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Entries By brent okita

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Back at Kahiltna Basecamp

June 4, 2016 - 4:31 pm PT

Our last evening at 11,200’ was all too brief. Walking this morning after what we hoped was our last in an open air Posh, we descended into clouds that lasted the morning. It felt great letting the feet stride out.
By 11:00am we were at Basecamp, in a complete whiteout! So much for flying out this morning. Thankfully, our job of carrying these huge packs and moving is finally over.
With no immediate optimism for a break in the weather to fly out, we did what just felt right, and set up the Posh Tent. Snacks were shared, but hugely, Geoff had cached a case of Alaskan Amber to celebrate our safe return. What a treat!
After word from Basecamp Lisa of clearing conditions down glacier, we’ve rallied our gear in place, all except for our Posh. We’re back here now, everyone sacked out and recovering from a short night and a few jam packed days.
Conversation floats in for those of us not snoring away or fatigue, as does the sounds of the famed guide Vern Tejas’ ukulele.
Things are looking better around here. There’s still hope we might have a big steak and fresh veggies for dinner tonight. I’m betting we’ll be out for a late dinner and you’ll be hearing from your loved ones soon. Until then, I might join my teammates in some much needed rest.

A tout a l’heure,
RMI Guides Brent, Christina and the team

On The Map

Wow! You all came down Fast! Hopefully the weather gives you an opening and you are off the mountain by the time you read this. Awesome Climb!!!

Posted by: Dave on 6/5/2016 at 3:16 am

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Summit!

Hi, it’s Brent Okita from the RMI Denali trip. I have good news to report. We are back in camp at 17K after a successful summit bid. We all did super well and conditions were feasible. We got a late start because we had some clouds and a little bit of snow last night. We managed to slip one in. It was a warm day and the wind was minimal, which was great. It followed us all the way to 17K from 14K, which was just beautiful. People are sacked out right now. It’s about 1:30 a.m., and we just got the chores all done and excuse my gravely voice, it just gets that way sometimes. We’re planning on heading down to 11,000 feet tomorrow. Get in a little bit of a nap and then changing onto a nighttime schedule and heading down to basecamp and hopefully fly off this mountain here soon. All right, I’ll have more info when I get it. Bye-bye.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

RMI Guide Brent Okita calls in after successful summit!

Congratulations to Mike and team!  Awesome accomplishment!  Glad you’re down safely and partaking in well-earned libations. See you soon, doc.

Posted by: Frank Marini on 6/5/2016 at 5:35 pm

Go Dawn, Brent, and Christina!!!! So proud of you all, and the rest of your team, too! We have been reading each post, enjoying this journey from NYC. You must be exhilarated and exhausted. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Safe return home. Congratulations!!!
Xo Lindsay and Steve

Posted by: Lindsay on 6/4/2016 at 6:51 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Move to High Camp

June 1,2016 - 11:21 p.m. PDT

Hi! We are checking in from our high camp at 17,200 ft. on Denali. We had a good move up here today and are hoping to make our summit attempt tomorrow. I’m going to keep it short because it’s late and time to get some sleep so we can hopefully make it to the summit of Denali tomorrow.

I will check in again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Brent Okita and team

On The Map

Best of luck to you all. Stay safe.

Posted by: Randy Salo on 6/3/2016 at 7:49 am

Go Denali Dawn and team. We are all proud of you. Push the summit, give her your best go, she is calling you !

Posted by: Tom S on 6/3/2016 at 2:53 am

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Rest and Introduce the Team

May 31, 2016 - 10:03 pm PT

Finally,  a day of rest. Smoked salmon, toasted bagels and cream cheese served at the civilized hour of 10:00 set the tone for the day.  Our communal get together then lasted to noon. What we all talk of who knows, but obviously we enjoy each others company.
Speaking of which, I thought I might share a small glimpse of who this team is that you’re following.
I’ll start with the lady from NYC. A social live wire who keeps things fun in the Posh and can climb with the best.
Of the three doctors in the group, the one from the east coast is not the talkative center of the group, but is so fun to get to know and importantly, never complains, even of our cooking.
The other doc is our elder statesman, older than even me!  (OK, by just a year) But with this wisdom comes a love and appreciation of everything and everyone around him.
The third doc is a stud! But his strength is so overshadowed by his generosity and true commitment to the welfare of the group.
We even have two paramedics on board.  The first calls Boston home, where he only works four jobs to support his climbing habit. His good heartlessness is reflected in the smile he wears no matter how difficult the going is.
The other medic defines strength.  Even after breaking his leg in January,  he gets the hard man award.  Combined with just being a really nice guy,  we’re lucky to have him on the team.
Another incredible member was an air force meteorologist who became a physical therapist. Her strength and will power is obvious any time you pick up her pack.  Plus she can run a five minute mile.  Amazing person!
Another teammate was here two years ago where weather conspired to thwart his summit bid, but has come back determined and firing on all cylinders.  Always good natured,  especially when there’s rice one the menu, he is a pleasure to climb with.

