Entries By andy bond
August 20, 2023
The Four Day Climb led by RMI Guide Andy Bond and Leif Bergstrom climbed to Ingraham Flats today. The teams were above the smoke and enjoyed a wonderful sunrise. While at the Flats the team learned crevasse rescue and did some ice climbing. The team will finish up their training soon and return to Paradise later this afternoon.
Someone add 10 extra pounds to Sara’s pack and DON’T TELL HER!! Good luck to everyone.
Posted by: Dwight on 8/21/2023 at 1:33 pm
Best of luck to all the group especially my son, Heath Scheibmeir. Enjoy the wonders of your trip and above all STAY SAFE! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
Posted by: Joni Y Thummel on 8/20/2023 at 8:49 am
August 14, 2023
The Four Day Climb August 11 - 14 led by RMI Guides Andy Bond and Jess Wedel reached the summit of Mt. Rainier just before 5 am today. Andy reported a beautiful morning climbing in base layers with no winds and meteors filling the sky as they climbed toward the summit.
Congratulations to the team!
Your prep and hard work are blessed with such a spectacular view! Awesome!
Posted by: Ron on 8/19/2023 at 2:58 pm
Congratulations to the team on your Summit climb today!!
What a awesome accomplishment for each of you!
Posted by: Evans on 8/14/2023 at 7:32 pm
August 10, 2023
The Four Day Climb August 7 - 10 led by RMI Guides Andy Bond & Jess Wedel did not reach the summit today due to gusty winds. The teams left Camp Muir on their alpine start but turned around at Ingraham Flats due to wind. The teams returned to Camp Muir and climbed Muir peak to enjoy the sunrise. Photos above are from RMI Guide Calvin Jiricko.
The teams plan to descend from Camp Muir after 9 am today. We expect them to return to Rainier BaseCamp in the early afternoon.
June 25, 2023
June 25, 2023 10:00am PT
It seems surreal that just 24 hours ago we were sitting on the East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier with our fingers crossed for flyable weather. Kahiltna International Airport (KIA) could have just as easily been our home for the next week but instead we slept easily and comfortably on real mattresses for the first time in nearly 3 weeks. Today and only today the weather cooperated for us to make our escape. How did we get here? Let me tell you...
24 hours prior to the 24 hours that we just experienced...
We woke up to a mix of clouds and sunshine at 14k Camp and casually dismantled camp and packed up all our things. The weather and clouds mostly stayed below us with an occasional surge of precip and wind at camp. The walk down to 11k Camp was uneventful other than a quick reunion with Dominic Cifelli and Dave Hahn's respective RMI climbing teams. High fives were had but we kept moving, we had a timeline to meet.
Once at a 11k Camp again we located our cache, set up tents, made water and ate dinner. The clouds rolled in and out of 11 Camp like the tide on the shore. Like the tide, what was in the clouds was wet and gross. After "napping" for around 3 hours, we "woke up" at 9:30pm to get moving again to catch the lower glacier in its most stable and frozen condition.
Sadly, the cloud we walked into below 11 Camp was hovering around 33 degrees and raining. The team was quickly covered in a layer of ice and rime. Everything - backpacks, trekking poles, goggles, jackets, pants, were incased in a 1/4 cm of ice. We trudged for several hours through this freezing rain. Eventually we got below the cloud, and everyone shed their icy armor that had accumulated. After a break at the bottom of Ski Hill to recover our cache (and thaw out), we resumed trudging on the lower Kahiltna.
A simple 3 more hours of trudging in what ended up being a fairly direct path across the Kahiltna glacier, we arrived at Heart Break Hill. It was time for the final hour of uphill that must be ascended to return to the airstrip. The team's morale stayed high, and hearts stayed unbroken. We made quick work of Heart Break Hill. Shortly after 5am, we were back at the airstrip; 19 days had elapsed since we were last here. It seemed surreal to be back. Even more surreal the weather continued to cooperate, the cloud ceiling stayed high, the sun showed itself briefly! Around 8:45am the drone of a K2 Turbo Otter was heard. 24 hours after leaving 14k Camp, we were picked up in the most wonderful red plane you've ever seen and whisked back to civilization, Talkeetna.
