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RMI Expeditions Blog

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Back Carry to 13,500’

May 29, 2016 - 11:50 p.m. PDT

Awakening to wind buffeting the tents and spindrift everywhere kept us hunkered down in our bags later than usual this morning. When we finally ventured out at least the sun was out in all it’s glory, which sure made up for the gusts and blowing snow.
A quick breakfast of Pop Tarts and we all rallied from the tents to cut blocks for the wall around our Posh tent that we just didn’t have time to build yesterday. Kind of reminiscent of our morning a few days ago at 11,200’. The team rocked the work we had to do to allow us to get our cool tent fully functioning, A second breakfast of grits and hot drinks fortified us to do our short back carry to pick up our cache at 13,500’. And now we’re set.
We have a carry up to 16,200’ or higher planned for tomorrow, but if the weather doesn’t let us we’ll certainly enjoy a rest day.
The weather forecasts look good for later this week. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Ciao from 14,200’.
RMI Guides Brent Okita,Christina Dale, Chris Ebeling and an incredible team of climbers

On The Map

I swear to God, Paul, that I begin hyperventilating with every update!  So incredibly excited for you!  What an amazing journey!  Be safe!  We leave on the 11th for our Mt. Whitney climb.

Posted by: Virginia on 5/30/2016 at 8:07 pm

Be Safe Tucker and Team

Posted by: Chris Cornetta on 5/30/2016 at 2:44 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Train at 14,200’

May 29, 2016 - 10:36 p.m. PDT

Our stint at 14,200’ has started to stretch for a bit, but we think we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Winds are forecast to drop starting Tuesday, and that looks to be the start of our window. We’ll look at moving up tomorrow, depending on winds, but if not, one more rest day won’t hurt before our big push. In the mean time, we’ve been keeping ourselves entertained by brushing up and sharpening our crevasse rescue skills, and today our avalanche rescue skills. Fourteen Camp on Denali provides a stunning backdrop for a classroom! While we’ve steadily improved our compound here into a quite comfortable home, we won’t be sad to put it in our rear view. We’ll let you know what tomorrow brings.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, and Robby Young, and team

On The Map

You can do it! I’m sending you all beautiful warm weather from where I am right now, Croatia!

Posted by: Jamie on 5/30/2016 at 1:41 pm

So glad to hear that you are perfecting your skills for the last push. It terrifies me to think of what you might do tomorrow in order to reach your goal - crevasse, avalanche, rescue - these are scary words. Be safe and know that you’ve accomplished a great deal already.

Posted by: leanne on 5/30/2016 at 10:48 am

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams on Top!

Today’s Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Casey Grom and Geoff Schellens reached the summit of Mt. Rainier around 7:30 am. Casey reported winds up to 30 mph and clear skies. The teams will spend some time on the summit before beginning their descent.

We look forward to seeing the teams in Ashford later today. Congratulations climbers!

Pretty sure I caught your headlamps on the cathedral gap at about 1am

Posted by: Jake Olson on 5/30/2016 at 12:03 pm

Congratulations to the whole team and wonderful guides!!!! So happy that the cloudes cleared, and the sun led the way!

Posted by: Catie on 5/30/2016 at 12:00 pm

Denali - West Buttress Expedition: Jones & Team Move to 11,000’ Camp

May 29, 2016 - 2:38 p.m. PDT

Tents were broken down early this morning. The team hit the trail a quarter before five after a 3:00 am wake up and a quick breakfast. The midnight sun cast a soft blanket of gold and pink on the north faces of Hunter, Foraker, and the Kiahiltna Dome. Low winds, cool temps, and the unique lighting of a summer Alaskan night made for an enjoyable start to the morning walk. These conditions were especially welcome after having to deal with 25 mph head winds on our carry day two days ago.

We made efficient stops and good time to our cache site and beyond up to 11 camp. Upon arrival, camp saw it’s first daylight as other groups began their ascent up the mountain. Some renovations, and more digging and our camp is up and ready for whatever the mountain throws at us! We will be all restocked and digging deep in the lunch sacks hopefully buy this time tomorrow and will keep you updated.

RMI Guide Tyler Jones & Team

Hi team!

These pictures look amazing- it’s a winter wonderland on the mountain there is so much snow! Tyler’s description of the sunrise sounds beautiful. What an early start for the day—3am—like army style! I hope youre staying warm and taking care of your backs and shoulders from the carry days! 

I wanted to give a quick hello to Ongun- I miss you!! I’ve been reading the newspapers in the morning that are coming for you—lets see if in 3 weeks I become converted to reading the newspaper in its paper form :) sending the warmer temps from NYC your way and all my hugs.

Have fun team, stay strong and keep sending those gorgeous photos and updates.

Posted by: Karina on 5/29/2016 at 8:45 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Reaches Summit

The Four Day Summit Climb teams led by RMI Guides Jake Beren and Mike King reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. The teams began their descent from the summit shortly after 8:30 a.m. They will descend to Camp Muir for a short break before continuing their descent to Paradise. We look forward to greeting them in Ashford later today.

Congratulations Climbers!

What an awesome achievement!  We are so proud of you! ❤️❤️

Posted by: Mom and Serge on 5/29/2016 at 7:43 pm

Jack Burden your my hero!  Third times a charm.  Congratulations!

