Entries By daniel may
Sunday, July 2, 2023
While it hasn’t been unlike Denali to act up at inopportune times. Today was a low blow. We descended from High Camp today under mostly clear skies and on top of tired legs. We were awarded new views from the West Buttress that were previously shrouded and the team descended fast and well.
At 14,000' Camp we took a good break and then kept the train going. Clouds were billowing, wind was picking up, and snow was falling as we passed Windy Corner, which once again held true to its name. A storm was coming. We’re in that storm right now, hoping for it to abate and to get off the mountain we’ve called home for the past 19 days.
We’re hopeful, but not too optimistic we’ll be able to walk to the airstrip tomorrow.
Wish us luck.
RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli
Wishing you luck with the weather and praying you’ll be walking to the airstrip tomorrow!!! You are a brave and amazing team. I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s post! Love you, Alex!!!
Posted by: Kim on 7/3/2023 at 8:36 pm
I salute each and every one of you for your patience and determination on this climb that has been full of challenging weather. Stay safe. You’re in the home stretch!
Posted by: Doreen on 7/3/2023 at 2:07 pm
July 2, 2023
Sunday, July 2, 2023 - 3:56 am
The RMI Denali Expedition June 11 led by RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli reached the summit of Denali on Saturday evening. The team is safely back to camp at 17,000'.
Nice work team!
Congratulations on your team’s spectacular and adventurous climb to the ultimate height of 20310 ft above sea level in trying weather conditions and chilling cold amidst snow storms . Kudos to the dedication ,commitment, disclipline and team work which enabled you to reach your goal। We are proud of you my son . May you achieve even more goals in your life.
Ravi and Anjali
Your dad and MOM
Posted by: Ravi on 7/2/2023 at 8:17 pm
That’s awesome!! Congratulations everyone!!
Posted by: Jenni on 7/2/2023 at 6:37 am
July 1, 2023
People like to throw around the word ‘Conquer’ in reference to the mountains they climb. As if they defeated the mountain when they touched its apex. I find this to be a distasteful representation of summiting a mountain and as we crawled into our sleeping bags in the crisp, cold air of Denali’s 17,200K we certainly didn’t feel like conquerors. Tired, cold, and atrophied from the last 18 days on the mountain we slept knowing that Denali had granted us the opportunity to touch its peak and not that we had bested it.
The team awoke to clear skies and one of the first green lights we received from Denali, it was time to climb. At 10:25, we started our journey upward not reaching the summit until a hard, but well fought, ~10 hours. We are back down at High Camp; tired, sore, but satisfied with the effort and accomplishment. We start downward tomorrow in search of all of the cravings we have been fantasizing about.
RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli
July 1, 2023
Friday, June 30, 2023 11:47 pm PDT
The gods of Denali blessed the team with the weather window needed to begin the hardest three days of our lives. We began our assault up The Wall and eventually the fixed lines. The sun was surprisingly warm and persistent. The black rocks jutting from the frozen snow reminded me constantly of the Oreo McFlurry I will no doubt consume when I get off here. We are thinking of you all as we attempt to summit tomorrow.
RMI Climber Travis and Team
Lisa and Blair wishing you luck!!!
Posted by: Blair Johnson on 7/2/2023 at 7:16 am
Peace, gratitude and mental toughness…you’ve got it!!!
Posted by: Kim on 7/1/2023 at 9:35 pm
June 30, 2023
As we arose from our tents again at 14,000’ camp, fresh snow covered everything as if a frozen Baja Blast machine broke in the middle of the night and began spewing as far as the eye could see.
