Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Enjoy Rest Day at 11,200’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 26, 2015 - 7:24 pm PT

I gave the team a general idea of when we might start breakfast this morning at dinner last night.  I bet we get hot water started at around 8, then start pancakes and coffee shortly after that I said.  I didn’t even open my eyes until almost nine.  While in the middle of working your way up this mountain day after day none of us realized how much we could use a rest.  Today it became clear.  We sat in the cook tent making fresh Pete’s coffee and watching Andy flip flap jacks until almost noon.  Then we took naps and soaked up the sun we haven’t really seen clearly this entire trip.  Now we are cooking quesadillas and packing up for our potential move to 14 Camp tomorrow.  Everyone is happy to be caching dirty underwear, smelly socks and unneeded stuff for the upper mountain.  It has been a beautiful rest day here at 11 Camp but after getting a great view of the upper mountain yesterday, the team feels super psyched to push this climb higher and see what unfolds. 
Check in tomorrow for the outcome of our hopeful move. 
Team Knoff saying goodnight.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, with Kahiltna Dome in the cloudy distance.  Photo: RMI Collection

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3

Great job, Joe and Team!!  You all deserve a sleep-in day!  Looking forward to your report out tomorrow!  Hoping for good weather as you climb higher and higher.

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Posted by: Carrie, Brook, Reid and Finn on 5/26/2015 at 9:45 pm

Good night and good luck tomorrow! You all earned the rest day.

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Posted by: Jessie on 5/26/2015 at 9:04 pm


Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Carry to 13,500’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 26, 2015 - 10:08 am PT

Today is Memorial Day.  With the simplicity of life on this mountain taking charge, many of us don’t even know what day it is.  The process of get up, get dressed in close quarters, make your way to the cook tent dug into the side of the mountain, eat breakfast, pack you bag and climb, come back to the tents, eat dinner and go to bed is a process where days don’t matter.  So if birthdays are missed, anniversaries are forgotten about, we are not to blame.  Despite having digital doohickeys with us,  looking at calendars and keeping track of days becomes arbitrary.  Today as it turns out wasn’t Memorial Day up here, it was Windy Corner day.  This legendary gateway to the upper mountain is famous for its heinous wind, scary rock fall and tricky crevasses.  We are happy to report our carry around the corner to 13,500 feet went as smooth as we could have asked for.  Again we lucked out with weather because as I wrote earlier our early morning wake up calls got us going into clear skies but as soon as we arrived back in camp seven hours later it was snowing as hard as it has all trip.  There is much to be said for walking into a camp that is waiting for you.  We will rest tomorrow and eat pancakes and drink fresh coffee until nap time.  We can’t wait. 
Hello to Mrs. Vradenburg’s class at Lamotte School   I hope Liam is behaving.  Stay tuned. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Climbers below Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Sounds like weather and timing are working well for you climbers. wishing everyone a well deserved rest and careful climbing tomorrow.  Thinking of you often Greg.  Great to get the… read more

Posted by: Dawn on 5/26/2015 at 5:26 pm

Hiya! So glad to hear that you are doing so well and that windy corner wasn’t so windy after all! You guys are safer than us here in Houston at… read more

Posted by: Joyce Tocher on 5/26/2015 at 3:02 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Retrieve Cache, Ready for Carry

Posted by: Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard | May 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 26, 2015 - 12:17 am PT

Just like Johnny Cash said, “that train keeps a rollin’.” The winds were down, a cloud of sparkling ice crystals hung around, reflecting the sunlight and solar baking everything, and we returned to a dead calm Windy Corner to retrieve our cash. We are one step closer now with all of our food up here with us. The next step is to take a run at the fixed lines and cache some food in the West a Buttress. To prepare, we spent the afternoon practicing with our ascenders and getting prepped for that potential carry tomorrow. Mac and cheese with bacon for dinner to fuel us tomorrow. We’ll hope to wake up with a green light to head up. For now, good night!

