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Entries By andrew kiefer

June 21, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Trip Complete

June 21, 2015 2:37 pm PT

Well the team has disbanded for more solo projects after an incredible climb of Denali.  We worked hard together for a few weeks and were lucky enough to see that hard work pay off and stand on top together.  I’m proud of the effort and camaraderie that made a successful trip for everyone.  So much goes in to a good adventure and the main ingredient is the people who choose to undertake it.  Thanks to everyone who offered up their loved ones for a few weeks while we tried to match an exceptional mountain.  See you all soon and great job Team.

RMI Guides Jake, Andrew and Christina

Amazing Feat AJ! Congratulations again team! :)


Posted by: Priya on 6/25/2015 at 10:23 am

Congratulations All! Bravely done, and looks like you had a stellar weather window for summit day. I look forward to hearing stories when you get back, Bill Dorn…

Posted by: Theron Shaw on 6/22/2015 at 10:14 am

June 19, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Summit!

Friday June 19th 11:11 pm PT

On Thursday, June 18th, RMI Guide Jake Beren and his June 2nd Mount McKinley Expedition reached the summit!!!

After our spectacular day on the roof of this continent, we have to come down. Waking to calm winds and warm(ish) temperatures, we packed up our high camp and bid our snow walls and tent platforms adios. Leaving 17K Camp we cruised the Buttress and made it down to 14K Camp where we dug up a cache and wished the ascending RMI team bon voyage before heading to 11K camp to grab a few winks while the glacier sets up for our walk out to the runway.

Amazing how just last week we were camped here with a huge mountain ahead of us filled with so many unknowns. Now we are on the other side of the mountain, grateful for the exploration of an amazing place on planet earth.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

So awesome that you all made it. We can’t wait to hear all the details and celebrate with you!


Posted by: Lisa Van Dusen on 6/24/2015 at 9:48 pm

Way to go everyone! Can’t wait to hear all about it Mere!

Sarah S

Posted by: Sarah S on 6/23/2015 at 9:46 am

June 18, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Move to High Camp

June 17, 2015 9:24 pm PT

Good evening from High Camp on Mt. McKinley!  Here we are, poised and ready after a smooth move to the high country. The team did great and we are in bed on a beautiful, clear night on the Great One. With any luck we will try our hand at matching ourselves to this stunning mountain if the weather holds tomorrow. Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Hey AJ, I’m so excited to know that it’s finally happened for you. I am assuming you’ve submitted already and it was more fun than what you imagined! Can’t wait to see how you worked your GoPro :)
Great job Team, cheers!

Posted by: Charu on 6/19/2015 at 11:30 pm

You are lucky to have the best guide(s) in the whole company!!  i hope someone has taken some pictures. What we have seen is absolutely stellar.  By our count you probably have submitted.  Congratulations!  Job well done.

Posted by: Richard Anthony on 6/19/2015 at 5:27 pm

June 16, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Enjoying Rest Day at 14 Camp

June 16, 2015 3:18 pm PT

Yesterday our team made a carry to 17 Camp. Leaving early, we avoided the crowds and enjoyed one of the more beautiful days the Buttress could serve up. Spectacular views from the Kahiltna to the tundra kept us company all day long and we really got a great sense of our surroundings.
Now we are all set to capitalize on the next weather window and move up!  Until then the team is enjoying a well earned rest day here at 14 Camp.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

I’m following you, Bill. Way to go! It is truly amazing to see what you are doing, on top of the world.

Posted by: Lee Mauk on 6/18/2015 at 7:10 am

keep up the great work, all! meredith, i’m checking in on you every day. so excited for you. be safe and enjoy the view! :-)

Posted by: kristen lacy on 6/17/2015 at 8:54 pm

June 14, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Training Day 2

Sunday June 14th 8:50 pm PT

Today we wished our dear friends “Bon voyage” as the other RMI teams moved up on the West Rib and Buttress. Good luck everyone!

As for our esteemed crew, we spent the midday training to be as agile as the mighty wolverine when we tackle the fixed lines. It was great to see everyone both excel at the training course and take the time to enjoy the absurdly beautiful views of Hunter, Foraker and the Kahiltna Glacier. It was a stunning day up here.

Tomorrow we hope to carry goods higher up to prepare for moving when the weather allows. Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Jake, you’re killin’ me! It’s been over 48 hours since your last post. What’s happening? How’s the weather? Is everybody OK? Did you guys summit already?

Posted by: Norm Vork on 6/16/2015 at 9:58 pm


I hope you’re having a good time AJ.Good work till now,keep up the spirit.Take care see you soon at sea level. :)

Posted by: Megha Bhardwaj on 6/16/2015 at 8:24 pm

June 13, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Welcomed to the Neighborhood at 14K

Saturday June 13th 7:15 pm PT

Today has been fantastic. We left 11 Camp early this morning and enjoyed perfect conditions and weather on our way up to 14 Camp. The team climbed very well and we were again treated to supreme hospitality by the other RMI teams at 14 Camp. Plenty of water and some pre-made tent platforms will make us soft if we aren’t careful.

Now for some well-deserved rest before dinner. Tomorrow we will handle some training and wish our friends good luck as they move into position for their time in the stratosphere.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Kevin, wishing you luck with your summit, and hoping the weather stays clear and beautiful, for tons of views, pictures and memories.  Mom and Dad Larson

Posted by: warren larson on 6/18/2015 at 5:21 pm

Looks like an awesome time. Sure does look different from the bottom of the mountain to what you are seeing.

