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RMI Expeditions Blog

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Waiting for the Winds

May 31, 2016 - 8:15 pm PT

Today turned out to be the perfect day to take a rest day at 17 in preparation for our summit attempt. Sometimes the forecast is correct, and sometimes not. Sometimes it’s wrong in a helpful direction (like yesterday) and sometimes not (today). Winds were cranking out of the East this morning over the summit, and gusting through Denali Pass as well. Clearly not a summit day, we rested in tents and recovered from yesterday’s big loads and tough camp building effort. Luckily, we were pretty protected from those East winds, so we had a relatively warm calm day. A field trip to the vista that overlooks 14 let us stretch our legs and get some frame worthy shots. Things look promising for tomorrow, so we’re going hit the sack early and be ready for the morning. We’ll be dreaming of summits.


RMI Guides Pete, Jess, Robby, and team

On The Map

Good things come to those who wait! Best of luck Wednesday! June 1 sounds like a great day to summit :)

Love you Justin!!! So proud of all your hard work!

Posted by: Patrice La Vigne on 5/31/2016 at 9:40 pm

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Prepare for Move to 14,000’ Camp

May 31, 2016 - 5:52 pm PT

Were back from our biggest day so far on this expedition. The train is very much on the track as we moved efficiently with perfect weather. The cold, crisp, and breathless air provided a flawless day. Not to mention the the rockstar crew we are climbing with - smooth operators.

The route conditions from 11,200 - 14,200 ft camp are groomer. The views of the surrounding ridges, peaks, glaciers and distant rivers are proof we came to one of the most inspiring corners of the world. Now that we’re back to camp, we will spend the afternoon chilling with our groceries and hydrating in hopes the splendid weather will continue. Tomorrow we look to move up to 14,200 ft camp and will keep you all in the loop as to our progress.

RMI Guide Tyler Jones

On The Map

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Move to 17,200’ Camp

May 31, 2016 - 1:17 am PT

It’s finally happening! Light snow fell overnight and the morning skies were blue, without anything moving up high. We packed up our camp, left a cache of extras, and went for round two on the fixed lines. With sunny skies and calm winds, we got the experience the air under our feet that comes with climbing the West Buttress. Exhilarating! 6.5 hours of climbing brought us to 17,200’ where we had to build camp in the thin air. With tents up and walls built, we’re tucking in for the night with the hope of going to the summit of Denali tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and team

On The Map

I wish you guys make it and share summit photos with us.

Lei Wu

Posted by: Lei Wu on 5/31/2016 at 8:58 pm

Hitesh and company, I’m praying to the wind gods to leave you alone unlike they did for us. Good luck and don’t forget to send me that picture of you at the summit.
Dr. Dave

Posted by: David Hines on 5/31/2016 at 4:02 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Carry to 16,800 and above

May 31, 2016 - 12:03 am PT

Our day was a resounding success! A cold, early start had us ahead of the madding crowds as everyone was determined to take advantage of some perfect weather. It had snowed 6-8” overnight, and ours were the first tracks up the pristine slopes leading to the fixed lines and the start of the West Buttress.
By far the steepest climbing we’ve encountered, the Buttress is also the steepest, most dramatic climbing most of our group has ever done.
The team performed well, with us getting a cache at 16,800’ and another one at high camp at 17,200’.
Everyone is pumped by the day and really looking forward to our first rest day.
It’s getting late and cold, so adieu from 14,200’.

RMI Guides Brent, Christina, Chris and the team

On The Map

Nice work, Mike P!!  It’s great to track your progress.  Short hop to 17 and you’re almost there. Wishing you some clear weather. Hang tough, buddy!  Frank M

Posted by: Frank Marini on 5/31/2016 at 1:14 pm

Chris I’m betting you wish you had your skiis! Looks like you guys are making great progress, Dad and Mom and I look at the blog everyday and hope you are having fun!

Posted by: Karen Ebeling on 5/31/2016 at 1:13 pm

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Rest at 11,200’ Camp

May 30, 2016 - 7:39 pm PT

With just a day of active rest scheduled, the team was able to sleep in. Most all of us slept like rocks, with a pitter patter of fresh snow making the perfect background noise. Once we finally rolled out of bed, a lazy breakfast of bacon, cheese and hash-brown wraps with a half bagel on the side and a hot drink or two got us ready for our back carry. The whole group was excited to be reunited with our buried goods; as many of us were craving some snack hidden in the snow.
11 Camp remains a weather quandary with reports of clear skies at both fourteen and Base Camps. Yet the fresh six inches of snow is welcome as it has brought our camp back to its pristine status. For now we’ll continue to chill and listen to the snow fall!

RMI Guide Tyler Jones

On The Map

wow so much snow! Ongun I’m sending you my warmest hug!! I hope you can rest well and take care of yourself to reboot for more trekking. Miss you so much and hope you are having an amazing adventure!

Posted by: karina on 5/31/2016 at 10:06 am

Hi Schlax,

I’m bragging to everyone I meet about your expedition. Be #fearless, #strong, and #raw because people are following along. No pressure.

As you know, you’re missing many important newsfeeds. Here’s a quick summary:

Your last post has over 40 likes (not bad) and some witty comments. Beach volleyball season started, and at least 20 people’s Memorial Day weekend involved boats (that sounds low?). Curry v Cavs has inspired poetry. Training and attendance continues for marathons, triathlons, weddings. Surprisingly low on selfies & baby pics.

Finally, you’ve missed 753 Inspirational Quotes. Some good ones:
“No matter where you are in your journey, you’re exactly where you need to be.” - Oprah
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” - T. Roosevelt


Posted by: Mary on 5/31/2016 at 9:49 am

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

Be safe Michael! Amazing climb! We are thinking about you!

Love, Lesleigh, Lyndon, William, Lucy and Grace

Posted by: Lesleigh box on 5/31/2016 at 5:26 am

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

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!

Mike O’Hara so proud of you! What an accomplishment! I knew you could do it :)

Posted by: Zayna on 5/31/2016 at 6:36 pm

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

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

Inquiring minds want to know - Did you make it to the top?

Posted by: Dad on 5/31/2016 at 7:15 am

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!

Tali - you showed such strength and will power. Congratulations on reaching the summit! Love Mom and Dad

Posted by: Deirdre Glynn Levin on 5/31/2016 at 5:57 am

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

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

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