Of the guides,  our first year assistant is proving his mettal and performing really well in the harsh environment of the Alaska range. Interestingly,  all the of us are ski patrollers in the winter.
My first assistant is all one could ask for in a guide up here. Strong, fun, hard working and smart. And a bright spot in the Posh House.
Then there’s me, trying to manage as best as I can and get this old body up the hill one more time.

So that’s it, the team in a nutshell. I trust you’ll recognize your friends, family, loved ones.  It’s a special group and I’m excited to be climbing with them.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

That Air Force Girl is Tough!! I know you already know that. Keep climbing Strong Dawn!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/2/2016 at 3:22 am

We are all watching your progress, great job, great team. FYI Dr P. It is going to be 110 to 113 here in the desert this weekend….

Posted by: Saguaro Surgical on 6/1/2016 at 9:16 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Carry to 16,800 and above

May 31, 2016 - 12:03 am PT

Our day was a resounding success! A cold, early start had us ahead of the madding crowds as everyone was determined to take advantage of some perfect weather. It had snowed 6-8” overnight, and ours were the first tracks up the pristine slopes leading to the fixed lines and the start of the West Buttress.
By far the steepest climbing we’ve encountered, the Buttress is also the steepest, most dramatic climbing most of our group has ever done.
The team performed well, with us getting a cache at 16,800’ and another one at high camp at 17,200’.
Everyone is pumped by the day and really looking forward to our first rest day.
It’s getting late and cold, so adieu from 14,200’.

RMI Guides Brent, Christina, Chris and the team

On The Map

I look forward to this email every day!!! I am with you in spirit! Climb Strong Dawn!!! :)

Posted by: Dave on 6/1/2016 at 4:12 am

Nice work, Mike P!!  It’s great to track your progress.  Short hop to 17 and you’re almost there. Wishing you some clear weather. Hang tough, buddy!  Frank M

Posted by: Frank Marini on 5/31/2016 at 1:14 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Back Carry to 13,500’

May 29, 2016 - 11:50 p.m. PDT

Awakening to wind buffeting the tents and spindrift everywhere kept us hunkered down in our bags later than usual this morning. When we finally ventured out at least the sun was out in all it’s glory, which sure made up for the gusts and blowing snow.
A quick breakfast of Pop Tarts and we all rallied from the tents to cut blocks for the wall around our Posh tent that we just didn’t have time to build yesterday. Kind of reminiscent of our morning a few days ago at 11,200’. The team rocked the work we had to do to allow us to get our cool tent fully functioning, A second breakfast of grits and hot drinks fortified us to do our short back carry to pick up our cache at 13,500’. And now we’re set.
We have a carry up to 16,200’ or higher planned for tomorrow, but if the weather doesn’t let us we’ll certainly enjoy a rest day.
The weather forecasts look good for later this week. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Ciao from 14,200’.
RMI Guides Brent Okita,Christina Dale, Chris Ebeling and an incredible team of climbers

On The Map

Be safe Michael! Amazing climb! We are thinking about you!

Love, Lesleigh, Lyndon, William, Lucy and Grace

Posted by: Lesleigh box on 5/31/2016 at 5:26 am

I swear to God, Paul, that I begin hyperventilating with every update!  So incredibly excited for you!  What an amazing journey!  Be safe!  We leave on the 11th for our Mt. Whitney climb.

