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July 4, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley:  Walter & Team Return to Talkeetna

Happy 4th of July!

Our Denali climbing team is celebrating the 4th in Talkeetna, AK! We were able to fly off of the glacier today amidst cloudy skies and low layers of fog. K2 Aviation did a great job of watching the weather and getting planes in to Basecamp when possible in order to facilitate our return to society.
After hot showers and a little down time, we’re looking forward to a festive celebration dinner at the Twister Creek Restaurant.

Thanks for following our journey to the highest point in North America! It’s been a great trip, and we’re already looking forward to our next adventure together…what’s yours?

RMI Guide Mike Walter

July 4, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Waiting at Basecamp

Our team is spending the night at Basecamp tonight, as the weather has been un-flyable all day today. We were fortunate enough to have perfect weather for our summit day, and this little weather glitch is now merely an annoyance. We are all looking forward to some simple amenities like hot showers, cold beer, real beds, running water, and the opportunity to talk with loved ones on the telephone. But we know that these will come shortly and we’re already accustomed to being patient with the weather; the important thing to remember is that we had a safe and successful trip on Denali, and the weather worked out for us when we needed it to. This little waiting period in Basecamp is just a reminder that the mountain is still in charge and we need to play by its rules.

We’re optimistic that we will get to Talkeetna tomorrow and finish our expedition. Until then, we’re all safe, comfortable, and happy. Hopefully our next dispatch will be from Talkeetna tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Hi everybody,
Congratulations to a job well done.  I’m very happy for all of you and look forward to hearing all about it when I see you in person.  Until then enjoy the triumphant feeling because you all very much deserve it.
PS Sorry this message is a little late, I got the news a little late

Posted by: Jim on 7/6/2012 at 7:22 pm

Glad you are down safe and sound.  Can’t wait to hear all the details.  Good luck getting off tomorrow.

Posted by: missy prudden on 7/4/2012 at 8:21 pm

July 3, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Mike Walter & Team at Basecamp

After summiting Denali on the 1st of July, our team has not stopped working. We descended from high camp yesterday morning, and continued to Camp 3 at 11,000’ for dinner and some shut-eye. The former was in full effect in the form of bacon-chicken quesadillas, and the latter was in short-order, as we woke up at midnight to start our descent to Basecamp. After taking advantage of the early morning frozen snow conditions on the lower Kahiltna glacier, we arrived at Basecamp at 8:30 am. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for better weather to allow planes to fly and take us back to Talkeetna. We are all napping in our tents while we anticipate sunny skies.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

On The Map

Hi Paul,
Did you learn any mountain climbing in the military?


Posted by: Mike on 9/13/2012 at 8:45 am


Posted by: BETTY JANE WOLK on 7/5/2012 at 9:38 am

July 2, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Descending to Basecamp

Hi, this is Mike Walter checking in from 14,000’.  We have descended the West Buttress and are back at the 14,000’ camp.  Everyone is doing swell.  Our plan is to continue the descent to 11,000’ and hunker down for a few hours.  There we’ll ‘brew up’ hot drinks, grab something to eat and nap for a few hours.  We’ll traverse the lower Kahiltna Glacier in the wee hours (when it’s coldest) headed for Base Camp.  We hope to arrive at BC tomorrow morning, unless the Weather Gods have other plans in store.  That’s all for now from our tired and happy crew.

On The Map


Posted by: Tony on 7/3/2012 at 8:21 am

Congratulations Longbonez and the team! We are all proud of you and can’t wait to hear about your trip. Be safe on the way down and we will see you soon!

Posted by: Xbonez on 7/3/2012 at 7:57 am

July 1, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley Expedition: Walter & Team Reach Summit!

At 4:45P (PDT) Mike Walter called from the summit of McKinley:

This is Mike and I’m calling from the summit of Mt McKinley!  The weather is beautiful; no wind, and just a few clouds.  The summit of Mt Foraker (17,400’) is 3,000’ lower than us, and Kahiltna Base Camp is 13,000’ below us!  Our ascent from high camp took seven and one-half hours, which is very good time.  We’re taking hero shots, hugging and congratulating each other, but soon it will be time to descend to our tents.  After a well deserved rest, tomorrow we will down-climb the West Buttress and reach the thick air at 14,000’ camp.  More reports will follow.

Congratulations to the Mt. McKinley June 12th Team!

On The Map

Yeah team and yeah Matt!! Can’t wait to hear all about it! So proud
-Vanessa E

Posted by: Vanessa on 7/2/2012 at 2:08 pm

17400+ 3000 = 20400, so I ask again, what is it like @ 20,000 Ft ?