Everyone has been awake for 24-36 hours at the time of writing this. There is still much clean up and packing to do before we can sleep.
The trip is over, but our memories and experiences will last a lifetime. This is the final blog from The Bond Girls. If you want to know more, contact your loved ones, they have service now! Even if they're pretending they don't...
Reading the first sentence, the unplugged acoustic version of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” started playing in my head as soundtrack and accompaniment. Reading what the Bond Girls had to do to get to the plane from 14k, I would say they are the real rockstars.
Posted by: Mike Forsyth on 6/25/2023 at 11:55 am
June 24, 2023
Saturday, June 24, 2023 7:39 am PDT
We’re at Basecamp and I think there is a good chance we will fly. We’ll let everyone know when we arrive in Talkeetna.
Friday, June, 23, 2023 8:28 pm PDT
The crew descended down to 11,000’ Camp where we will depart for basecamp during the night in hopes of flying off the mountain Saturday.
The weather has not been all that kind to us on this trip and we are in and out of snow as clouds stream up the Kahiltna glacier up and over Kahiltna pass. We’re hoping for flyable weather tomorrow but know that no one has flown off the mountain since Monday. Hopefully the next time you here from us, we’ll Be in Talkeetna!
RMI Guide Andy Bond, Jack Delaney, Joey Manship and Team
What a disappointment! This will make a third strike and out for eel/camel! Now the next time he sees a Denali will be when he visits us in Washington and our Alaskan Malamute, named Denali, will greet him at the front door. Time to move on my son.
Posted by: Roger Coffey on 6/24/2023 at 9:30 am
June 23, 2023
Friday, June 23, 2023, 8:40 am PDT
Our Team is back at 14,000’ Camp after a long day of waist to chest trail breaking and ultimately avalanche conditions on the West Buttress. We made it to Washburn’s Thumb at 16,800’, all pickets were buried and not found except for the ones near slopes that naturally avalanche. The Autobahn is incredibly loaded with snow, and I am sure you will not find a single one of the 35 pickets across it!
Our plan is to head to the airstrip tonight and hope to fly. No one has flown since last Sunday and snow is in the forecast all week, so we will see!
RMI Guide Andy Bond and Team
What an amazing achievement! So proud of your perseverance and grateful for your respect for the awesomeness of nature.
Posted by: Len Stevens on 6/24/2023 at 6:08 am
A disappointment, but not a defeat. You measured up well against one of the sternest challenges.
Posted by: Mike Forsyth on 6/23/2023 at 9:12 pm
June 22, 2023
Wednesday June 21, 2023
Today the team woke up to Groundhog Day!
It has continued to snow but was relatively mild as far as temps and wind go. We masterfully killed a chunk of time in the morning by making a long brunch. After retiring to our tents for the afternoon, we regrouped and planned our potential launch to 17k camp for the next day over some golden, brown, and delicious burritos.
RMI Guide Joey Manship and Team
Fingers and toes crossed for your summit window. Stay safe and Godspeed.
Posted by: Nancy Forsyth on 6/22/2023 at 5:43 pm
I’m hoping and praying for the news to be from 17,000 when the weather breaks. Ya’ll stay safe.
I can’t wait to see pictures! What a quest!
Posted by: Michelle DeMers on 6/22/2023 at 3:57 pm
June 21, 2023
Tuesday, June 20, 2023 - 11:52 pm PT
The word of the day is casual. We woke up casually. We ate brunch super casually. It started around 9:45 and ended around 12:30pm. We casually devoured breakfast burritos fortified by wild Alaskan game sausage provided by the legendary Bleys. Food comas quickly afflicted much of the crew. Everyone casually waddled to their tents for the afternoon to indulge in naps and further snacking. Some folks managed to stay conscious enough to read books and watch TV or movies. Eventually the dinner bell was rung and the tents casually began to rustle with life. Dinner tonight is a repeat of a classic - ramen but this time with the addition of some newly acquired Korean spice paste. It added some much needed flavor as our ability to taste is deadened at this altitude. Another weather day has passed uneventfully, but each day we wait we get more clarity about the weather for our potential summit window. Anticipation is slowly growing amongst the team as the day to begin our summit push gets closer.
