Entries By andy hildebrand

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Move to 11,200 ft Camp

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

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. 

An RM Team climbing towards 11,200 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann

On The Map

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Good job guys! High five, Shannon. I hope you’re enjoying every min :)

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Posted by: Jen B on 5/24/2015 at 8:19 pm

“In life there are no shortcuts to joy. Anything that is worth pursuing requires us to suffer just a little bit” ~Chris Burkard~

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Posted by: Shana on 5/24/2015 at 12:44 pm


Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Move Up to 9,800’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,800'

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

An RMI team ascending Ski Hill towards 9,800 Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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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… read more

Posted by: Heather on 5/24/2015 at 5:45 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.

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Posted by: Carolyn Wallgren on 5/24/2015 at 4:37 am


Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Arrive at Camp 1

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

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.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI Team pulling sled from from Base Camp en route to Camp 1 on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Chris Villar

On The Map

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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… read more

Posted by: Connie Whitley on 5/23/2015 at 3:14 am

Way to go team! Glad all is well. We sure are routing for y’all. Greetings from Texas! Yee,haw!!

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Posted by: Joyce Tocher on 5/22/2015 at 5:20 pm


Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Ready to Go

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

Thursday, May 21st 10:02 am PDT

We got the call this morning at breakfast that base camp is clear and the light is green. We are on the plane now ready for an adventure of a lifetime!  Wish us luck and send us love. 
Our next dispatch will be from Mt. McKinley
Rock and Roll!

Wednesday, May 20th 4:18 pm PDT

Our team is doing great up here in Talkeetna, AK.
We are swamped in gear, doing an inspection that would make the FAA proud. Nothing is going unseen and I am proud to announce that everyone is passing with flying colors. Overall I couldn’t be more happy with the first impressions of what should be a strong team. Let’s hope it stays that way. One never knows what can happen on Mt. McKinley.  Prayers for good morning weather for flying tomorrow.

Bye for now from Talkeetna.
RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, and Andy Hildebrand and Crew

The May 19th McKinley team preparing for the climb in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff The May 19th McKinley team ready to fly in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff

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good luck to all the Denali climbers.  Hopefully you will summit this time Greg but always remember safety first. Love always mom and dad2

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Posted by: Dawn on 5/23/2015 at 7:00 am

Game-on Knoff & Team! Glad the wx was good and you got to fly out right away.
Enjoy the Kahiltna! G.Barber, enroute to AK! Made it to Cache Creek… read more

Posted by: Kerry on 5/22/2015 at 10:03 pm


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Ready to Fly to Talkeetna

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 17, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Good morning! We’re packing up as we speak, and are scheduled to fly back to Talkeetna in the next few hours. Unfortunately we can’t report another summit from yesterday. We continued to have more snow through the early afternoon and our fears for avalanche danger were confirmed when the temps climbed up later in the day. We settled for just the approach to the lower Pika, as we tested an incredibly reactive snowpack; while no climbing, that provided a super valuable safety learning opportunity for everyone.

That’s it for now, our next post will be from civilization with some pics.

Best,
Rmi Guide Elías deAndres Martos and Team

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Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Climb Big Arapiles

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 16th 2:06 am PT

Good morning from Little Switzerland. We had an awesome day yesterday!!! We woke up to marginal weather and spent the morning mastering lead climbing techniques and tricks at the belay. As things stabilized, we broke again into groups and climbers took the lead and responsibility to guide us to Big Arapiles, both up and down; It was an incredible outing and Vanessa, Tyler, Kyle, John and Paul made us proud.

Our plan today may change, as we are receiving a ton of snow. We’ll check back in later and let you know.

