Entries By adam knoff

Ecuador: Knoff & Team Hike Pinchincha Ruccu

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt | January 08, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 15,400'

Hola amigos y familia,   

Today team Ecuador finally got some needed exercise.  Yes I will admit, curling cervesas and walking around Quito does count as calorie burning activities but after a long travel day and substantial city tour, we were ready to go up!  And up we went. 
After breakfast today we met one of our local guides here at the hotel, his name is Henry.  Henry owns a beautiful old Toyota Land Cruiser which unfortunately fits only four team members.  This space deficiency created a need for two taxis to shuttle the rest of us to the starting point of the day’s hike.  I had luck working on my side it seems when myself and three others loaded into one yellow cab and Nick and his team piled into the second.  Why were we lucky you might ask,  because we made it to point B from point A without an accident.  Nick’s cabby thought “all street signs, traffic lights and street lines were merely suggestions”.  Three close calls and a fender bender with another cab later, we were all together.  I always say let the adventures start as soon as possible. 

From our gathering point, the next mode of transport was a cable car or gondola starting at 10,000 feet which swooshed us without even breaking a sweat to 13,000 feet.  Luckily no accidents on this stretch.  Those might be less forgiving.  From the top of the gondola, the 15,400 foot summit of Pinchincha Rucu, which was the day’s objective, looked sunny and inviting.  A rare case in my experience.  With a bit of heavy breathing and 60 minutes walk time, 6 of our team’s 10 climbers had reached a new personal altitude record.  With a bit more breathing, two more hours walk time and all of our warm cloths on, the entire team reached the summit.  It was a glorious start to what should be one grande adventure.  Barring the vans and jeeps keep between the lines. 

We are now preparing for a well deserved dinner and otra cervesa.  Follow along tomorrow to hear about mountain number two. 

Adios de Quito,
 
RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt and Team

The RMI team acclimating hike on Rucu Pichincha, Ecuador. Photo: Nick Hunt Ecuador Seminar team on the Rucu Pichincha summit. Photo: Nick Hunt The view of Quito, Ecuador from the summit of Pinchincha Ruccu. RMI Photo Collection

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Ecuador: The Seminar Team Arrives and Tours Colonial Quito

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt | January 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

We are officially underway!

Our day began with the first official team breakfast at the hotel. Everybody made it safely to Quito, and almost all of the bags arrived. One team member did need to return to the airport early this morning to attempt to track down his two missing duffels. Last we heard, the bags were still unaccounted for, but the team has high hopes! We had a 100% recovery rate for lost luggage last year, and have no reason to believe the same won’t be true for us again.

After a hearty meal and a round of introductions, we took a quick walk around the block to familiarize ourselves with the area surrounding the hotel, taking time to locate a couple of the shops we can obtain provisions from and to scout a few restaurants for our team dinners the next two nights in Quito. Upon returning to the hotel, we met our local city tour guide for the day, Wilson, who promptly collected us on the bus and started off our day of sightseeing. As an Otavalo native, Wilson was full of information about everything we could ever want to know about Ecuador: politics, economics, art, culture. His good humor kept the atmosphere light and energizing while still providing a highly educational experience.

Our first stop of the day was the Mitad del Mundo, or the Middle of the World. This small (but highly entertaining!) outdoor museum allowed us to observe a number of demonstrations that showed the unique effects of gravity along the equator, as well as the variations between the northern and southern hemispheres. We hopped back on the bus and transferred to Colonial Quito, were we took a walking tour of Independence Square and the surrounding area. One of the more memorable moments of this tour was squeezing our way through an extremely narrow, steep and dark staircase in the back of an ornate cathedral, working our way to the roof for a fantastic view of the area. Clear skies allowed us to catch a few glimpses of Cotopaxi and Cayambe, two of our bigger objectives on this trip.

We were finished with the tour by early afternoon, giving the team plenty of time to relax and get organized for our first acclimatization climb tomorrow up Rucu Pichincha. Our evening tonight will be filled with gear checks, naps, and a team dinner in town.

Until then!
RMI Guides Nick Hunt, Adam Knoff, and the rest of the team

The Ecuador Seminar team at Mitad del Mundo. Photo: Nick Hunt

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Mt. Rainier: September 1st Update

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Pete Van Deventer | September 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Summit!  The Mount Rainier Summit Climb, led by Adam Knoff and Pete Van Deventer, reached the top this morning and began their descent just before 8:00 a.m.  There were some gusty winds and clear skies. We just received an update from Adam Knoff that the team is leaving Ingraham Flats and will be back to Camp Muir in about an hour.

Sunrise on Mount Rainier. Photo: RMI Collection
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Mt. Rainier: Four Day Teams Reach the Summit!

