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Entries By andy hildebrand

May 13, 2015

Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition

Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team on Belay!

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.

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

Posted by: Merilee Jopson on 5/14/2015 at 9:58 am

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

Posted by: Leo Wright on 5/13/2015 at 12:17 pm

May 12, 2015

Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition

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

May 11, 2015 11:00 pm PT


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


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,

Posted by: BC on 5/13/2015 at 8:44 am

Hope the good weather continues..enjoying your Blogs.

Posted by: JH on 5/12/2015 at 7:52 pm

May 11, 2015

Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition

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

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

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

Love You Brian

Posted by: Duane Mycroft on 5/12/2015 at 6:18 pm

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

Posted by: Ken and Pam on 5/12/2015 at 8:56 am

May 9, 2015

Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition

Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team - Day 1 Training in Talkeetna

Greetings from Talkeetna, Alaska!

We are wrapping up our first day of the Alpine Skills Seminar. Everybody arrived on schedule to Anchorage yesterday, and a rainy drive took us to the gateway of the Alaska Range. As planned, we spent the morning getting ready with the pertinent logistics prior to loading the bush plane equipped with skies to take us to the glacier. As our appetite climbed for what we hoped to be the last served meal of the week, the thick clouds brought the rain (snow in the range) that would keep us grounded.

We took advantage of the delay, and practiced some skills at the K2 Hangar. We got familiar with our tents, reviewed knots and hitches and mastered crevasse self extrication to make the most of a wet afternoon. Our hopes are to fly tomorrow morning straight onto the Pika Glacier. We´ll keep you posted!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

Looking forward to updates.  Stay safe and have fun!  Thinking of you, Taylor—and Eagan is praying for your safe return.

Posted by: Brad & Lori Briggs on 5/10/2015 at 4:55 pm

July 7, 2014

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Experience Deja Vu

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 12:05 PM PT

Well, the team is currently experiencing deja vu here at 11,200’ camp on Mt. McKinley.  Before arriving here in deja vu land, the team did an AWESOME job packing up high camp and descending to 14,200’ camp.  At 14,200’ we were met by Dave Hahn and his team who treated us to lots of hot water and quesadillas.  Delicious and just what we needed!

Descending to 11 camp required all of our attention as we re-acquainted ourselves with sleds, experienced some post-holing, and walked (as best we could) through less than exciting weather.  Now to the deja vu part of the story…a snow storm at 11,200’.  We thought the weather gods had released all of the snow on us already but we were wrong.  We are doing a weather dance right now so we can continue our descent and make our dreams of warm showers, cold beers, and loved ones a reality.  Until then, we will keep you posted.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Soooo cool! You made it to the top!!I want to see the beard pics too!! Create some great memories and take care of you XO

Posted by: Auntie Mel on 7/11/2014 at 5:43 am

Adam, Praying that this storm is short and that you will all be safely down VERY soon. MOM

Posted by: Jane on 7/7/2014 at 8:42 pm

July 6, 2014

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Reach the Summit!

July 6, 2014 - 11:00 am PT

Adam Knoff called the office with great news: The team reached the summit of Mount McKinley at 7:00pm last night!  Everyone is doing great and very happy.  They are packing up high camp and plan to head down to 14K camp to visit with Dave Hahn and team, then may continue on to 11,000’.  Their plan is to be at Basecamp tomorrow.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

On The Map

Awesome job team. Congrats Jay and mart and all. You will make it down soon!

Posted by: Susanlampas on 7/7/2014 at 3:53 pm

Awesome achievement Mark Skinner and team! Congratulations!

Posted by: Will Kerner on 7/7/2014 at 10:22 am

July 5, 2014

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Doing Well on Their Summit Bid

July 5, 2014 - 5:05 pm PT

Adam called and reported that they were on their way up to the summit, just below the Football Field with all climbers doing well. Yesterday was a great move day for them, and they continue to enjoy good weather, with blue skies and 20mph winds.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

On The Map

mark skinner….keeping a eye on your adventure…stop by the cottage to warm up on your way back to NY…looks like fun….good luck and stay safe….kenny norris

Posted by: kenny norris on 7/6/2014 at 7:36 am

Hoping all went well on the summit bid and that you could enjoy some spectacular Alaskan views from the top. Best Wishes to all!