Posted by: Virginia on 5/30/2016 at 8:07 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Build Camp at 14,200’

May 28, 2016 - 11:20 p.m. PDT

Luck has been with us as today turned out to be a nice day for a walk. And walk we did, moving camp up to 14,200’. We retraced our route from yesterday, passing by our cache just long enough to pick up a couple extra shovels to help build camp. The team crushed it going to 13,500’, but as is normal, felt the altitude on the last 700’. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to find a vacated camp to move into, so had to build camp from scratch. What’s nice though is that our neighbor is the RMI team before us. Graciously, they filled water bottles for our thirsty crew upon arrival.
We’re all in bed now looking forward to some well deserved rest after our big push.

Good night from 14,200’.
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling, and the team

On The Map

Hey Mike!
We are pulling for you. Be strong and climb safe!

Posted by: Scott and Nicole Clark on 5/30/2016 at 1:26 am

Hi to everyone! Greetings from Norco, CA where we are in t-shirts We check your blog everyday and enjoy everything you report. Glad to see everyone is doing so well.  Looking forward to your next report. Cheers

Posted by: Lori Golding on 5/29/2016 at 5:15 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team - An Unexpected Carry

May 28, 2016 - 12:19 am PT

Strong winds buffeted camp this morning to the extent that we actually cut snow blocks to form walls around our beloved Posh tent before having breakfast.
That done, pancakes were the order of the morning as we looked on at the winds up high and wondered if we’d have any chance to make our carry today.
Pancakes, hot drinks and lively conversation carried the morning, but our eyes kept track of the goings on up high. So when a significant downtrend in the winds was noticed, we rallied and went for it, albeit later than we would have liked to start off.
Our carry to 13,500’ went off perfectly, with everyone climbing really well.
Let’s hope tomorrow allows us some break in the winds. As I finish this dispatch the winds have calmed, so I’m optimistic on our getting to 15,300’ tomorrow. But who knows?

Your team at 11,200’ camp,
RMI Guides Brent, Christina and Chris

On The Map

Hello Brent , Christine & Dawn! What an Awesome Experience you are having! Love these emails! Sending calm wind thoughts! Climb On and Climb Strong!!!!

Posted by: Dave on 5/29/2016 at 3:26 am

We are enjoying our Memorial Day weekend here in Florida where it is 87 degrees and sunny. Sending warm hugs and sunny wishes for your Denali adventure.  Keep tough and never act your age!  Love you.

Posted by: Carol Probstfeld on 5/28/2016 at 12:10 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team on a Rest Day of Sorts

May 26, 2016 - 10:13 pm PT

Eggs,bacon, hash browns and of course the hot drink this team raves about, hot cider, started our day on the right foot. Three hours after breakfast we were back in camp with our cache from 10,000’.
Some review of ice axe arrest and cramponing after lunch has prepared us for tomorrow’s big climb to bring a cache up to 13,500’. This is where the climbing begins, and we’re really looking forward to it.
The afternoon was spent relaxing in the tents, a much needed and appreciated respite from the hard work everyone has been doing to this point.
Spirits are high as we get off the Kahiltna Glacier and start getting close to camp at 14,200’.
Let’s hope it’s not too windy for us on our climb around Windy Corner tomorrow.

RMI Guides Brent, Christina, Chris and the team

On The Map

Hi Michael -

Glad you had a day to rest. Gorgeous picture! Good luck with the big climb today. The blog has been great.
Love, Mom and Dad

Posted by: Frank and Maureen Santoni on 5/27/2016 at 10:08 am

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Cruise into Camp at 11,200’

May 25, 2016 - 11:14 p.m. PDT

The walk up to camp at 11,200’ was our easiest of the trip. Less than 3 hours of climbing with reasonable loads today was a very nice break for the team. Everyone was all smiles coming into camp just after noon. We even moved into a recently abandoned camp so we didn’t have to work on building camp. Our cache is a mere 30 minute walk from here, so picking it up on our back carry tomorrow will be even easier. Which is perfect after all the hard work everyone has been doing. And of course, the Posh Tent remains the center of activity and social life for us here on the mountain.

That’s all for now from camp at 11,200.’
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling and the team

On The Map

Hey Team, Beautiful picture! Looks Incredible. I wish you all the best! Climb Strong Dawn!!!!

Posted by: Dave on 5/27/2016 at 3:24 am

Paul,  Looks amazing!  Wish I was there!  Be safe and have an incredible journey.  Love living vicariously through you!
Gin Millsap

Posted by: Virginia on 5/26/2016 at 8:54 pm

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