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Entries By dave hahn

Eleven RMI Guides complete the AMGA Alpine Skills Course

At the end of this past April, eleven RMI guides came together in Washington to take the AMGA Alpine Skills Course, a prerequisite for the Alpine Guide Course, and a great continuing education opportunity for all of us to remain at the forefront of current guiding techniques. After a winter of far-flung adventures, Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, Alan Davis, and myself converged on Ashford. These courses are an important chance for us to refresh our skillset and learn some new tricks from our peers and the instructors from the AMGA.

Snow anchor construction
Lowering and rappelling practice

Over the course of 5 days at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park, and on Mt. Erie, outside Anacortes, WA, we reviewed snow anchor construction and multi-pitch techniques for snowy environments, belaying and lowering techniques, short roping and short pitching, and anchor station management. Success in our guiding often lies in not only being able to utilize a number of techniques to manage risk, but in being able to maintain efficiency and timeliness at the same time. As we worked through different transitions, techniques, and scenarios with our peers, we all walked away with a few new tools in our bag and I’m convinced will be better guides for it.

Short roping practice
Belay station management
Evening celebrations

This was a fantastic event for the eleven of us, and many thanks go out to RMI and the AMGA for putting it on. Congrats to Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, and Alan Davis for completing the course!

Alex Halliday

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Mt. Rainier: Hahn & Team Summit in Beautiful Weather

RMI Guide Dave Hahn led his team to the top of Mt. Rainier this morning.  He reported beautiful skies and no wind.  They began their descent at 7:02 a.m.

Congratulations to the team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good job! You guys are bad ass!

Posted by: Alan & Leslie Cummings on 7/16/2018 at 9:47 pm

Congratulations to your team
I am so proud of you guys

Posted by: Anne Marie on 7/16/2018 at 1:39 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Return to BaseCamp, fly to Talkeetna

Sunday, July 8, 2018 - 3:32 AM PT

The team woke… slowly, at 11,000 this morning.  Everybody remarked on the value of low altitude slumber.  We ate and determined to get lower in honor of the former “tropical storm” headed our way.  By this morning, we were the only team left on Denali.  While it wouldn’t be quite “normal” to take on the lower Kahiltna Glacier in July during the afternoon, we decided that a try was in order.  The inbound storm was a definite- and it was clear it would be snowing hard for days on end… incompatible with both climbing and flying.  So we pulled down Camp at 11,000’ by 11:45 AM and got moving with heavy packs and sleds.  Conditions were just plain easy to the base of Ski Hill at 7,800’. And then -although we crossed a few spooky snow bridges, things were phenomenally well put together for July 7.  We made fine progress to the base of Heartbreak Hill.  And although our last 1.5 hours was uphill, it was free of dicey bridges and nervy crevasses.  Base Camp was gone at this late date… we passed on to the traditional late season upper strip 20 minutes farther along, reaching it at 7:30 PM.  K2 Aviation already had planes in the air for us as they were anxious to beat the storm for our extraction.  As we crossed the range, we saw the weather moving in while our ski otters dodged cloud after cloud.  We landed in Talkeetna at 9:15 PM and raced to dinner in our mountain clothing, trying to beat closing times in the conventional world.  In town, we caught up with all of the neighboring teams from the past three weeks and shared escape stories.  We’re all full of amazement and admiration for the mountain that we didn’t climb, but also great satisfaction for the climb that we did have together.
Thanks for keeping track of us… until the next climb. 

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Let Go of The Summit

Saturday, July 7, 2018 2:37 AM PST

Some days you eat the bear…

We’re down at 11,000 ft.  We had lofty ambitions this morning but Denali played hard to get.  There was a mean wind blowing through much of the night and sadly right through the morning.  We waited it out as long as we could but called it at mid day.  Tough as it was to let go of the summit, it was pretty obvious that it was out of reach under the circumstances.  We broke camp at 17 and got moving down -as did every last climber on the mountain.  A storm is moving in, according to the forecasters.  For that though, today was spectacular once we were on the move.  There is a bunch of forest fire smoke creating a haze, but we still got great views down to the Kahiltna Glacier as we carefully walked the ridge crest, dropped down the fixed lines, dug out our sleds at 14k and pushed on around windy corner with heavy loads.  We piled on down the squirrel hills and motorcycle, and came into 11,000 at 9:30 PM.  Our tents went up fast and dinner wasn’t far behind.  The air down here is chock full of oxygen and it isn’t nearly so cold as we’ve gotten used to.  We’ll get some low altitude sleep and plot our final escape to the airstrip soon. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

What an awesome team. The best part of mountain climbing is being on the mountain and experiencing nature first hand. We are really proud of you all.