Posted by: Peter Williamson on 7/6/2014 at 5:14 am

July 4, 2014

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Move to 17K Camp

July 4, 2014 - 9:44 pm PT

The move to Mt. McKinley’s high camp is like stepping into the ring with a heavy weight larger than King Kong.  Thing is, he really likes to throw things at you in one long grueling round.  That round our team won.  It could not have been a more perfect day to come to high camp.  Now the question becomes how much strength does the team have for round two which comes in the form of Godzilla.  Tomorrow we will attempt to climb to the summit, weather permitting.  Wish us well.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff and team signing off from high camp.

On The Map

This is from your mother, Mark…and I suppose me, too!
Lots of love Mark..so glad things are going well.  Good luck and success to you and your teams.Thrilled that you might reach the summit today!  Love, Mom…and Merabeth

Posted by: Merabeth Lurie on 7/5/2014 at 1:15 pm

Congrats on making it to High camp. You guys are like Rocky and keep going no matter what is thrown at you! Can’t wait to read your next blog from the summit!!

Posted by: Jerry Hildebrand on 7/5/2014 at 12:04 pm

July 3, 2014

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Ready to Move Up

Thursday, July 2, 2014 – 4:43 PM PT

Yesterday our team experienced the unparalleled vistas of a clear sky at 16,200’ on Denali as we were finally handed a nearly perfect day. We loaded up three days of lunch and snack food plus a few personal items for our carry to the top of the fixed lines which crest Washburn’s Ridge—the most stimulating section of Denali’s West Buttress Route. The team did great learning how to jumar. All members of the St. Angelo family and Jay and Mary Lampas hit personal altitude records. Fatima did a great job breaking trail down the lines, literally paving the way for thirty other climbers on the same program as us. 

The population of 14k camp has increased dramatically. What once was a camp that resembled a wide cow pasture with wandering wildlife now resembles a city with distinct neighborhoods on main thoroughfares.  Just like a city, this can create traffic jams when multiple teams, all roped together, try to move around at the same time. This sudden influx of guided teams means we will need to wake up at 4 am, while the temperature here sits around 5 below, just to beat the crowds and avoid a bottleneck.

This afternoon we had a lengthy breakfast which leaned more along the lines of a leisurely brunch. We then took a beautiful stroll to an incredible precipice called the Edge of the World. Great weather allowed us more breathtaking views and inspired us for the hard days to come. Hopefully our next contact will be from high camp.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

On The Map

Happy 4th of July and congrats on making it above 16,000!
The pics are breathtaking.  Thanks for keeping us updated!

onward and upward!

Posted by: Lisa Albert on 7/4/2014 at 10:30 pm

To Mark Skinner and crew: Hang tight it’s been in the 90’s here. See you soon!!!

Posted by: Bill & Linda on 7/4/2014 at 7:09 pm

July 2, 2014

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Train and Re-Design Camp

July 2, 2014 - 12:09 am PT

Thank you for all of the blog comments. It is great to hear from everyone back home and it is always reinvigorating.

Today we got to sleep in and then scurried down to our cache above Windy Corner. It was nice to be reunited with our food, clean underwear and base layers that we left buried in the snow for a few days. We then spent the afternoon doing some kitchen redesign, fixed line training and more sorting of food.

Tomorrow is an exciting day! We will get to see some more challenging and exciting terrain—carrying to the top of the fixed lines!

RMI Guide Adam Knoff and Team

On The Map

Excited to see you are moving towards FOOD! Hope you got there ok. Love the pics And thinking of you. We are at the pool today! Sorry, had to say it.

Posted by: Ginni Fennema on 7/3/2014 at 3:02 pm

What an awesome adventure!  We are reading all the blog posts.  The pictures are amazing!

Posted by: Lisa Albert on 7/3/2014 at 10:04 am

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