everyone is doing great, and we climb incredible strong.  Rest days have been filled with dance parties, great conversations and lots of food.

As we sit at 14,000 camp we’re enjoying another much deserved rest day. Are hope is to carry up the fixed lines tomorrow than wait for a weather window.

RMI Guide Andy Bond & Team

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Denali Expedition: Hahn and Team Back Carry

Easy day today!  We were up at 5 AM on another fine weather day at 11,000 ft.  Shortly after 7 AM we started walking downhill to retrieve our cached food and fuel at 9700 ft.  The low clouds had cleared out overnight and so as we came close to Kahiltna Pass at 10,000 ft we could see well out into the tundra and an endless series of lakes and ponds down in the lowland.  It took just over a half hour to reach our cache.  Thankfully the ravens hadn’t disturbed it (they’ve been known to end an expedition or two) and we dug it up and loaded up.  We got back up the hills in about 2 hrs.  During the day it was worth doing a little review and practice with avalanche beacons, some discussion of crampon and climbing techniques and a refresher on handling the ice axe. 

Tomorrow, the game changes a little as we take on steeper and more serious terrain.  Out of the snowshoes and into the crampons.  With all of that training we managed to fit in some excellent naps as well.  After dinner and storytelling, we got our packs and sleds ready for a carry tomorrow. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Checking in on the blogs daily and cheering you all on!

Posted by: Diana Weiss on 6/25/2022 at 8:05 pm

WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!! Kudos to all…

Posted by: Ellis I. Richman on 6/25/2022 at 3:26 pm

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