Today marked a choice, go for it, and continue up beautiful Denali, or stay here at14,000’ Camp for another night, and wait for a better window. Upon first view of the surroundings, the choice was clear, spend one more day resting. This journey has been largely about patience, especially these last few days, but we are on the home stretch now, also just days away now from returning to civilization…
All the fish tacos, burritos and fajitas, Doritos, and Fritos, and Cheetos, pizza, burgers and glizzies and frozen margaritas All these and more, await at Talkeetna
Climber Joey Myers & Team
June 29, 2023
Wednesday, June 28, 2023 - 10:39 pm PT
Our climb yesterday earned us a well deserved rest day. After sleeping in we were awoken to some delicious extra cheesy breakfast burritos. This was followed by a musical production of “These Boots Were Made For Climbing” by the soon to be famous Denali 10 (look for us on TikTok). Stay tuned for our upcoming show “Dancing on Denali”, which will include some tasteful nude scenes as well. The rest of our day was spent relaxing as we look forward to beginning our summit push either tomorrow or Friday.
RMI Climber Mark Kulow
June 28, 2023
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 - 8:25 am PT
The morning started out cold, crisp, and clear. Excitement was in the air - today we were climbing.
We ascended the steep snow up to 15,700. For some, each step was a new highest altitude ever climbed, while for others the thin air was all too familiar. Looking up, we could see the two ropes poking out of a steep slope of blue ice and wind blown snow. Looking down, through the clouds that had rolled in, glimpses of our camp could be seen far below. One by one, we attached ourselves to the fixed lines with ascenders. Initially cautious and unsteady, we soon found our footing and got into the groove - one duck step after the other. Nearing the top, the wind had picked up, and it was decided around 16,100 to descend back to camp - our mission of acclimatizing and experiencing the fixed ropes accomplished. Heading down the lines was exhilarating; facing downhill with one arm ensnared around the rope, we leaned forward and let gravity do the work. Relaxing in camp the rest of the day, we all felt prepared and ready - hopefully awaiting our chance to climb higher in the coming days.
RMI Climber Alex Smith
Amazing, so so incredible. Go Alex and team, go! Stay safe and warm.
Posted by: Cristian on 6/28/2023 at 6:19 pm
Gooooo uncle Alex! Hope you packed some Dan Dan noodles for the summit! Xox
Posted by: Liz and Max and ollie on 6/28/2023 at 5:35 pm
June 27, 2023
Monday, June 26, 2023 - 10:47 pm PT
We continue to wait and be patient as less then ideal weather hangs onto Denali. Another breakfast of bagels and locks was well received by the team and has helped to keep spirits high. Waiting and being patient is an often overlooked skill necessary for expeditionary climbing. Our team is leaning wholeheartedly into this. After more rest the afternoon was filled with fixed line training In preparation for our continued ascent. Hopes are high for an opportunity to carry and climb above the fixed lines.
June 26, 2023
Sunday, June 25, 2023 - 8:00 pm PT
After three consecutive days of carrying load up the mountain our sore limbs couldn't have been more grateful for the well earned rest day. We started the day late with eggs hash browns and bacon which could easily give local diners a run for their money. Most of the group relaxed in their tents enjoying their digital and analog ways of entertainment as we waited for dinner as we all know rest days come with a feast. We had pasta.
The chess pieces have been moved by us and mother nature and we have reached a stalemate. We have the three musketeers to help us reach the top in style. With Dom leading the wolf pack who would happily fall in the crevasse to save the rest of us; Seth always doing the needful without expecting anything in return and Dan lightening the mood of the group after a hard day with his cheeky one liners. All we need now is the good karma of 10 souls to give us a 72 hour window to summit the mountain. No matter what the future holds, our place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Marching to the summit, One step at a time.
Onwards and Upwards��
RMI Climber Saurabh Sharma
June 25, 2023
June 24, 2023 10:19pm PT
Good morning from 14k camp!
After a hard-earned, good night’s rest, we woke up to frosty air, clear skies, and no wind. We began our descent past windy corner to retrieve our cache and were reminded once again of its namesake. The team, feeling strong, made quick work of our retrieval, and arrived back at camp in good style.
The day was far from over.
Anticipating a storm, we got to work fortifying our camp with the deepest posh this world has seen and some snow walls that would make the Great Wall proud. We let the rivalry of our two challenging snow block quarries bring out the best in us. Mother Nature is hard to beat but we might as well try. Now we wait and see what Denali and the weather will let us do. Passing the time by enjoying each other’s company and eating some tasty snacks.
But not too many, we might be here for a while…