Entries By adam knoff

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team - Kahiltna Dreams

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

June 21, 2014 - 8:11 am PT

The transition from the sweet smell of blooming cotton woods, green grass, the easy access to showers to a life of arctic surroundings, grinding work and confined tent living comes abruptly!  This morning that reality was as large as the towering mountains around us but the team motivated quickly and with resolve to get our grand adventure underway.  The mental weight of shouldering a 60-pound pack connected to a 50-pound sled and then hauling it into an arena like the Kahiltna Glacier can be far more intimidating than the actual physical load.  Faced with this challenge our team shined!  We were thrilled to walk out of Base Camp at 9:30 this morning onto the smoothest most user-friendly trail I have seen in all my nine trips to this glacier.  Not only was the trail superb, we had the weather to match.  Five hours after leaving BC we arrived at Camp One.  At only 7,800 feet the vertical gain was not all that much but the distance was enough under monster loads to assure us this journey will not be an easy one.  Tomorrow we will attempt to move again.  Stay tuned.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff signing off

Climbing teams leaving Mt. McKinley's Basecamp. Photo: Chris Villar

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team - Murphy’s Law

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

June 20, 2014 - 7:14 am PT

Three O Clock PM Talkeetna time.  The kids in orange vests that load and unload the planes we were to fly in asked if it was okay to unload the 2,700 pounds of gear weighing down the aircrafts still grounded by ugly mountain weather near Mt. McKinley.  Sure we all said.  By this time the thought of messing around with gear just to pass the time seemed like a safe plan. The flying conditions were reported to be bad all day so the perceived notion that we would fly at all was dwindling.  The forecast for the next few days looked worse so I knew unloading those planes was the best move we could have made.  Not more than 20 minutes after our climbing outfits came off and we were literally heading into town for a beer, base camp called, said conditions looked good and if anyone was ready, load ‘em up ASAP and get them in!  So, off with the jeans and tennies, on with boots and a mild-hurried panic and onto the plane.  Forty-five minutes later we were on the glacier!  Yeeee haaaa.

Everyone is buzzing with good energy and the days to come. Wish us luck on our move to Camp One. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

A view from the flight into Mt. McKinley's Basecamp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Ready for the Kahiltna Glacier!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

June 19, 2014 - 11:24 am PT

The team spent yesterday packing, chatting and organizing food. Today we arrived at the hangar and we’re told to stand by…a few hours later we are still standing by but are loading are bags onto planes and got the go ahead to change into climbing clothes. Hopefully, we will be loading the planes shortly and our next correspondence will be sent from the Kahiltna Glacier!

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Team Knoff in Talkeetna ready to fly onto Mt. McKinley. Photo: Amy Jake

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Mt. McKinley: Adam Knoff & Team Arive in Talkeetna

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

June 18, 2014 - 3:00pm PT

RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand and Team have arrived in Talkeetna, AK to start their 2014 Mt. McKinley Expedition. Everything is going as planned for the team. They have completed their equipment check, met with the National Park Service and with good luck plan to fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier tomorrow.

Follow along on the RMI Expeditions Blog for updates on the team!

Adam Knoff & Team Arrive in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff Adam Knoff & Team Check gear in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff

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Mt. Rainier: Camp Muir Seminar Summits!

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Adam Knoff, Billy Nugent | May 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Hi there, we are having a great summit day!  We left Camp Muir at 4 am and reached the summit at 9:15.  The weather has been very nice.  We are making our way down the mountain now.  We’ll check in when we get back to Camp Muir.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

May 29, 2014 - Camp Muir Seminar on the Mt. Rainier summit! Photo: Seth Waterfall
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Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar Ascends to Camp Muir

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Seth Waterfall | May 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,080'

Hi this Seth.  I’m up at Camp Muir with this week’s Expedition Skills Seminar.  We had a really fun walk up the Muir Snowfield today.  We had expected rain and it started out like that but after a couple of hours we broke into some sun!  The clouds were in and out for the rest of the day so we stayed pretty dry.  We are all settled in at camp now getting ready for our first night on the mountain.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

The Expedition Skills Seminar en route to Camp Muir on May 26th.  Photo: Seth Waterfall
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Mt. Rainier: May 24th Summit!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Ben Liken, Sean Collon | May 24, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb Team led by Adam Knoff reached the summit of Mt. Rainier at about 7:00am this morning.  Adam and Team reported great climbing conditions with light winds and clear skies above 6,000’.  We expect the team back to Ashford Basecamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to Today’s teams!

Climber at Sunrise on Mt. Rainier. RMI Photo Collection
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Mt. Rainier: May 18th Teams Summit!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Brent Okita, Leah Fisher, Sean Collon, Bridget Belliveau, Chase Nelson | May 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Five Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Adam Knoff reached the summit of Mt. Rainier yesterday afternoon in cold and windy conditions.  The team descended back to Camp Muir for the night.  The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Brent Okita reached the summit this morning and reports blue skies on top with a cap beginning to form.  Both teams will be back in Ashford later today.

