Entries By abby westling
June 10, 2021
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 10:42 pm PT
The weather forecast has been calling for a tapering of the wind and clouds above 17,200’ beginning late Thursday. After being camp and tent bound for almost a week we decided to move camp. The weather was warm, cloudy, windy, hot and cold all over the 7ish hours it took us to move. There was some uphill and downhill traffic that we dealt with. The climbing on the West Buttress is by far the highlight so far. With expansive views of the Peter’s glacier and the black rock of the North Summit the team kept their heads down and did the hard work. We are safe in camp working on dinner and drinking water. A rest day is likely tomorrow as Friday seems to be the day for a summit attempt. Thanks for following along.
Awesome job you guys!
Posted by: Roger Rood on 6/11/2021 at 9:37 am
Very glad for all that you were able to make the change of camps as you prepare for your climb to the summit. Praying for good weather and a beautiful day. Congratulations to Rob
Posted by: Tío Kleberg on 6/10/2021 at 7:38 pm
June 8, 2021
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 2:52 pm PT
The weather front that was forecasted finally arrived in camp last night. While the winds and snow were light the weather above 14,000' Camp looked foreboding. We are planning on a move to 17,000' camp on Thursday unless the weather breaks in the morning. With the last push up in sight the team is busy playing cards, engaged in spirited debates on various issues and enjoying walking around camp meeting other climbers.
Mike Fortier would like to wish his wife a happy birthday!
RMI Guide Mike King
Hoping for clear weather, and continued high vibes for the crew! So stinking proud of y’all. Love you, so big, Abby!
Posted by: Rae on 6/9/2021 at 7:00 am
Sabom, 94 degrees and 91% humidity in SoTex. The Mosquitos in the OP are healthy and active. Cars are selling like candy bars. Steady as she goes, my friend! See you soon!
Posted by: Thomas Stephens on 6/9/2021 at 5:37 am
June 7, 2021
Monday, June 7, 2021 - 2:31 pm PT
We got some more snow last night and woke again to calm and clear weather. After yesterday’s trip up the fixed lines we figured another night at Denali's 14K Camp would help people acclimate and sleep better before moving to high camp at 17,200’. We are expecting a low pressure weather system to roll in this evening. If it does then we will likely be at 14 for a few more days. If it doesn’t appear then we will likely move up to high camp tomorrow. Time and weather will tell. Until then, warm tents and some card games will keep us occupied. The team is healthy and happy but looking forward to moving up. Thanks for following along.
Sounds like a great vacation to me at 14k! Thanks for the updates Mike. Good luck and good weather ahead to all!
Posted by: Darcy Murnaghan on 6/8/2021 at 2:06 pm
Not exactly my idea of R&R conditions, but it sounds like from Mike that the weather is primo for your climb. Getting excited about the summit! Best to Rob and team.
Tita and Artie
Posted by: Martha Sabom on 6/8/2021 at 12:41 pm
June 6, 2021
Sunday, June 6, 2021 - 3:43 pm PT
We got an early start from Denali's 14K Camp. The route up to the fixed lines was in the cold shadow of the mountain. This let the team feel how cold their toes and fingers will be on summit day. We climbed up the fixed lines that allow us to access the West Buttress of Denali. The weather was clear and calm at the top. We got some pictures and decided to cache there and head back to camp instead of dealing with descending traffic later in the day. Another active rest day has us enjoying warm tents and sport eating to decrease the amount of food weight we down carry. We’ll likely rest tomorrow and see what the forecast says about a move and summit attempt mid-late week.
Please send our best to Rob. We are following along the trip and enjoying all the updates and pictures. What an amazing trip! We can’t wait to hear all about it when Rob gets home! Safe travels up- Manuel & Melissa
Posted by: Melissa Zuniga on 6/7/2021 at 8:30 am
I wish I was on your team Tom!!! Climb Strong Buddy!!! Take in every Incredible memory!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/7/2021 at 2:33 am
June 6, 2021
Saturday, June 5, 2021 - 8:22 pm PT
We had another calm and cold night here at 14,200’. The need for a rest day allowed the team to get some skills refreshed on fixed line travel and running belays. Both of which will let us go up on the West Buttress tomorrow to cache some food and fuel for our summit attempt. The Team went out to the Edge of the World viewpoint for some pictures and views of the N.E. Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. Warm tents and lots of sun have the team enjoying some time out of their boots and hopefully getting a nap in. We will see what the weather holds over the next few days. We might get 3-4 weather days starting Monday which would allow for some more acclimatizing before heading to high camp at 17,200’. So far everyone is healthy and happy to be in such a beautiful part of the Alaska Range.
