Entries By billy haas
May 25, 2016
The May 3rd Denali Expedition led by RMI Guides Mike Walter, Billy Haas and Blake Votilla made the difficult decision to end their waiting game at 14,000’ on Denali and start their descent. On Monday they packed up camp and began heading for Kahiltna Base Camp. On Tuesday afternoon K2 Aviation was able to land on the glacier and load up the team. Mike checked in from Talkeetna yesterday afternoon. We are glad they are back safely and hope they all enjoyed their Denali adventure.
The weather was not with you, but your energy and spirit to summit was. Well done team!
Congratulations brother Dave - Love Jules
Posted by: Julie Beckner on 5/26/2016 at 8:18 am
Well Rogan is back home, I’m so sorry that you guys were not able to continue. But what you did, was not to be sneezed at, so congrats for getting so far up anyway. What a unique experience you all had never to be forgotten. Best wishes, Rogans Mom.
Posted by: Daphne carew on 5/26/2016 at 3:35 am
May 22, 2016
May 22, 2016 - 1:54 pm PT
Once again we’re checking in from 14k on Denali. There is not much new to report here. The winds up high remain strong, and the National Weather Service has issued a special high wind warning for this storm.
We are all comfortable and safe at camp and we’ll just have to see how this one plays out. Today is day 18 on the the mountain for our team, and high winds are forecast through at least Thursday. We’ll keep you up to date with the latest news.
On The Map
Thinking alot about you Blake !!
Love you !!
Posted by: Maria Votilla on 5/24/2016 at 12:58 pm
Team Walter, you guys are already my heroes coming so close to the summit. Respect storm Daryl! No gut or glory stuff! Come home in one piece, Lei. Love you. Hao
Posted by: Hao on 5/23/2016 at 7:31 pm
May 21, 2016
May 21, 2016 - 7:25 pm PT
We spent another day here at 14k. Today the weather at camp was quite pleasant, with periods of sun and just some light wind. Up above on the West Buttress, where we are hoping to climb, the strong winds persisted today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, as the weather forecast is still calling for high winds the next few days. We’ll keep you posted.
On The Map
May 20, 2016
May 20, 2016 - 5:36 pm PT
We’re hunkered down in our tents today as a significant storm rages outside. Fortunately the snow walls we constructed are taking the brunt if the winds. It’s been snowing all day, and visibility is near zero.
We’re all safe and relatively comfortable in our camp between our tents and our cook tent. High above our camp you can hear the winds crashing over the West Buttress like waves on a rocky coastline. The winds up at that altitude are forecast to reach 85 mph.
This storm will hopefully start to taper off tomorrow and give us a chance to move up to high camp for a summit bid. We’ll keep you posted, but for now we’re in a holding pattern.
On The Map
Hi Della, dis rof besig hier met die winter konserte en Kaela was siek met Tonsilites. Ons mis jou baie. Die koppie klimery moet nou klaarkom. Anyway, for those who did not understand. Get to the top in double quick time and get your buds of the mountain. Your family’ s need you..
Posted by: jaco on 5/21/2016 at 1:54 pm
Hey Rob!, So excited to hear from you! Stay strong and stay well. We are praying for good weather so you and the team can go for the summit. Love to you. Mom, Dad and Katie
Posted by: Robert & Toni Caldwell on 5/21/2016 at 5:27 am
May 20, 2016
May 19, 2016 - 10:28 pm PT
We hung out around camp again today, as the current weather nor the forecast for Denali are conducive to going higher right now. We spent a large part of the day building snow walls around our camp at 14,000’ to protect against wind.
Our plan for tomorrow is similar to today, as we ride out this storm and hope for better weather in a few days.
We’ll check in again tomorrow.
On The Map
May 18, 2016
May 18, 2016 - 5:07 p.m. PDT
Howdy from 14,200’ Denali! We are lounging in the sun at camp, waiting for the winds up high to decrease so that we can move to our high camp and get in position to take a crack at the summit. We’re comfy here at camp but eager to club higher.
After breakfast this morning, we headed over to the Edge of the World, a viewpoint 15 minutes from camp that looks down some 7,000’ into the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier and across to Mt. Foraker. Amazing.
If anyone could pull some strings with the weather deities, that’d be swell. Thanks!
That’s it for now,
RMI Guides Mike Walter, Billy Haas, and Blake Votilla
On The Map
Hi adelle. Sitting at Fego having a cuppa and watching the water. It is two in the morning in your valley…sorry ...mountain. and i suppose you are nice and warm and cosy in your sleeping bag. NOT… thinking about you all the time. Your brother wants to join you when you do Everest. Then i have two to pray for. (I wonder if God has a special file labelled Mountaineers? To which he pays special attention) Hope so…. Well,;enough of my rambling. I will leave you and your group to do some rambling of your own. Love. ME.
Posted by: Maureen on 5/20/2016 at 2:14 am
Holy smokes…what a view! I am so glad you all got to see such beauty! May the weather be calm, clear and ready for you all to reach the top! Stay healthy brother Dave. Love, Jules
Posted by: Julie Beckner on 5/19/2016 at 9:59 am
May 18, 2016
May 17, 2016 - 10:49 p.m. PDT
We slept in until the sun hit our tents this morning as we enjoyed a well deserved rest day. After a hearty brunch, we lounged around camp all day doing a lot of nothing. The weather was sunny in the morning, with strong winds up high on the West Buttress above us. This afternoon a squall came through with a little snow and windy conditions at camp.
