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June 24, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Jake Beren & Team - Expedition Ends

A few hours ago we were sitting on the glacier, Heartbreak Hill already a fading memory. Now we are back in Talkeetna, showered and fed and reconnecting with life off of the mountain. Our final day’s walk was truly magnificent, with the light of the solstice in full effect as we marched downhill into thicker and thicker air, gaining strength as we went despite the accumulation of many days of work and little sleep. Waiting a few hours for a flight in the warm sun in the stillness of the Southeast Fork took the title as my best airport experience ever.

Once again we are all happy and healthy, glad to return to everyone back home safely and with an excellent time with friends on The Great One.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Woohoo Jim and Halsey! Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear all about it. So glad you are back safe and sound!

Posted by: Ruth on 6/25/2012 at 10:59 pm

June 22, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team on Descent

Hello everybody this is Jake and crew at the start of the Kahiltna Glacier at 11,000’.  Today we descended from 17,000’ down to 11,000’ where we are making a camp for a few hours before trying to walk on the lower Kahiltna while it’s still frozen in the early morning.  With any luck we will be at the runway in time to catch a flight back to Talkeetna.

We hope everyone is doing very well there and trust that we are doing well here.  With what may be our last night on the mountain.  Hopefully, I didn’t jinx us and that we will be heading home soon.

So see you all then.
RMI Guide Jake Beren

RMI Guide Jake Beren checks in from 11,000 ft on their descent.

On The Map

Hi Ross, I spoke with Dave and Loretta - they say congratulations on the summit. Next stop Nepal?

Posted by: Carla Bustos on 6/22/2012 at 12:55 pm

Fingers still crossed…
Crispi, alles Liebe auf den letzten Metern, Küsschen, Tropf

Posted by: Susann on 6/22/2012 at 12:44 pm

June 21, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Reach Summit!

Hello, this is Jake calling from 17,000’ camp on Denali after what was an unbelievable summit day.  The team is back in camp safe and sound.  We are having some dinner before turning in for a very well earned night’s sleep.  Everybody did fantastic today, we had perfect conditions.  It was a really beautiful climb.  I’ll give a little more information after we get down.
Just know that everybody is safe after a wonderful day here in Alaska.
Alright, that is it for now.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

RMI Guide Jake Beren checks in after the team's summit day.

On The Map

Bob, one more peak under your belt! What a huge accomplishment! All your training and determination is paying off. The girls and I are at the lake and we had spotty communication, but I was following your progress daily, sometimes multiple times daily! Keep your balance on that descent and don’t come down the mountain faster than you should!! ;-)


Posted by: Kathy Spinks on 6/22/2012 at 8:11 am

We are SO impressed! Congratulations! Roger and Charlie

Posted by: Charlie Hewson on 6/22/2012 at 3:01 am

June 20, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Ready for Summit Bid

Greetings from 17,000’.  Our team is at camp doing great and tucked into their sleeping bags with an absolutely beautiful evening here on Denali.
We are going to cross our fingers for good weather tomorrow and with any luck, we’re gonna give it a shot.  So, wish us the best weather.  Our team is doing great, very strong.  Hopefully we will go take a shot at it tomorrow.  So that is all from 17,000’.  We are ready to launch…

RMI Guide Jake Beren

RMI Guide Jake Beren checks in from 17000 feet on Mt. McKinley

On The Map

WHOOOHOOOO im so excited! I’ve been thinking about you everyday and I can not imagine how lucky I am to have such a badass dad.
Your so close to your pie! :)
Go for it!!.. and dont whimp out hah. Sleep well!

Posted by: Sarina on 6/20/2012 at 11:10 pm

Good luck guys.  Maybe you already hit the top or at the top now??  The suspense grows…..
Drum roll please.

Posted by: dave on 6/20/2012 at 7:26 pm

June 18, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Ready to Move

Today we purposely awoke early for our carry to the top of the headwall. Our intentions to provide the team with the flavor of the frigid temperatures of Denali in anticipation of what a summit day will feel like, were embraced by every team member. Four hours later we dug our cache atop the fixed lines and returned in a speedy mode to our camp at Genet Basin  to enjoy ourselves practicing our favorite sports of “eating and napping”. Everybody is excited for our move tomorrow to 17 camp and the upcoming launching. Regards!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

On The Map

Fingers still crossed, for good weather conditions and an extra bit of good luck for your team. Crispi, Pass auf dich auf, und wenn du ganz oben stehst, dann schau und genieße für uns mit. Küsschen, SF.

Posted by: Susann and Frank on 6/20/2012 at 2:12 pm

Ross and K, Getting closer.  An expert guide one time told me that mountain climbing is a lot about chillin so if you need to sit near the top it can be tough but know your about vertical 17000 ft and four thousand miles closer than any of us writing you.

I had one hell of a couple of weeks and have continually thought about the mountains.  I wish I was able to make the trip with you guys but as I said I collided with fate here, I needed to be here. 

Can’t wait to hear more from you guys and the progress. 


Carla- Kanitta lost her phone a while back and now we only have Ross’ cell number.  Call us :0)

Posted by: dave kolar on 6/19/2012 at 9:56 pm

June 17, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Rest at 14K Camp

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads in the lowlands!