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

An RMI Team approaching 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Rennee you are doing not only us here at the VEC, but your family and more importantly yourself proud ! Everyone is 100% right behind you all the way my… read more

Posted by: Paul your GOD Webbyyyyy on 5/26/2015 at 8:23 pm

Hello there Renee and Team PRJ,
So glad to hear you retrieved your cache.  Yippee - Food for all now.
You are making headway so that’s awesome.
read more

Posted by: lori on 5/26/2015 at 7:45 pm


Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Still Hoping for Better Weather

Posted by: Billy Haas, Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall | May 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 25, 2015 - 7:16 pm PT

Hello Everyone!
This morning, hopeful to move to high camp, we awoke early and had breakfast and coffee in the chilly pre-solar hours, watching through dissipating clouds, as the wind whipped along the top of the West Buttress leaving streaks of sublimated snow in its wake.
And so resumed another day of reading, sport eating, and exploring the tangled and winding pathways between the walls of surrounding camps.
We are all crossing our fingers today is our final rest and acclimatization day here at fabulous 14 camp. We are looking forward to getting some exercise of the physical kind…we have been taxing the mental reserves nightly by developing a now customary team activity of Riddles over Dinner, made possible by the greatest boredom banishing App ever, Brain Twister by Will Shortz. Tonight we’ll be starting with puzzle number 47 if you’d like to follow along…but trust us, they’re exponentially harder at 14,200’!
We are packed, prepped, and looking forward to making our move tomorrow morning, if the weather cooperates.
Hopefully instead of practicing patience and unscrambling anagrams, we’ll be establishing camp at 17,200’ and enjoying the ever impressive views from higher on the mountain.
Thanks for following along!
RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the team

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Solveig, Your latest blog was very interesting, where you shared how you all preserve your sanity while waiting on the weather at 14,000 ft. Good luck on catching good weather… read more

Posted by: joe Griffith & Dianne Donovan on 5/26/2015 at 10:46 am

Still in Talkeetna rooting you all on to higher grounds…good luck!

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Posted by: Kearney Sagehorn on 5/25/2015 at 9:45 pm


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

Posted by: Zeb Blais, Eric Frank | May 25, 2015
Categories:
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb Team led by RMI Guides Eric Frank and Zeb Blais reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning just before 8 am PT.  Eric reported clear skies with chilly temperatures and a 20 mph wind.
The teams will enjoy some time on the crater before starting their descent to Camp Muir.  After a brief rest at Camp Muir they will continue down to Paradise.  We look forward to seeing the teams at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!

5

Congratulations Bridget and Patrick!! Have a safe trip back down!

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Posted by: katie marsh on 5/25/2015 at 11:15 am

Congratulations Bridget and Patrick!! The first of many more adventures for the two of you! Your aunt Barb would be so proud!!

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Posted by: Mom and Dad McLoone on 5/25/2015 at 11:02 am


Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Retrieve Cashe and return to 11,200’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 24, 2015 - 11:48 pm PT

Hello again from 11,000ft!

We woke up this morning to a fresh dumping of snow at camp, covering our tents and cook tent. First order of business this morning was getting everything dug out and reinforcing our snow walls.

The weather was still looking a little squirrelly afterwards, so we opted for a bit of a relaxed breakfast while we continued to watch what was going on outside. After a couple hours, our patience was rewarded and things cleared up enough for us to get organized and take off downhill to retrieve our cache at 9800’.  We made down, grabbed our cached goods, and jammed back uphill in good time. This is a strong team! Everyone just keeps going and is having fun!

Once back at 11,000’ with all our gear, the weather made a turn for the better. The skies cleared out, the winds died down, and the sun warmed us as we relaxed for the rest of the evening. If all goes well, we’ll push up to 13,500’ tomorrow to cache our gear around Windy Corner in preparation for our move to 14k.

Goodnight for now!
RMI Guide Nick Hunt and the rest of the team

An RM Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley with new snow.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

8

Much respect for you all and your endeavor on Denali. This is your year Will. Godspeed….

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Posted by: John on 5/26/2015 at 7:10 am

Shannon—sorry we missed your calls Sunday night.  Thought of you through the weekend and missed your smiling face and sarcastic jabs at Shakamak.  Wishing you and the entire team better… read more

Posted by: Mark on 5/26/2015 at 6:34 am


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Hoping for Better Weather

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer | May 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 24, 2015 - 9:30 pm PT

The wind and snow continued through the night and into today. We spent the night listening to the roar of a freight train of wind above us on the West Buttress. The max gust through camp, according to the NPS weather station was 52 mph. That wind and snow put a few holes in our posh tent, and knocked over a few walls, so we spent the morning stitching up holes and rebuilding walls. Otherwise we fared pretty well through the blizzard. This afternoon things started to subside, and by evening the sun was showing, sparkling off of the small snowflakes that are hanging in the air. Our hope is that that trend will carry through tomorrow, and we’ll have the visibility to head back down and retrieve our cache from Windy Corner. Fingers crossed. The change in weather has also caused a change in the general mood of camp, and we’re listening to laughing, joking, jovial voices all over camp. We’ll let you know how things go tomorrow.