Hey Tom and Mike!! Sending Sunny warm thoughts and Strong legs and lungs!! I am with you in spirit Buddy!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/7/2021 at 2:29 am
Keep going Michael, so proud of you! What a beautiful experience!
Posted by: Michelle on 6/6/2021 at 4:28 pm
June 4, 2021
Friday, June 4, 2021 - 7:22 pm PT
It’s different living at 14,200’. The air is colder, you get winded easier and stoves don’t burn as efficient. We slept in today and waited for the sun to hit our tents before heading down to get our cache at 13,500’. The group did well and we were back in camp for an active rest day. The guides finished the kitchen/dining tent and the climbers enjoyed the views of Mt. Foraker and Mt Hunter. Our 3rd RMI team descended from 17K Camp after a successful summit. Warm tents and good conversations passed the afternoon quickly and we are getting ready for dinner. To better acclimate we’ll take a rest day tomorrow and see what the weather brings.
Rest well Mike , Tom and team!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/6/2021 at 3:31 am
Keep up the good work Two-Dads! Just reading this blog makes me feel tired
Posted by: Adam on 6/5/2021 at 7:39 pm
June 4, 2021
Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 9:59 pm PT
We got up and packed up camp this morning with blue skies and little to no wind. Having just put in a cache at 13,500’ the terrain would not be new. A warmer day than yesterday had us stuck at times behind slower moving parties. We got to 14,200’ camp located in Genet Basin having done a lot of hard work but the Team built camp and we are getting ready for a late dinner. We got a chance to see 2 of 3 RMI teams as they descended from high camp this evening. Tomorrow we will sleep in, pick up our cache and continue to improve camp. No need to go up high until we get a few nights here and some well earned rest. Thanks for following along.
This is Awesome news!! Enjoy every moment , every beautiful view! Climb Strong Tom!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/5/2021 at 2:47 am
Great to see blue skies and improved weather. Get needed rest and move ahead. Thank you for in insight and photography. Tell Rob hello, Tio
Posted by: Kleberg Tio on 6/4/2021 at 12:56 pm
June 3, 2021
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 5:24 pm PT
We had a cold clear night and woke to blue skies. The goal today was to cache food and fuel around Windy Corner at 13,500'. The route would take us up Motorcycle Hill and Squirrel Hill. From there it’s across the Polo Field and into the Saddle before Windy Corner. Windy Corner lived up to its name but the winner of the strongest winds today was the Polo Field. The Team did well and enjoyed the amazing views of the surrounding Alaska Range. We are back at 11K Camp eating food and enjoying some warm tents. We hope to move to 14K Camp tomorrow if the weather permits. There is a weather system forecasted that might keep us here for a few days. We’ll let you know when we know.
Great photos, looks spectacular. Stay strong Rob and team!
Posted by: Brett on 6/4/2021 at 7:07 am
Climb Strong Brother Tom!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/4/2021 at 2:51 am
June 1, 2021
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 3:10 pm PT
The forecast ended up being accurate for a change. We got light snow and wind beginning around midnight that has intensified over the morning. Between the wind, snow and lack of visibility we are staying at 11,200’ today in hopes of making a carry to 13,500’ when the weather allows. Until then we are enjoying the heavier meals and lot of good stories in the kitchen tent. While not the most exciting part of the trip, days like this let the legs rest and the heart/lungs acclimate which will only help us up higher on Denali.
I hope you are acclimating well; taking deep breath’s and enjoying such amazing views. Praying for good weather and a safe climb. Cheeseburgers will be waiting for you!
Posted by: claudette Crockett on 6/4/2021 at 5:01 am
Stay warm Rob and team!
Posted by: Connie on 6/3/2021 at 7:41 am
June 1, 2021
Monday, May 31, 2021 - 4:55 pm PT
After going to bed last night there was an earthquake that shook camp and caused some ice to fall waking up the guides and a few in the group. The others were too deep in sleep from our exhaustive day of trail breaking. Today we got a casual start with a big bacon and cream cheese bagel breakfast. Around 10:30 we headed down to our 9,500’ cache and by 11:30 we had started back up hill in the sunny weather and thin clouds that can feel like your being microwaved. The team did well and are all back in their tents enjoying some down time and their luxurious accommodations. Hard saying what will happen tomorrow cause there is stormy weather in the forecast. We will shoot for a carry of food and fuel around Windy Corner. Thanks for following along.
Climb on Tom!!! I am with you in spirit!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/2/2021 at 3:35 am