Entries By brent okita
May 20, 2016
Elevation: 7,300'/ 348'
May 19, 2016 - Thursday Evening Post
After much deliberation on the part of the pilots, management Basecamp personnel of our flight service the teams launched for Basecamp. Weather was uncertain but K2, our air service, wanted to at least try to get us in the mountain.
The first plane landed, but with a ground fog rolling in the second of our planes had to turn back.
So, here we are, enjoying life on the mountain finally. Although our partners in Talkeetna are sleeping in beds and enjoying burgers and beer, this is what we’ve all come here for.
The drama of the spectacular mountains around us has been sometimes muted by clouds moving in, but the team is excited to be here and eager to learn. Before setting up camp we practiced numerous skills, hoping our partners would get lucky and be able to fly on. But such was not the case tonight.
Unfortunate though that might be, I’m delighted to be with folks so psyched to be here and learn and help out. What a great trip this will be.
May 20, 2016 - 4:30 pm PT
A snowy morning greeted us as we finally crawled out of our sleeping bags after our first night on the mountain. Unfortunately, the visibility was poor too, so our intentions of bringing a cache of supplies further up the mountain were thwarted. Instead, breakfast flowed into lunch as we enjoyed the comfort provided by our cook/dining tent. Stories were shared over a breakfast of biscuits and gravy, followed by more hot drinks and culminating in a hot pot of Ramen for lunch as we make the most of this weather day holding slim chance of having our other half of the team fly in to join us.
A quick satellite phone call to Christina and the team in Talkeetna let us know they have been making the most of their time by training and practicing skills that we’ll need later in the trip.
The Kahiltna crew has not been slacking either, regardless of how the previous narrative sounds. Knots, tent set up, anchors, rescue systems and stove operations have been reviewed and practiced. The team is firing on all cylinders.
Wish us better luck with the weather tomorrow.
RMI Guide Brent Okita and the Kahiltna crew
May 19, 2016
May 19, 2016 - 2:44 p.m. PDT
One plane is flying up in ten minutes, and with luck, the rest of the team will follow shortly thereafter. Here we go!
The pilot gives us a 30% chance of actually getting to the mountain. I think otherwise. More like a 30% of having to return to Talkeetna, but good to have a sober expectation of our chances.
RMI Guide Brent Okita
To my husband Mike Santoni,
Happy Anniversary my love. Thanks for a wonderful 5 years. Good luck to you and your team!! We all miss you here on sunset rd!
Posted by: Alexis Pappas on 5/21/2016 at 5:55 am
You got this Dawn and team. God speed and safe flying.
Posted by: Tom Salata on 5/20/2016 at 7:56 pm
May 19, 2016
May 19, 2016 - 8:25 a.m. PDT
We are awaiting breakfast before heading to the airport to see if we can fly out today. The drizzle falling this morning hasn’t gotten anyone’s spirits down. We’re all excited to get going!
Update - 10:14 a.m. PDT
The sun has been peeking out shyly this morning, which is a marked improvement from our earlier rain. The ‘rampers’ have just finished loading our gear into the two Otters that will fly the team onto the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier from where we’ll start our climb.
Boots are at the ready for when we get the word that the weather’s good enough to fly. For now we’re in the good hands of K2 Aviation to make the right decision to fly. They’re the experts, and share the same attitude towards safety that we do: it’s our top priority.
As I write sitting in the hangar, I’m watching a couple more sun breaks and hearing a plane warm up, droning out the classical music NPR is belting out on the radio. Both good signs, but not good enough yet to slip on the expedition climbing boots I’ll have on for the next two - three weeks.
With luck you’ll soon be getting a short, curt dispatch from me announcing a move. If not, our next dispatch may be coming from from the dinner table between sips of an Ice Axe Ale. Such is the waiting game here in Talkeetna.
RMI Guide Brent Okita and Team
On The Map
May 18, 2016
May 18, 2016 - 8:17 pm PT
Finally, all the checking and packing and repacking and a million other things that need to be done before we can fly on to the mountain are done. Cool weather kept the mosquitos at bay, and although it was overcast, word from up high on the mountain reported sunny skies.
We’re hopeful for a good day tomorrow so we can start our trip. Planes were taking off and landing on the mountain all day today, which is always a good sign.