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

An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley fortifies snow walls and clears tents after new snow.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Hi Renee and team! I have my fingers and toes crossed for the weather to continue to improve - keep up the mac ‘n cheese consumption and look forward to… read more

Posted by: Anna on 5/26/2015 at 5:02 pm

Jon, guides and team,
Sorry to read that you were pounded by the wind and snow but glad that all of you are safe and survived the blizzard.  Hopefully… read more

Posted by: Kemai on 5/25/2015 at 9:55 pm


Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team in a Holding Pattern at 14,200’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 24, 2015 - 3:35 pm PT

Well, there iss not much new to report today. We’re still waiting out the weather here at 14,200 ft on Denali. Last night was windy and snowy, with gusts up to 52 mph here in camp. There is lots of deep drifted snow around camp, so even just walking around is an exercise in trail breaking. The winds have let up this afternoon and it is still snowing lightly. Moderate snowfall is expected tonight and tomorrow, and with any luck it will let up by midweek.

We’re all safe and comfortable, waiting for the weather to improve. When (if) it does, we’ll have our work cut out for us; as a result of the new snow and wind loading, we’ll be faced with trail breaking and evaluating the avalanche hazard of the steeper slopes above us. In the mean time, we’re passing the time by reading books, chewing the fat, and the continual work of maintaining our camp’s condition throughout the storm.

We’ll keep you up to date with any changes in our current holding pattern.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

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Chris and team…thinking of you with the winds and snow…what a challenge your having.  Hope the weather eases soon so you can get to high camp.  Stay safe…so proud of… read more

Posted by: Dave and Melissa on 5/25/2015 at 7:31 am

Hang in there guys!!  I’ll be on the mountain next week, be super to see you guys on your way down from tagging the summit!

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Posted by: Pete on 5/25/2015 at 4:32 am


Alaska Seminar: Leon Davis & Team Send Final Dispatch

Posted by: Leon Davis, Lindsay Fixmer, Bridget Belliveau | May 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Hello friends and family,

Apologies for the absent dispatches these last few days; Apparently clouds and Sat phones do not get along.  We had a few eventful days on the Kahiltna so here is a quick wrap up. Our attempt on Kahiltna Dome was thwarted by Avalanche conditions so we made a full retreat from camp II back to Base Camp under a blanket of clouds.  The team set up a quick camp by the airstrip and started celebrating the trip with a few beers we stashed in a hole and some margarita’s from a friendly neighbor.  With some time to kill, a few folks wanted to know what the inside of a crevasse looked like so we set some anchors and lowered a few into the deep blue black holes that reach down under our feet.  Doug perched himself at the lip for a photo session of folks climbing out of the abyss.  Everyone flew off yesterday just before the weather shut base camp down and we enjoyed a fine dinner in Talkeetna and some drinks at the Fairview.  A great trip with some of the finest people I’ve shared a rope with.  Thank you all for tuning in and look forward to the pictures and stories headed your way!

RMI Guide Leon Davis & Team

Crevasse Rescue on the Alaska Mountaineering Seminar. RMI Chris Villar

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Waiting at 14,200 ft Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 24, 2015 - 9:32 am PT

Winter has come to Denali. We spent the night listening to snowflakes pelt the tent walls, interspersed with frequent tent shaking blasts of wind. As we stretched breakfast into a long brunch, the story didn’t change, so we decided to focus our energy on building up our walls a bit more and solidifying camp rather than going to get our cache. The evening brought stronger snow, and a fresh forecast of more snow tomorrow and wind, so we’ll see how the plan for tomorrow shakes out. From the wintry white north,

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

A snowy camp at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Hey all you Elves in winter wonderland. Looks like Santa Claus back yard.  Looks like few teams set up their camp there too.
Hope to hear you can… read more

Posted by: Lori on 5/24/2015 at 3:42 pm

Glad Team Pete made it in time before the weather turn wintry good idea to stay put. Sorry to hear weather has not been cooperating hopefully it will be better… read more

Posted by: Terri on 5/24/2015 at 3:41 pm


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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
Four Day Summit Climb
5/22 - 5/25/2015
Mt. Rainier - Summit

Recent Images

  • An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, with Kahiltna Dome in the cloudy distance.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Climbers below Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team approaching 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • 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