Posted by: Randy Salo on 7/7/2018 at 9:47 pm

Hey gang. Congrats on a great effort.  It sounds like Mother Nature was tuff today.  I’m glad you’re all well and safely at 11k camp.  Enjoy the good air and a safe trip to the airstrip.  It was a treat sharing time in the mountains with all of you. Jon

Posted by: Jon on 7/7/2018 at 7:40 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Hang at 17,000’ Camp

Thursday, July 5, 2018 10:25 PM PST

Today was better weather than we expected -after a snowy and blowy night- it was crystal clear and calm at camp when the sun hit, there was a sea of clouds below.  But the winds were blowing up on Denali Pass and the South Peak until early afternoon which discouraged us from giving it a go. We’ve got reason to believe that tomorrow -Friday- will be our day. We chalked up another 17,000’ rest day and hope that the extra time up high has made us more ready for success. We’re definitely feeling a little more like our old selves now compared to when we first rolled into 17k. 

A short walk from camp to the big drop off and we can look down on the empty camp at 14,000’. The last groups of the season are here now and looking to take their shot tomorrow too. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I’m hoping by the time I write this comment that you already summited on Friday. However, I’m no stranger to these climbs and understand she could take a few more days if conditions dictate…. All the best Tom. God Speed brother!

Posted by: Darcy on 7/6/2018 at 10:57 pm

Happy 50th birthday Scott!

Posted by: Michelle Coffey on 7/6/2018 at 6:54 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Start for Summit But Turn Back Quickly

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 - 11:09 PM PT

The sun hit at seven.  There were high clouds and some of the signs of the storm forecast to move in at the end of the day.  We hoped to get lucky by sneaking the summit in before that storm.  With that in mind we breakfasted and geared up… but not too quickly as we were still watching the weather.  At 10:15 we made the move and left camp… at precisely the moment that three other guided teams left their own camps.  The resulting traffic jam as the teams hit the steep and tricky first pitches of the “autobahn” combined with rapidly deteriorating weather had us turning back to camp before noon.  We set to building walls around the tents and catching up on rest and hydration.  The storm did hit… there were a few nervy hours in the evening trying to account for the teams that had gone onward and upward.  All turned out ok in the end and we are secure in our fortress at 17,000’ Camp.  We’ll climb when the weather improves.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Sorry to hear about the weather turning you back. Hopefully today, 7/6, will be more fruitful by providing Scott his best birthday present ever! Be safe!

Posted by: Roger Coffey on 7/6/2018 at 9:22 am

Tom. We pray for clearing weather for all of you! Proud of you and your accomplishments,  especially Carolyn and Bella!! Be safe

Posted by: Dell Johnson on 7/5/2018 at 10:16 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Move to High Camp, Prepare for Summit Day

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 9:52 PM PT

We could see forever this morning, and then it got better.  The high clouds were gone, the low clouds were gone and the middle clouds were gone.  We were up at six and walking by 8:45 in the cool shadow of the South Peak.  By noon we’d topped out the fixed ropes and were starting up along the phenomenal crest of the West Buttress.  We never got anything stronger than gentle breezes, despite our exposed position.  There were a few big smiles as the gang came up past Washburn’s Thumb and began to flirt with 17,000 feet.  We pulled into the 17,200 ft camp in mid afternoon, six hours after leaving our Camp at 14,000’.  Building camp was hard in the rarefied air, but we got it done and sat down to a six PM dinner in our newest snow dining room.  We talked about how a summit day might work tomorrow and how to prepare tonight.  We will need to get a little bit lucky on the weather, and everybody will need a good night’s rest… but then if it all works out, we’ll be ready to take advantage.  Light, high clouds have taken over the western sky, but the sun is still powering through at 8:45 PM and we can see rivers, tundra, mountains, glaciers and planet Earth for hundreds of miles. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I hope by now you have summited and are starting back down. Great job!

Posted by: Roger Coffey on 7/5/2018 at 8:24 am

Wishing you all a happy 4th! Send it Tom!