With luck, tonight will be our last dinner in town for a while.
Talk with you soon.
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale and Chris Ebeling
I hope the weather clears so you can start your journey to the top of North America!! Chris, your big sister will be watching each step of the way. So proud of you, and have fun!!!!!
Posted by: Karen Ebeling on 5/19/2016 at 2:43 pm
Have a great climb! Your niece and nephews will be tracking you guys. Be safe! Love, Carin, Andy, David, Brian and Jordan
Posted by: Carin on 5/19/2016 at 8:07 am
May 18, 2016
May 17, 2016 - 10:28 p.m. PDT
Grey clouds greeted the team in Anchorage as we began our movement towards the mountain but the wet skies could not dampen everyone’s excitement to start the trip. Finally, after all the preparation and training, we are on our way!
At first glance, on this first day, I’m excited about the team. All seem fit, experienced, and fun to be around. Dinner, dessert, and drinks were a nice conclusion to our long day of travel to get here. Now for some sleep so we’re fresh for a busy day of gear preparation tomorrow…
Until next time, good night.
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale, and Chris Ebeling
On The Map
Shout out to Mike Probstfeld…can you hear me? Wishing you and team a hell of an adventure.
I’ll buy when you get back to my elevation
Posted by: Tom Hines on 5/25/2016 at 9:20 pm
Great looking team. Cheers to you all. I see success in your smiles.
Posted by: Lori Golding on 5/18/2016 at 10:59 am
May 13, 2016
RMI Guides Brent Okita & Seth Waterfall led their teams to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. Brent radioed in at 7 am from Columbia Crest reporting great conditions and a beautiful day for the first summit of the 2016 season. Both teams left the crater rim around 7:30 am en route to Camp Muir. They will repack and continue their descent to Paradise this afternoon. We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp later today.
Congratulations to today’s Five Day Summit Climb Teams!
I just taught Jess how to watch your progress! We are cheering you guys on, Scott! love Pfab
Posted by: Pfab on 5/13/2016 at 12:45 pm
April 14, 2016
The Winter Seminar aborted their summit attempt this morning. At 13,000’ the team came upon a crevasse making that elevation their high point. RMI Guide Brent Okita reported that winds were about 30-35 mph and some blue skies were peeking through cloud layers above and below them on the mountain.
The guides said everyone on the team did an amazing job and all are safely back at Camp Muir enjoying some hot drinks. Once the team refuels, they are going to do some more training before calling it a day.
Way to go Jason!
Posted by: Brian on 4/15/2016 at 8:22 am
I’m so proud of you JoshuaBlu! I can’t wait to hear all about this trip!
Posted by: Melinda on 4/15/2016 at 7:54 am
April 12, 2016
The April 10th Winter Seminar had a beautiful day on the Muir Snowfield. The strong crew made their way up to Camp Muir taking in the Cascades and surrounding views. The team, being led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Elias de Andres Martos, checked in this morning. The winds during the night at Camp Muir had some strong gusts but are currently tapering off. The team checked in via radio while having breakfast and getting ready for a day of training.
WoW !!!! What an amazing landscape !!!! Hope you’ll be able to climb up to the summit :)
Posted by: Marika, Philipe, Rémy & Mayla on 4/13/2016 at 3:23 pm
September 27, 2015
The Five Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and JJ Justman reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. Brent reported a beautiful day with clear skies and great climbing. The team will spend some time on the summit enjoying the views before starting their descent.
Congratulations to today’s team, what a great way to finish the 2015 Mt. Rainier climbing season!
I couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone and especially Caleb and Brent. True professionals in every sense. Thank you for the unforgettable experience.
Posted by: Jed on 9/29/2015 at 11:43 pm
Congratulations Kevin, a major accomplishment. I’m sure the view from the “top of the world was worth the climb”! Safe travels back home to you family. I hope to see you soon to hear all about it.
Posted by: Scott L. Robik on 9/28/2015 at 11:20 am
September 19, 2015
The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Brent Okita and the Five Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Ben Liken were unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning due to challenging route conditions. The teams called Camp Comfort at 12,700’ their high point. The teams will return to Ashford this afternoon.