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Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team On Their Way Home

Our final day on Denali began just an hour after the second-to-last day ended.  We were up at 1 AM and walking South by three.  The hoped for full-on freeze didn’t quite come through.  While the glacier surface was a little crunchy under the snowshoes, one still sank in a bit more than we’d have preferred.  But half a freeze is better than none when there are crevasse bridges to be crossed.  And we crossed about a thousand of them.  We did have a few scares as team members broke through to wiggle their legs in the void before hastily crawling topside again.  I think all would agree that the morning commute to the airstrip was stressful, brutally tough with big packs, and magically stupendous in terms of scenery and the feeling of accomplishment when it was completed.  We were at basecamp no more than ten minutes before the big red beautiful K2 ski otters swooped in and scooped us up at 9:45 AM.  The rest of the day was spent in glorious summer down in Talkeetna.  We changed into cotton and sandals and sorted stinky gear.  Our celebration dinner at the West Rib was a blast.  We laughed and toasted for hours.  A nightcap at the Fairview and a walk down to the Susitna to see the mountains at midnight made for a perfect ending to a perfect trip. 
Thanks for following… we’ll do it all again sometime. 

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Off the Mountain

RMI Guide Dave Hahn has checked in from Talkeetna.  The team arrived at the Kahiltna airstrip early this morning and clear skies from Talkeetna allowed the K2 Aviation planes to pick up the crew and return them to Talkeenta.
Dave will send a dispatch later today on the conclusion of their expedition.

Congratulations to the Denali June 16th Expedition!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congrats are definitely in order. Now your loved ones can relax!  Mom of Matt Brennan

Posted by: Janet Brennan on 7/6/2017 at 8:53 am

Congrats to everyone on the team!! Proud of you Ruben!!!

Posted by: Christina Perez on 7/5/2017 at 2:59 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Descend to 8,000’

July 4, 2017
It was the calm and sunny morning we’d been hoping for at 14,000 ft today.  Which certainly made it easier to get up and get sorted for going downhill.  Independence Day at 14,000’ Camp was so nice that we lingered in camp until just after noon.  Then it was walking down, hauling sleds around Windy (but not actually windy) Corner, across the Polo Field, down Squirrel and Motorcycle hills and into 11,000 ft.  We dug up our long lost cache there and shifted gears.  We swapped out crampons for snowshoes and ice axes for ski poles and the got trudging down toward the Kahiltna Glacier.  It was stunning to come around the corner and to have the entire glacier laid out below us.  We dodged s few crevasses on ski hill and reached our old camp at 8,000’ by 7:30.  Just in time to throw up tents, enjoy a picnic dinner, watch nature’s best fireworks show and to hit the hay for a few hours.  We’ll likely be up at 1 AM and walking by 3 in our quest for travel in cold conditions.  We want the glacier well-frozen for the last bit to the airstrip. 
I read the blog comments to the team at breakfast this morning (we don’t surf the web up here, the comments were cut and pasted into a simple text email to us) and the crew was very happy to hear from so many great friends and loved ones. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Matt-Congrats to you and your team for reaching the summit!  What a tremendous accomplishment!  You’re now in the home stretch.  Good luck getting down safely, and can’t wait to hear your stories.  The Schlesner’s

Posted by: Scott Schlesner on 7/5/2017 at 1:04 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Descend to 14,000’ Camp

July 3, 2017

In a perfect world, it would have been sunny and calm at high camp the morning after our summit. Then we could have packed at our leisure and enjoyed morning coffee. Instead, it was a surprise storm with annoying gusts of cold air and the sun caught up in a ragged and ugly cloud cap. We packed and ate anyway and eventually got walking down the West Buttress at noon. The weather was actually worse at high camp than along our descent route. We had a smooth trip down the fixed ropes into an unexpected snowstorm in Genet Basin where we pitched our 14,000 ft camp again. We’ll recover here for a night and give the storm a chance to quit before our journey to 8,000 ft tomorrow. The forecasts still suggest that the weather will improve… some day.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

JW: Seems like the weather making you know you are earning it. Blue ice spectacular. By the time you read this you’ll be safely at 8K with some smooth groomers to the bottom. Enjoy everyone and be safe! Congrats again and God Bless America!!

Posted by: Kevin on 7/5/2017 at 10:19 am

It’s never over ‘til it’s over…stay focused..

Posted by: don brennan on 7/5/2017 at 6:54 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Return to 17,000’ Camp after Summit

July 2, 2017
This was THE day after all.  There wasn’t any question that we’d be able to make it work once we saw conditions on the South Peak at 6:30 this morning.  Yes, it was plain that the storm was still with us, with much cloud in every direction out in Alaska, but it was all below us and the winds were light.  We ate, geared up and got moving out of camp by 8:45.  As anticipated, we went from a sunny camp to a shady “autobahn” (the long steep traverse to Denali Pass) but the climbing was just hard enough to keep us warm.  At the pass, we caught a little wind -which we tended to walk in and out of all day- but it was never more than about 10 mph.  We climbed the steep rolls to the “Zebra Rocks” and then the broad upper bowl of the Harper Glacier.  We went past the Archdeacon’s Tower and crossed the football field at 19,500 ft.  Then it was up Pig Hill to the spectacular summit ridge.  There wasn’t much question that we’d make the final 30 min cruise along the spine to the tippy top.
It took us eight hours to get to the highest point in North America.  And then we liked it so much we stayed an hour.  Our descent was free of any complications -all had saved enough energy to make it down safe, with no slips or stumbles.  We were back in camp by 9:30 PM and ate dinner in the late evening sunshine… amazed at what we’d accomplished together.  Now it is after midnight and the sun is around the bend, so good night to all from 17,000 feet in Alaska from a lucky crew of climbers. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Jim - what an awesome once-in-a-lifetimeachievement! All your hard training has paid off! We are all extremely proud of you!

