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Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Finish Their Expedition

Thursday, June 20, 2013
The lower glacier was fully covered in fog when we turned in last night and to our surprise it had cleared completely by the time we decided to walk. The early morning light on the surrounding mountains and the waxing moon in the purple sky made an absolutely surreal walk out of the range. The team finished very strong, hitting the runway in style in the morning just as a pair of Otters hit the upper strip. Now in Talkeetna, the team is enjoying the comforts of reentry and in a few hours we are going to enjoy a big meal cooked over something more refined than a camp stove. What a treat!
  It is hard to believe that we are back in town already. Enjoying nearly perfect weather and a very strong team, we were able to take advantage of the weather windows and climb the route entirely by ourselves in quite reasonable conditions. Additionally if there was ever a team to handle some downtime and extra rest days with quality conversation, this was it. Yet the weather smiled upon us and our training and strength as a team really came together for an efficient ascent with great folks. Thanks again to everyone on the team for really rising to the challenge of Denali and matching themselves perfectly to their environment for a safe, successful climb. It has been a pleasure.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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Jake Beren & RMI Organization,
Thank you to the guides at RMI for making it possible for family and friends to keep track of their loved ones while climbing Denali.  The map, photos and blog made it possible to live vicariously through your courageous experience. 
I hope hot showers, home-cookin’ and comfy beds are in your near future!
Safe travels home!
Congratulations to the Team!

Posted by: S Brownie on 6/21/2013 at 11:58 am

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Head Down to 11 Camp

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Well the wind finally died down yesterday afternoon and instead of hightailing it out of 17 Camp, we chose to relax and enjoy where a few weeks work can put you. It was a gorgeous day to rest and recover and truly enjoy the place we had spent so much time and energy getting to and have the recent memory of our time on top fresh in our minds.

This morning we made a move down the mountain and retraced our steps down the West Buttress towards the fixed lines and 14 Camp. Few teams were out and about, mostly holding tight due to the higher summit winds and we rolled into 14 Camp to find that our kind friends with RMI McKinley Team # 6 had helped us out by digging up our cache. Thanks a bunch guys, so nice to have friends out here.

After increasing our pack weights, we headed down to 11 Camp and had some grub before catching a few winks. Soon we will hit the glacier for our final approach to the Kahiltna BC and see if we can high five RMI McKinley Team #7 and hop in a warm seat for the return to “civilization.”  It has been a fantastic trip and we’ve still got one more day to go, but we’re certainly in no rush to leave this beautiful place and wonderful team.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

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Mt. McKinley: Jake Beren & Team Rest & Refuel at 17,000’ Camp

Tuesday, June 18 , 2013
What a day yesterday was!  We were the only team to climb our route and truly enjoyed having the whole day to ourselves. It was a touch windy, but with warm air temps, it was perfectly manageable. The team climbed strong and stood on top in the afternoon with perfect visibility were treated to spectacular views the whole way up. The summit day is only possible with a combination of factors all coming together and we did a great job matching ourselves to the mountain. Bravo everyone!

Today really makes our call to go for it yesterday seem like the right one. The wind picked up last night and has been blowing hard ever since. We have been hanging out and resting at 17 camp and once the wind dies down we will tackle the Buttress and start the cruise home. We are going to wait a bit and maybe take off tomorrow after this spike in wind speed. For now we could use the rest after a few huge days.
Looking forward to seeing everyone as soon as Denali grants us safe passage.

RMI Guides Jake, Leon, and Josh

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

We’re glad you all made it to the summit and the weather held!  It must seem absolutely religious if the pictures are any hint.  Come back safely and be sure to tip the guides—they’re the best.
Il Padrino

Posted by: R.B. on 6/19/2013 at 4:04 pm

Congrats Josh on getting to the summit your first try.  Post some pics -Richard Boucher

Posted by: richard a boucher on 6/19/2013 at 7:33 am

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Return to High Camp

Monday, June 17, 2013
Hello everyone.  We made it back to camp after a good day of climbing. Everybody is safe and sound. We’re just finishing up a little dinner before turning in for a little bit. Looks like we just beat the storm. We’ll move a little lower tomorrow. That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

RMI Guide Jake Beren checks in after their successful summit.

On The Map

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Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Summit!

Monday, June 17, 2013
Hello, this is Jake with RMI #5 standing on top of Denali with an awesome crew on an absolutely beautiful day.  We’ll give a shout when we get down but it doesn’t get too much better than this. Thanks everybody for the support, and will be checking in from down low. Over and out.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

RMI Guide Jake Beren calls from the Mt. McKinley summit!

On The Map

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Wow!!!  So totally impressive and so happy for the whole team.  Congratulations on a great trip up and have a safe trip down!

Posted by: Nina Baj on 6/19/2013 at 10:14 am

We woke up on the East Coast to your most welcome audio clip from on high. How sweet the sound!

