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Entries By abby westling

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Push to 14,000ft to Cache Gear

Monday, May 16, 2022 - 9:47 am PT

Yesterday (Sunday) we awoke to beautiful blue skies and light winds. After a nice breakfast of bagels with cream cheese and salmon we packed up gear and food to cache around Windy Corner. This was the first day of the expedition in crampons without sleds which felt awesome as we made our way up Motorcycle Hill. We had excellent views of the surrounding mountains and could even see all the way down to the tundra below the Peter's Glacier! After rounding Windy Corner the weather was holding and everyone was climbing strong so we decided to keep pushing all the way to 14,000' camp! As soon as we finished burying our cache winds picked up and we got our first taste of some nasty Alaska Range weather. By the time we got back to the Polo Fields the winds had abated and we enjoyed a nice walk back to 11,000' Camp. Winds picked back up overnight and this morning has been a bit frigid and blustery in camp today are taking a well earned rest day to recover from the previous five days of hard effort. We're looking forward to moving to 14,000' Camp in the coming days.

RMI Guide Henry Coppolillo

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Enjoying Good Weather & Geese flying

Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 10:08 pm PT

We enjoyed some pretty amazing weather today. We had a relatively easy day retrieving our cache and returning to 11k camp. On our journey we were treated to a unique wildlife viewing, with snow geese flying in formation above us. They landed on the glacier up around Kahiltna Pass, something I have never seen before. Back in camp, the good weather continued and we relaxed and shuffled gear for the next stage of the game. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will establish a camp up above Windy Corner. The forecast looks good and we're climbing strong, so we're optimistic that will happen tomorrow. I'll let you know  how it shakes out. Either way, it's good to be in the mountains and we're enjoying our time here.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Great to hear the weather is holding up for the team, sounds like smooth climbing so far. Keep up the hard work! 

Go Mike K, Go!!!

Posted by: Tina on 5/15/2022 at 8:57 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team settle into 11K camp, plan to pick up Cached gear

May 14, 2022 - 10:04 am PT

It was a bit breezy and chilly yesterday, but it made for great climbing weather.

We packed up camp and headed up Ski Hill, continuing up around Kahiltna Pass and into the 11k camp. Glacier conditions were perfect, and the winds abated as we climbed higher. Everyone is climbing strong and doing well. The plan for today is to go back downhill to retrieve our cache at ~9600'. We're sitting in a good position to start pushing higher on the upper mountain. So far, the weather is cooperating with us and allowing for steady progress. We'll definitely spend a few nights here at 11k to acclimate before moving camp higher, but we may try to get a cache in around Windy Corner tomorrow, as the weather is forecast to be pretty nice.

We'll keep you posted on our progress.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Glad to hear you continue to enjoy good weather. Thanks for the updates, they are really appreciated.

Posted by: Maria Alexandra Velez on 5/14/2022 at 6:18 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Cache Gear at 9,600’

Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 7:10 pm PT

Today was nearly a mirror image of yesterday's weather: mostly sunny, then partly cloudy, then mostly cloudy. It made for great travel as we ascended Ski Hill. As we gained the 9500' plateau, mostly cloudy changed to light snow and moderate winds coming through Kahiltna Pass. We had another good day, and decided to cache at ~9650' rather than press further into deteriorating weather. After leaving our gear deep in the hole we dug, we descended back down Ski Hill to camp in time for a little siesta. We'll hope for good weather tomorrow so we can bump camp up to 11,200'. We'll let you know how it goes. 

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Thanks for the posts.  It is fun to keep up-to-date with the climb!!

Posted by: Deb Beaudway on 5/13/2022 at 3:16 pm

Thanks for updates. Basic weather forecast looks very good starting Saturday.

Posted by: Paul Kent on 5/13/2022 at 11:16 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Fly on to Kahiltna Glacier, Establish First Camp

May 12, 2022  - 10:08 am PT

We had great weather yesterday and were able to fly in to Kahiltna Base Camp. We hit the ground running and took advantage of the weather to move to the base of Ski Hill. Light cloud cover kept temperatures perfect for climbing, and the Kahiltna Glacier was in remarkably good condition, which made for a pleasant day in the mountains. Our packs and sleds were heavy, but our team did great getting to camp and establishing camp. This morning the good weather is continuing, and we're getting ready to head off on a carry, establishing a cache up above Ski Hill. We'll be in touch and let you know how it goes.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Best of luck to the entire team!  I play Pickleball in southern Florida with John Corona.  I just returned from Seattle with beautiful views of the mountainous area in Washington.  Can’t imagine your strength and courage to climb!  Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers that the weather continues good and you have a magnificient climb!  Peace to all!  Mary

Posted by: Mary Cormier on 5/15/2022 at 6:01 am

Hey !!!!  Best of luck on the climb Mike!  This grey-bearded old man is headed to Rainier this week and will be ready for you to lead me to 20,310’ in May ‘23!  Be safe. Godspeed & Good Weather.  If you have any questions about the weather, ask your rock.