Standing by from the Pika Glacier,
RMI Guides Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand, and team

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos ascends Big Arapiles in Little Switzerland, Alaska. Photo: Bridget Schletty RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos looks across the Pika Glacier towards the Trolls, from the summit of Big Arapiles. Photo: Bridget Schletty

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Way to go V!!!
Enjoy every minute, be safe and I will see you soon!  80 degrees is waiting for you :)
Love you,
Brett

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Posted by: Brett on 5/16/2015 at 2:11 pm

Grandma and Grandpa say hi to Taylor and the group.  Looks like fun, next time we would love to go with you.  Stay safe.

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Posted by: Stan & Ruth Briggs on 5/16/2015 at 1:54 pm


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Plan for Next Climb Objective

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 15th 1:30 am PT

Good evening from Pika Glacier camp. We are writing from the relative comfort of our posh tent, after a day of on and off fog, wind and snow. We’re all in great spirits and hoping for the weather to clear to focus on our next objective. Enjoy a couple pictures of today’s view from home. That’s it for today!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

The Alaska Alpine Seminar Pika Glacier Camp. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos Pika Glacier Camp and surrounding Denali National Park peaks. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos

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V,
Hope those toes are still there when you get home :)
Love you,
Brett

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Posted by: Brett on 5/15/2015 at 3:51 pm


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team on Belay!

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 13, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 12, 2015 10:15 pm PT

Team is ready for our first objective: tomorrow morning we will be switching to multi-pitch mode and conquer our first big route. We had a great day training on (and summiting) “the Munchkin.”  We spent the day on its south ridge and east face rehearsing for steep snow and technical rock. Everyone is doing great and we all look forward to checking in with more accounts from the outstanding routes we are about to tackle.

Good evening!
RMI Guides Elías, Sean, Andy and the team.

Looking toward Base Camp and the Munchkin.  Photo: Bridget Schletty

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Awesome job you guys! Paul you are amazing!!!

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Posted by: Merilee Jopson on 5/14/2015 at 8:58 am

Congratulations to everyone! Very exciting to get the updates. Wish I was there!!! Good luck!

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Posted by: Leo Wright on 5/13/2015 at 11:17 am


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team First Full Day on the Pika Glacier

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 5,600'

May 11, 2015 11:00 pm PT

Greetings!

Warm temperatures, clear skies and pristine snow is what we enjoyed today. Our first full day in the Pika entailed a thorough review of our different anchors, crevasse rescue systems and scenarios, and a tour of the glacier to check the approach to our upcoming routes. Keeping a close eye on the ravens, whom are after our kitchen and tents, we enjoyed a massive production of tortellini at dinner. This will fuel us for our first objective tomorrow, when we’ll try our first summit while mastering transitions, protection and descents on rock and snow.

Best regards,
RMI Guides Elias, Andy, and Sean

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V,

I’m so proud of your adventurous spirit.  Your trip looks amazing! I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get home.

Love you so much,
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Posted by: BC on 5/13/2015 at 7:44 am

Hope the good weather continues..enjoying your Blogs.

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Posted by: JH on 5/12/2015 at 6:52 pm


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Fly to the Pika Glacier

Posted by: Andy Hildebrand, Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon | May 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 10, 2015, 9:28 pm PT

We woke today in Talkeetna to beautiful weather and were able to fly on to the Pika Glacier before noon. We spent the day building the camp that we’ll be calling home for the next week, and also had time for some avalanche education and training. For now, we are in and out of light clouds and snow, but things are relatively calm, temperatures are mild and all of us are excited to be in Little Switzerland after a weather day in Talkeetna. Fingers crossed for blue skies in the coming days!

RMI Guides Sean Collon, Elias de Andres Martos and Andy Hildebrand

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Praying for all!
Spoke with Phillip and Christy last evening. Phillip sent me a picture of he and his girlfriend.

Love You Brian

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Posted by: Duane Mycroft on 5/12/2015 at 5:18 pm

The trip looks beautiful!  We admire your courage.  Be safe and enjoy a trip of a lifetime!

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Posted by: Ken and Pam on 5/12/2015 at 7:56 am


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