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Entries By daniel may

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Depart 14,000’ Camp and return to Talkeetna to Complete Trip

Monday, June 27, 2022 - 8:14 am PT

Good morning all!

What a walk we had! Leaving 14,000' Camp with sights on basecamp is a long journey. We woke at 10pm, packed our things, and were on the downward trend by midnight. It felt good to be walking downhill but pulling a sled was less than desirable. But with so much motivation it made it possible. With the help from another RMI team, who dug up our 11,000' cache, we made fast work reorganizing and moving on. The glacier down below has changed a little. We zig and zagged left and right to avoid big crevasses. Hours went by, miles gained, elevation lost. As we got near basecamp we did a quick crevasse rescue scenario, before making our last uphill walk. Heart break hill is truly heartbreaking with tired legs, tired bodies, and tired minds. But as usual the team dug real deep and blew up it.

After a few hours napping at base and some luck the clouds parted in Talkeetna and the pilot took off. The sounds of those Otter planes were glorious music to our ears! A shower, a toilet, a beer, food, and sleep never felt or sounded so good. The team earned every amenity possible from such a long hard day. I am thoroughly impressed and proud of all the team members. It has been a fantastic journey. One for the books! Here's to healing sunburns, chapped lips, and sore muscles.

Congrats team, you made it!

RMI Guides Hannah, Kiira, and Dan

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations!!! Very strong work! So happy for you all!

Posted by: Gina on 6/28/2022 at 1:24 pm

Awesome Job Hannah and Team! Thank you for the posts it was great following along!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/28/2022 at 3:08 am

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Descend to 14,000ft Camp

Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 7:46 pm PT

Good evening all,

It's been quite a day and it's not even over yet. We woke to a chilly morning at 17,000' Camp. It made for a slow break down of camp and packing due to cold fingers and let's face it tired bodies from the day before. But with some effort we left camp and made our way to 14,000' Camp. Like usual it got real hot when we got low. By the time we arrived it was hot and we were tired. We opted to stay at 14,000' for the evening. Another RMI team helped set up our tents and gave us water. True team players. After shuffling gear and eating breakfast burritos for dinner we are all laying down for a few hours before we wake to start walking at midnight for the airstrip. It's going to be a long day but we've got this. Lots of motivation to propel us forward. Hopefully by tomorrow afternoon we will be flying back to civilization.

Time to nap,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

So happy for you all, especially CJ!  What an achievement - CONGRATULATIONS!!  We are so proud of you.  Tante

Posted by: Eloise on 6/26/2022 at 1:35 pm

What an adventure this has been!  Just a final push now and you’ll be back with lots of stories to tell.  Congratulations to you all!
IngaLisa’s Mom

Posted by: Irene Wickstrom on 6/26/2022 at 1:23 pm

Denali Expedition: SUMMIT!

Saturday, June 25, 2021 1:18 am PDT

Everything we worked for all came together today. We woke to nearly perfect weather conditions. It was game time. We packed and tied into the rope. A quick downhill gave away to steep terrain up the autobahn. Step by step we worked our way up the mountain. A breeze here and there kissed our cheeks, but all things considered was pretty calm until the summit ridge. One final steep uphill up pig hill brought us to the summit ridge. This is where the winds picked up. But we dug deep and pushed forward to the tippy top. What an accomplishment! The team trained hard, and it showed. They gave it their all and came out on top.

Congratulations team!!

Tired legs and bodies brought us back to our camp where we are resting up for two more big days walking to the airstrip.

Night everyone,

RMI Guides Hannah Smith, Kiira Antenucci, Daniel May and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations to all. Awesome experience. Love what I am seeing. I can only imagine what it looks like in your eyes. Rest up enjoy the descent and have a hot chocolate lol.

Posted by: John on 6/26/2022 at 7:07 am

Big congratulations That’s so awesome……. big kudos to Jason and Jason ❤️

Posted by: Jo Anne on 6/26/2022 at 5:08 am

Denali Expedition: Smith and Team Move to 17k Camp

Thursday, June 23, 2022 7:28 pm PDT

What a day, what a day!

