Entries By adam knoff
May 31, 2015
Sunday, May 31st 9:45 am PDT
Hi there. This is Adam Knoff calling from high camp on Mount McKinley. Yesterday we packed up on a beautiful day at 14,000’ and moved to high camp at 17,200’. The team certainly decided that yesterday’s move was physically the hardest day of the trip with heavy packs and moving to a new altitude record for a lot of our climbers. We are taking a rest day here at camp today in beautiful sunny weather as we watch a lot of climbers head up the mountain towards the summit. We will be organizing gear and getting ready for our summit attempt tomorrow. The team is feeling great and happy to be at high camp preparing for their shot at the top of North America tomorrow. Wish us well, can’t wait to report back. We will talk to you tomorrow. Bye.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff calls in from high camp on Mount McKinley.
On The Map
Good luck and stay strong!
Posted by: Patty on 6/1/2015 at 7:57 am
Good luck Team Knoff on reaching the summit tomorrow. Proud of you , Shannon Long, for your drive and determination. Indiana will be anxiously waiting for a full report. Safe climbing and Godspeed!
Posted by: Mark fisher on 6/1/2015 at 6:13 am
May 30, 2015
Friday, May 29th 11:00 pm PDT
Expedition life lends itself to improvisation and today gave us the perfect opportunity to think on our feet. Our original plan was to carry a load of group gear to the top of the fixed lines at 16,500’ and rest a full day tomorrow. However, a strong high pressure system moved over the mountain, opening the gates to the upper mountain for all of the other teams that have been stuck at 14,000’ for days. As a result, camp was extremely active today as well over a hundred climbers woke up early and began a move to high camp. The fixed lines were jammed up all day with climbers, and rather than wait in that line ourselves, our team formulated a new plan.
Today became our rest day. We relaxed in the beautiful weather at camp and took an afternoon stroll to the Edge of the World. Guides Adam and Andy, studs that they are, completed the high cache on their own in the evening once the fixed lines cleared up from the folks that were moving up. Our goal tomorrow is to pack up camp early, and move ahead to high camp, putting ourselves in the perfect position to attempt a summit bid in the next few days while the good weather lasts.
The team is in high spirits and feeling strong! Goodnight!
RMI Guide Nick Hunt and the rest of the team
On The Map
Booyah - a high pressure system! Thinking of you all scrambling up those fixed lines. G Barber, you have these dialed! Hats off to the guides for putting your team in a good summit position. Enjoy the amazing views to high camp! xoxo, Ker
Posted by: Kerry on 5/31/2015 at 11:26 am
Wow! You have amazing guides! Looks like the weather is perfect for you guys! Go for it!! Good luck at high camp and on summit day. We’re thinking of you. Take care!
Posted by: Joyce Tocher on 5/30/2015 at 2:47 pm
May 29, 2015
May 29, 2015 10:41am PST
As the sun hit our tent we woke up ready for our back carry to above windy corner. We could hear the wind in the distance scouring the buttress above us. But here at camp it was calm and brisk. Since we worked hard on our move to 14 camp and our back carry would only take a few hours, we opted for a relaxing morning before our work had to be done. After lounging in the posh till late morning we geared up and retrieved our cashed equipment and food.
When we got back it was only mid afternoon, so the next task was to fortify camp with walls in case the wind decided to give us trouble. Little did we know that our team consisted of Egyptian craftsman. In no time or camp was secure.With much of the day left we took a solid break and made some fresh coffee, which is a real amenity up here. After being properly caffeinated we practice fixed line travel which will be a well needed review before cashing at 16,200.
We are feeling good and are putting ourselves in a position to head higher on the mountain. With a little more acclimation and calm weather we will be ready for high camp and a bid at the summit. We are all very excited.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff & Team
I think I know who one of those Egyptian craftsmen is!
Posted by: Jessie on 5/29/2015 at 9:58 pm
Enjoy the moment. Following each blog and the breathtaking photos. Much love
Posted by: Carolyn Walllgren on 5/29/2015 at 5:48 pm
May 28, 2015
May 28, 2015 - 9:39 am PT
In the big picture breakdown of Mt. McKinley’s climbing days, it would be said that historically the move day from 11,000 foot camp to 14,000 foot camp would prove to be one of the most difficult. Today I would say that we beat the odds. We broke camp at 7 am this morning in quick time and after a delicious breakfast of instant oatmeal and instant coffee we were ready to tackle the day’s first objective. Directly out of 11 camp, a swell steep uphill called Motorcycle Hill greets you. Next is Squirrel Hill and after that Windy Corner. Now I’m not sure how we have gotten in such good graces with the often grumpy weather gods but today those gods, sitting around their big weather God dinner table, decide today should be the nicest day all month. With clear skies, no wind and perfect walking temps we all zipped right through those hills and corners to a breathtaking camp here at 14,000 feet. We were in no rush because the day was so amazing so we created our own camp out of scratch and are all feeling rewarded and strong. Big move days rarely go this smooth. We could not feel more psyched for what’s to come.
