Entries By abby westling
June 15, 2022
The Five Day Climb June 11 - 15 led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Dominic Cifelli was unable to make their summit attempt due to avalanche danger. The teams enjoyed two nights at Camp Muir with some good weather which allowed for training opportunities.
Photos: Dominic Cifelli
June 1, 2022
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 7:31 pm PT
The morning after our summit push saw a speedy descent from 17,000' Camp as winds increased along with our desire to reach warmer, thicker air. We left our home-away-from-home of 14,000' Camp early in the afternoon and were soon making our way around Windy Corner and down towards 11,000'. Every step brought us ever so slightly closer to the airstrip and the end of our expedition. We rolled into 11,000' Camp in time for one last tortellini dinner and a quick cat nap. By midnight the sun had dipped below the tundra and we knew it was time to “rip the band aid off” and get to the airstrip. Despite heavy packs and tired legs, an all-night stroll down the lower Kahiltna provided a beautiful and fitting end to what has been an unforgettable 21 days in one of the greatest ranges on Earth. By 8:30 am the whole team was assembled at Kahiltna International Airport and by 10 am we found ourselves back on the tarmac in Talkeetna. It’s been about 36 hours since I last slept so I need to wrap up this rambling summary and get some sleep, but suffice to say we are all happy to be back in the land of green plants, hot showers and cold beverages, and will be remembering the experiences of the past three weeks for years to come.
Many congratulations Team - well done Abby!! Can’t believe its been a year since our West Buttress climb - its been wonderful re-living the climb through your updates. All the best Huw
Posted by: Huw on 6/2/2022 at 3:04 am
WELL DONE! ALL Around!
Posted by: Donald Meagher on 6/1/2022 at 1:18 pm
May 30, 2022
Sunday, May 29, 2022 - 11:20 pm PT
Everything came together for us today and we made a successful summit bid of Denali and, more importantly, we returned to High Camp safely. Clear skies and moderate temperatures made for an enjoyable day of climbing. Light west winds kept a nip to the air all day. The route was in great condition and we got out ahead of everyone so we didn't experience any traffic jams. Our team climbed strong and efficiently, with a round trip time of 9 1/2 hours. Back at camp we ate dinner and worked on rehydrating. Everyone crawled into their tents pretty early for some well-earned and much-needed rest. Tomorrow we'll begin our descent. Our itinerary is up in the air, and first we'll focus on climbing safely back down to 14k. The weather looks good for traveling; we'll keep you posted on our progress. Now it's time for some zzz's.
Congratulations Brad ! I knew you would get it this time. Enjoy this moment. We are all are looking forward to seeing you back home.
Have a safe descent!
Posted by: Brian Beatty on 5/31/2022 at 1:40 pm
WOOHOO!!! Congratulations, Nick and the rest of the crew! Overjoyed for you all!!
Posted by: Rosie Read on 5/31/2022 at 6:07 am
May 29, 2022
May 28 11:42pm PT
After a hard day fighting the wind up high yesterday, we were able to get back to camp and rest and hydrate. Good thing, because this morning dawned perfect and we rallied for another attempt at pushing to high camp. The weather remained perfect all day and our well-acclimated crew made it to High Camp in five hours flat. We arrived at 2pm and spent a few hours building camp and the focused on resting, hydrating, and eating.
The weather forecast is very favorable and we're optimistic that we'll try for the top tomorrow. Fingers crossed, and if things go well, I'll hopefully be able to send a quick satellite message from the top. Now for some sleep before a big day. Either way, I'll check in and let you know what the weather throws at us.
RMI Guide Mike Walter and RMI Team
Go Nick, go!!!!!
Posted by: Rosie Read on 5/30/2022 at 7:50 am
Can’t wait to read tonight’s blog! To the Top, MAK!
Posted by: Jenn on 5/30/2022 at 4:22 am
May 28, 2022
Friday, May 27, 2022 6:55pm PT
We attempted to reach 17,000’camp today but were thwarted by high winds just above the top of the fixed lines. After several days waiting for favorable weather, we were all antsy to get moving, but the risk of frostbite made descending an easy call. We are currently back at 14,000’ camp and are going to assess our options for the coming days.
RMI Guide Henry Coppolillo and Team
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
Posted by: Jami L on 5/28/2022 at 8:53 pm
We are so proud of you Michael! Keep on keepin’ on!! We are all rooting for you! Love you lots!
Posted by: Anne P on 5/28/2022 at 6:47 pm
May 26, 2022
Winds and a windy forecast continue to keep us posted up at 14K. Today is a bit breezier, cloudier, and cooler at camp. We're still looking at a potentially improving weather pattern for this weekend, hopeful that wind speeds with subside and we'll be able to move up to high camp. We're about as acclimated to the altitude as were going to get on this expedition. Now it's a matter of good fortune if we get decent weather for a shot at the top. That's always a big "if" when climbing high peaks.