Posted by: Geoff Schellens, Adam Knoff | August 28, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb teams led by RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Adam Knoff reached the summit of Mt. Rainier today under sunny skies.  The teams spent a little time on the crater before starting their descent around 7:30 am.  Once at Camp Muir the teams will take a short break and continue down to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Experience Deja Vu

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 12:05 PM PT

Well, the team is currently experiencing deja vu here at 11,200’ camp on Mt. McKinley.  Before arriving here in deja vu land, the team did an AWESOME job packing up high camp and descending to 14,200’ camp.  At 14,200’ we were met by Dave Hahn and his team who treated us to lots of hot water and quesadillas.  Delicious and just what we needed!

Descending to 11 camp required all of our attention as we re-acquainted ourselves with sleds, experienced some post-holing, and walked (as best we could) through less than exciting weather.  Now to the deja vu part of the story…a snow storm at 11,200’.  We thought the weather gods had released all of the snow on us already but we were wrong.  We are doing a weather dance right now so we can continue our descent and make our dreams of warm showers, cold beers, and loved ones a reality.  Until then, we will keep you posted.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI team experiencing a snow storm at 11,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Reach the Summit!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 20,320'

July 6, 2014 - 11:00 am PT

Adam Knoff called the office with great news: The team reached the summit of Mount McKinley at 7:00pm last night!  Everyone is doing great and very happy.  They are packing up high camp and plan to head down to 14K camp to visit with Dave Hahn and team, then may continue on to 11,000’.  Their plan is to be at Basecamp tomorrow.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI climber on McKinley's Summit Ridge. Photo: RMI Collection

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Great news on my BD!! Congrats to all of the team members. Travel down safely, enjoy the first beer!

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Posted by: Jane on 7/6/2014 at 5:07 pm

Dave!  I am proud of you Come down safe.
-Marie

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Posted by: Marie on 7/6/2014 at 4:32 pm


Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Doing Well on Their Summit Bid

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

July 5, 2014 - 5:05 pm PT

Adam called and reported that they were on their way up to the summit, just below the Football Field with all climbers doing well. Yesterday was a great move day for them, and they continue to enjoy good weather, with blue skies and 20mph winds.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI team above Denali Pass on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Move to 17K Camp

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

July 4, 2014 - 9:44 pm PT

The move to Mt. McKinley’s high camp is like stepping into the ring with a heavy weight larger than King Kong.  Thing is, he really likes to throw things at you in one long grueling round.  That round our team won.  It could not have been a more perfect day to come to high camp.  Now the question becomes how much strength does the team have for round two which comes in the form of Godzilla.  Tomorrow we will attempt to climb to the summit, weather permitting.  Wish us well.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff and team signing off from high camp.

An RMI Guide breaks trail on the Autobahn, Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Ready to Move Up

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Thursday, July 2, 2014 – 4:43 PM PT

Yesterday our team experienced the unparalleled vistas of a clear sky at 16,200’ on Denali as we were finally handed a nearly perfect day. We loaded up three days of lunch and snack food plus a few personal items for our carry to the top of the fixed lines which crest Washburn’s Ridge—the most stimulating section of Denali’s West Buttress Route. The team did great learning how to jumar. All members of the St. Angelo family and Jay and Mary Lampas hit personal altitude records. Fatima did a great job breaking trail down the lines, literally paving the way for thirty other climbers on the same program as us. 

The population of 14k camp has increased dramatically. What once was a camp that resembled a wide cow pasture with wandering wildlife now resembles a city with distinct neighborhoods on main thoroughfares.  Just like a city, this can create traffic jams when multiple teams, all roped together, try to move around at the same time. This sudden influx of guided teams means we will need to wake up at 4 am, while the temperature here sits around 5 below, just to beat the crowds and avoid a bottleneck.

This afternoon we had a lengthy breakfast which leaned more along the lines of a leisurely brunch. We then took a beautiful stroll to an incredible precipice called the Edge of the World. Great weather allowed us more breathtaking views and inspired us for the hard days to come. Hopefully our next contact will be from high camp.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

The view from the Edge of the World at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Lindsay Mann The view from the Edge of the World at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Happy July 4, thanks for the great report from yesterday, hoping the warmth and sun stay strong. Climb on and hoping the summit is as beautiful.

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Posted by: Jane on 7/4/2014 at 4:22 am

So glad to hear you guys finally got some well deserved improvement in your weather and it sounds like you are really going strong. Looks like Fatima’s spirits must be… read more

Posted by: peter williamson on 7/3/2014 at 5:22 pm


Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Train and Re-Design Camp

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

July 2, 2014 - 12:09 am PT

Thank you for all of the blog comments. It is great to hear from everyone back home and it is always reinvigorating.

Today we got to sleep in and then scurried down to our cache above Windy Corner. It was nice to be reunited with our food, clean underwear and base layers that we left buried in the snow for a few days. We then spent the afternoon doing some kitchen redesign, fixed line training and more sorting of food.

Tomorrow is an exciting day! We will get to see some more challenging and exciting terrain—carrying to the top of the fixed lines!

RMI Guide Adam Knoff and Team

The views from Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Brent Okita

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