I am thinking about you Liam. I can’t wait to see you.
Wishing all of our family and friends big hugs.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff
On The Map
Looks like very good, uh- great, luck so far! Have fun.
Posted by: Cathy S. on 5/29/2015 at 10:33 am
Glad for the weather. Stay strong. Enjoying the posts.
Posted by: Patty on 5/29/2015 at 10:22 am
May 26, 2015
May 26, 2015 - 7:24 pm PT
I gave the team a general idea of when we might start breakfast this morning at dinner last night. I bet we get hot water started at around 8, then start pancakes and coffee shortly after that I said. I didn’t even open my eyes until almost nine. While in the middle of working your way up this mountain day after day none of us realized how much we could use a rest. Today it became clear. We sat in the cook tent making fresh Pete’s coffee and watching Andy flip flap jacks until almost noon. Then we took naps and soaked up the sun we haven’t really seen clearly this entire trip. Now we are cooking quesadillas and packing up for our potential move to 14 Camp tomorrow. Everyone is happy to be caching dirty underwear, smelly socks and unneeded stuff for the upper mountain. It has been a beautiful rest day here at 11 Camp but after getting a great view of the upper mountain yesterday, the team feels super psyched to push this climb higher and see what unfolds.
Check in tomorrow for the outcome of our hopeful move.
Team Knoff saying goodnight.
On The Map
So glad to hear you are all doing so well and that you took a day to rest! Can’t wait to see how the next move goes!
Sending love from home!
Nic and Jek xox
Posted by: Angelica on 5/27/2015 at 10:36 pm
Shannon and team, hope you enjoyed your rest day. Pancakes always good to warm the belly. Climb on. Looking forward to the next post.
Posted by: patty & mark on 5/27/2015 at 12:19 pm
May 26, 2015
May 26, 2015 - 10:08 am PT
Today is Memorial Day. With the simplicity of life on this mountain taking charge, many of us don’t even know what day it is. The process of get up, get dressed in close quarters, make your way to the cook tent dug into the side of the mountain, eat breakfast, pack you bag and climb, come back to the tents, eat dinner and go to bed is a process where days don’t matter. So if birthdays are missed, anniversaries are forgotten about, we are not to blame. Despite having digital doohickeys with us, looking at calendars and keeping track of days becomes arbitrary. Today as it turns out wasn’t Memorial Day up here, it was Windy Corner day. This legendary gateway to the upper mountain is famous for its heinous wind, scary rock fall and tricky crevasses. We are happy to report our carry around the corner to 13,500 feet went as smooth as we could have asked for. Again we lucked out with weather because as I wrote earlier our early morning wake up calls got us going into clear skies but as soon as we arrived back in camp seven hours later it was snowing as hard as it has all trip. There is much to be said for walking into a camp that is waiting for you. We will rest tomorrow and eat pancakes and drink fresh coffee until nap time. We can’t wait.
Hello to Mrs. Vradenburg’s class at Lamotte School I hope Liam is behaving. Stay tuned.
On The Map
Hi Greg… sooooo excited to hear the weather is cooperating this time around! The HFI crew is wishing you and your group a safe summit & return. We sort of miss you??? ;) Love the blog!
Posted by: Shelly Davies on 5/27/2015 at 7:50 am
Sounds like weather and timing are working well for you climbers. wishing everyone a well deserved rest and careful climbing tomorrow. Thinking of you often Greg. Great to get the blogs. Good luck.
Posted by: Dawn on 5/26/2015 at 6:26 pm
May 25, 2015
May 24, 2015 - 11:48 pm PT
Hello again from 11,000ft!
We woke up this morning to a fresh dumping of snow at camp, covering our tents and cook tent. First order of business this morning was getting everything dug out and reinforcing our snow walls.
The weather was still looking a little squirrelly afterwards, so we opted for a bit of a relaxed breakfast while we continued to watch what was going on outside. After a couple hours, our patience was rewarded and things cleared up enough for us to get organized and take off downhill to retrieve our cache at 9800’. We made down, grabbed our cached goods, and jammed back uphill in good time. This is a strong team! Everyone just keeps going and is having fun!