The forecast is for see strong winds up high the next few days. We’ll pay close attention to the changing conditions as we get ready for our final push to high camp and a chance at a summit bid.
We’ll touch base again tomorrow to let you know the latest.
RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team
On The Map
I spotted you in one of the blog post photos! You are the one with the thumb up!
The final push - wow! I hope the winds die down and weather conditions are optimal. You are doing something mind-blowing. I’m scared for you and proud at the same time.
Posted by: Leanne Fosbre on 5/18/2016 at 5:21 pm
Go Rogan and crew. Watching the blogs and photos in awe!
Posted by: Sean O'Keeffe (and son Cianan) on 5/18/2016 at 12:18 pm
May 17, 2016
May 17, 2016 - 12:29 a.m. PDT
I woke up at the chilly hour of 5:00 a.m. to start the stoves. It was a perfectly clear morning with barely a breath of wind. After a hearty breakfast we packed our backpacks with supplies to cache up above the fixed ropes. We started climbing in the shade, as the sun still had not poked out around the West Rib. The cold temps were perfect for climbing and we warmed up quickly. After an hour and a thousand feet of vertical gain, the sun welcomed us at our first break.
We continued climbing and employed our mechanical ascenders to aid us up the fixed ropes. A couple hours later we were on top of the West Buttress proper. The team climbed hard today and we accomplished our goals, with one team putting a cache in below Washburn’s Thumb (16,700’), and the other team pushing on to high camp (17,200’) to establish a cache. We’re all back at camp and in our sleeping bags now after a long day of climbing. A much deserved rest day awaits us tomorrow.
RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team
This is for all of you…......
” In a sense everything that is exists to climb. All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form.
Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit. We have always
honored the high places because we sense them to be homes of gods. In the mountains there
is the promise of… something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars.
So we climb… and in climbing there is more than a metaphor; there is a means of discovery.”
(Love you Blake!)
Posted by: Maria Votilla on 5/18/2016 at 8:01 am
Hello Rob.. Unbelievable accomplishment! So excited and proud for you and the team! You all have accomplished so much and looking forward to pictures from the summit!! Enjoy the much deserved rest. Continue to be strong! We are all cheering you and the team on to the summit! Take care! Be safe, Love, Mom, Dad and Katie
Posted by: Robert & Toni Caldwell on 5/18/2016 at 4:36 am
May 16, 2016
May 15, 2016 - 10:35 pm PT
The day started with our camp above the clouds deck and good views of Mt. Hunter and Foraker. After breakfast we headed downhill with empty packs to retrieve our cache at 13,700’. After a fifteen minute walk downhill and an hour back to camp, we are all set with all of our gear at 14k.
After we returned to camp, the clouds lifted and it began to snow. It snowed all afternoon, with about a foot of accumulation. As I write this dispatch from my sleeping bag tonight, there is blue sky above us. Hopefully the snow is done and tomorrow we can climb. We’re hoping to carry a cache of supplies up above the fixed ropes tomorrow, up above 16,00’.
We’ll touch base again tomorrow to let you know how it goes, thanks for following our trip.
On The Map
Absolutely beautiful pictures. Glad for all information. Cheers to the team.
Posted by: Donna on 5/16/2016 at 4:57 pm
Hi Rogan and team, well done, it’s been marvellous following your trip. Congrats so far!
Rogue your beautiful wife is fine, the op looks as if it was really successful and by the time I fetched her she had already walked and climbed stairs with the crutches. In fact she could probably climb Denali with a bit more practise!
You are well past the halfway mark, according to the map, one more stop and then the summit. Never give up! Ever! I didn’t with Wfm and that was also really difficult.
You trained so hard, you are quite capable of reaching the summit, your Angels are with you!
I’m so looking forward to seeing all your photos.
I suppose you know that 4 guys reached the top of Everest, the first in two full years!
I wish the blue skies remain, you must be sick of snow by now? Focus on the wonderful scenery, not seen by many, it’s such a privilege you are experiencing.
Hope you all have a great climb tomorrow, it will be different by the looks of things. Good luck and vasbyt!
Love you so much, mom xx
Posted by: Daphne Carew on 5/16/2016 at 1:36 pm
Saturday, May 14th - 2:57pm PST
This is RMI Guide Billy Haas checking in for the May 3rd, Mike Walter, Denali, West Buttress expedition. We are currently comfortably camped at 14,200 ft after making the move up today from our previous camp at 11,000 ft. We experienced hot, but ideal conditions on the mountain today for our move. Calm winds and blue skies made for a pleasant climb around Windy Corner, allowing us ample time to establish our new camp here in Genet Basin. Tomorrow we hope to reclaim our cache of food and supplies at 13,500 ft, and look forward to positioning ourselves for our eventual move to High Camp.
The team is in great spirits and excited to be in a new camp, and we are all looking forward to the light back carry day tomorrow.
Die fotos is indrukwekkend. Bly koel. En druk die gidse vas teen ‘n sneeuman as hulle woer-woer speel.
Kyk nie na die spits nie. “one step at a time”. Maar, wie sal dan beter weet as jy my ou Duifie. Mooi dinge.
Posted by: Ken on 5/17/2016 at 10:29 am
Hey Rogz - keep climbing - been thinking about you a lot since our last chat.
It was a long day but home safe and sound. Don’t give up - keep going and Go Large - never give us - love you and miss you xxx
Posted by: Melanie on 5/16/2016 at 9:22 am