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? Do 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.


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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Hi Jon!
As I looked at the picture of the team climbing with heavy packs I thought of our Mt. Fuji climb.  Fuji must have been a piece of… read more

Posted by: Kemai on 5/22/2015 at 12:25 am

Hi Renee, hope the weather gets better for you all. Photos look amazing. Hope your taking plenty of them. Miss you bulldog and staffy stare at the door waiting for… read more

Posted by: Jordan on 5/21/2015 at 2:44 pm


Mt. McKinley: Walter and Team Carry to 16,200’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Wednesday, May 20th 3:19 pm PDT

We took advantage of a beautiful morning today and bumped a cache of food and fuel up to 16,200 ft on the West Buttress, above the fixed ropes of the head wall outside of 14k camp. We made efficient work of the head wall and, as we neared the top, clouds and wind moved in around us. The weather was manageable, just not very pleasant. So once our cache hole was dug and our food and fuel was buried, we retreated back down the fixed ropes to the comfort of camp.

The afternoon was spent relaxing as winds swirled around camp. We will take a rest day tomorrow to recover and acclimate further. The weather forecast for the next couple of days indicates strong winds up high, so we’ll likely have a couple of days to rest here at 14,200’ while we wait for a reasonable weather window to move up to high camp and have a crack at the summit. Hopefully the weekend will bring more favorable climbing weather. We’ll keep you posted either way.

Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

An RMI team ascending the fixed lines outside of 14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: Brent Okita

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CPT Quantock and Team: Love seeing the pics and progress ya’all are making! Keep up the good work sir, the whole Bison team is rooting for you! Others in the… read more

Posted by: Mike D'Ippolito on 5/21/2015 at 12:42 pm


Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Climb to Camp 2

Posted by: Leon Davis, Lindsay Fixmer, Bridget Belliveau | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,800'

Wednesday, May 20th 2:38 pm PDT

Writing to you all from vibrating tents at 9800 ft. tonight. The team had a fine walk up from 7800 ft. this morning in decent weather, but the looming sense of something surrounding us was ever present. We started to make our camp as the winds picked up, snow falling and visibility waning. It was hard work for 3 or 4 hours before we had good walls and I’ve never seen the team work so well together - all are hard workers. We are hunkered down now and eagerly await what tomorrow brings. 

Hope you all are warm!
RMI Guide Leon Davis and team

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It got chilly in PA, and then I remembered what you are experiencing and it suddenly didn’t seem so bad here.  Hope you are staying warm and doing what you… read more

Posted by: Jenny on 5/21/2015 at 9:54 pm

Sounds exciting!! Thinking of you all, and hope YOU are warm!

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Posted by: Laura Bryson on 5/21/2015 at 5:03 pm


Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Ready to Go

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

Thursday, May 21st 10:02 am PDT

We got the call this morning at breakfast that base camp is clear and the light is green. We are on the plane now ready for an adventure of a lifetime!  Wish us luck and send us love. 
Our next dispatch will be from Mt. McKinley
Rock and Roll!

Wednesday, May 20th 4:18 pm PDT

Our team is doing great up here in Talkeetna, AK.
We are swamped in gear, doing an inspection that would make the FAA proud. Nothing is going unseen and I am proud to announce that everyone is passing with flying colors. Overall I couldn’t be more happy with the first impressions of what should be a strong team. Let’s hope it stays that way. One never knows what can happen on Mt. McKinley.  Prayers for good morning weather for flying tomorrow.

Bye for now from Talkeetna.
RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, and Andy Hildebrand and Crew

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

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Climbing with you in spirit! Stay warm Shannon!  Love, M

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Posted by: Betsy Brand on 5/22/2015 at 6:04 am

Good luck with the weather, hope you have a spectacular and memorable climb.  And a safe one!

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Posted by: John on 5/21/2015 at 10:14 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Take a Rest Day at 11,200’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard, Robby Young | May 20, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 20, 2015 - 12:07 am PT

We wanted to get up to 13,500’ to cache today, but the weather had other plans. Clouds and snow were moving quickly over the Polo Field and West Buttress above us, and gave us all the clues we needed to guess what would be going on at Windy Corner. After watching the trend for a couple of hours and not seeing any improvement, we decided to sit tight and take a tent day. Sure enough, around noon the wind direction shifted and brought strong, gusty winds to camp, along with a fair bit of snow. The team did the tent time triathlon, competing in three events: napping (best napping and longest), spades, and sport eating lunch food. By dinner, the clouds above us started to break and the sun peaked through. We’ve got 6 inches of nice new fluffy snow, and the view as we crawled into our sleeping bags was sparkly and beautiful. We’ll add some more sleep hours, and hope that we wake up to conducive conditions for getting our cache in tomorrow!

