June 3, 2021
Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 6:15 pm PT
Good afternoon! This is RMI Guide Eric Frank calling on June 3rd from the summit of Denali, the highest point in North America. We are up here on a beautiful afternoon, in-and-out of the clouds. Sometimes we can see 100 miles; sometimes we can only see our climbing boots. We had an awesome climb today. Started off a little chilly in the shade, but all-in-all it has been a wonderful day of climbing. We are enjoying 15 minutes on top right now. It is about 5:15 local time. We are going to pack up and head downhill where we should be back between 9 and 10 pm tonight. Thanks everyone for following along. Friends and family- I am sure you’ll be happy to hear from your respective individuals in a few days. Our hope is to move down to a lower elevation, thicker air and catch a plane to the land of burgers and beer within a couple of days. Thanks for following along. Bye.
RMI Guide Eric Frank calls from the Denali summit!
Enjoy the peace and wonder of your celebratory lap down mountain.
Love ya, proud of ya - period.
The Old Man
Posted by: Shawn Dalgleish on 6/5/2021 at 6:35 pm
Awesome Job Eric!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/5/2021 at 2:50 am
June 3, 2021
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 11:47 pm PT
The team moved to Denali's 17K Camp today through tough winds. We left camp early to blue skies and cold air as we headed up the fixed lines. The top of the fixed lines yielded increased wind, and we quickly donned our hard shells. As we climbed further up the West Buttress, we pushed through more ferocious wind and scattered clouds. Thankfully, as we rolled into camp the clouds abated and we are left hoping the weather holds for our summit push tomorrow.
E-L-L-I-O-T & Team!
Denali Rules: P = m x v
(summit) Momentum = (team) Mass x Velocity (of its heart)
Stay present; enjoy your ride up and down that glacial coaster!
Un pour tous et tous pour un!
Athos, Porthos & Aramis
Posted by: Shawn Dalgleish on 6/3/2021 at 6:34 pm
Elliot and team
Our positive thoughts are coming your way for a successful climb to the summit.
You’ve got this!
Mom and Dad Campos
Posted by: Susan Campos on 6/3/2021 at 11:58 am
June 2, 2021
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 10:48 pm PT
A fresh few inches of snow covered camp this morning as we waited for the sun to warm us up. We slowly rolled out of our sleeping bags and ate a leisurely paced blueberry pancake breakfast. The day was spent preparing for our move to 17,000' Camp tomorrow. We sorted our gear into summit gear and gear we can leave here at 14,000' Camp as well as planned our food for our summit push. The afternoon was full of movie watching and sport eating, a favorite Denali pastime. After dinner and philosophical discussions, we all tucked into our tents to be rested for the coming days ahead.
Let’s go James!!!!! You are such an inspiration.
Get down safe, can’t wait to hear all about it!
Posted by: Thomas on 6/4/2021 at 7:20 am
Cheering you on Norm!!!
What an adventure!!
Prayers and lots of enthusiasm for you and the group!!!
Positive thoughts going your way!!
Love Laura & Mike
Posted by: Laura on 6/3/2021 at 10:57 am
June 1, 2021
Monday, May 31, 2021 - 11:09 pm PT
Sunday, May 30th, started out clear and cold but quickly warmed up as the sun hit our camp. The good weather meant moral was high in 14,000' Camp as everyone who was acclimated and ready to go started to climb towards High Camp at 17,200'. We, of course, being new to this high elevation stayed in camp and watched the conga line turn into a log jam at the base of the fixed lines. We made good use of our day by brushing up on our fixed line and running belay techniques. At the end of the day a well worn trail was stomped in by the uphill traffic and left us feeling optimistic about our own plans to cache at 16,200'.
Today (May 31) the team braved a cold morning in order to get a head start out of camp. We climbed up the fixed lines and cached at 16,250' on the West Buttress. The afternoon turned into a scorcher on the way down as the solar energy made it feel like 90 degrees outside. We returned to camp and had delicious burritos for dinner.
Congratulations Norm and your team! Stay safe and enjoy, can’t wait to see the pics and hear the stories!
Posted by: Linda Hill on 6/3/2021 at 8:55 pm
Elliot - looks like an incredible adventure!! Hope you and the team stay safe and warm. Keep on trucking and enjoy the views!
Posted by: Alex Thornton on 6/1/2021 at 8:22 pm
May 30, 2021
Saturday, May 29, 2021 - 11:35 pm PT
Sleeping in was mandatory this morning as we waited for the sun to hit camp. Rest was the name of the game today as a storm laid siege on the mountain. Wind battered the tents with occasional snow as we all practiced the art of not getting bored. We had a delicious and grand dinner which devolved into (surprisingly well informed) debates on which Disney characters were best. The weather will hopefully improve tomorrow and we’ll be able to get up and stretch our legs.
