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RMI Expeditions Blog


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Compose Rest Day Poetry

May 25, 2016 - 11:47 p.m. PDT

The morning sun never showed at all, rather than views of “The Great One,” all we saw was the inside of a ping pong ball.
Blowing snow and midday brunch, spinach and egg burritos took us well past lunch.
Life at 14 is cut and dry, we’ve prepped, we’ve cached, and we’re ready to fly.
Our eyes are fixed on the buttress above, we were surprised this evening by a tent dwelling dove.
Coming high pressure may not be our best friend, but at least we’ll have some views again.
Toasted pop tarts keep our spirits light, we hope the summit is soon in our sights.

~~A poetic collaboration of RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, and Robby Young

On The Map

If Smores pop tarts are what you guys had,
Life at the top,
Ain’t half bad.

Wishing you all a continued safe (and amazing) journey! (*Hi, H!!*)

Posted by: Yogita on 5/26/2016 at 12:58 pm

Lisa: The “porch crowd” eagerly awaiting your dash to the top .. tried to encourage George and Rob to start training .. not much success, so far

Posted by: Peter on 5/26/2016 at 11:47 am


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Cruise into Camp at 11,200’

May 25, 2016 - 11:14 p.m. PDT

The walk up to camp at 11,200’ was our easiest of the trip. Less than 3 hours of climbing with reasonable loads today was a very nice break for the team. Everyone was all smiles coming into camp just after noon. We even moved into a recently abandoned camp so we didn’t have to work on building camp. Our cache is a mere 30 minute walk from here, so picking it up on our back carry tomorrow will be even easier. Which is perfect after all the hard work everyone has been doing. And of course, the Posh Tent remains the center of activity and social life for us here on the mountain.

That’s all for now from camp at 11,200.’
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling and the team

On The Map

Hello Dawn and team,
It’s great to hear the weather is cooperating and you are making steady progress upward. You are in great hands with Brent! I can’t help but think of his stories last year when we were all together on Rainier!
Wishing you all the best from the not so great mountaineering province of Prince Edward Island, Canada.
I’ll be back in Canmore, Alberta next week and back into the Canadian rockies climbing away dreaming of bigger peakes like Denali !

Darcy

Posted by: Darcy Murnaghan on 5/26/2016 at 7:08 pm

Looking good. Thanks for all the updates.

Posted by: Lori Golding on 5/26/2016 at 6:36 pm


Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Sort Gear in Talkeetna

May 25, 2016 - 8:59 p.m. PDT

Hello from Talkeetna! Today was spent sorting through our gear in the K2 Aviation airplane hangar. We’re all getting to know each other and we’re beginning to feel like a team. The luggage is lined up and we’re hoping for nice weather to fly into base camp in the morning. In the meantime, we’ll fill our stomachs and stay hydrated for the days ahead.

RMI Guide Tyler Jones and team


Mt. Rainier: Muir Seminar Summits!

RMI Guides Elias de Andres Martos and Ben Liken led the Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. The teams reached the crater shortly before 8:00 a.m. Elias reported beautiful weather, a cloud deck at 7,500’, chilly temperatures, and a light breeze. The team will spend a little time on the summit before beginning their descent to Camp Muir. The Seminar will spend tonight at Camp Muir and descend back to Ashford tomorrow.

Congratulations to this week’s seminar team!


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Carry to 16,000’

May 25, 2016 - 1:04 am PT

For the first time in several days, the skies were clear above and below us this morning. With those clear skies came COLD temps. We let the sun warm the tents and us, and then set our sights on the fixed lines for a light carry of personal gear. The sun kept it warm while we moved, but the temps stayed cold and we kept the breaks short as they quickly turned chilly. Our group moved really well, and with no other traffic around, we were quickly at the top of the lines, sitting on the West Buttress proper. Our later departure, and light but cold winds convinced us to cache our loads there, and head back down. As has been the recent pattern, as we descended the winds above built, and soon evidence of strong winds was showing on the summit, and moving down to the Buttress as well. We were happy to be back in camp relaxing. The next weather system is forecasted to come in tonight and tomorrow, so we’ll enjoy the comfort of our tents. At this point, we are watching for our window and are perfectly set up to go for the summit when the opportunity presents. That might mean a touch more waiting, but we are ok with that.

Best from 14,

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and team

On The Map

Well team u “got this” the summit is so close, man that slope looks like 38-40 degrees angle glad to hear the weather is on ur side rest up for the finally “Ooh Rah” say hello to our friend L R climb on and be safe. Best XO The Bolomey’s

Posted by: Joe&Patty; on 5/26/2016 at 3:10 am

Impressive feat to summit West Buttress during a break in the weather. Patrice tells me that Thursday through Sunday will bring favorable weather; so, maybe you’ll make good progress toward your goal of summiting. I am hoping and praying that you are successful because it’s occurred to me that another climb up Denali might be in your future if you don’t succeed this time. I couldn’t take the anxiety again.

Upwards and onwards!

Posted by: leanne on 5/25/2016 at 1:09 pm


Putting It All Together: RMI Guide Hannah McGowan Checks In from Her AMGA Rock Guide Course

Geese gabble on the banks of the Crooked River as it winds around the cliffs of lithified volcanic ash that make up our classroom here in Smith Rock State Park, Oregon. It’s day nine of ten on the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Rock Guide Course, a program focused on multi-pitch rock guiding and rescue techniques in fourth and fifth class terrain. This course is the first step to becoming certified by the AMGA in one of three guiding disciplines - rock, alpine and skiing.