RMI Guide Jack Delaney and the Bond Girls
I feel certain that your window will be wide open to make that summit! And what a thrill it will be!!!
Posted by: Mary McKinley (Tante Mary) on 6/21/2023 at 8:32 pm
Sounds like a nice relaxing day. There’s lots of anticipation, excitement, and support in my little corner of the world for your reach for the summit. Ultreia!
Posted by: Michelle DeMers on 6/21/2023 at 3:38 pm
June 20, 2023
Monday 19, 2023
The sun quickly parted from 14,000’ camp this morning and we were then met with slushy snow. We had a brunch fit for kings as Guide Andy procured brie and other items from descending parties. It added a certain sophistication to our bacon cream cheese bagels. The day kicked off with a chess open in the main tent, joined by a local chess legend from International Mountain Guides, the team *cough Lenhardt* were humbled by their opponents’ prodigious skill and unassuming demeanor. Nevertheless, Guide Jack, Katharine and our very special Big Strong Andy assembled an impromptu chess board made of duct tape and packaged substances whose legal status is in question back on the lower 48. The games were played with much merriment and sportsmanship. For his final act, Guide Joey prepared for us another purloined comestible. The meatballs tasted even meatier as we were not the ones who brought them up.
As the snow falls, the team, hydrated and breathing light, await further developments in weather to allow for progress later in the week. Our pieces continue to act in concert for the real checkmate.
RMI Guides Andy, Jack, Joey and Team
Love these missives! Ya’ll are in the midst of, and living a great story. Fingers and toes crossed and prayers sent up for a break in the weather and a safe, successful, summit!
P.S. We all love you Mikayla!
Posted by: Michelle DeMers on 6/20/2023 at 2:53 pm
June 18, 2023
June 17, 2023 11:04 PM PT
Day 12 of our Denali climb.
Today we had a sleep in at Camp 3 and woke up in beautiful sunshine and 15cm (6 inches) of fresh powdery snow. We looked at all the climbers who went up the fixed lines to get to 17k camp for a summit push on Sunday, but we all agreed the night before that we need more time at 14k camp before our summit push. We hope for another weather window at the end of next week (fingers crossed). No worries, big strong Andy still has two pounds of cheese left and will be safe.
Instead of climbing, we hired lovely Lenhardt for an intense yoga session to get mentally and physically ready for this mountain. After that railroad, Jeff improved our eating tent to make it comfier for the following days and Katherine worked hard to make Joey's long hair cut more functional and fashionable for the mountain.
The focus of the afternoon was listening to music, chill outside, eat snacks and hydrate, and let our bodies adjust to the new altitude. We also improved our sleeping tents, so the polar bear can sleep well at night and doesn't attack his tent mates. In the evening, Heidi gave us a call to come to the edge of the world for the first round of Denali's Next Top Model. We stretched our legs and walked over to this stunning place where the mountain drops 7,000 feet to the northeast fork of Kahiltna. We had great views of Mount Foraker and the valley. We had a good photoshoot, and all the Bond girls made it to the second round. Heidi was very proud of us. When we came back to our camp, Mr. Bond had already prepared a nice dinner for us.
To finish the day, a short German "th" joke for you . The captain of a boat is calling the German coast guard "Help, we are sinking, we are sinking". The German coast answers "Ok, no worries, what are you thinking about?".
Stephan Schiffer aka Polar Bear
Wow! You are going to summit soon!! What a thrill and what an amazing achievement - so proud of you!
Posted by: Mary McKinley on 6/19/2023 at 7:05 am
Praying y’all get good weather for your next push! 17K! I can’t believe it! Good luck guys! Stay safe y’all!
Keep killing it Mikayla!!
Posted by: Mack Thompson on 6/19/2023 at 5:12 am