The weather was a little up and down but all things considered allowed us to move to 17k camp. It is a burly move. The morning started we suspect clouds but they soon gave way to mostly clear skies. Of course by time we started to walking the clouds came back and made for some tough seeing. Buy we made it to the fix lines and were greeted by a snowy slope making for better walking. We cruised the fixed lines, dug up our cache at 16,400 and continues our journey up. More fix line bring us to Washburn's thumb and on the buttress ridge. It is an amazing walk with amazing exposure. One last snow slope dips us into our new home. Life isn't easy up here but we make strong work setting up camp and making water. Dinner is currently being served, scrumptious dehydrated Mountain House. We are working on relaxing and recovering for tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be our big day. The weather looks good enough and is our opportunity before the winds pick up and shut the door on us.

Wish us luck!!

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go team, go! Sending all the good vibes for a wonderful summit.

Posted by: Mama J on 6/24/2022 at 7:49 pm

Good luck to you all!  You are almost there!  Sending positive energy your way!!!
IngaLisa’s Mom

Posted by: Irene Wickstrom on 6/24/2022 at 6:44 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith and Team Walk to the Edge of the World, Prep for Move to 17k

Wednesday June 22nd - 5:34pm PT

To the edge and back. Not a lot of excitement today, given it was a rest day.

Breakfast burritos started our day and led into a walk to the Edge of the World. The Edge of the World is a cool rock feature one can stand on, a lot like pride rock on Lion King but this one had a relief of 7,000 feet. The view will give you chills from the beauty and the sheer height of it. The walk is short but is nice to stretch the legs. Our legs are about to have a handful of large days coming their way. More napping and snacking have wrapped our day, along with a visit from another RMI team who did their carry to 14k camp.

Tomorrow we are hoping to move to 17k camp and be in position to summit this beast. It's all so close and yet, so far away. Send all the good weather vibes our way.

All the best,

Hannah and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Yvonne and Nathan, I hope you all stay safe and strong. When you summit make sure to take in the view an extra few seconds for Rainier. Good luck, I love you both and I can’t wait to see you home in two weeks

Posted by: Linda Radsmikham on 6/23/2022 at 8:21 pm

Nathan and Yvonne, Rainier is cheering you guys and the team on so make sure you all stay safe. Btw, Mom is obsessed with reading the updates

Posted by: Kyle on 6/23/2022 at 8:15 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Carry Gear Above 14,000’ Camp

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 9:56 pm PT

Hey hey hey,

You freeze, you fry they say in the mountains and oh did we do both. A frosty morning greeted us as we packed for our carry and ate our cherrios. Hot coffee brings you to your happy place as you thaw your fingers on the vessel. It's a quick walk to the edge of camp before the terrain steepens and we approach the bergschrund where the fixed lines begin. It's steep gaining the West Buttress but man are the views great. A birds eye view of 14,000' Camp give perspective along with the grandeur of everything around us. We bumped just another couple vertical feet up the Buttress before digging our hole for our cache. The morning started cold but soon turned to hot when the sun arrive. By time we got to our cache it was windy and clouds were swirling around us. As we retraced our steps back to the fixed lines we lost the wind and then entered a mega heat bubble. The temps swing so drastically, so quickly out here. It was a solid day of work today that deserves a rest day tomorrow. We are now in position to wait for a weather window to go for our summit bid.

Here's to waiting and being pateient,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

CJ - Great progress. Best of luck on your summit push.

Posted by: Bill Hanna on 6/22/2022 at 3:44 pm

N&Y - Excited for u2!!  Good luck with the summit push.  We’ll be cheering you on and sending positive mojo.!!  Love you both and can’t wait to see pics and hear all about it.  Tim & Ellen

Posted by: Tim Lewis on 6/22/2022 at 1:23 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Take Rest Day at 14,000’

Monday, June 20, 2022 - 8:39 pm PT

Hello all,

Well today is a low reporting day. It was a rest day. We rested. We ate. We napped. We reviewed skills. And we ate dinner. Rest days can be hard. Hard to not think about home. Hard to not think about the summit, on whether you have what it takes or not. Just hard to not get inside your head too much. That's where napping comes into play. One can simply dream of something else. These rest days are important though for our bodies to recover. Recover so we can have a good carry day and later a good move and summit. Tomorrow, as long as the weather holds, we will carry our gear higher so that we are in position to move to High Camp. Snow flurries have danced all day, so hopefully they take a rest from their twirling, dancing fall from the sky and allow us to have a good day.

Talk tomorrow,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Sending Strong thoughts for a Strong Team and and make sure you tell your Team they have an Awesome Guide Hannah!!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/22/2022 at 4:55 am

Enjoy your well deserved day of rest!  Sending positive thoughts your way - you are all going to make it!!!
Love from IngaLisa’s Mom

Posted by: Irene Wickstrom on 6/21/2022 at 9:52 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith and Team Retrieve Cache at 13,400’

Sunday, June 19, 2022 - 8:32 p.m. PDT

It's us again!