In the days leading up to this we have worked through systems on the ground and on the cliff, and have guided each other while maintaining a play-by-play discussion to ensure that each participant learns from the mistakes and successes of the others. As participants, we are here to transition from competent recreational climbers to facilitators of climbing in a professional setting. There are myriad new techniques and subtleties that I have been exposed to in the last eight days. 

Today is framed as a mock exam in which participants are put in the driver’s seat for a few pitches of climbing and descending. I do my best to put it all together - to select the best new tool in my tool box and implement it successfully. Throughout the exercise I notice how much more comfortable and confident I am with this process since the first time I was given the reins only a few days ago. I now feel equipped to enter the realm beyond recreational rock climbing. 

My participation in this course was made possible by the RMI Guide Grant, and I cannot express my gratitude enough.

RMI Guide Hannah McGowan


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Cache Gear and Ready for Move Up

May 24, 2016 - 10:15 pm PT

At 6:00am the guides were just wrestling with the thought of unzipping from warm cocoon of down that so wonderfully keeps the cold outside at bay. A cold front had come thru and the winds had picked up as well. At that hour we didn’t know what to expect from the weather. Frost was sticking to the ceiling and walls of the tent, making any attempt to get up unpleasant. This was our first cold morning of the trip.
As it turned out, the sun had finally come out in all its glory, quite contrary to the forecast. For the first time the Alaska range was out in all its glory. We had a great walk down to pick up our cache, and unlike yesterday, had some relatively light packs to shoulder. We were actually able to put a new cache in above us at 10,000’, which will make our back carry in two days pretty easy.
Back at camp, with the tortellini dinner behind us, we’re back in our down cocoons as the sun has dropped over the mountains to our west and a chill has returned to camp.
Tomorrow, 11,200’ camp!

Cheers from the team at 9600’. We’re all doing well.
RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map


Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Return to Talkeetna

The May 3rd Denali Expedition led by RMI Guides Mike Walter, Billy Haas and Blake Votilla made the difficult decision to end their waiting game at 14,000’ on Denali and start their descent.  On Monday they packed up camp and began heading for Kahiltna Base Camp.  On Tuesday afternoon K2 Aviation was able to land on the glacier and load up the team.  Mike checked in from Talkeetna yesterday afternoon.  We are glad they are back safely and hope they all enjoyed their Denali adventure.

The weather was not with you, but your energy and spirit to summit was.  Well done team! 
Congratulations brother Dave - Love Jules

Posted by: Julie Beckner on 5/26/2016 at 8:18 am

Well Rogan is back home, I’m so sorry that you guys were not able to continue. But what you did,  was not to be sneezed at, so congrats for getting so far up anyway. What a unique experience you all had never to be forgotten. Best wishes, Rogans Mom.

Posted by: Daphne carew on 5/26/2016 at 3:35 am


Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Visit the Famous Edge of the World

May, 23, 2016 - 10:05 p.m. PDT

Fully prepared for Denali Storm Daryl overnight, we were pleasantly surprised to enjoy a quiet night and an even more beautiful morning. While cold and calm here at 14 Camp this morning, the upper mountain continued to impress with strong winds and an impressive lenticular cloud covering the summit. Our sights turned from climbing and caching, to rest and rejuvenation. We said goodbye to our friends Mike Walter and crew as they began their long descent back to civilization, and headed out to the famous “Edge of the World,” a must see for any climber lucky enough to call 14 camp home. The views were ‘out of this world,’ as always, looking out over the cloud-filled lower Kahiltna Glacier, 7,000’ below. Quesadilla Supremes nourished our rested bodies this evening before the setting sun coaxed us back into the warmth of our tents. Tomorrow, our waiting game continues as we look toward a weather window that will allow us entrance to the upper slopes of the tallest mountain in North America.

Goodnight from RMI Guides Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, and Jess Matthews and team.

On The Map

Hi Lisa& team VanDemventer wow unbelievable picturesque breathtaking views, hope ur window of opportunity happens today to take u to the top, it’s been a good tough journey I’m sure be safe to all and climb on. Xo the BOLOMEY’S ⛷

Posted by: Joe&Patty; on 5/25/2016 at 3:14 am

Great break in the weather for all as you acclimatize and get those red blood cell numbers up there.

Hitesh. Thinking about you and all goes well at SCH

Posted by: Rod Duboid on 5/24/2016 at 9:06 pm


Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Climb to 9,600’

May 23, 2016 - 9:39 p.m. PDT

The fickle nature of the weather on the mountain lately was again evident as the wet snowfall of yesterday had passed leaving us with cooler temps and a bit better visibility. Today we even got some nice views of this wonderful part of the Alaska range. Our big challenge this morning was Ski Hill, our steepest hill yet. Leaving a cache of food and fuel buried at our camp here at 7,800’, our loads were a little more reasonable today, but Ski Hill still proved to be a bear. Hips and shoulders certainly got worked today, but I’m excited that everyone was up to the task and we arrived at our next camp with plenty enough spare energy to build a good camp.

I’m continually impressed with the crew. Their tenacity during the tough stretches and enthusiasm upon reaching camp bodes well for our having a great trip.

Life is good at 9,600’ Camp!
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling and the team

On The Map

Hey Dawn! Tell Brent to post more pictures! :) I am pulling for you and the team from back here in Illinois!!!
Dave

Posted by: Dave on 5/25/2016 at 3:23 am

Paul,
Hopefully all the evenings you spent wandering around Chicago with Izzy’s 50 lb dog food bag prepped you for this! Mike, hope you are having a blast as well.  Love you and miss you!

Steph

Posted by: Stephanie on 5/24/2016 at 8:18 pm

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