Once back at 11,000’ with all our gear, the weather made a turn for the better. The skies cleared out, the winds died down, and the sun warmed us as we relaxed for the rest of the evening. If all goes well, we’ll push up to 13,500’ tomorrow to cache our gear around Windy Corner in preparation for our move to 14k.
Goodnight for now!
RMI Guide Nick Hunt and the rest of the team
On The Map
Much respect for you all and your endeavor on Denali. This is your year Will. Godspeed….
Posted by: John on 5/26/2015 at 8:10 am
Shannon—sorry we missed your calls Sunday night. Thought of you through the weekend and missed your smiling face and sarcastic jabs at Shakamak. Wishing you and the entire team better weather and a safe climb. We’re cheering you on!
Posted by: Mark on 5/26/2015 at 7:34 am
May 24, 2015
May 23, 2015 - 11:00 pm PT
In the real world the saying goes"the early bird gets the worm”. This season on Denali, the early bird gets the weather window. Now I’ve never been a bird before so I’m not gonna judge on how good a worm must taste, but I have been here before and I can tell you that moving camp in clear weather is much tastier than moving in a storm. So, with a clear but windy morning we scarfed down a warm granola breakfast cached some unneeded gear and quickly broke camp. Our team is getting very proficient at this skill so we were rolling by 9:15. Nick led the team out and in 2.5 hours of sustained up hill travel had us all sitting at 11,200 feet. It wasn’t long after we began building a fresh camp that the weather had enough of being nice and took a quick turn for the worst. It held out just long enough to get camp built and then really started snowing and blowing. The forecast is calling for up to a foot of snow by the end of tomorrow so we feel blessed to be in a good spot to wait things out. Everyone sends big hugs to those following the blog and little hugs to those who aren’t.
From from Camp three.
RMI Guide Adam Knoff and team saying goodnight.
On The Map
Way to go Joe and team! Matt, Suzy, and Lucille are very excited for you and following your adventure. Alice is just thirsty and tired.
Posted by: Suzy on 5/26/2015 at 11:23 am
Way to go, Uncle Joe! We are excited to follow your climb. Good luck.
Posted by: Jedrek & Guthrie on 5/26/2015 at 9:26 am
May 23, 2015
Saturday, May 23rd 12:44 am PDT
I would like to dedicate this dispatch (one of many I’m sure) to my six year old son, Liam, who’s kindergarten class will be following the blog as our adventure unfolds. Hi kiddo! Daddy misses you a lot!
Up here on the mountain, day two was again a well executed day. We packed up camp at 7,800 feet and made a single carry of all of our things up to 9,800 feet were we are camped for night. We each moved well over one hundred pounds divided between our sleds and packs. From here on up we begin to split the loads, taking some up the mountain in one carry and then returning the next day to retrieve the rest. The weather here is well below freezing at night and we have strong gusty winds that are blowing snow around. We got lucky to move into a camp that already had big snow block walls built to protect us a bit from the heavy gusts. Tomorrow we will decide what the plan is after we have breakfast and check the weather. So far so good.
RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, and Andy Hildebrand
On The Map
Thanks for the great update—everyone in STL wants to know how you all are doing! George and Margaret have been telling everyone they see that Daddy is in Alaska climbing a mountain! Lot’s of pool time this weekend - Friday night with E & A and yesterday with the Sinton’s and Queens—they all miss you! Thinking of you every day….love H, G and M
Posted by: Heather on 5/24/2015 at 6:45 am
Enjoying your newsy blog. What a team, Sending an abundance of well wishes for continued success and cooperative weather. Stay warm and enjoy your adventure.
Posted by: Carolyn Wallgren on 5/24/2015 at 5:37 am
May 22, 2015
May 21, 2015 - 10:46 pm PT
The team has made it to Camp 1 in almost perfect style. I am on my seventh Denali climb as a guide and have never gone from Base Camp to Camp 1 with such seamlessness. No one had a single sled issue or cursed my name for giving them so much gear. No one got a blister or fell behind a single second. Like I said earlier, I am very pleased with this team. One day down, who knows how many more to go.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report.
On The Map
We sure hope the weather holds clear and bright the rest of your journey. Safe climbing to the whole team. Keep up the good work and good luck to you all.
Posted by: Connie Whitley on 5/23/2015 at 4:14 am
Way to go team! Glad all is well. We sure are routing for y’all. Greetings from Texas! Yee,haw!!
Posted by: Joyce Tocher on 5/22/2015 at 6:20 pm