It's day 10 on the glacier. So far we are right on schedule. Every day we have accomplished what we set out to do. Today we did our back carry down to 13,400' to dig up our gear and bring it back to camp. We left early enough in the morning to beat any heat and turns out we beat the snowfall as well. The snow has been falling all day today. It's light and fluffy and we are all wondering why we didnt bring skis. At this point we are situated to rest, make our carry to 17k Camp, and then wait for our weather window to move and summit. In theory, in a perfect world, we are on schedule to summit on Friday. But on Denali anything can happen and our perfect world could turn into multiple days waiting out stroms...who knows?! Fingers crossed we have luck and good karma on our side. Tomorrow is a rest day and hopefully the snow will stop and settle on the slopes above. It's off to bed to escape the snow.

Goodnight all!

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Love the photos and your daily reports!  You all are doing so great!!  Sending positive vibes for a Friday summit.  Stay safe and have FUN!!! 
IngaLisa’s Mom

Posted by: Irene Wickstrom on 6/20/2022 at 1:36 pm

Love the blog -checking in several times a day to watch for blog and CJ’s incredible progress on the mountain by Garmin.  Love the technology - truly!!  Best to you all & so proud!  Tante Eloise xx

Posted by: Eloise-Marie Loeffler on 6/20/2022 at 11:16 am

Denali Expedition: Smith and Team Move to 14k with the Sun to Keep ‘em Company

Saturday, June 18 - 8:57pm PT

Today was bitter sweet. On one hand, we made our move to 14k camp. On the other,we said goodbye to one team member as she headed down hill having tested positive for COVID. You can't escape COVID, even in the mountains. Our climber is doing well and will be enjoying a margarita, clean clothes, and a flushing toilet soon. 

For the rest of us, it was a big day moving to 14k camp. Gaining 3,000 feet with heavy packs and a sled is no small feat. We started in a cloud and only in our base layer but quickly walked into a breezy snowfall. The snow fell on us walking to our camp for half the day. By the time we got to our cache site, we had lost the snow and gained some heat. The sun's solar intensity was immense the last hour. You could feel your right side burning up. Our sunglasses felt hot. Heat panic was a thing. The team preserved and we rolled into 14k with a feeling of air conditioning as the clouds rolled back in and we lost the solar intensity. Moving in was quick since our tents were already set up and left by Avery's team. Some Ramen for the tummies and hot cocoa bring us to bedtime. 

Everyone's bodies are excited to lay down and relax after our day and it is well deserved. We will see what the weather brings tomorrow for our agenda.

Rest well everyone,

Hannah and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

So excited for you to be at 14!!! We’re sending positive healing thoughts to your teammate with covid :( and strength to the rest of the team for the days ahead! Love you all and grateful for this blog! PS - can we follow CJ’s garmin too??  Haha

Posted by: Ellen Lewis on 6/19/2022 at 8:15 pm

Love keeping up with your journey. Wishing Nathan and Yvonne an incredible experience as newly weds!

Posted by: Reagan and Richard on 6/19/2022 at 1:50 pm

Denali Expedition: Hannah Smith and Team Wait out the Weather

Evening everyone,

Who knew climbing Denali had so much resting involved in it. We all train for the heavy packs, long days, thousands of feet of elevation gained. What we don't train for is all the tent time. Time in the tent is important for our bodies to adjust to the altitude but it can be a challenge for the mind. Boredom can sink in very quickly. One must be good at self entertainment and comfortable with you, yourself, and I. It's a crucial skill of the mountain life and the team is currently learning it. Even with all the down time, today went fast. Per usual for our trip so far we had sun, we had clouds and we had snow flurries. A mixture of weather keeps it interesting. Now that we are rested we are ready to move  onward and upward. Hopefully tomorrow the weather holds and we are able to move to 14k camp. It will be a welcomed move with new views, a new camp, and likely new neighbors.

Send all your good weather vibes,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Woooo! Go Yvonne and Nathan!!! Keep crushing it. Praying to the weather gods.

Posted by: Bowie on 6/19/2022 at 8:10 am

Hey Hannah!  Sending you and your Team the best wishes for the Perfect weather!! Climb Strong and Rest Strong!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/19/2022 at 2:50 am

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