Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Move Up to 9,800’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,800'

Saturday, May 23rd 12:44 am PDT

I would like to dedicate this dispatch (one of many I’m sure) to my six year old son, Liam, who’s kindergarten class will be following the blog as our adventure unfolds. Hi kiddo! Daddy misses you a lot!

Up here on the mountain, day two was again a well executed day. We packed up camp at 7,800 feet and made a single carry of all of our things up to 9,800 feet were we are camped for night. We each moved well over one hundred pounds divided between our sleds and packs. From here on up we begin to split the loads, taking some up the mountain in one carry and then returning the next day to retrieve the rest. The weather here is well below freezing at night and we have strong gusty winds that are blowing snow around. We got lucky to move into a camp that already had big snow block walls built to protect us a bit from the heavy gusts. Tomorrow we will decide what the plan is after we have breakfast and check the weather. So far so good.

RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, and Andy Hildebrand

An RMI team ascending Ski Hill towards 9,800 Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Set Up Camp at 14,200’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Friday, May 22nd 5:52 pm PDT

The day dawned (that is, the sun rose since it’s always some shade of dawn or dusk but never night) with blue skies and calm air in camp, so we hit the rally button, gobbled breakfast and set about breaking camp to head to 14,200 ft. As we climbed, clouds started to appear and stream over our heads and we knew that winds were building. Windy Corner lived up to its name, but it was really only unpleasant for a short while, with wind whipping snow and ice pellets into our face. As soon as we passed the Windy Corner, the winds died and the oven turned on. It’s a long move to 14k Camp, and once we arrived the work wasn’t over. We set about building walls, a new kitchen, and getting everything bomb proofed. Now we’re settled into our new digs, happy, warm, and content. 14k Camp really is the cat’s meow. Tomorrow we’ll retrieve our cache, and it will be great to be fully settled.

Until then,
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK surrounded by fortified walls. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Rainier: May 23rd Update

Posted by: Brent Okita | May 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 13,200'

The Four Day Summit Climb team led by RMI Guide Brent Okita was unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. Low visibility and windy conditions prevented the team from climbing above 13,200 ft. The team will descend back to Camp Muir before continuing on to Ashford this afternoon.

RMI climbers ascending the upper slopes of Mt. Rainier in poor visibility. Photo: Ed Viesturs
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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Remain at 14,200’ Camp Waiting for Better Weather

Posted by: Billy Haas, Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 22, 2015 - 5:01 pm PT

Once again we find ourselves resting at the 14,200’ camp on Denali’s West Buttress. This is our second rest/acclimatization day at this camp, and we are feeling stronger each day. The weather is quite pleasant here in camp, with partly sunny skies and barely a breath of wind. The story is a bit different up higher on the mountain, where strong winds are streaming snow off of the West Buttress. Winds are forecast to increase and there is a high wind advisory for tomorrow and tomorrow night. That means we’re planning to stay put in our comfortable and secure camp for the next couple of days while we wait for more reasonable weather in which to climb.  We’ll keep you updated…

RMI Guide Mike Walter & team

An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, Mt. Foraker in the background.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Take A Weather Day at 11,200’

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 21, 2015 - 11:31 pm PT

Mt. McKinley made it abundantly clear today that we were welcome to stay in the tents, but were not welcome to move higher. Big snow plumes above us and swirling clouds, snow, and wind in camp made the decision to rest for the day easy. We passed the time with a long brunch, some tent time, and another long dinner session hanging out in the posh. This evening our visibility improved, the sun shone through, and the winds diminished, so we’re hopeful that we’ll take a take two tomorrow and head up to 14,000’. Keep your finger crossed for us.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard and team

An RMI Team taking a weather day at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Arrive at Camp 1

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

May 21, 2015 - 10:46 pm PT

The team has made it to Camp 1 in almost perfect style. I am on my seventh Denali climb as a guide and have never gone from Base Camp to Camp 1 with such seamlessness.  No one had a single sled issue or cursed my name for giving them so much gear.  No one got a blister or fell behind a single second.  Like I said earlier, I am very pleased with this team.  One day down, who knows how many more to go. 
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI Team pulling sled from from Base Camp en route to Camp 1 on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Chris Villar

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Rest at 14,000’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 21, 2015 - 10:26 pm PT

Hello from 14k on Denali!

We took a planned rest day today, which was a good thing because the weather was a bit inhospitable this morning in camp. Winds were swirling and blowing snow around, with very little visibility. We took advantage of the situation and had a three hour brunch in the comfort and relative luxury of our cook tent. The weather improved a bit in the afternoon, and we did some work around camp fortifying our snow walls. By this evening, the skies were nearly clear and the wind was light at camp. Strong winds were still obvious up higher on the route. The weather forecast for the next few days is still calling for high winds? So our plan is to sit tight and wait for a better weather window in which to climb higher. In the mean time, we’re resting, acclimating, and telling lies in the cook tent. We’ll keep you posted as we continue to watch the weather.
Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

An RMI team fortifies snow walls for protection from the wind at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Alaska Seminar: Dave & Team Train at 9,800’

Posted by: Leon Davis, Bridget Belliveau, Lindsay Fixmer | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,800'

May 21, 2015 - 10:03 pm PT

Here we are at 9,800’ for a second night. This morning the winds continued to whip at the surrounding ridges and moving camp up the Kahiltna Dome was not prudent. However we were able to go for a venture towards Kahiltna Pass to see what there was to see. Good times trying to get over the bergschrund which was a trap door of deep faceted snow. Towards the top of the ridge we met firm icy conditions that forced us back down. Good times nevertheless!  If the weather improves tomorrow we will make an attempt on the Dome.
Good night!