Posted by: Tim Morris on 5/12/2022 at 3:50 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Check and Weigh Gear, Ready to Fly to Kahiltna Glacier

RMI’s Denali climbing season is kicking off. Out team spent yesterday in Talkeetna packing and prepping for our expedition. Spreading our gear out in one of K2 Aviation’s hangars, we went through all of our clothing, food, and climbing equipment to fine-tune everything and be sure our checklists were complete. Everything was weighed and labeled for the airplanes. This morning we’ll touch base with K2 to see what the flying conditions are like. Our hope is to fly in to Kahiltna Basecamp today. Located on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, this glacier runway will be our approach to the West Buttress of Denali.

Our team looks well prepared, and everyone is eager to embark on this multi-week expedition. We’ll keep you up to date along the way as we slowly progress higher on Denali’s slopes. I’ll be in touch with flying conditions and our status.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Sending the best vibes your way!

Posted by: Abby P on 5/12/2022 at 6:40 am

Stay safe and have fun !!!

Posted by: Don West on 5/11/2022 at 9:42 pm

Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Wrap up Week of Training

After a week of unexpected park closures and a wonderful spring storm, our first Muir seminar of the season has concluded. Despite the less than stellar weather conditions, the team was able to shift gears and make the most of their time on the mountain. Climbers learned important skills like route planning, glaciology, snow sciences and spent several days practicing and honing their crevasse rescue skills.

Congratulations team – we hope you enjoyed your time on the mountain!

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Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Begins the 2022 Season

On Monday, the Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir was foiled from getting into the National Park by a large Spring snow storm.  We spent the day learning and practicing technical skills like rope ascension and ice climbing.  The team then learned about route planning, glaciology, and snow science. Hopes are high that the team can reach Paradise today.

RMI Guide James Bealer

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Hi, did this group reach the summit??

Posted by: John Swartz on 4/16/2022 at 10:50 am

Mexico Volcanoes: Team Summits Pico de Orizaba

We met yet another stray dog friend today- oh wait, that’s not what this blog about! We are incredibly happy and proud to say that every single team member stood on top of North America’s 3rd highest peak, Pico de Orizaba, today! What a day it was too! We awoke for our alpine start to find that the sky was clear, the wind light, and the temperatures still warm from the previous day. The route takes us up an old aqueduct, then up a rocky slope for a couple of hours until you reach a feature called the labyrinth, aptly named. That is when the weather started to turn from warm and windless to bitter and howling. Up we went, navigating the labyrinth with all its ice, mud, and rock and to the base of the of the Jamapa Glacier. A team member described the glacier as “walking up a descending escalator”, never ending and relentless. On we pushed, with perseverance stretched to its limit we crested the caldera ridge and on to the true summit where we met back up with our 2 other rope teams and embraced.

We are back down now, safe and sound, about to jump in our showers and wash up before dinner, our last one as a team. Seems surreal for it to be over so soon, but we look forward to seeing everyone in the mountains again. This is the Mexico climbing team signing off.

Except there is the picture of our dog friend walking us down to Base.

RMI Guides Dominic Cifelli, Abby Westling and Team

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Congratulations, Team! What an incredible trip! So very proud. The smiles on the summit say everything… AND BONUS DOGS?!? Amazing.

Posted by: Raeanna Anglen on 2/20/2022 at 6:35 am

Mexico Volcanoes: Team Gears Up for Climb of Orizaba

Oh, what a difference 24 hours makes!

Last night the team was at dinner enjoying mole, drinking beer, and recalling our climb on Ixta.

Tonight, we find ourselves at the Refugio below Orizaba repacking our bags and preparing for an alpine start. Tomorrow looks promising for us. The weather is good, the team is strong and reports say that the route is in good condition.

With any luck we look forward to reporting in tomorrow morning from the summit!

RMI Guides Dominic, Abby, and Team

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Headed for some altitude!! God Speed you amazing climbers, have a fabulous and safe ascent …. Love you Beunings …..

Posted by: Deb Anderson on 2/18/2022 at 1:23 pm

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