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RMI Expeditions Blog

Mt. Rainier: June 25th Update

Summit! With bluebird skies and lights winds, the summit climb teams reached the top of Mt. Rainier.  The teams, led by Eric Frank and Paul Rachele, began their descent from the Crater Rim just after 7AM.
We look forward to congratulating them here at Rainier Basecamp this afternoon.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations, Spencer and Lacey!! We’re so happy for you! What an accomplishment for all of your team!

Posted by: Christie and Seth Taylor on 6/25/2017 at 1:04 pm

I think I can… I think I can… WE DID IT!!!!!!
Alex and Megan - Check another bucket item✅ Way to live life with GUSTO

Posted by: Allyson James on 6/25/2017 at 11:47 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Rest Day at 14K Camp

June 24, 2017 10:36 pm PST

And today we rested. After our big move day yesterday we felt we deserved a day of kicking back and recovering. We made a point of emerging from our tents no earlier than 10 am and got the day started out right by consuming a mountain of pancakes. Kudos to Caleb for consuming the largest pancake of the morning! By 1 pm we were wrapping up the pancake party and as you may imagine, that long of a breakfast can really take it out of you .... So we rested a bit more. Once we felt we had properly digested we reviewed fixed line travel and running belays in preparation for our carry tomorrow. After practice for a few hours it was nearly time for dinner! Funny how time flies on a rest day. We had an early dinner of gourmet Ramen and before the sun could go down on us and give way to the chill of 14 Camp we headed to bed. Tomorrow we have our first go at the fixed lines!

Goodnight from 14!
Hasta Manana

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

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Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Settle Into Camp at 14,200’

June 24, 2017 10:07 pm PST

We continue to enjoy better weather than we have a right to expect.  The forecasts keep calling for snow, and I’m sure it was snowing somewhere -we got about .5 inches overnight at 11,000 ft, but when we peered outside this morning it just looked like good climbing weather.  We were out of there by 8 and up our now familiar hills, Motorcycle and Squirrel, we had no trouble getting to Windy Corner by noon and then we passed our cache (yesterday’s high point) and made for 14,200 ft.  We pulled in at 2:30 for a respectable 6.5-hour journey.  There was a fine place for tents right alongside our pals on Mike Haugen’s RMI trip.  The afternoon was spent as a lot of ours seem to be, building camp and melting snow for water.  Except now we are doing it in the legendary Genet Basin with the West Buttress and Denali’s gigantic South Peak looming over us.  We built a fine dining area (a giant pit in the snow with snow benches and snow tables and our dining tent capping it) and then tested it out with a team dinner.  Tomorrow should be a relatively easy day, just dropping down the short distance to our cache and bringing it all home to 14.2.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Cayambe Express: Walter & Team Explore Quito

Our Ecuador trip is up and running, and we spent our first day in country visiting the Equator and an ethnographic museum where we learned about the various diverse cultures of the country and were able to simultaneously stand in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Afterwards, we travelled to southern Quito to visit the old town, or colonial area. Here we toured Independence Plaza, the Compania de Jesus church, and walked the streets of old town, learning about Ecuador’s history. After a fun, educational, and jam-packed day, we’ve got some down time before dinner. Tomorrow we’ll get up early and go on our first acclimatization hike up Rucu Pichincha, a 15,700 ft. volcano that towers over Quito.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Mt. Elbrus: Reid & Team Summit and Make a Ski Descent

This morning we awoke to stars above and stars below (no clouds whatsoever), a welcome change from the pattern we’ve experienced in our time on the mountain thus far. A light but steady breeze at the level of our camp was telling of the wind we’d encounter up high, but we went with optimism. At 4 am we were cramponing above Pastukhov Rocks, and the sunrise came quickly, illuminating dramatic Caucasus peaks we’ve yet to see on this trip.

By the traverse at 5000m we were in the wind for real. It came in waves. Sheets. Rapidly approaching freight trains threatening to knock you off your feet if you didn’t acknowledge them with the brace position. Then it was fine for 30 seconds. Then another train. Snow blowing everywhere. Spindrift filling in the trail, and any open zipper, backpack, or jacket cuff.

Carrying skis on your back was another matter. Somewhat ridiculous feeling, climbing in the wind carrying sails. I think we made other climbers feel as if maybe they didn’t have it so bad. At least in relative terms they were aerodynamic.

But it was warm. Slow going, but sunny and not as threatening of a situation as it may sound. Just some strong, annoying wind.

The wind took it easy on us for a short window of time that we stood on the summit. Much appreciated wind! The ski down was not effortless for the first few thousand feet - I’d describe it as typical high altitude ski mountaineering. You don’t do it for the snow. More a game of dodging bare ice patches that aren’t supposed to exist until August, and finding smooth ribs of sustrugi to rail slide. Maximizing efficient elevation loss. The aerodynamic climbers were all of a sudden jealous.

Then it got good. We hit the corn line around 14,500’ and the skiing became fun. And all of a sudden we were back at camp.

Proud effort team - everyone brought it today. Not a casual Elbrus ski ascent, but well earned.

RMI Guide Tyler Reid

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good for you, what a great feeling you must have!!!! Bob and I are having a celebratory vodka for you

Posted by: Barb on 6/24/2017 at 4:42 pm

Nicely done!
Enjoy the well deserved rest and celebratory vodka!!!

