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Mt. McKinley: Mike Walter & Team Begin Their Journey in Alaska

Welcome to the start of RMI’s Denali climbing season!  All of the team members have arrived in Anchorage, and we’re on our way to the small town of Talkeetna.  Talkeetna is the main access point for climbers heading into the Alaska Range.

We’ll start the day tomorrow with breakfast at the historic Talkeetna Roadhouse, and then spend the bulk of the day packing equipment for our expedition. We’ll also check in with the National Park Service and go through their informative orientation slide show.

That’s it for now. We’ll keep you posted with another update tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & team

On The Map

Goodluck & Godspeed

Mar, Sherry & Robert

Posted by: Coffee a la Mar on 5/9/2013 at 9:49 am

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Gearing Up in Talkeetna

Yesterday was spent at K2 Aviation’s hangar, putting the finishing touches on our packing and preparing.  The weather is beautiful herein Talkeetna, and we fully expect to be able to fly into the Alaska Range today.  Hopefully the next time we touch base will be from the Kahiltna Glacier.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Mike…Wish I were with you there as planned yet so grateful I get to return to Rainier in four weeks aiming this time to get these boots and this bootie on top…Thx for all your support last Sept - Health now A+...Godspeed for best expedition ever…Walter (Sorries if message redudant…system seemed to kick first one out)

Posted by: waltero glover on 5/10/2013 at 10:37 am

Hey Eric,

Gerald here from Rainier last June.Good luck hope to see you on the Mt. I am Climbing with Brent leaving the 22nd…

Posted by: Gerald Flynn on 5/10/2013 at 8:32 am

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Arrive on the Mountain and Travel to Camp 2

Greetings from the Kahiltna Glacier. We had a great day yesterday, as we flew into Kahiltna Basecamp in the morning, prepped our gear, and started climbing. The weather was beautiful and the snow conditions were perfect for efficient travel. We took all of our gear to our first camp, at the confluence of the Kahiltna Glacier and the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, at the base of Ski Hill.

We started this morning with bagels & cream cheese, with bacon, before we packed up and started climbing. Leaving camp, Ski Hill provided the first (of many) up hills of our journey.  We climbed once again with great weather and snow conditions, hauling our heavy expedition loads on sleds and in our backpacks. With tired legs, sore shoulders, and tender hips, we arrived at our Camp 2, 9,400’ on the Kahiltna Glacier. A hearty dinner of Indian food filled our stomachs, along with plenty of hot drinks to rehydrate.

We’re in our tents now, looking forward to a restful night’s sleep. It’s snowing lightly, with no wind. We’re hoping for good weather tomorrow, and moving up to Camp 3, at 11,200’.  We’ll be in touch again soon with an update.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

On The Map

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Reach 11’ Camp

We’ve been enjoying good weather on the Kahiltna Glacier, and today was no different. After a trace of new snow overnight, we awoke to partly sunny skies. A breakfast of smoked salmon with bagels and cream cheese started off our day. After breakfast, we packed up camp and began the climb up towards Kahiltna Pass, en route to the 11k camp. We’re taking advantage of the good weather and making good progress so far. Tomorrow we’ll sleep in and take a rest day and prepare a cache of supplies to carry up around Windy Corner.
We’ll keep you posted on our next move. Until then, we’ll be resting…we’ve earned it.
Mike & team

On The Map

Happy helmet-wearing! Glad the weather’s cooperating. I think 42 down is “summit”.  xoxo, K2

Posted by: K2 Weller on 5/13/2013 at 7:09 pm

Mike…Best wishes for a great climb…Thx for all your support at Rainier last Sept…I return in four weeks - Summit this time hopefully !...Maybe see you…Godspeed…Walter…Hello to Kara if that’s who I saw in pic.

Posted by: walter glover on 5/13/2013 at 5:01 am

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Enjoy a Rest Day

We got a good night’s sleep last night, and even slept in until the sun warmed our tents. Then we indulged in a hearty brunch of eggs, bacon, hash browns, and plenty of coffee.

We took a much needed rest day today, and enjoyed lounging around in the sun. We also did some work, like building walls around our camp and improving our kitchen area, as well as preparing our equipment for our cache tomorrow. Barring poor weather, we will carry supplies up to around 13,600’ and then return to our camp for the night. Tomorrow will bring a much anticipated change, as we trade our snowshoes and trekking poles for crampons and ice axe. Motorcycle Hill, right out of camp will provide the first of many challenges tomorrow, we’ll let you know how it all plays out.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Acclimate at 11,000’

Hello again from the 11k camp on Denali!

We decided to take another day to rest and acclimate to the altitude. We spent most of the day lounging around, reading, listening music, napping, and telling lies, all the while getting stronger for our forays up higher.

The weather was cloudy, cooler, and windier today, and a trace of snow fell overnight. But as I lie in my sleeping bag typing this dispatch, a cloudless sky sits above us. We’re hoping for good weather tomorrow so we can carry supplies up to around 13,600’. We’ll stay in touch.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & team

Mike,  what did the blonde say when the guide blew in her ear?  Thanks for the refill.  Good Luck   John and Steve

Posted by: john riester on 5/14/2013 at 5:10 pm

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Cache Gear at 13,600’

We woke up early to a beautiful morning today: cloudless and calm, but very cold. After fueling up for the day with a good breakfast, we started up Motorcycle Hill in the shade, bundled in warm clothes. Our packs were loaded with supplies to cache up high. The weather couldn’t have cooperated much better for us today. After the initial chill on Motorcycle Hill and Squirrel Hill, the temperature was very comfortable on the Polo Fields and around Windy Corner to our cache sight at 13,600’.

We climbed and descended about 2,500 vertical feet today before arriving back at our camp at 11k. We had a big meal and plenty of fluids, and now we’re all horizontal for the night. Our next step will be to move camp to 14k. We’ll keep you abreast of our progress…

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Staying at 11K Camp Another Day

Well, we’re still at the 11,000’ camp below the West Buttress. The temperatures dropped and the winds picked up considerably today as a cold storm system is affecting Alaska.  Apparently, it’s snowing in Anchorage; that’s about 11,000’ lower altitude than our camp.  So yeah, it’s cold here.  But we’re all doing well.  Most of the day found us either in our sleeping bags in our tents, or in the cook tent, staying out of the wind and passing the time by reading, playing scrabble, and telling stories. We’re hoping the winds abate tomorrow and we are able to move camp up to 14,200’. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Wait Out a Storm at 11K Camp

Our team is hunkered down at the 11,000’ camp still, as the weather has progressed to become a pretty significant storm. Snow is falling and winds are howling as we sit tent bound for the majority of the day. Save for breakfast and dinner, and some quick forays to the bathroom, there is really no reason to leave the relative comfort of our tents today.

We’re all doing well, albeit a bit eager to go climbing. Hopefully the weather breaks soon so we can get up the the 14k camp.

That’s all the news from this end…

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Mt. McKinley: Waiting Game Continues at 11,000’

Another day goes by and we are still here at the 11k Camp. The winds have died down for the most part, but it is snowing and visibility is nearly zero. We’re still doing well, tent bound mostly. Hopefully the storm passes soon and we can move camp up higher.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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