RMI Expeditions Blog
July 2, 2022
The Four Day Climb with RMI Guides Mike King and Dustin Wittmier were on the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. Above this heavy marine layer, team had clear skies, sunshine and mild winds. The climbing was great with a with a direct route and it took the team 5 hours to get to the top.
Congrats Kelly & Janette! So proud of you- woohoo!!! Love you both!
Posted by: Christina on 7/2/2022 at 5:05 pm
Congratulations!!! Sounds like you had awesome conditions for your climb to the summit!
Posted by: Amy Guarino on 7/2/2022 at 9:13 am
July 2, 2022
Posted by: Dave Hahn
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.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team
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
July 1, 2022
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.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team
June 30, 2022
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
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
What an amazing accomplishment!!! Congrats to you all. I had tears of joy just reading the blog. So proud and excited for you (steve marker). donna
Posted by: Donna Palumbo on 7/1/2022 at 11:58 am
June 30, 2022
Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 10:32 pm PT
This was a big and beautiful day on Denali. Sunny from start to finish with barely a puff of wind all day. So we made good use of it. We were up at 7 and out of camp by 8:50 in the morning shadows. We powered on up the hills just out of camp that steepened to headwalls a few hours along. The team did great in managing the fixed ropes on the steep ice leading to the crest of the West Buttress. We were at the top of the ropes by 12:15 PM where we took a short break looking out over about half the planet. We proceeded up the ridge for some interesting climbing, putting our hands on clean granite while our crampons worked up firm snow. At 16,600 ft -the base of “Washburn’s Thumb” we declared victory and dug a cache for the supplies we’d carried. We made our way back down, slowly and carefully, reaching camp at 14,000' about 7 and a half hours after we’d departed. Just in time for a pre-dinner nap. The team was excited to hear of Andy Bond’s team tagging the top in perfect conditions today. We look forward to seeing them back down at 14,000' tomorrow. We’ll be resting and getting ready to move up to 17,000' when we get the opportunity.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
Way to go team!
Diana and Tom
Posted by: Diana Weiss on 6/30/2022 at 9:27 am
Amazing progress everyone!
You are all AMAZING!
Posted by: Margaret Nolan on 6/30/2022 at 9:07 am
June 30, 2022
The Four Day Climb June 27 - 30 reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning led by RMI Guides JT Schmitt and Christina Dale. Christina reported great route conditions and clear skies. The teams were on their descent at Camp Comfort around 7:30 am making their way back to Camp Muir. The teams will continue their descent to Paradise and then be transferred to Rainier BaseCamp.
Congratulations to today's climbers!
Congratulations everyone! You must be so proud of yourself! We can’t wait to have to full story of your adventure! ❤️
Posted by: My-Lien on 6/30/2022 at 12:58 pm
Congratulations, you did it!!!!
Posted by: Carole on 6/30/2022 at 9:08 am
June 30, 2022
Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 5:40 pm PT
RMI Guide Andy Bond and the entire Denali Expedition June 15th team reached the summit of Denali, North America's highest peak around 5:40 pm PT. Andy reported a beautiful day, light winds and a climbing time of 6 hours from High Camp to the summit. We are happy to report that along with all of the team members on the summit was the hula hoop complete with video proof.
As of 10 pm PT, the team had safely returned to High Camp for the evening.
Congratulations to the June 15th Denali Expedition!
Bravo à tous !!! Vous vous êtes surpassés!!!
Posted by: Delphine on 7/2/2022 at 12:30 pm
Hello and congratulations to the team and now a few french words for Yann : bravo à toi et à toute l’équipe, c’est super. A bientôt.
Hugues et Amaury
Posted by: Hugues PECQUEUX on 6/30/2022 at 10:54 am
June 29, 2022
Mike Walter checked in from camp this afternoon. Mike reported avalanche conditions and decided to turn due to unstable snow conditions, rain on snow, some natural avalanche conditions and 30 - 60cm postholing.
They hope to climb thru Coleman-Deming and then hike out tomorrow.
June 29, 2022
The Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons team stood on the summit of Mt. Rainier at 10:15 am today. The high winds from yesterday and overnight calmed in the early hours, it was cold, so the team waited for the temperatures to warm before starting their summit attempt. The waiting paid off and the team had a clear beautiful summit day via the Emmons Glacier. They will spend the last night on the mountain training, before returning to Ashford Basecamp tomorrow afternoon.
June 29, 2022
Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 11:42 pm PT
Let me tell you about the pain cave. It’s made of self doubt stalactites and poorly spaced foot buckets where you think you have found purchase with your crampons and yet they slide again and again. It’s got stalagmites forged from the tears of mountaineers who came before you. It’s a fearsome place indeed. But we are a powerful team and WE CARRY ON.
That is right readers, this intrepid group scaled the hairy fixed lines once again to move our camp to 17,000' today. What stroke of luck to have such incredible weather for our move day. To be traversing the airy Washburns’s Thumb in nothing but a sun hoody is the stuff of dreams. Our RMI guides continue to provide important services such as lying to us about the steepness of the grade on the trail we cannot yet see, and assurances that today will likely be considered a harder day than our planned summit day tomorrow. Andy, keep up the bluffing, it’s working like a charm.
Todays highlights included Steve’s reunion with his hula hoop, the view from 17 Camp when we finally arrived, the fact that most of us are higher than we’ve ever been, and the team spirit embodied by Yann who selflessly swung into action helping his teammates set up tents when they arrived exhausted. There was also the traffic on the running belays which was reminiscent of Seattle’s I-5, but really, who can complain when it’s a fraction of the normal peak season crowd.
With a bit of rest this evening, some much needed calories (an entire mountain house plus snacks), and a continuous deep well of motivation to draw from, we sit eager with anticipation for tomorrow - the big day!!!
RMI Climber Holly
Love that you guys are embracing the suck! Go team, Go!
Posted by: Steve Polovick on 6/30/2022 at 7:01 am
Team Bond you’re crushing it! Keep pushing through the pain and moving forward. Looking forward to hearing about you conquering summit day.
Posted by: Cortney on 6/29/2022 at 5:53 pm