There's not much new to report from Genet Basin. The tents continue to stack up here, joining us in waiting for a climbing window. There are plenty of teams anxious for the opportunity to move higher. We'll keep you posted with any changes, but for now we're still in a holding pattern.
RMI Guides Mike, Henry, Abby and Team
Feeling SO proud of you, little brother. I was thinking that pushing your body to its limits in the mountains might be the easiest part of all this; it’s all the other ways that this trip is pushing you that I’m particularly awed by. You’re amazing. Thinking of you every day and rooting for that wind to settle down so you can go up and get ‘er done!!
Posted by: Rosie Read on 5/27/2022 at 12:48 pm
Hang in there guys. We’re thinking of you and hoping for better weather. The weekend starts tomorrow ,, we anxiously await your next report.
Posted by: Jan Beaudway on 5/26/2022 at 4:38 pm
May 24, 2022
We woke to a cold, clear sky this morning and fired up the stoves with hopes of climbing up to High Camp. Real time communication with friends currently at High Camp, and updated weather forecasts kept us grounded, though. The current wind and an increasingly windy trend are keeping us at our comfortable camp at 14,200' today. We continue to rest and acclimate as we await favorable weather for our foray up high. Spirits are high and we are optimistic that we will get our shot soon.
Until then, we are lounging in the sun, reading, listening to music, and hanging out--all part of the expedition experience. We will keep you updated on our status. As we patiently wait for our chance to move higher, we are happy to be in the mountains.
RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team
Been keeping up with the updates - I am excited and proud of this crew and this climb. You’ll move up the mountain soon and we are all on the edge of our seats for it!
We are cheering you all on! (Love you, Abby!)
Happy and strong climbing!
Posted by: Rae on 5/25/2022 at 6:18 am
An outstanding experience that is for sure. Hope your reasonable weather is coming soon. Stay safe and enjoy the wait. Always thinking of you
Posted by: Anne on 5/24/2022 at 8:06 pm
We woke early with aspirations of moving to high camp this morning, but winds from the NW ramped up and persisted a little too long for my liking and we decided to stay put for another day.
The unknown nature of mountain weather and the prospect of setting up camp at 17,200' in frigid winds was enough to make me pump the brakes. We're in a good position and patience has always proved itself prudent on Denali. Meanwhile, we continue to acclimate and get stronger in the comfort of our camp in Genet Basin.
We plan to repeat the process tomorrow morning, rising early with the plan of moving up to high camp to be in position for a summit to push. We'll let you know how it plays out.
"You don't need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind blows..."
Congrats to the entire team on your progress to date! Sending best wishes for cooperative winds and upward progress!
Posted by: Patti Duckworth Read on 5/24/2022 at 4:54 pm
Wishing you calm winds and safe and successful summit.
Posted by: Tim Burkard on 5/24/2022 at 7:35 am
May 22, 2022
Sunday May 22, 2022 – 3:21pm PT
We're enjoying another rest day in Genet Basin at 14,200'. The weather is pretty agreeable down here: light cloud cover and calm wind. Lenticular cloud caps have formed over Denali and Foraker, indicating higher winds aloft.
Our team is in a good position, rested, acclimated, and with a cache established up high. Now we're on standby for a favorable weather window to allow us to move to high camp and have a shot at the summit. The forecast is not terrible, but there are a series of disorganized low-pressure systems moving in from the NW. We're optimistic that there will be a break between systems and well get some good climbing weather.
Until then, we're comfortably enjoying the views, the rest, the snacking, and the comradery. We'll keep you posted on our status as we monitor the weather trends and receive forecast updates. We'll be in touch again tomorrow.
Hope the weather clears and wishing everyone the best. Godspeed for a safe ascent to the peak. I know Mr. Corona has several great stories to keep moral high :)
Posted by: Carlos Coro on 5/23/2022 at 12:26 pm
May 21, 2022
May 21 - 10:36am
Yesterday we woke up to blue skies and no wind, perfect for our carry to high camp. After a quick breakfast we roped up and headed out of camp. We ascended the fixed lines in the sun and traversed the stunning West Buttress in incredible weather. Arriving at 17,000 feet in high spirits we cached our gear for a summit push and descended the way we came. After an 11-hour day we enjoyed a well-deserved meal of Mac and cheese with bacon and tucked ourselves into our sleeping bags to rest. Today, we will continue resting at 14k camp with warm weather, enjoying listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me over brunch and coffee!
Brad Enjoy the climb, your getting near the top, be smart and safe. Love Mom and Dad
Posted by: Larry Shears on 5/22/2022 at 5:03 pm
Armchair traveling this ascent with you all! I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be so close! Keep hydrating, MAK!
Posted by: Jenn on 5/22/2022 at 11:42 am