RMI Guide Leon Davis

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Mt. Rainier: Expeditions Skills Seminar - Muir Reaches Summit

Posted by: Walter Hailes, Casey Grom | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

At 8:30 am the Expedition Skills Seminar – Muir led by RMI Guides Casey Grom and Walter Hailes crested the summit crater of Mt. Rainier. The team will spend about an hour on the summit enjoying light winds and mild temperatures before beginning their descent to Camp Muir. The team will spend one more night at Camp Muir before returning to Ashford on Friday. We look forward to hearing of their training and climbing adventures.

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Carry to Windy Corner

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Wednesday, May 20th 6:11 pm PDT

Our day was productive, if not easy. This morning the winds had abated, though not gone, and we seized our opportunity to make some headway. We swapped snowshoes for crampons, packed loads of food and fuel, and roped up for the climb to Windy Corner. The winds, not nearly as strong as yesterday, were nonetheless a bit blustery as we climbed and added a bit of extra challenge to the day, and everyone rose to that challenge. We made it to Windy Corner and cached our loads as the wind seemed to pick up a bit. We scooted back downhill to the comfort of our tents, and tucked in. By mid-afternoon, the winds returned to 11k Camp and brought snow with them. We’ll see how the current pattern progresses, and in the morning we’ll find out if the weather will allow us to move up, or whether we’ll extend out stay at 11,200’ for another day. For now we’re snug in our beds.


RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and Team

An RMI team ascending Motorcycle Hill with 11k Camp of Mt. McKinley, AK in the background. Photo: RMI Collection

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Previous Page More Entries

Expedition Stats

Mexico's Volcanoes
2/14 - 2/22/2015
Ixtaccihuatl - Summit / Pico de Orizaba - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
3/8 - 3/13/2015
Mt. Rainier - 11,200'
Mexico's Volcanoes
3/7 - 3/15/2015
Ixtaccihuatl - 15,300' / Pico de Orizaba - Summit
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
3/22 - 3/27/2015
Mt. Rainier - 10,080'
Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter
4/12 - 4/17/2015
Mt. Rainier - 12,400'
Everest Base Camp - Island Peak
3/18 - 4/12/2015
Everest Base Camp - Summit / Island Peak - Summit
Mount Everest Base Camp Trek
3/18 - 4/7/2015
Everest Base Camp - Summit
Mount Everest Base Camp Trek
3/21 - 4/12/2015
Everest Base Camp - Summit
Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition
5/2 - 5/12/2015
Radio Control Tower - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
5/9 - 5/13/2015
Mt. Rainier - 12,300'
Five Day Summit Climb
5/11 - 5/15/2015
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/13 - 5/16/2015
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/14 - 5/17/2015
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
5/13 - 5/17/2015
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/15 - 5/18/2015
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/20 - 5/23/2015
Mt. Rainier - 13,200'
Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir
5/17 - 5/22/2015
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Alpine
5/8 - 5/18/2015
The Munchkin - Summit / The Throne - Lost Marsupial - Summit / Big Arapiles - Summit
Five Day Summit Climb
5/20 - 5/24/2015
Mt. Rainier - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/21 - 5/24/2015
14,410' - Summit

Recent Images

  • An RM Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley with new snow.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley fortifies snow walls and clears tents after new snow.  Photo: Dave Hahn
  • Crevasse Rescue on the Alaska Mountaineering Seminar. RMI Chris Villar
  • A snowy camp at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • An RM Team climbing towards 11,200 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • The Mt. Rainier summit crater. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Tent at 14,000' Camp on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection
  • Annapurna Base Camp. Photo: Alex Barber
  • RMI Guide Alex Barber looking towards the higher slopes of Annapurna. Photo: Alex Barber
  • RMI Guide Alex Barber trekking through devastated villages after the Nepal Earthquake. Photo: Alex Barber
  • An RMI team ascending Ski Hill towards 9,800 Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: RMI Collection
  • 14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK surrounded by fortified walls. Photo: RMI Collection
  • RMI climbers ascending the upper slopes of Mt. Rainier in poor visibility. Photo: Ed Viesturs
  • An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, Mt. Foraker in the background.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team taking a weather day at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team pulling sled from from Base Camp en route to Camp 1 on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Chris Villar
  • An RMI team fortifies snow walls for protection from the wind at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI team ascending Motorcycle Hill with 11k Camp of Mt. McKinley, AK in the background. Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI team ascending the fixed lines outside of 14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The May 19th McKinley team preparing for the climb in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff
  • The May 19th McKinley team ready to fly in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff
  • An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Rob Lindner