Entries By chase nelson
February 4, 2016
February 3, 2016
Welcome to a series of dispatches from our most recent expedition seminar in Ecuador! This morning we officially met for the first time as a team and enjoyed a nice breakfast at our hotel before heading out on a cultural tour of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. We started off our sightseeing with a visit to the geographic equator and an interesting sort of a natural history museum at the same site. We saw all sorts of cool stuff like enormous anaconda skins, crazy spiders, a spiny Amazonian fish that will swim up your urethra, and even a real human shrunken head from the jungles of eastern Ecuador. Crazy stuff. We spent the afternoon visiting the old town of Quito which is a Unesco World Heritage site with many buildings dating back to the 1500’s. Lots of cool churches were visited and we learned about Ecuador’s tumultuous political history as we saw the sights with our local cultural guide Angel. We’ve got a great group of guys and we are all excited to get out tomorrow and feel a little altitude. Although, it could be said we’re starting out acclimation process right here in Quito, hanging out at just over 9,000’.
February 4, 2016
We woke today to broken clouds and another lovely morning here in Quito. Jaime, our local man with a plan (he’s our coordinator for nearly everything we’ll do) decided to join us on our climb of Rucu Pichincha just for fun. After a quick taxi ride over to the Teleférico and a scenic ride up the gondola we began our approach towards Pichincha’s rocky summit through gentler, but beautiful green mountains. Our team moved well for the most part despite feeling the acute burn of our first serious dose of altitude. The summit block involved a bit of easy scrambling but before long the team found themselves on the summit, albeit in a sea of clouds. Still, we were able to catch a few glimpses of the active part of Pichincha’s caldera, la Pichincha Guagua and down to the buildings of Quito filling the valley far below. We celebrated our last night in Quito with a great pizza dinner and are all looking forward to getting outta town tomorrow on our way eventually to Cayambe in the north.
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September 8, 2015
Hey! It’s Billy here checking in from the Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan where the most recent storm cycle actually left us with a nice coating of new snow. Things are exceptionally beautiful here right now but the fog’s kind of moving in and out. And our team has built camp and settled on in and we just enjoyed some dinner. And we’re gonna rack out and hit the hay pretty soon here to get us ready for a big day training tomorrow.
Weird stuff definitely today on the lower glacier. We actually saw multiple frogs on the glacier so the team hasn’t decided whether or not that’s a good omen or bad omen but we’re hoping that it’s a good one. And we’re hoping to get an awesome week of learning and climbing. So, that’s all for now. We’ll check in again tomorrow, and let you know how the day went.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent and Team
RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from the Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan.
June 27, 2015
RMI Guides Casey Grom and Chase Nelson and team reached the summit of Mt. Baker via the North Ridge. Casey checked-in from the summit reporting a great route, strong team, and beautiful weather with a steady breeze.
June 23, 2015
In the North Cascades, RMI Guides Leon Davis and Chase Nelson led their team to the summit of Mt. Baker via the North Ridge today. Leon reported a great day of “full on climbing” with beautiful weather.
This marks RMI’s first Mt. Baker summit of the season. Congratulations climbers!
June 17, 2015
This morning we woke up at 1 am to enjoy our last morning on the glacier. As we left 11,000’ camp the sky was a mixture of pink, purple and blues. After our final push we arrived at base camp this morning at 7:30 am. A few hours later after enjoying another spectacular flight, we found ourselves hot in Talkeetna, suddenly aware of how badly we smelled.
Everyone spent the afternoon transitioning back into the real world, getting in touch with family and enjoying a shower. Tonight we are looking forward to a celebratory dinner and getting a view of the mountain that we stood atop just a few days ago. Congratulations to the entire team and to Geoff and Eric’s team on a successful trip!
June 16, 2015
June 16, 2015 6:05 pm PT
We arose to wind and a bit of ominous clouds at 17,000’. The team efficiently packed our camp to start the long decent back to our families and friends. After 6,000’ of decent with a stop to gather our kit stashed at 14,000’ and a wonderful quesadilla snack from Jake’s team we have landed for some chill time.
This is the life! We’re at the beach of 11,000’ camp soaking our battered feet in the sun soften snow. While puffing our sleeping bags over our tent flies which is conveniently shading us in our cabanas as we get some well deserved rest for the final push to Base Camp early tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed we will fly off to civilization tomorrow! Not that there are no other people to socialize with up here on Denali. Our team has done one heck of an awesome job and we have all created some great friendships!
If all keeps going our way our next post will be the last from little Talkeetna, AK with a great evening of celebration!
RMI Guide Tyler Jones
On The Map
You certainly taxed the Weather Gods’ patience.
Great work- 3rd times the charm
Posted by: bruce freedman on 6/17/2015 at 5:58 am
Glad to hear the day went so well!!!
David and Mark, I know you were both in great shape but everyone must be exhausted by now….blessings for health and safety to all as you continue to descend. Won’t be long now till you trade your hiking boots for dancing shoes at Chris and Kelsey’s wedding. Can’t wait to see pictures and hear the stories of this great adventure.