Posted by: Greg Barber on 6/24/2017 at 11:39 am

Mt. Rainier: Teams Summit!

The Mt. Rainier Summit Climb teams, led by Christina Dale & Robby Young, reached the summit at 5:50 a.m.  The guides reported calm winds and warm temperatures.  After spending an hour on the summit and crossing the crater rim, the teams began their descent at 6:50 a.m.

Congratulations to today’s summit climbers!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Awesome team, even better guides and an epic experience! Thanks to Jenny and Robbie for pushing us! These guys are pro’s all around!

Posted by: Douglas Whittemore on 6/25/2017 at 8:42 am

Wow congrats! Amazing achievement!

Posted by: Martin grosskopf. on 6/24/2017 at 10:41 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Move to 14K Camp

June 23, 2017 10:30 pm PST

Greetings from 14 Camp on Denali!

Our team took advantage of stable weather and strong legs today to retrace our steps back up to 14,200 feet, this time with tents and sleeping bags in tow. We were excited to ascend the steeps of Motorcycle Hill and Squirrel Hill for the last time, and lucky for us, windy corner proved not so windy after all.

The rest of the day was devoted to digging in our new camp, which is looking dialed and styled. The team is looking forward to having some time to relax and adjust to the new altitude tomorrow, with a non-zero chance of Horiskey-style blueberry pancakes.

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Congratulations on your achievement, thus far.  The last photo was stunning beyond words. Mother Nature has been good to you.  Bon chance!  Brenda

Posted by: Brenda on 6/24/2017 at 8:38 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Carry to 13,500’

June 23, 2017 10:00 pm PST

It didn’t seem terribly cold this morning at 5:30, Around 17 F or so, which made it a little easier to get up and rally for “the carry”.  We got out on the trail by a quarter to eight.  Finally we were wearing crampons and holding ice axes like mountain climbers (to this point it has been snowshoes and ski poles).  The track was in great condition -well packed snow- due to the large number of teams that have passed through since the last storm.  We cruised up the steep Motorcycle Hill, and navigated the squirrely Squirrel Hill and found ourselves in the Polo Field below the end of the West Buttress before the sun caught us.  Another hour brought us to a decidedly calm Windy Corner.  We slipped around the corner, getting great views of Foraker, Hunter and finally Denali, in the process.  We cached food and fuel at 13,500 ft -our target for the day- and had an easy walk back down to camp at 11K with relatively empty packs.  It was exhilarating to be out of the deep valley at last and to be crossing ridges and turning corners with all the big views.  But it was also nice to get back to our camp and to have a calm afternoon to rest after our labors.  We ate dinner and made preparations for our big move up to 14K tomorrow. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Very exciting to see the progress and clear skies. Wishes for good luck and weather to the team.

Posted by: Bettie S on 6/24/2017 at 4:50 pm

Dad, I’m so proud of you!! I had an amazing time on my hike this past week and I can’t wait to tell you all about it when you come home. But first, you have a mountain to conquer! Best of luck to you and the rest of your team. Don’t forget to take a picture with Teddy at the top! Love, Pookie

Posted by: Madeline Brennan on 6/24/2017 at 3:07 pm

Mt. Elbrus: Reid & Team Make Some Turns from 16,000’

Acclimatization by Ski Doo is one advantage of having skis here on Mt. Elbrus. For a little morning activity on our rest day, we caught a snowmobile ride to 15,000’, and climbed up to 16,000’ in steady winds. We actually had some visibility on our descent this time and were able to enjoy the turns a bit more than yesterday’s whiteout run.

We spent the afternoon making preparations for an alpine start in the morning. If the forecast verifies, we’ll have a nice clearing trend throughout the morning and hopefully summitable conditions. We’re feeling psyched and ready.

RMI Guide Tyler Reid

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go Kerry!! Psyched for you and hoping the weather window comes through!!

Posted by: Julie on 6/24/2017 at 8:18 am

Woo hoo! You are there Kerry! Way to go. I look forward to hearing about your trip in person when you return. Xoxo Katherine

Posted by: Katherine L on 6/24/2017 at 3:02 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Enjoying Life at 11,000’ Camp

June 22, 2017
Rope teams came and went in the early morning today, and we stayed comfy in bed.  The guides were desperate for coffee by 8:30, but the sun and full breakfast didn’t show up until after 9.  Our rest day consisted of long, leisurely meals in the dining tent separated by naps and reading sessions.  It was a fine and sunny day at 11K.  We sorted loads for the carry tomorrow and discussed climbing techniques.  Each climber and guide prepared for the after-dinner poetry slam suggested by Anja.  There were haikus and limericks, remembered verses and spontaneous rhymes… There was much laughter, some genuine applause and plenty of food for thought.  And then there was the swirling cloud endless evening light show of Alaska. We’re all excited to go climbing tomorrow.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Our very best to all of you from Chicago & sending a big “hi” to Rubin.  Have fun & stay strong.

Posted by: The Kalseth's on 6/23/2017 at 6:51 pm

What awesome views!  So glad everything is going well.  Best wishes to you all, but especially to my brother, Ken Porrello!

Posted by: Diane Bertosa on 6/23/2017 at 3:10 pm

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