RMI Guides Pete, Josh, Robby, and team

An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Rob Lindner

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Matt sounds like you are having a lot of fun. I’m staying in touch with mom to see how you are doing. It has been raining here most of the… read more

Posted by: Marilyn Collura on 5/21/2015 at 6:56 pm

Beautiful photos that have been posted.  Hope the weather cooperates - stay safe and smart.  Love you Robby (mom)  :-)

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Posted by: Diane Young on 5/21/2015 at 4:33 am


Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Train at 14,200’ Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Billy Haas, Solveig Waterfall | May 20, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 19, 2015 - 11:40 pm PT

Our team had another great day today. We had leisurely breakfast and then headed back down to Windy Corner to retrieve our cached gear that we left there two days ago. The weather was cloudy with light snow, which made for a comfortable walking temperature.
After returning to camp, we reviewed fixed rope travel, in preparation for the next phase of our climb.
Once we felt polished on the fixed rope training, we spent a few hours building walls for our camp and erecting a cook tent. We’re quite comfortable now, here at the 14,200’ camp in Genet Basin.
We’ll play tomorrow by ear, based on the weather. If it is nice out, we’ll climb up above 16,000’ to establish a cache of supplies for our high camp. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll take advantage of a full rest day tomorrow to recover and acclimate. Either option will be a benefit to our team.
Everyone is doing well up here. We’ll keep you posted as to how tomorrow goes.
Cheers,

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

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Gods strength and care to each of you. May He strengthen you physically and mentally.

Love from Mom and Dad, Brian!

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Posted by: Duane Mycroft on 5/20/2015 at 1:45 pm


Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Move to Camp 1

Posted by: Leon Davis, Lindsay Fixmer, Bridget Belliveau | May 20, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

May 29, 2015 - 9:34 pm PT

Good day-

We are dispatching from a crowded Camp 1 this evening. We had a pleasant four hour walk today under cloudy skies on the main flow of the Kahiltna. We had a strong performance from the team and we plan to bump our camp up to 9,800’ tomorrow morning. It looks like some weather is coming in so we might get some snow tonight. Here’s to hoping we don’t and we will talk to you all from Camp 2!

RMI Guide Leon Davis

An RMI Alaska Seminar Team navigating the glacier.  Photo: Kel Rossiter

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The Millers and I followed Jenny’s safe return to State College via IM.  With this daily blog, you don’t even seem thousands of miles away.  Crazy world.  Made dinner for… read more

Posted by: Judith Kenyon on 5/20/2015 at 4:02 pm

Glad to hear the team is doing so well!

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Posted by: Laura Bryson on 5/20/2015 at 3:28 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
14,410' - 12300
Five Day Summit Climb
5/11 - 5/15/2015
14,410' - Summit
Four Day Summit Climb
5/13 - 5/16/2015
14,410' - 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

Recent Images

  • 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
  • An RMI Alaska Seminar Team navigating the glacier.  Photo: Kel Rossiter
  • Prayer flags fly at Everest Base Camp with Pumori summit behind.  Photo: Jeff Martin
  • Camp at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The view from Kahiltna Base Camp.  Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • The RMI Posh tent set up at 14,000 ft Camp.  Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • Climbing Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection
  • The Summit Ridge of Radio Tower. RMI Photo Collection
  • View from Ski Hill on Mt. McKinley.  RMI Photo Collection
  • An RMI Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier. RMI Photo Collection
  • The May 17th RMI Team ascending the Emmons Shoulder at 13,000 ft en route to the summit.  Photo: Zeb Blais
  • The RMI Four Day Summit Climb Team on the summit of Mt. Rainier May 17th.  Photo: Brent Okita
  • RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos ascends Big Arapiles in Little Switzerland, Alaska. Photo: Bridget Schletty
  • RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos looks across the Pika Glacier towards the Trolls, from the summit of Big Arapiles. Photo: Bridget Schletty
  • An RMI team ascending the upper slopes of Mt. Rainier. Photo: Brent Okita
  • An RMI team's 11K Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The May 14th Alaska Seminar team poses for a photo while taking a break from packing. Photo: Leon Davis