Posted by: Arlene Rock on 5/29/2016 at 6:04 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Build Camp at 14,200’

May 28, 2016 - 11:20 p.m. PDT

Luck has been with us as today turned out to be a nice day for a walk. And walk we did, moving camp up to 14,200’. We retraced our route from yesterday, passing by our cache just long enough to pick up a couple extra shovels to help build camp. The team crushed it going to 13,500’, but as is normal, felt the altitude on the last 700’. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to find a vacated camp to move into, so had to build camp from scratch. What’s nice though is that our neighbor is the RMI team before us. Graciously, they filled water bottles for our thirsty crew upon arrival.
We’re all in bed now looking forward to some well deserved rest after our big push.

Good night from 14,200’.
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling, and the team

On The Map

Hey Mike!
We are pulling for you. Be strong and climb safe!

Posted by: Scott and Nicole Clark on 5/30/2016 at 1:26 am

Hi to everyone! Greetings from Norco, CA where we are in t-shirts We check your blog everyday and enjoy everything you report. Glad to see everyone is doing so well.  Looking forward to your next report. Cheers

Posted by: Lori Golding on 5/29/2016 at 5:15 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Wait for a Weather Window

May 28, 2016 - 10:27 p.m. PDT

We woke with a sigh of relief to blue bird skies and calm conditions, though the winds up above were clearly stirring up a magic potion. With the morning came just a little heat to help us continue drying out after the storm. We had a strange desire for breakfast burritos this morning so we acted upon the urge. Given the continued strong winds up high we “just got to be” as life at 14 Camp continues. Numerous other teams took the elevator up the fixed lines to cache in hopes of taking advantage of the potential coming weather window these modern times and technology allow us to anticipate. We’d like to thank Rob Young, Sr. and Katie Van Deventer for being our personal forecasters. With views straight to the summit from where we sit, we’re staring at the gold on the ceiling patiently waiting for our time to climb.

Until then, give your heart away.
RMI Guides Jess Matthews, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, the Team and the Black Keys

On The Map

You’ve been so patient and it has to be so frustrating to see the prize just a short distance away! If it’s in the cards, you’ll summit. If not, better safe than sorry.

Justin, I filled Father Daniel in. He’s praying for your safety and your success.



Posted by: leanne on 5/29/2016 at 10:15 pm

You guys are SOOO close ... stretch out that food as long as you can! Justin, I’m all set for my travel arrangements, so take your time on the mountain (but stay safe and warm). I’ll be waiting for you in Anchorage when you get there!!!!

Posted by: Patrice La Vigne on 5/29/2016 at 3:19 pm

Mt. Rainier: Teams Summit

RMI Guides Adam Knoff and Walter Hailes led the Four Day Summit Climb team to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. The team reached the summit in gusty winds. We look forward to greeting the teams at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon when the finish descending.

Congratulations climbers!

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team - An Unexpected Carry

May 28, 2016 - 12:19 am PT

Strong winds buffeted camp this morning to the extent that we actually cut snow blocks to form walls around our beloved Posh tent before having breakfast.
That done, pancakes were the order of the morning as we looked on at the winds up high and wondered if we’d have any chance to make our carry today.
Pancakes, hot drinks and lively conversation carried the morning, but our eyes kept track of the goings on up high. So when a significant downtrend in the winds was noticed, we rallied and went for it, albeit later than we would have liked to start off.
Our carry to 13,500’ went off perfectly, with everyone climbing really well.
Let’s hope tomorrow allows us some break in the winds. As I finish this dispatch the winds have calmed, so I’m optimistic on our getting to 15,300’ tomorrow. But who knows?

Your team at 11,200’ camp,
RMI Guides Brent, Christina and Chris

On The Map

Hello Brent , Christine & Dawn! What an Awesome Experience you are having! Love these emails! Sending calm wind thoughts! Climb On and Climb Strong!!!!

Posted by: Dave on 5/29/2016 at 3:26 am

We are enjoying our Memorial Day weekend here in Florida where it is 87 degrees and sunny. Sending warm hugs and sunny wishes for your Denali adventure.  Keep tough and never act your age!  Love you.

Posted by: Carol Probstfeld on 5/28/2016 at 12:10 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team - Weather Day at 14K Camp

May 28, 2016 - 12:06 am PT

‘The Great One’ once again showed her might. Another night of hammering winds kept us from deep sleep. Despite unrelenting gales, Denali Storm Evans finally gifted us with sunny skies this morning. Today was a day to lick our wounds, repair and fortify camp, and dry our clothes; wet from the rigors of battling the passing storm. It was a day to be grateful for the sun.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch provided a dose of childhood nostalgia, followed up by Pete’s world famous power dinner; quinoa, lentils, squash, beans, and mustard. Our bodies and our minds still await our chance to experience the upper slopes of this great mountain.  With mother nature’s cooperation, we’re hopeful this shall soon come to fruition.

Until then, Namaste.

RMI Guides Robby, Pete, Jess, and Team

Ditto what Leanne said ... we are all anxiously awaiting what’s next for you all and the news can’t come soon enough. Nine days at Camp 3. Is that a record? I know you are doing your best to keep your spirits up together and give it all you’ve got. Justin, can I promise you a foot rub for all your efforts? Hopefully that gives you just a little more stamina ...

Posted by: Patrice La Vigne on 5/28/2016 at 2:24 pm

Oh, the simple pleasures of life - sunshine, dry clothes, deep sleep. I hope all these things stay with you until you reach your goal and return home safely. Your friends in the lower half have been praying nonstop for your safety and health.

These blog posts are like letters from heaven. Thanks for keeping us informed. It’s our lifeline.

Posted by: leanne on 5/28/2016 at 10:37 am

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