Such an exciting adventure. Go NORM! Looking forward to seeing more photos and hearing your stories. Stay safe, my cousin. :)
Posted by: Kathy Leslie on 6/1/2021 at 4:40 pm
Ptaying you all up and down and sunny no storms, sure-footedness. Love to Norm, from Uncle Kaz too
Posted by: Old aunt Karen on 6/1/2021 at 9:10 am
May 29, 2021
Saturday, May 29, 2021 - 11:00am PT
After tucking in last night to blowing winds and less than optimal conditions, we awoke this morning to bluebird skies and generally improved weather. The team wasted no time digging out our camp and getting settled in to 14k life. Most of the day was spent making a quick lap to pick up our cache by Windy Corner and building snow block walls around the tents.The day ended shortly after 8pm.
Here in Genet Basin the temps drop quickly once the sun falls behind the nearest ridgeline and we all retreated to our tents to climb into our sleeping bags.
Thanks for following along with us!
RMI Guide Eric Frank & Team
Rob, the expedition photos are incredible. Excited for you! What an awesome challenge and reward! I’m at sea level battling 74 degree nights, 84 days, 12-17mph wind off the Gulf, Mosquitos like hummingbirds and prepping for Indy 500. Can’t wait to hear about your climb! Hold Fast! TS
Posted by: Thomas Stephens on 5/30/2021 at 7:02 am
Sounds like you battled a frigid night. Love hearing about your journey. One step at a time!
Posted by: Allison Santana on 5/29/2021 at 6:13 pm
May 28, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 10:37pm PT
An uncertain forecast greeted us this morning as we packed up to move to Camp 3. We ate breakfast in a windy snow storm, but in a stroke of luck the clouds lifted as we climbed away from camp. Our good fortune was tragically short lived. By the time we got to Windy Corner, the wind was gusting so hard our sleds were blowing sideways. Sharp crampons, good footwork, and strong legs got us through our obstacle. After picking up a few items from our cache, we pushed through two feet of fresh snow all the way to Camp 3, at 14,300 feet.
We built camp in a mild blizzard and quickly hopped into our sleeping bags. Today was a tough day. Days like these are when you really earn your chance to be on the mountain. We’re proud of how our team performed and got the job done.
RMI Guide Eric Frank & Team
Go Heidi! Two feet of fresh. Brutal!
Posted by: Steve Christie on 5/28/2021 at 8:43 pm
Ooooh, I bet those sleeping bags felt good! Hope your weather improves for the next part of your climb!
Posted by: Maxine Kay on 5/28/2021 at 7:30 pm
May 27, 2021
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 10:05 pm PT
Today we mastered the classic mountaineering skills of reading, napping and making breakfast last three hours. All part of a well rounded rest day.
It was sunny, but windy for most of the day so we spent our day hanging out in the tents and letting our bodies recover from the toil of the last few days.
Tomorrow we plan to move up to 14,000' Camp and get in position for the upper mountain.
We are watching updates Heidi tracking your progress one day at a time! Stay safe and sending love way up to your altitude!
Posted by: Maxine Kay on 5/27/2021 at 7:52 am
May 26, 2021
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 12:01 am PT
What do motorcycles and squirrels have in common? They’re both steep hills we climbed on our way to cache our gear at 13,420 feet! From our cache we gained our first views of the fixed lines up to 17,000' Camp and the Messner Coulior. We descended with light packs enjoying the sunshine with beautiful views of the lower Kahiltna flowing south and green tundra stretching as far west into the distance as the eye can see.
DAMN, hope your were able to fit your snowboard in your pack; STUNNER!
Definitely rarified air.
Let the journey be the focus.
Belgian Ales @ Hopleaf await.
I just can’t grasp why you haven’t been texting me lots of pictures - ha!
Love ya, my Brother
Posted by: Shawn Dalgleish on 5/26/2021 at 5:05 pm
WOW Heidi! We think we spotted you in this most recent photo! I shared your whole expedition thus far during homeroom with the third grade. They loved it.
I hope you packed enough chapstick. That wind looks fierce. Keep on doing awesome! Kirby says you are a BEAST!
Posted by: Allison santana on 5/26/2021 at 10:41 am
May 25, 2021
Monday, May 24, 2021 - 10:24 pm PT
We're finally fully moved into 11,000' Camp. After a four hour lap to pick up our cache at 9,400 we have all our food and fuel with us. To celebrate to had pudding for dessert after a tasty meal of rice and curry. The weather looks good for tomorrow and we are hoping to carry some gear up to Windy Corner.
Please tell Norm that everything is ok at home and I am well. Thanks! Valerie
Posted by: Valerie Cognetto on 5/31/2021 at 11:14 am
We kidnapped your wife for the weekend, it will cost you a weekend of camping out at a country music festival, lol. Seriously- we are so very proud and astounded by your accomplishment. Norm- you are amazing and we wish you a safe return home to all who love you. xo
Posted by: Allison and Jimmy on 5/30/2021 at 7:06 am