After our day of training, we were raring to go carry up the fixed lines. Packed up, alarms set but when we woke the wind was blowing and the snow was swirling. Dragging our feet provided little clarity, with the basin clearing out just enough to show high winds on the West Buttress. Tough to establish a trend, but we decided to wait another day here at 14 Camp. It ended up being a good call as the clouds regained control of camp and it has snowed heavily since.

Armed with an optimistic forecast, we plan to carry tomorrow and get in position for a move as soon as we can. Wish us luck down there and enjoy the day celebrating all the Fathers.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Congratulations, what an accomplishment!!!

Posted by: Dan H on 6/21/2012 at 5:25 pm

Hi Jim and Halsey,
Just checking in to see where you are! Looks very exciting. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

Posted by: Ruth on 6/18/2012 at 10:49 pm

June 16, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team to the Edge of the World

Today we enjoyed the luxury of waking to the sun on the tents, avoiding the early morning cold. Once up and fed, we took a fantastic walk to THE EDGE OF THE WORLD. Perfect views of the lower Kahiltna Glacier 7,000 feet below our perch and we all took turns peeking over the edge and snapping a few photos. Don’t worry friends and family, we were on belay the whole time.

For the afternoon we rested and welcomed the RMI 4 team after their stylish send on Denali yesterday. Nice job everyone!

Then it was back to work, setting up a fixed line practice and trying as many variations as possible to prepare for the cache tomorrow. Now it’s dinner time, catch y’all tomorrow.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Congratulations team! Good luck on the descent as well.

Posted by: AK on 6/21/2012 at 12:43 pm

Hey paps!!!!!!!!
HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!!!! There is a pecan pie waiting for you at the summit, so scurry on up there and get your butt back home!!!
Miss you! Cant wait to fatten you up when your back with all our celebratory dinners!!
Love, Sarina

Posted by: Sarina Karwande on 6/17/2012 at 1:50 pm

June 15, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Back Carry to 14K Camp

Climbing consistently gives you opportunities to improve, especially on Denali. A summit day is possible only after weeks of getting in position. During those weeks we are dedicating ourselves to improving all aspects of our game.

This morning we took the lessons of yesterday’s approach to go pick up our cache at Windy Corner. Getting ready in the cold morning will pay off as we move higher. The crew did well on the back carry and the little bobbles in our rigging were addressed when we got back with everyone taking a little time to do some homework dialing in their cold weather systems.

Tomorrow we will rest here at 14,000’, reviewing fixed lines, running belays and if we have some visibility, taking a short cruise to THE EDGE OF THE WORLD for some views. Then it all depends on the weather, but the team is feeling great.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Happy Fathers Day Jim!  Hope you are having a fun adventure.  Halsey: sunscreen!!! Give each other a hug for us.  Love Anne and Jack

Posted by: Anne on 6/16/2012 at 11:36 pm

Ross and K,

Keep plugging away! Take some pics tomorrow at the edge of the world.  Been thinking of you guys today, hope all is well with tent life and the elements. Try to keep everything dry!  A dry hand is a happy hand.  Your in the middle of it, enjoy the views.  -Dave

Posted by: dave kolar on 6/16/2012 at 8:36 pm

June 14, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Move Into 14K Camp

Waking to perfect conditions, clear and near windless, we decided to saddle up and move on up to Genet Basin and make a new home at 14,000 feet. Our hard work yesterday really paid off, leaving us with a perfect trail to camp. It was even downright hot as we pulled into camp and we found a great camp left to us by our friends now living at 17,000 camp. Thanks.

It was still tough, but our team held together well and turned in early for some much needed rest. Tomorrow we will most likely retrieve our cache and spend the afternoon relaxing and preparing for the fixed lines higher up. Cross your fingers for some high pressure. A week would be plenty.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

All the best for the head wall and beyond. Let us know that you’re all doing fine please. 

Posted by: AK on 6/16/2012 at 3:53 pm

Great climbing everyone, keep it up.  Bob, the summit is around the corner, stay strong!  Everything good at home.

Posted by: John Spinks on 6/15/2012 at 8:11 pm

June 14, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Break Trail to Cache Supplies

After our rest day yesterday, we were certainly ready to bust a move this morning. Clear and cold conditions soon gave way to snow flurries and minimal visibility. We made ready, grabbed another cup of coffee and caught enough of a lull to try to carry loads higher on the mountain. Our plan was entirely dependent on conditions encountered on each stretch and despite being the first trailbreakers since the storm, we were able to kick a proud track through several feet of new snow up to Windy Corner and make our cache. Our team opened the route up in good style and if favored by workable weather will try to push it up to 14 Camp tomorrow. Everyone is doing great and will surely enjoy a good night’s sleep after a solid day in the mountains. Thanks also for the messages to the team!  Keep ‘em coming! 

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Jake,  congrats to you and the team.  Sounds like you are all doing well, with a great leader.  Big Hug, Hello and best wishes to Karwande!!!  Keep those fingers warm and battle on!!!!  :)  cs

Posted by: courtney on 6/14/2012 at 8:07 pm

¡Hola, equipo! Glad to hear things are going well and moving upwards.

Today I completed a successful mission to deliver homemade cookie to the folks at Muir (and got to try out the new skis!)

Stay strong and keep thinking happy thoughts…

Posted by: Bridget on 6/14/2012 at 7:31 pm

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