Posted by: Bill and Kathleen on 6/18/2013 at 5:30 am

Mt. McKinley: Beren’s Team at High Camp

Sunday, June 16th, 2013
Holy cow we made it up!  Leaving early, we passed RMI 4 at the base of the fixed lines, high fiving as we continued our climb. The team did a remarkable job making it to high camp in fine time. The West Buttress proper is the most fun part of the route and earns the namesake title. We cruised up to our cache at the base of Washburn’s Thumb and barely slowed down with the extra weight. Arriving at camp didn’t even require a coat once we stopped. The weather is perfect now and all we need is one more day and I’m sure the team will make it to the top. We are ready to outchill weather if it comes, but hopefully we can get one more day of this fantastic weather. Send us all good weather vibes if you please and we will check in tomorrow.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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Sweet they way i read this is you summited on an absolutley gorgeous day.  Way to go.

Posted by: Terry Kramer on 6/18/2013 at 1:24 pm

The KEI team is cheering you on.  Can’t wait to see the pics.  Barbara you are awesome and put us all to shame.  We are so very proud f you.

Posted by: Terry Kramer on 6/17/2013 at 9:55 am

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Travel the Fixed Lines to Washburn’s Thumb

Saturday, June 15th, 2013
Big day here on Denali. A big congrats to Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens and crew for a job well done going to the top!  We didn’t lounge around ourselves and made an early bid for our cache at Washburn’s Thumb. The team handled the fixes lines very well and we made great time up to 16,400 feet under perfect climbing conditions. It was a great day to enjoy the views and we relaxed up high before hitting the sauna on our way down. It was HOT and we were sure glad to be on our way back to camp by the time the temperatures peaked.

Naps followed our work day and we are tentatively optimistic that we will be able to move higher tomorrow and get in position to put all the hard work and experience to the test in the next few days. Keep some fingers crossed for us friends, we’re gonna need some good weather for a few days.

Over and out.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

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Wonderful news!!
We are sending the good weather vibes from LA to you all!
Thinking of the Team often and wishing you luck these next few days!
~S Brownie

Posted by: S Brownie on 6/16/2013 at 1:51 pm


So proud of you and your team! Happy to hear you are safe and still climbing. Miss you and am excited to see you on your safe arrival home! Lots of love.


Posted by: Chelsea Hall on 6/16/2013 at 12:02 pm

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Enjoy Their Rest Day

Friday, June 14, 2013
It sure felt nice for the team to get a little extra time in sleeping bags this morning before an epic pancake and bacon breakfast. Then it was off to practice for the fixed lines and Autobahn just outside of camp. The team is primed and ready for moving up on the mountain, skills sharp and energy high. After a siesta, we will take a stroll over to the Edge of the World and take in the sights nearly 7,000 feet down the NE Fork o the Kahiltna before dinner. Not a bad day up here at all.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

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Peter/Dad, Happy Father’s Day from all of us!  Love, Nathaniel

Posted by: Nathaniel on 6/16/2013 at 9:38 am

Happy Father’s Day.  Hope you are having the best ever.  Miss you here.  Safe travels to 17,200. x, Bonny

Posted by: Bonny Rogers on 6/16/2013 at 8:17 am

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Retrieve Cache and Race Around for Science

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Today we “rested” at camp, but it hardly felt like it. After breakfast we put on some empty packs and boogied down to retrieve our cache at 13,500’. The wind kept our somewhat spirited return trip from being too hot. Once back and rested, we fortified camp with stellar walls for the afternoon. Some of us even found a little time to participate in a high altitude medical study which had us racing around in the name of science. Then dinner and a few songs around the stoves and off to bed. The team impressed everyone around with our hard work and we really earned some down time tomorrow. Maybe there will be some actual rest for this not so weary crew.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

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I’m so impressed with all of you!  Amazing.  Good luck & safe journey up. 

Posted by: Karen Hoffman on 6/14/2013 at 1:40 pm

I take it that Grasshopper will NOT be at happy hour today in McKinney, then. (It was his turn to buy, you know). Safe journeys!

Posted by: Tim on 6/14/2013 at 12:30 pm

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Move to 14,000’

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
A fine day for a move presented itself to us this morning and we certainly made the most of it. Leaving our 11,000’ Camp in the early morning cold is great training for the chill of higher altitude and we made a solid bid before the sun came out in force. It’s nearly always hot coming into 14 and today was no exception. We were treated to some real hospitality when we arrived in the form of another RMI Team, led by Tyler Jones and Garret Stevens. Freshly hydrated, we set to work building camp and rebuilding ourselves with a big meal and early night’s rest. Tomorrow is a rest day, but I hazard a guess that we will be working in some way most of the day, retrieving a cache, fortifying camp and practicing for the fixed lines.

It is exciting to be up here with such a great team!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

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I wait eagerly everyday for updates, checking the blog multiple times (despite the fact that I have subscribed to notifications). I have also read the blogs of the team you saw come down after their summit as well as the other team who’s also at 14k but started before your team. Reading all of these incredible stories and lush descriptions makes me jelly :( and reminds me of when I camped on top of tajumulco. Looks like there’s a bit of very cold and fierce wind and you may have to wait before climbing to 17k and/or to the top. By my calculations, you have 2/3 days of buffer time so hopefully the winds will die down a bit. Or “if you can hold on. If you can hold on, hold on.” Today I found myself thinking and brainstorming about our travel and it made me happy. I hope to see you soon R

Posted by: Alice on 6/14/2013 at 1:04 am

Keep up the great work everyone!I miss you Michael, have fun and be safe. Love Vien.

Posted by: Vien Vail on 6/13/2013 at 5:22 pm

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