Posted by: Tammy Gjerde on 6/14/2015 at 8:03 pm

June 12, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Carry to 14’ Camp

June 11, 2015 11:17pm PST

What a day!  We woke early to begin the day’s nowcasting (real time weather) to see if it was workable to put a cache higher on the mountain. Motorcycle Hill stayed more or less visible throughout breakfast, so we decided to give it a shot. As we climbed higher the weather smiled upon us. Little wind and some good reports from our friends up at 14 Camp and we just kept on trucking. Arriving at 14 Camp was a real treat. Hugs from the other RMI teams as well as a pre dug cache hole made for a solid foray to our future home. Thanks again guys!

Now back down in camp at 11, we are about to sleep.  Tomorrow we plan to rest. With any luck our forecast for improving conditions (thanks guys) verifies and we hope to move higher soon.

June 12, 2015 3:52pm PST

Ahhhh. It has been a great day today. So far we have had a leisurely brunch followed by some excellent chatting in our kitchen tent. Then some spice sampling followed by headstand yoga practicing. Now the team is napping and reading. The weather has been quite pleasant here in camp, but sure looked windy up high this morning. All in all a perfect day to sit tight and recover after a few big days of climbing. With any luck Denali will let us up a little higher tomorrow. If so, we’ll be ready.

RMI Guide Jake Beren & Team

Here’s hoping the great weather continues—sounds like a wonderful experience although I’m not sure about “headstand yoga”? Bill—I know she’s so much smaller but seeing Rainier in the sun down here reminds us of your adventure up there.

Posted by: Wolf & Leilani on 6/13/2015 at 3:25 pm

Really great work Meredith and the whole team!  I’m so in awe of this epic effort being put forth. Miss you back home but I love picturing you rockin’ in out up there.
Keep up the great job!

Posted by: Geoff on 6/13/2015 at 1:20 pm

June 11, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Back Carry from 11K Camp

Wednesday, June 10th 10:15 pm PT

The winds subsided enough today to allow us safe passage back to our buried cache at 9,600 feet. It was a fun stroll and though we broke trail in a full whiteout to get there, we enjoyed extremely pleasant walking conditions on our quest for the rest of our snacks.

The afternoon held time for a nap and a review of climbing techniques before dinner. If the weather cooperates we are set to jet and bump a load higher on the route tomorrow. Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Good going AJ and team! Hope you guys are having fun at your adventure. Good luck and be safe.

Posted by: Charu on 6/12/2015 at 3:00 pm

I was reading the Jones Team blog and it sounds like your group has already been up to the 1400 foot point.  Way to go! Keep it up!

Posted by: Norm Vork on 6/12/2015 at 7:34 am

June 9, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Move to 11,200’ Camp

June 9, 2015, 3:39 pm PT

Awaking to light snow and little wind yesterday we decided to see if moving was realistic. Denali decided to make us earn it and we climbed through consistent wind and snow to make it up here. The team did great, and evening found us snug in our sleeping bags. This morning we battled the same wind and snow that followed us up from 7,800’ as we fortified our living space, building artistic (yet functional) walls to protect us from the elements. This afternoon we will rest and recover from a few big days before retrieving our cache and sending a new one higher on the route. Great to be posted up higher on the Great One.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Hi Meredith! We are following your progress like hawks. Kim and I pray for your guys, your happiness, and your safety. Hope this is everything you dreamed it would be and more. We are taking good care of each other and each time we are together, we think of you!

Posted by: David on 6/10/2015 at 3:18 pm

Hi Meredith!  Hope you are having fun and that the sunny skies return.  Thinking of you!!!!!!

Posted by: Christi on 6/10/2015 at 8:21 am

June 7, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Beren & Team Hit The Glacier Running

Sunday, June 7, 2015 7:42 pm PT

Yesterday we stormed the Kahiltna Glacier, officially ending our occupation of Talkeetna. We were able to catch an early afternoon flight, skirting the clouds and safely getting ourselves and all our groceries into the mountains! 

We expected a huge backlog of climbers at basecamp, and there were more than a few parties waiting to get off the mountain. However a buried tent city resembling a parking lot of white Fiats, was nowhere to be found. We landed to spectacular views and decided to hit the ground running. Making it to 7,800 Camp in the evening was a great start to the climb. 

Today we got a reasonable start to the day, leaving camp at mid morning and carrying to 9,700 feet. It was a pleasant day for walking, with enough cloud cover to keep us from getting too scorched. The team made it and we are now resting before dinner. Hopefully we can use that fuel to move to 11K Camp. Keep those fingers crossed for good weather!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Craig and Eric Hi from a much lower elevation. Reading the blog daily so we know you and the team must be happy to be on the mountain and making progress Hope you don’t need to test the coldest protection level of your clothing and sleeping bag. Temperatures look impressive for California boys but know you will source your MN and Scandanavian roots.
All is well here. Climb on! Love Libby and Julia

Posted by: Libby and Julia Heimark on 6/11/2015 at 5:25 am

Dear Craig and Eric,

We wish both of you and the team a safe and fabulous journey.  Hope the conditions are ideal.

Take care,

Linda, Ed, and Jared

Posted by: Linda on 6/10/2015 at 7:19 am

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