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RMI Expeditions Blog


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Check in from 14,000 ft Camp

May 22, 2016 - 1:54 pm PT

Once again we’re checking in from 14k on Denali. There is not much new to report here. The winds up high remain strong, and the National Weather Service has issued a special high wind warning for this storm.
We are all comfortable and safe at camp and we’ll just have to see how this one plays out. Today is day 18 on the the mountain for our team, and high winds are forecast through at least Thursday. We’ll keep you up to date with the latest news.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Thinking alot about you Blake !!
Love you !!

Mom

Posted by: Maria Votilla on 5/24/2016 at 12:58 pm

Team Walter, you guys are already my heroes coming so close to the summit. Respect storm Daryl! No gut or glory stuff! Come home in one piece, Lei. Love you. Hao

Posted by: Hao on 5/23/2016 at 7:31 pm


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams Enjoy Time on the Summit

The Four Day Summit Climb teams were approaching Mt. Rainier’s crater rim at 7:30 am.  RMI Guide Casey Grom reported clear skies, cold temperatures and very little wind on their summit climb today.  The cloud deck is around 9,500’ and its beautiful above.  The teams left the crater rim just before 9 am to return to Camp Muir.  They will continue down to Paradise later today.

Congratulations to today’s climbing teams!

Just wanted to follow-up on what Paul said above…Nick, Steve, & Eric - You guys were awesome. Thank you for an awesome experience. Same to you as well Casey, Paul, and Walt. I’ve included all six of you in a Dropbox account should you wish to see the pictures from this awesome adventure!

I also want to say thanks to an amazing team…both A and B. I know I didn’t get to know everyone, but I consider myself grateful to have been able to share this experience with all of you. Thanks to each of you for making this trip that much enjoyable. Please upload your photos to the Dropbox! (Let me know if you didn’t receive the invite…check your junk folders) Between all of us, there should be some pretty amazing pics.

Again thanks to each of you, guides and teammates alike! Much love and All the Best!! - Beau Jackson

Posted by: Beau Jackson on 5/23/2016 at 6:53 pm

A huge thanks again to Casey Grom, Paul Rachele, and Walter Hailes for safely guiding our group to the summit and back. Your level of professionalism, knowledge, enthusiasm, and concern for our safety completely blew me away. It was very obvious to me that each of you are extremely passionate about guiding. I learned so much over the past few days and very much appreciate the enormous effort that each of you contributed to make it a fun, educational, and thoroughly enjoyable four days. I look forward to climbing the next peak with you and RMI…... after I recover from this trip of course :-) Paul.

Posted by: Paul Moran on 5/23/2016 at 3:45 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Reunited at Kahiltna Base Camp

May 22, 2016 - 1:12 am PT

Late tonight the sound of planes filled the air with the sweet roar of Turpin prop engines. Our flight service, K2, had taken advantage of a very short and rare window of marginally clear weather to ft three of their Otters onto the glacier to pick up some climbers anxiously awaiting a trip back to civilization, but more importantly to us, they were bringing the rest of our team to finally join us.
Day three and we’re finally together!
This all happened just fifteen minutes after we had returned from a nine hour climb to carry food and fuel to 7800’, Camp 1. Everyone did a fantastic job on the climb, and our efforts will make our move tomorrow a bit less tortuous, as normally we carry all our gear up from Base Camp in one move.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates and we can finally start climbing this mountain.

Until tomorrow,
RMI Guide Brent Okita and crew

On The Map


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Pick up Cache and Review Techniques

May 21, 2016 - 11:43 pm PT

Though there was a cap on the upper mountain when we woke, that wasn’t the direction of our concern. The snow and winds had abated, and down towards Windy Corner, the sun was shining through thin clouds, setting everything to sparkling. After another great brunch, we grabbed our packs and feeling light as feathers, cruised downhill to our cache. We made quick work of retrieving it, and an hour later were back in camp with a small mountain of food. We spent a bit of time before dinner rigging our ascenders and reviewing fixed line techniques for what we hope to be our carry up onto the West Buttress tomorrow. If the weather cooperates we’ll make our first trip up the lines, and all the boxes will be checked for our summit bid.

All for now,

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and team

On The Map

Following your trail Lisa and it must be incredible. Must be so beautiful. You are awesome!

Posted by: Trix on 5/23/2016 at 6:14 pm

So close.. enjoy every step and the fabulous view, Lisa..!  Go higher !! Look forward to seeing the flag !

Posted by: greg hurley on 5/23/2016 at 12:27 pm


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Watching High Winds Blow Above the West Buttress

May 21, 2016 - 7:25 pm PT

We spent another day here at 14k. Today the weather at camp was quite pleasant, with periods of sun and just some light wind. Up above on the West Buttress, where we are hoping to climb, the strong winds persisted today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, as the weather forecast is still calling for high winds the next few days. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams Reach the Top

The Four Day Summit Climb team for May 18 - 21, 2016, led by RMI Guides Elias de Andres-Martos and Kel Rossiter, reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The teams only spent a short amount of time on the crater rim before starting their descent to Camp Muir.  The teams will continue their descent to Paradise and return to Rainier BaseCamp later today.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climbers!

Awesome climb, Robert. We are in awe of you!  Can’t wait to hear all about it. Love mom& ron

Posted by: Mom & ron on 5/22/2016 at 6:31 am

Way to go. I am so happy you all made it back safe. I bet it was crazy. I can’t wait to hear all about it. You are all incredible!!!