Safe way down the mountain. We look forward to seeing you at sea level soon.

Tha Hanigs.

Posted by: Marco Hanig on 7/4/2017 at 4:20 pm

Jim,  Awesome does not do your feat justice.  It is- as you are- in a class by itself.  We much look forward to celebrating your triumph around Kraken rum drinks at the Martin Box.  Meanwhile, hurry home!  Your bowled over pals at sea level.  Peter and Carol

Posted by: Peter Krogh on 7/4/2017 at 7:26 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Summit!

July 2, 2017 6:32 pm PST

Hey, this is Dave Hahn, guiding the last RMI Denali trip for 2017. We’re on the summit. We are up top on a beautiful day. Everybody’s climbing strong. There are ten out of our original twelve, and we’re quite proud of ourselves and feeling very lucky. It’s a beautiful day, and we’re going to climb safe and strong back down to High Camp and then give you a dispatch to let you know we got there safe. Thanks for following.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls from the Denali summit!

On The Map

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Beautiful!  Congratulations! Comedown safely

Posted by: Bettie S on 7/3/2017 at 9:15 pm

Absolutely amazing!! So so proud and excited for you all!! Thinking of you on your way down and have a safe climb! Cheers to you all!

Posted by: Emily Murphy on 7/3/2017 at 6:26 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn and Team Rest and Acclimate at 17,000’

July 1, 2017 10:53 pm PST

As expected, we took a final rest/acclimatization day at 17,000 ft.  The weather was very much in the same pattern we’ve been experiencing, some cloud, some sun, some breeze… All in all not bad for a “storm”. We had surprisingly good views down the 47 mile length of the Kahiltna Glacier and all the way down the Alaska Range to the Tordrillos.  We did the usual things to prepare for a big day… eat, sleep, drink and strategize.  Dinner in our high altitude posh pit was relaxed and comfortable with sun filtering through the tent wall. We are enjoying far milder conditions than many Denali 2017 climbers with lows being just a balmy -5 to -10 F.  Conditions at the moment (10 PM) are perfect making us very hopeful for tomorrow. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team


Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good luck Jim and all of Team Hanh!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Posted by: Fredman Family on 7/2/2017 at 12:28 pm


Good luck on the climb! we are all excited as you get closer and closer to the summit.

-Blake Schlesner

Posted by: Blake Schlesner on 7/2/2017 at 11:10 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team At 17K Camp Keeping an Eye on Conditions

July 1, 2017 12:18 a.m. PST

This time we did it.  But it wasn’t easy by any means.  As usual, there was murk and cloud around at 5 AM, but we could see the West Buttress and we couldn’t see signs of big wind blowing.  We packed up and ate a last low altitude breakfast.  The team was climbing by 7:45 in light snow.  We didn’t have the perfectly packed trail this time and in the poor light of the mild shadowy whiteout, it sometimes felt as if we were climbing by Braille.  At the top of the fixed lines, the crest of the Buttress wasn’t universally friendly.  When the sun prevailed, we were too hot and when the wind and cloud ruled, it could be kind of raw and mean.  What was definitely friendly was crossing paths with Mike Haugen’s victorious descending team.  Climbing Washburn’s Thumb at 16,600 feet was strenuous and exhilarating.  The airy ridge walk after that felt slightly less airy with cloud filling the void on either side of the crest.  It took us 8.5 hours, with some glitches and minor setbacks, but we got up to high camp.  The weather improved at 17,200 ft as the clouds fell far below us and the sun made everything comfy and magical as the evening progressed.  We’ll likely rest tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be looking out early to check conditions. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

After this,it’s all downhill- literally. Dad

Posted by: Don brennan on 7/2/2017 at 8:58 am

After this it’s all downhill- literally. Dad

Posted by: Don brennan on 7/2/2017 at 8:56 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Hold on at 14,000’ Camp

The “moving up” picture wasn’t all that clear this morning at 5 AM.  Nor was it at 6 or 7 or 8 or 9.  There was plenty of cloud about and some signs of wind on the ridges where we wanted to be.  By the time the weather had improved, it was our judgement that we’d be getting into high camp at a later hour than we’d prefer.  We traded the physical difficulty of moving up for the mental difficulty of sitting tight for one more day at 14 K.
One more day of rest, one more day of acclimatization, one more day of anticipation. 
We managed it just fine.  Ultimately the clouds closed in on 14,000’ Camp and took away our views.  We had sporadic radio contact with Mike Haugen’s RMI team as they felt their way up through higher clouds toward Denali’s summit. 
Tomorrow is our day to move!

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Team Hahn - our family loves getting your posts.  We are sending strong vibes for clear skies and low winds for the next push! 

The Tannenbaum’s - flatlanders from NY

Posted by: Jeff t on 6/29/2017 at 10:47 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Take a Rest Day at 14,000’ Camp

June 28, 2017
We waited until the sun came around today to get out of the tents.  That made breakfast a little more like brunch, but everybody was happy to wait for Avery’s legendary blueberry pancakes.  Weather high on Denali was unsettled, making us a little concerned for our friends at 17,000 who’d hoped to summit today,  By midday things stabilized a little and we had a relaxing afternoon in mostly sunny and calm conditions.  Hannah McGowan led a well attended high altitude yoga session for the restless.  The rest of us rested and read.  We’re hoping for climbing weather tomorrow. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team
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