Entries By alex halliday
July 19, 2018
At the end of this past April, eleven RMI guides came together in Washington to take the AMGA Alpine Skills Course, a prerequisite for the Alpine Guide Course, and a great continuing education opportunity for all of us to remain at the forefront of current guiding techniques. After a winter of far-flung adventures, Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, Alan Davis, and myself converged on Ashford. These courses are an important chance for us to refresh our skillset and learn some new tricks from our peers and the instructors from the AMGA.
Over the course of 5 days at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park, and on Mt. Erie, outside Anacortes, WA, we reviewed snow anchor construction and multi-pitch techniques for snowy environments, belaying and lowering techniques, short roping and short pitching, and anchor station management. Success in our guiding often lies in not only being able to utilize a number of techniques to manage risk, but in being able to maintain efficiency and timeliness at the same time. As we worked through different transitions, techniques, and scenarios with our peers, we all walked away with a few new tools in our bag and I’m convinced will be better guides for it.
This was a fantastic event for the eleven of us, and many thanks go out to RMI and the AMGA for putting it on. Congrats to Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, and Alan Davis for completing the course!
June 1, 2018
Friday, June 1, 2018 - 6:33 PM PT
From the top of Radio Tower to the bottom of the crevasse on the Kahiltna, your guides; Christina, Lucas, and Alex thank the Alaska Seminar team for bringing a sense of humor and awe to the 9 days spent together. We are now off the ice and onto burgers and brews.
May 31, 2018
May 31, 2018 - 10:32 pm PT
We just finished up out last dinner (weather permitting) on the glacier. Today we loaded gear on our backs and sleds and moved to basecamp where our group decided to set up tents then take an evening glacier hike to the base of the North Face of Mount Hunter to say farewell to the Alaska Range. We all feel grateful for the time to learn and explore here. I know for a fact many of our team will be back soon to climb the Great One.
May 30, 2018
After a lazy morning of hiding in tents or the cook tent from the snow and wind we had brunch. It was a two hot drink kind of morning. But then the temps warmed and the clouds lightened and we set up a ropes course on the glacier. We used ascenders to climb ropes, rappels to descend, and tethers to traverse. After some avalanche beacon searching drills, we hunkered down for some lunch and an avalanche formation lecture. All in all, a lot of practice clipping carabiners and using gear. This group has taken everything in stride and keeps impressing us with their focus and energy. We also have been enjoying the laughter that seems to roll out of the kitchen tent all evening. Tomorrow we’ll rig sleds and head back to Kahiltna Basecamp and then into a hot shower way too soon after that. Whether we’re climbing, learning, or hanging out, this group has been a true pleasure to be with for the past eight days.
RMI Guides Christina Dale, Lucas Haaland, and Alex Halliday
May 29, 2018
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 5:28 PM PT
Today we awoke to some of the first stormy weather of the trip. After sleeping in a little and taking the time to make a delicious pancake and bacon breakfast we roped up and spent the afternoon climbing to Furien Col taking advantage of a good weather window. The climb was steep and involved. We used many of the climbing and anchoring techniques that we’ve learned throughout the week. It was fun to put our skills to use and get up to a high point. Unfortunately, no views for us because the weather rolled in and we were inside a pingpong ball. We descended from the col and are taking time to rest in our tents.
RMI Guide Christina Dale
May 28, 2018
Monday, May 28th - 8:10 pm PST
We woke up to more sunshine and the smell of bacon on the Kahiltna. After breakfast burritos browned to perfection by Lucas, we packed up camp and took off down Heart Break Hill. Named for its uphill torture on the way back to the airstrip. Everyone reported feeling “great!” after the descent. But then we started the glacier slog with heavy packs and sleds. The next break the team reported feeling “good.” After another two hours the team asked, “So, where is camp?” We pulled into a perfect camp in Farine Basin and got to work excavating the glacier and flattening our sleeping nooks. Now it looks perfect for the night. The team is doing well and showed their strength by building camp in good fashion after a long day. If this good weather holds, we’ll attempt to climb Farine Peak tomorrow.
Rick…..Hopefully you won’t have to to use any crevasse rescue skills. So claustrophobic, so it gives me the chills. Pictures are so beautiful. Good luck and prayers on the climb to Farine Peak. Love, Mom & Dad
Posted by: Marci & Keith Meyer on 5/29/2018 at 12:03 pm
May 28, 2018
Sunday, May 27th - 11:00 pm PST
What a day of rope work we had under the most amazing back drop of Mount Hunter. We went through different knots and how to build a variety of equalized snow anchors. Then we put it to practice and had everyone take turns going into a deep crevasse and the team would build a pulley system to bring them out. This was an Alaska style crevasse which means it appears bottomless and cold. We had so much fun exploring the glacier up close and personal. The team’s rope skills are great but we hope to avoid using the rescue skills as we head out tomorrow to move camp up the Kahiltna Glacier. After such a big day of playing on and in the glaciers, we all treated ourselves to two hot chocolates after a delicious dinner of tortellini with sun-dried tomatoes.
Goodnight from the glacier!
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May 26, 2018
The team woke to blue skies and firm snow. The smiles grew even more as they devoured Bagel Bacon sandwiches for breakfast. They are hard not to love when the crisp texture of bacon and lightly, toasted bagel has been cooked to perfection by our leader Christina. We suited up and headed out on firm snow in boots under the tower which cast a shadow and gave us a delightful coolness from the beating sun. We traversed under a few seracs before we donned crampons on the hard-packed snow up to the top of Radio Tower. With sweeping views we visually inspected and learned about the intricacies of the phenomenon of Glaciers and Mountains. We descended under some growing clouds to a spectacular basecamp where we are now lounging in the sun and sipping on La Croix. The team is so strong and impressed us all by climbing a peak like this on day 2. We wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather and were proud that everyone climbed so well.
What an adventure! I’m so excited to see all your pictures and hear about your memories. Enjoy every moment.
Posted by: Wendy on 5/28/2018 at 3:18 am
I hope the campbooties are keeping you warm and cozy. Missing you!
Posted by: Madison Booth on 5/26/2018 at 11:21 pm
May 26, 2018
After a great night sleep, and tasty breakfast at the Roadhouse, we had the most scenic flight I’ve ever had into the Alaska Range. We easily landed on the snow thanks to the K2 pilots, and build ourselves a great camp at the base of Mount Francis. Everyone was all smiles while digging out tent platforms because of the sunny weather and perfect views. After moving into the tents, snacking on some salami and chocolate the team headed out to learn more mountaineering techniques. Self arrest, rope travel and foot work were all refreshed through the afternoon. Now for some hot food and drinks in our spacious kitchen tent.
RMI Guide Christina Dale
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May 25, 2018
May 25, 2018 - 10:01 AM PT
Our bags are packed, we’re ready to go…and here our patient and excited group waits with boots on in the K2 hanger. The skies are clearing and we’ll be airborne momentarily. Wish us luck!
RMI Guide Christina Dale