Entries By andy hildebrand

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

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

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

The Alaska Alpine Mountaineering Seminar looking over their tents. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos The AMS-Alpine team practice some knot tying in Talkeetna. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos The Alaska Alpine Mountaineering Seminar training at the K2 Hangar. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Experience Deja Vu

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

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

An RMI team experiencing a snow storm at 11,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Reach the Summit!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 20,320'

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

An RMI climber on McKinley's Summit Ridge. Photo: RMI Collection

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Great News, congratulations to the team on your successful summit!
Best part of the trip, I am sure.
That’s half the job done, so take good care on… read more

Posted by: Peter Williamson on 7/6/2014 at 10:33 am


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

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

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

An RMI team above Denali Pass on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Brent Okita

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

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

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.

An RMI Guide breaks trail on the Autobahn, Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Ready to Move Up

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

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

The view from the Edge of the World at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Lindsay Mann The view from the Edge of the World at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | July 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

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

The views from Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Brent Okita

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