Love and prayers, Mom & Dad Dreher
Posted by: Mom & Dad Dreher on 6/17/2015 at 12:12 am
June 16, 2015
June 15, 2015 11:27 pm PT
Some great timing, a bit of luck, and our mountain skills payed off! The team woke early to a blustery morning, had a breakfast of oatmeal and coffee and prepared our warm weather clothing and climbing equipment. We then delayed about an hour to see if the wind would lighten up and the Sun’s solar rays would help the cool nip of the early morning air!
We set out on our summit attempt at 9 am and headed off to the shady slopes of the Autobahn which are the slopes that lead to Denali pass at 18,200 ft. The wind was still gusty, but relatively warm temps (about 10 degrees) allowed us to keep the digits warm and continue traveling upward. Then beyond the pass we enjoyed full on sunshine as the wind slowly diminished to a light breeze. Smooth traveling on the upper slopes accompanied by a perfect day put us on the summit around 4:00pm. Stellar views of the lower slopes of Denali and the rest of the Alaska Range were enjoyed by all. After plenty of photos and high-fives we spun around and made the return trip to camp. After a quick dinner and hot drinks everyone is is tucked away in their tents enjoying some rest after a hard days work.
Great work today team!
On The Map
Way to go Daddy! That’s awesome—I guess the third time is a charm. Mommy’s car said that it was 107 here today. It is so freaking hot. Hope you make it home before I go to New York in a week. We sang for the Raleigh City Council today. I think it was on TV.
Posted by: Oz on 6/16/2015 at 8:12 pm
Congrats DG! The highest point in the continent. Say, I just had an absolutely brilliant idea…billable feet! ;)
Posted by: Will Ivy on 6/16/2015 at 3:04 pm
June 15, 2015
June 15, 2015 4:42 pm PT
Hi everybody it’s Tyler and the team. We are on the summit of Mt. McKinley currently.
We hope that everyone is doing well at home. We have a lot of hours of work left but we did a really good job getting up here. We can see hundreds of miles. There is a light wind up here and everybody is doing great. We have had a spectacular trip and we are half way now.
We will give you a report when we get back to 17 Camp and hope that everyone is well. We will be in touch.
RMI Guide Tyler Jones
RMI Guide Tyler Jones calls from the summit of Mt. McKinley.
On The Map
A huge congrats to you and the team, Ken. You are a man of your word—you said you were going to do Denali and you did—all the way to the top—20,320 feet—WOW! A colossal achievement. Cheers to you and the team from hapless Hollis.
Posted by: Budd Burnett on 6/21/2015 at 1:34 pm
Congratulations to all on reaching the summit, be safe travels down. Ken, we are anxiously waiting your return to hear all your wonderful stories, be safe!!
Posted by: Lilia Godinez on 6/16/2015 at 8:48 am
June 14, 2015
Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 6:37 pm PT
At last, our patience has paid off. After eight nights at 14 Camp, we finally got the weather today to move our camp up the West Buttress to our high camp at 17,200 feet. The team did great work, traveling up the fixed lines, along the Buttress proper, past Washburn’s Thumb, and into camp.
Upon our arrival the team was greeted by blustery winds so we immediately put all of our wall building practice to good use and hammered out a camp in short time. Now we’re tucked out of the weather and cooking an early dinner to get ready for a big day tomorrow. If the weather looks good in the morning, we plan on making our summit push!
The team is looking strong and everyone is excited to see the last 18 days of hard work pay off. Time for an early evening, and hopefully the next time you hear from us will be from the top of North America!
RMI Guide Tyler Jones and Team
On The Map
Ken your almost there. Keep safe and don’t give up. The view from up there is breath taking, enjoy. Jose
Posted by: Jose Gonzalez on 6/15/2015 at 4:18 pm
18 days of hard work….at D.G.‘s rate you guys are going to be minted!!
Best of luck in the coming days!
Posted by: Will Ivy on 6/15/2015 at 3:24 pm
June 13, 2015
June 13, 2015 4:31pm PST
The final day of waiting and preparation… We hope! Today is a calm and sunny day at 14 camp, although the small plumes of snow still sail above us on the West Buttress ridge and upper mountain. With groups of climbers from around the world stacking up over the last week of poor weather, the headwall and fixed lines were crawling with dozens of folks on the move—Making for one full boat on the route today. Our decision to stall and let the hoards move on and winds continue to die down will hopefully give us a smooth and ultimately safer move. We want to work smarter not harder and like a raven sailing on the afternoon thermals give our team the best and smoothest climb we at RMI can offer.
Thank you all for the comments, wish us luck and we hope to check in from high camp tomorrow! Cheers!
RMI Guide Tyler Jones & Team
Ken, you guys are so close! Sounds like you have a. Dry smart guide and a great team. I know you are all about working smarter and not harder. We learn a lot together at work, i can’t wait to all of the life lessons and self discover you must be experiencing on this trip. Praying for clear ski so you and your team can work smart and make it to the top.
Posted by: Dennis Canevari on 6/13/2015 at 9:40 pm
D.G., Prayers for success and safety to all. Ted has his fingers crossed. Love you, Mom
Posted by: Caroline Clayton on 6/13/2015 at 7:46 pm