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Entries By blake votilla

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Summits!

RMI Guide JJ Justman and the Four Day Summit Climb team reached the summit of Mt. Rainier under cold and gusty conditions. The team began their descent shortly after 8:00 a.m. PDT. On their descent, the team will stop at Camp Muir to rest and repack before continuing their descent to Paradise. They will return to Ashford and Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon. Congratulations!
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Mt. Rainier: Emmons Seminar Completes Week of Training

RMI Guide Nick Hunt and the Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons team completed their week of training today. Yesterday, the team made a summit attempt via the Emmons Glacier route on Mt. Rainier. The team was forced to call 12,800' their high point due to poor route conditions. Despite not reaching the summit, the team had a great climb complete with steep alpine climbing. All in all, the team enjoyed a great week of training and climbing on the Emmons Glacier.
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Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Team on Top!

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens led the Four Day Summit Climb team to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. While on the summit, Geoff reported cold and windy weather with clear skies. The team began their descent around 7:30 a.m. and will return to Ashford later this afternoon. Way to climb!
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Thanks so much Geoff, Nikki, and Blake, and the rest of the team. Matt and I had a blast climbing with you all. Best of luck to everyone on your next mountain adventure!


Posted by: Meredith on 7/7/2016 at 12:44 pm

Thanks Geoff, Nikki and Blake. This was a great climb and an excellent experience overall :)

Posted by: Balaji on 7/6/2016 at 10:49 am

Denali Expedition: Jones and Team Return to Talkeetna

The May 24th Denali Expedition led by RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Caleb Ladue, and Blake Votilla flew off the Kahiltna Glacier yesterday and return to Talkeetna. According to Tyler, the team was planning to celebrate their climb at Talkeetna's Roadhouse. After 18 days of living in tents the team is happy to be back in the land of burgers, beer, showers, and mattresses. Congratulations climbers!

On The Map

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Welcome back, Bob. I hope you getting busy planning your next beautiful adventure on this wild planet. Cheers to you and the team!

Posted by: Emily Jenson on 6/14/2016 at 1:58 pm

Congratulations to all of you.. Very Cool and I am sure extremely GRATIFYING !!!

Posted by: Mary Anne Kyburz-Ladue on 6/13/2016 at 9:02 am

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Return to Base Camp

June 11, 2016 - 11:57 pm PT Hi all, we are at Base Camp. Just when you think it's over it's not till the fat lady sings. We packed our camp for what what we had hoped was the last time early this morning. The crew as always on this trip was ready to roll early and we arrived at base camp at 8:30 this morning with lite snow and cloudy skies. With all our will we wished the fog and snow away. Our wish was only met after the planes has powered down for the day. A long day of anticipation of burgers, beer, and more was lost so we enjoyed each others company and reflected on our journey in the Alaska range. With the weather on the lower glacier clearing a bit this evening we're hopeful to see all the colors of the outer world we departed from 16 days ago. Hoping to smell the summer in the low lands and eat like kings tomorrow. Blow some good weather vibes our way! Cheers, RMI Guide Tyler Jones & the team

On The Map

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Congratulations Blake.  Nice.  Very Nice!

Posted by: Adelle on 6/13/2016 at 6:19 am

What a long, strange trip it’s been . . .

Posted by: Dad on 6/12/2016 at 1:09 pm

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Back to Thick Air and Bacon

June 10, 2016 - 10:59 pm PT Waking up at 17K camp this morning was tough after yesterday's big day. We were happy though to be on the move again, back down the mountain to thicker air. Walking down the West Buttress was beautiful, and this time we were actually able to enjoy the knife ridge views. Taking in views is much easier walking down when you're only using half the physical effort as the way up. The mountain treated us with pleasant weather all the way to 11K Camp until we hit the storm layer, walked through some high winds and blowing snow and eventually below the storm to 7,800 camp. Now we're enjoying a cheese, bacon and bagel fry up celebration and looking forward to the final leg of our journey back to basecamp tomorrow! See you all soon and thanks for the support! RMI Guide Tyler Jones

On The Map

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Still trying to keep a little vertical distance from reality.

Posted by: Dad on 6/12/2016 at 5:41 am

Wow descending almost 10,000 feet and through a snow storm layer—thats a long day! I hope you’re all holding up well on this last leg down to base camp!

Ongun I can’t wait to hear from you! sending you my hugs!