Posted by: Dean Peyerson on 5/21/2016 at 6:22 pm


Alaska Seminar: Team works on Knot Tying and Story Telling

May 21, 2016 - 10:52 am PT

Well today our team got to practice a Denali soft skill that may be one of the most crucial; How to occupy your mind when the weather keeps you stagnant. We woke up inside a Ping pong ball and this strange snow that turned to rain as soon as it touched us. The team spent most of the day inside the kitchen telling stories, laughing and tying 50 meters worth of knots on our climbing rope. At times it was a tough lesson but the team stood strong. After dinner the skies started to break and eager for some activity, we broke camp and made a move back to base camp. It was eerily calm to have the glacier all to ourselves in a whiteout. It’s just past midnight now and we have just crawled into our tents. Tomorrow we are really hoping for some sun!

RMI Guide Leon Davis


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Take Rest Day at 14,000’

May 21, 2016 - 1:18 am PT

For most of today it huffed and puffed and the snow fell heavily. We haven’t been able to see much, and the wind has been gusting pretty strongly. We made the easy choice to take today as a rest day and fortify our camp, which proved to be the right decision as the gusts grew stronger as the day went on. Instead, we ate a great brunch of smoked salmon and bagels, then set to work reinforcing our compounds with big walls (some wondered how much of a rest day it was carrying a couple hundred 20 pound blocks of snow). With our camp solid, we retired to the tents for naps and rest, before a delicious dinner of Mac and cheese with bacon. It’s still snowing hard, though the winds are starting to calm. We’re expecting to still wake up to some snow, but hopefully the winds abate, the visibility improves, and we take a quick walk back to retrieve our cache. If not, we still have plenty of delicious food up here and we’ll continue to acclimate and get strong in the thinner air of 14.

Best

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and our stellar team of high altitude athletes

On The Map

Geez, you all seem to be eating well!  Scott I hope you’re getting some good many ideas for our next climb—no more of those just-add-water instant dinner thingies!  ;-)

Be safe y’all, and enjoy the journey.

Posted by: Chris Beaudette on 5/22/2016 at 1:02 pm

Mac and cheese Justin??? I feel bad for your tent mates!!!!!!! Hopefully the storm will relent soon enough. This past week, we finally had a nice stretch of sunny weather here in Colorado and I am missing you on my hikes. I almost stepped on a rattlesnake and realized I really need to review my WFR notes ...

Posted by: Patrice La Vigne on 5/21/2016 at 3:35 pm


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Waiting Out the Weather

May 20, 2016 - 5:36 pm PT

We’re hunkered down in our tents today as a significant storm rages outside. Fortunately the snow walls we constructed are taking the brunt if the winds. It’s been snowing all day, and visibility is near zero.
We’re all safe and relatively comfortable in our camp between our tents and our cook tent. High above our camp you can hear the winds crashing over the West Buttress like waves on a rocky coastline. The winds up at that altitude are forecast to reach 85 mph.
This storm will hopefully start to taper off tomorrow and give us a chance to move up to high camp for a summit bid. We’ll keep you posted, but for now we’re in a holding pattern.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Hi Della, dis rof besig hier met die winter konserte en Kaela was siek met Tonsilites. Ons mis jou baie. Die koppie klimery moet nou klaarkom. Anyway, for those who did not understand. Get to the top in double quick time and get your buds of the mountain. Your family’ s need you..
Cherio…

Posted by: jaco on 5/21/2016 at 1:54 pm

Hey Rob!, So excited to hear from you! Stay strong and stay well.  We are praying for good weather so you and the team can go for the summit. Love to you. Mom, Dad and Katie

Posted by: Robert & Toni Caldwell on 5/21/2016 at 5:27 am


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team at Kahiltna Base Camp and in Talkeetna

May 19, 2016 - Thursday Evening Post

After much deliberation on the part of the pilots, management Basecamp personnel of our flight service the teams launched for Basecamp. Weather was uncertain but K2, our air service, wanted to at least try to get us in the mountain.
The first plane landed, but with a ground fog rolling in the second of our planes had to turn back.
So, here we are, enjoying life on the mountain finally. Although our partners in Talkeetna are sleeping in beds and enjoying burgers and beer, this is what we’ve all come here for.
The drama of the spectacular mountains around us has been sometimes muted by clouds moving in, but the team is excited to be here and eager to learn. Before setting up camp we practiced numerous skills, hoping our partners would get lucky and be able to fly on. But such was not the case tonight.
Unfortunate though that might be, I’m delighted to be with folks so psyched to be here and learn and help out. What a great trip this will be.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

May 20, 2016 - 4:30 pm PT

A snowy morning greeted us as we finally crawled out of our sleeping bags after our first night on the mountain. Unfortunately, the visibility was poor too, so our intentions of bringing a cache of supplies further up the mountain were thwarted. Instead, breakfast flowed into lunch as we enjoyed the comfort provided by our cook/dining tent. Stories were shared over a breakfast of biscuits and gravy, followed by more hot drinks and culminating in a hot pot of Ramen for lunch as we make the most of this weather day holding slim chance of having our other half of the team fly in to join us.
A quick satellite phone call to Christina and the team in Talkeetna let us know they have been making the most of their time by training and practicing skills that we’ll need later in the trip.
The Kahiltna crew has not been slacking either, regardless of how the previous narrative sounds. Knots, tent set up, anchors, rescue systems and stove operations have been reviewed and practiced. The team is firing on all cylinders.
Wish us better luck with the weather tomorrow.

RMI Guide Brent Okita and the Kahiltna crew

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