Posted by: Joe Walker on 7/4/2018 at 9:11 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Rest at 14,000’ Camp

Monday, July 2, 2018 - 10:17 PM PT

A fine summer’s day in the Alaska Range.  The gang slept late today, but when we emerged, the views were amazing.  We could see clear down to Mt Spurr and the Tordrillos.  Some clouds were still playing around the South Peak of Denali and it appeared to be a little windy up that way, but as we had a slow and yummy pancake breakfast, nobody had complaints about the weather at 14,000’ Camp.  This rest day was just as relaxing as we could have hoped for.  Even so, we weren’t totally relaxed… everyone is getting keyed up for the summit bid now.  We prepared for moving up tomorrow and we hydrated, rested, ate, read and sorted gear (again).  We’ll see what kind of morning we get tomorrow. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congrats on your continued progress. I wish you great success as you continue your progress to the summit. I’m doing well and felt immediate improvement as I moved down the mountain.  I rested well with no breathing difficulty in Talkeetna.  I’m sad I’m not with you guys. I’ll vicariously celebrate thru you!!

Posted by: Jon Hirsch on 7/3/2018 at 3:14 pm

Continued prayers for clear skies and calm winds for your climb higher Tom!!!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 7/3/2018 at 10:09 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Work High, Sleep Low

Sunday, July 1, 2018 - 11:14 PM PT

This was the day we were looking for.  Even so, it looked a little gusty up high at first, so we dragged our feet a little and lingered over breakfast.  The sun hit at 9:30 and we got walking at 10:30.  Our goal, of course, was to carry food and supplies up onto the West Buttress and to establish a cache that will help us when we commit to moving up to 17,000 ft.  But our goal was also to get familiar with the steep part of this climb -the fixed ropes- and to build on our acclimatization by getting a good workout in at altitude.  We did all of that today.  Things were slightly on the crowded side, but that didn’t give us much trouble in the end.  It is close to the end of the Denali climbing season, now that we are in July, but the last 100 or so climbers all flew on at once due to the five day storm that preceded our arrival.  And we’ve mostly been on the same travel schedules since those 100 folks are all in various guided parties.  But we know and like many of the people so it hasn’t -to this point- seemed so crowded.  But all those folks needing to get on the same ropes to reach the crest of the West Buttress means that some patience will be required.  We turned out to be patient today, waiting our turn, but it wasn’t so hard to be that way in sunny, pleasant weather and with fantastic scenery all around.  The upside for us was that the teams ahead of us kicked a perfect staircase in the snow up the steep headwall.  We topped out at 16,200 in surprisingly fine conditions -the exposed ridge crest can often be cold and windy.  As it was 3 PM we declared victory and established a cache -burying it all to keep our supplies from the ravens.  Our descent was smooth and easy since we now had the whole place to ourselves.  We were back down to camp by 5 PM and relaxing over dinner a couple of hours later.  Rest day tomorrow and then up for good. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Glad your climb is going good!  Hannah, looking forward to talking to you and seeing your pictures!

Posted by: Shannon Smith on 7/3/2018 at 11:28 am

I’m SO excited for you guys! How fabulous the weather is helping!! Keep pushing…not long now

Posted by: Sue Mamer on 7/2/2018 at 9:08 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Venture to the Edge of the World

Saturday, June 30th - 10:30 pm PT

The snow quit abruptly last night at around 11 PM after about a foot of new.  Forecasts called for more snow today -about a 70 percent chance of it.  So we were on our guard.  But this day dawned crisp cold and clear above us (with a sea of cloud below).  For various reasons we opted not to pull the trigger on our carry today… there were traffic jams and a lot of new snow to wallow through.  For exercise and a thrill, we roped up and ventured over to the “edge of the world” a rock outcrop at the edge of Genet Basin.  From that edge, the world drops vertically for four thousand feet to a branch of the NE Kahiltna Glacier.  We stepped out to the apex of rock overhanging the drop and mugged for photos while the clouds swirled in and out mysteriously.
The afternoon ended up restful and pleasant… and not so snowy.  We’ll be ready to climb tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

SWEET! So glad to hear the weather is cooperating

Posted by: Sue Mamer on 7/2/2018 at 8:28 am

I cant imagine the experience and beauty you are all having! So Awesome! Climb high Tom!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 7/2/2018 at 5:10 am

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