The Four Day Summit Climb May 15 - 18, 2014 nears the summit of Mt. Rainier.  Photo: Brent Okita The view from Disappointment Cleaver on May 18, 2014.  Photo: Brent Okita The Four Day Summit Climb May 15 - 18, 2014 makes their summit attempt.  Photo: Brent Okita
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Mt. Rainier: RMI Guide Elias de Andres Recaps Winter Seminar & Successful Summit

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Adam Knoff, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt | March 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Last week was RMI’s March Expedition Skills Seminar-Winter. Like every month from January to April, a team of intrepid climbers looking to learn the beauty of winter mountaineering, ventured up the slopes of Mt. Rainier on this, our classic six-day winter program. Guides Adam Knoff, Leah Fisher, Nick Hunt and myself, Elías de Andrés, enjoyed the company of a dozen folks, who initally were welcomed by a characteristic March day; rain in town, snow and wind up high. Our orientation day in Ashford would include a thorough evaluation of the forecast, a task that is, regardless, part of this program’s curriculum. But in this case, with a close look at a promising improving trend which would keep us excited for the remaining of the day.

The next morning, with packs ready and boots laced up, we headed into the park not without a delay due to the National Park’s snow plows hard work to keep the road to Paradise open to individuals like us. Upon arriving to Paradise we rigged our equipment for the hike to what would be our first camp. Atop Marmot Hill, we built a fortified settlement “Denali style” for the evening. A “posh house” tent was erected to socialize at dinner time, just like on any expedition, really. It was a new sight for many in the group, which by now were enjoying expedition life barely 500ft above the parking lot.

Our hike to Muir started as we waved good bye to a weatherfront that had wiped western Washington for a few days, but not without great team effort breaking trail for most of the remaining 4,000 vertical feet to Camp Muir. Enjoying the clearest skies possible, our climbers who’d arrived from all parts of the country could make out in the horizon the central Oregon volcanoes of Mt. Hood and Jefferson without even squinting. To the north, some avalanches, along with ice and rock fall from the Nisqually Ice Cliff, reminded us of the interactions between the new loaded glaciers the spring-like sun of this day. The next 36 hours would continue to add to the tool kit the climbers were building for future expeditions and also, in order to face, of course, a potential climb the following day as the high pressure system was supposed to last for at least three days. Muir Peak, the AAA Gully, the Cowlitz Glacier… all provided, in the vicinity of Camp Muir, a perfect training ground.

In the morning of Thursday, March 13th, we woke up to yet another incredible day; clear skies had been swiped of clouds by the same winds that windblasted some of the upper slopes… as well as loaded others. Careful evaluation by the guides on the go, determined a safe, wind-scoured route up the west side of the Ingraham Glacier, a seldom traveled route almost hugging Gibraltar Rock on its east side. Once at Camp Comfort, trail breaking efforts would begin again, and as the team team held it together, we were getting closer to the top in sometimes mid-calf deep snow on the now, more lower angled sections of the climb.

After 6 hours and 50 minutes of ascent, the team reached the crater rim to the now strengthening winds. But a new winter summit had been attained by another successful RMI Winter Skills Seminar team. Our careful preparation to detail, our philosophy in approaching the mountain, the guidance of the leaders and the great application of the skills learned by the climbers allowed the feat… the RMI way!

The next day, in a deja vu of what winter is truly like, we woke up to one-foot tall spindrifts and gusts of over 70mph at Camp Muir. Most of the guides, including myself, couldn’t remember such conditions on the snowfield. Far away from feeling accomplished by the previous day’s achievement, successfully navigating down to Paradise in such white-out conditions demanded now serious skill and perseverance. A team of now well-trained climbers, learned their last lesson of this winter seminar; the summit is only back at the car. Three hours later we’d bypass the remains of our camp on day 1, and as the winds decreased at 6,000ft and visibility came back to reasonable, we reached the Paradise parking lot. Celebratory drinks and a dinner over future climbing plans with the climbers was the perfect closure to a week on the frigid, yet amazing environment of winter on Mt. Rainier.

Come play, climb and learn with RMI! Satisfaction guaranteed.

Elías de Andrés
RMI Senior Guide

Winter seminar's first camp at Marmot Hill. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos RMI Winter Seminar ascending the upper slopes of Mt. Rainier. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos March 2014 Winter Seminar team walking into the Mt. Rainier crater. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos March 13, 2014 -Winter Seminar summit team pose under bluebird skies in Mt. Rainier's crater. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos
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Mexico: Knoff & Team Find Success on Orizaba!

Posted by: Adam Knoff | March 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico
Elevation: 18,701'

The morning of March 8th began like most others do when climbing a big mountain.  A 1am wake up call, yummy instant oatmeal and coffee and the persistent interpersonal question of, “Why on earth do I do this?”

We lucked out again with the weather.  A strong wind was blowing when we arrived at the hut and blew all through dinner.  Much like it did on Ixta.  By the time we pulled ourselves out of bed, most of us having not slept anyway, the wind was gone.  Mommy nature was indeed in a good mood and happy with us, so both mornings on Ixta and Orizaba, were perfect.  Also perfect was the teams readiness and psych.  We began walking up hill at 2:15 a.m. and everyone was feeling solid and positive.  After we got through the cruxy ice section called the labyrinth and onto the Jamapa Glacier, we knew we could make it.  This Mexican glacier looks simple but once on it the darn thing seems like the twilight zone.  You move but never go anywhere.  After putting one foot in front of the other for three hours we did land somewhere, the summit!  All eight of us, including Fozzi our local guide and myself, had made the tops of both Ixta and Orizaba.  This team battled illnesses, mild AMS, anxiety and the stress of undertaking intimidating mountain climbs like champs.  hey all made me proud!

We then returned to the comforts of our outfitters compound and prepared for the flights home.  We are all thrilled to both have had a successful adventure and to come home today.  Thanks to the entire team for a fantastic trip! 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI team climbing at sunrise on Orizaba summit day.  Photo: Greg Buzulencia The shadow cast by Pico de Orizaba at sunrise. Photo: RMI Collection

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