Posted by: karina on 6/11/2016 at 9:29 pm

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Return to High Camp after Summit Bid

June 9, 2016 - 10:38 pm PT Hello!!! We are all safe and sound back at our high camp after a long summit push. This morning we got out of the tents at the suns first rays to clear but windy weather. We were a bit nervous as the wind extended into the late morning but once we were tied in to the ropes around 10:30 the sun started to grace the slopes of Denali Pass and the wind let up a bit. We climbed smoothly up to the pass.Today was a chilly one, filled with managing our feet, hands, and faces against the pesky cold. Our bodies were spent as we finished Pig Hill and to our surprise the summit ridge was rather warm and welcoming. We took photos, embraced and congratulated each other on a strong effort. The crew made great time on the way down and we are grubbing on soup and ramen, looking forward to descending to more oxygen rich air. Time for a bit of rest for this tuckered out crew! RMI Guide Tyler Jones

On The Map

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Congrats team
Very exciting and very thankful to hear you are heading down safe. Please be careful on your way down and cannot wait to hear the stories upon Dan and Eric’s return.
Thanks to the RMI guides for keeping our loved ones safe.

Posted by: karen Stewart on 6/11/2016 at 6:26 am

Congrats all! Now hurry down Mr. President Oxygen because I’m trying to plan your next expedition :-)

Posted by: First Lady Oxygen on 6/10/2016 at 8:56 pm

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Reach the Summit of North America’s Highest Peak!

June 9, 2016 - 6:16 pm PT Hi Everybody - It's Tyler Jones and the RMI 4 Team. We are standing on the summit of Mt. McKinley, well now Denali. We are all doing well and we will give another shout when we get back to Camp. Thanks for your support and we will talk to you all soon. Ciao - RMI Guide Tyler Jones

RMI Guide Tyler Jones check in from the summit of Denali.

On The Map

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Congratulations to Blake and everyone! Lei

Posted by: Lei on 6/10/2016 at 8:33 am

Congratulations team!!! I’m so happy and proud of you guys and hope you have an amazing feeling of accomplishment! Your strength, perseverance, patience and humility when needed carried you to the top! I’m celebrating your achievement here in NYC and hope you have a safe return down!

Ongun I can’t wait to see you and give such a big hug!!!! Mwah!

Posted by: Karina on 6/10/2016 at 6:07 am

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Rest at High Camp

June 8, 2016 - 2:25 p.m. PDT Hi from High Camp on Denali! We were in a holding pattern this morning as we had high winds and very cold temperatures. Now the day has warmed up and winds have died a bit, but we are sitting in a very thick cloud. The tents are warm as always with the sun's intense radiation shining through. So we sit and wait, snoozing, mixed with conversation, laughter and anticipation. When our window arrives we are in crouching tiger position, ready to launch on our summit push. RMI Guide Tyler Jones and Team

On The Map

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Sorry to hear you are stuck at camp. Eric is keeping me informed about what that must be like. I imagine it’s more fun than the Builder, and less miserable than attending a rainy losing ND game.

Today I drove to North Lame (or some town nearby that looked exactly the same). It was 95° and smelled strongly of cows. I sat in a windowless conference room for 6 hours and then drove back. My coworkers made a big deal out of eating Rocky Mountain Oysters, which I think sounds like a good name for a local minor league team.

Remember, if you can’t climb because of the cold, use your artistic eye to find an ice cave ballroom.


Posted by: Mary on 6/9/2016 at 6:28 am


Posted by: Karen Stewart on 6/8/2016 at 8:22 pm

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Move Into 17K Camp

June 7, 2016 - 8:30 pm PT We got up this morning to blue skies and a promising forecast. The minute the Big Orange Ball (aka Bob number 2) shined on camp we were outta there, moving uphill. However, we were forced to heavily slow our roll as huge swirling snow plumes were blowing off the 16 ridge and the upper mountain was completely sheeted in wind blown snow. So we picnicked in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. The visibility was almost endless as we could see much of the range in sharp detail. We rested and snacked for over an hour before the winds started looking more and more friendly. Before we knew it, picnicking was over and as we were hopping onto the fixed lines. After the practice a few days before the team zipped to the top and met up with our buried stashes! Then it was on! Climbing the 16 ridge is absolutely breathtaking, and we earned it today. The stiff wind never really let up, but it did nothing to dampen spirits as we looked down 2,500 feet to 14K camp and beyond. Now that the ridge has been walked, and the tents pitched, the team looks to try and recover enough to make a stab at the summit in the morning! Let's just hope this wind blows itself out... RMI Guide Tyler Jones
Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wow congrats guys!! Sounds like such an exciting day! Stay safe on this last push to the top. I can only imagine the gorgeous views from where you are. Im so impressed with you all—what an adventure! Enjoy it!

Ongun I’m sending you all my hugs!Xoxo


Posted by: Karina on 6/8/2016 at 5:45 am

Summit dogs for everyone!

Posted by: Dad on 6/7/2016 at 9:48 pm

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