Posted by: Uncs on 7/2/2012 at 11:27 am

June 30, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Mike Walter & Team Waiting on Weather

This is Mike checking in from high camp on Denali.  The weather is playing games with us today, but the forecast remains excellent.  We had contemplated a summit bid upon awakening, but a lenticular cloud cap kept alternately forming then dissipating throughout the morning, and we decided to hold off.  It has been quite windy in camp, but high pressure is forecast to dominate the next several days.  Our well rested team hopes to go for it tomorrow.  All is well and we will be back in touch with an update tomorrow.

Wish us luck!

Hi David,

We’re awaiting the good news that you and the team have reached the summit.  Hoping for sunny skies and a safe and successful climb to the top and back down.

Lynda and Rick

Posted by: Lynda and Rick on 7/1/2012 at 8:15 pm

David, we are pulling for down here in rainy portland.  be safe and have fun. Sue D

Posted by: sue dimin on 6/30/2012 at 8:04 pm

June 30, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. Mckinley: Mike Walter and Team Prepare for Summit Bid

Mike Walter called and checked in on Friday night at about 9:50 p.m.  There were some clouds and winds on the upper mountain so the team decided to take a rest day at 17,000’ camp. They have had nice weather at camp and a good rest.  Mike reported an awesome forecast for today with sunny skies and light winds, so they plan to make their summit attempt.  The team is excited and ready to go.

Good Luck Team!

On The Map

DZ and Team hope weather holds and you have an excellent summit, be safe. Remember Raindeer Sausage the Road House and Summit Burgers/Beers at the West Rib when back down in Talkeetna.
John V.

Posted by: John on 6/30/2012 at 12:49 pm

Glad to read the weather is co-operating for a summit
attempt. I’ve been keeping everyone updated here at MMC. Dr.P sends his best wishes to #1. Be safe.

Posted by: Nancy on 6/30/2012 at 10:35 am

June 29, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Reach 17,000’ Camp

Mike Walter called at 12:00 a.m. Friday morning and reported that he and the team had reached 17,000’ Camp on Mt. McKinley.  They had a nice day of climbing with light snow and no wind.  They rolled into camp at about 5:00 p.m., and are now resting.  The team may take a rest day at 17,000 but if everyone is feeling good they might just go for the top.

Good Luck Team!

On The Map

May not sleep tonight, too excited!!!!

Posted by: sarah Zeps on 6/30/2012 at 1:39 am

Delighted you had the chance to move onward and upward, well done team! A promise of beer, the weather cleared…tricky, isn’t it??!
Continued success for all,

Posted by: liz weller on 6/29/2012 at 8:00 pm

June 27, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Staying Put at 14k Camp

We went to bed with clear skies and a forecast for 12-18” of snow overnight. The clear skies persisted overnight and we didn’t get any new snow. There is a lenticular cloud on top of Denali today, indicating strong winds. We’re also seeing snow blowing off of the West Buttress between the top of the fixed ropes and high camp. The current winds and the increased avalanche hazard from yesterday’s foot of snow are keeping us at 14k for another day. The sunny weather at camp today is welcome, and is helping to keep our spirits high. It looks like some better weather is approaching for the weekend, and we’re hoping we’ll be able to take a crack at the summit then. With any luck, we’ll be able to move to high camp tomorrow and be in position for the arrival of the more favorable weather. We’ll keep you posted!

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Stan - Hope you & Team have continued success today.  Talked with your Mom yesterday.  She is doing well.

Posted by: Jerry & Kay on 6/29/2012 at 7:11 am

Where at are you buttercup? Busch beer and mayonnaise sandwiches since you’ve been gone. My kids are starving!!

Posted by: Sunshine on 6/29/2012 at 5:06 am

June 26, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Cozy at 14K Camp

Hello again from 14,200’. It’s snowing right now, and it snowed all last night. There’s only about 6” of accumulation so far, bur more is expected today and tomorrow. The good news is that there isn’t any wind here at 14k, and we’re all comfortable and cozy in our camp. We’re still in a holding pattern, waiting for decent weather to move up to high camp and be in position for a summit bid when the current weather pushes out.

In the mean time, we’re getting plenty of rest here at camp. Everyone is patiently awaiting better weather, although we’re all a little antsy for some exercise and a chance to move higher. We’ll keep you posted…

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Hi John, Talked with Dee - happy times - Paul and I are spending our time picturing all of us having dinner together!!!  So glad to be able to feel in contact.  Many Blessings to all of you - take care and God Bless.  Jackie and Pal

Posted by: Jackie Winchell on 6/29/2012 at 8:38 am

Hope you don’t have too much snow removal to do from your camp and that the weather settles into perfect climbing weather very soon.  The kids say HI to their Daddy, Lee!

Posted by: Di on 6/27/2012 at 11:09 am

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