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Entries By devin wilkinson

Denali Expedition: Smith and Team Move to 17,000

Hello from 17,000' Camp!

We finally left 14,000' Camp. As fun as it was, we were all ready to leave. We woke up this morning with calm winds and no spin drifts off the ridge. It was a morning we couldn't pass up. The team packed up in record time and we hit the trail with big smiles. Since the team had already been on the fix lines, they crushed them. A well oil machine. One of the best views on the mountain is on the West Buttress. A rocky, snowy sidewalk with exposure on both sides. You can see all the vertical you have alreayd done. Its a great reward for a patient stay at 14k camp. The winds did show their presence towards the end of the day but this team is tough and pushed through. A hard day of walking was greeted by more hard work setting up camp. Ice walls were built to protect the tents from winds. Fingers crossed they subside a gove us the weather window we have been hoping for. Tomorrow looks like a good day to try for the summit. So as long as the wind doesn't pick up tomorrow is the day. The day we have been waiting for. Send all the good vibes and luck our way folks because we need it.

Please let the stars align,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Best of luck Steven and team

Posted by: Larisa Pivnik on 6/28/2021 at 3:15 pm

Fair winds Hannah and team, looks like a go for Tuesday or Wednesday, be safe and take a moment on the summit to reflect all the hard work to get there. Good Luck.
Mom and Dad Fortier

Posted by: Robert Fortier on 6/28/2021 at 2:38 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Waiting Game Options

Saturday, June 26, 2021 - 9:51 pm PT

Hello all,

Our waiting game is coming to an end. If we wake tomorrow and the winds look good we will head to 17K Camp to get in position for the summit. Camp has been very busy with teams carrying to 17K, moving into 14K Camp, and others getting ready for their move to 17K Camp. Lots of excitment and chatter roaming through the camp. We will see what happens. I know we are all ready to tackle the remaining six thousand feet of this mountain. We have been staring at it for over a week. Since tomorrow may be an early day, its early to bed for the team. We may have a big day ahead of us.


RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

It’s all about the timing and you earned your window! May the stars align & let you enjoy the experience!
Anxious to hear and see what the view is like.
Beanie will not be letting you out the door!

Posted by: Judy collins on 6/27/2021 at 2:57 pm

Praying for great weather and your successful summit!!! Onwards and upwards you all go…
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”
— T.S. Eliot

So crazy proud of my daughter Julia and the entire team!

DJ aka DeeDee

Posted by: Daysi Johansson on 6/27/2021 at 2:17 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Patiently Waiting at 14K Camp

Friday, June 25, 2021 - 9:51 pm PT

Good evening,

Winds continued today with the first half being rather cloudy. Camp remained quiet with very little climbers out and about. As the clouds faded and the wind lessened, camp came alive. With a bit of nicer weather for the second half of the day, everyone was excited to get out of their tents and enjoy the sunshine but most of all not to be horizontal. All our tent platforms are no longer flat and smooth but now have troughs, bumps, and tilts from the warmth of our bodies melting away at the snow. This is a sign we need to move to a new camp. We are still monitoring the weather for our moment to move to 17K Camp. Once the winds calm down we will take our chance at the summit. We are getting antsy and ready for a change of scenery but we are also committed to being patient. Our patience will pay off.

Patiently waiting,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Do Well Hannah + team, Waltero

Posted by: Walter Glover on 6/28/2021 at 9:13 am

Happy birthday to Mike!!! I hope you get at least a bit of a celebration with your group, but I hope even more that mother nature will give you the best gift possible with clear weather so you guys can summit soon! I miss you and can’t wait to hear all about your trip! The pups and I send our love!

Posted by: Alex Ament on 6/26/2021 at 12:26 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Hunkering Down at a Windy 14,000 Camp

Hold onto your hats it's windy,

The wind started last night and persisted through the day. The frost in the tents showered down onto our sleeping bags as the tent made a crinkle noise. The snow that had fallen got picked up and tossed into the air creating a snow tornado. It looked magical in a way but our sleeping bags looked better. Its easy to hunker in the tents when outside isn't too pleasant. You can hear the wind up high. It sounds like a waterfall. Luckily at our camp it's only blowing in the 20mph range. As dinner wrapped up the wind and snow caused quite a scene. A scene not too fun to go to the bathroom in. All around the snow whips around. We all waited for a lull in the wind to hustle to our tents and the bathroom.  The discomfort is comical and creates some good laughs. If you can't find the funny in the misery than you are in the wrong place out here. Tomorrow is also suppose to be windy so we will hunker in again. We are optimistic that this weekend will be our move date to High Camp. For now, we lay in our tents listening to the snow pitter patter and the tent crinkle in the wind.

Mother nature calm yourself,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Hannah and Dustin! I’m sending prayers that Mother Nature gets over her crabbiness so you all can move higher!!! :)
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/26/2021 at 3:21 am

Wishing everyone health and strength
Hopefully weather will become better
Best of luck Steven and group
Love and miss you


Posted by: Larisa Pivnik on 6/25/2021 at 9:17 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Hanging at 14,000ft Camp

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 9:54 pm PT

Hello hello,

There isnt a lot to report today. It was another chill day, hanging around our camp. We watched other teams do their carries or move into camp. More teams have arrived at 14,000' Camp. Everyone is trying to get in a good position for the next snow storm. During dinner the winds picked up and snow began to fall. The sound of the snow on the tents is a nice lull to fall asleep too. More snow is expected for tomorrow, so we will be hanging around camp again. Still patient. Still waiting. But our time will come. For now we are all snuggled into our sleeping bags, warming up our sleeping space.

Goodnight all,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Continue to Practice Patience

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 11:22 pm PT


Patience and more patience. Every day we look at the forecast and wonder how accurate will it be. Is the weather system going to happen or will it be nice out. Its a part of expedition life that is difficult. When do we move? Is this our time? Does it get better or worse? But no one truly knows. Its all in retrospect that we deliberate the decision and know the answer. So we wait. We wait for a forecast that is better than marginal. We have plenty of food and fuel to see if the winds will get better in the next handful of days. Patience is key. In due time it will be our moment, so we wait.

Good night,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)


Fidel is excited to hear about your every elevation gain. He says “Dad, I really love you. I hope you be safe.”


Posted by: Anna Haring on 6/23/2021 at 6:43 pm

WOW! Photos spectacular!
Thinking of you all the time on this terrific journey! So proud of the whole team!
Love you Beej!

Posted by: Judy collins on 6/23/2021 at 3:46 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Wait Patiently at 14,000 Camp

Howdy all,

One of the most important traits to have in expedition style climbing is patience. Patience to wait for a window that will give you the best odds to reach your goal: to safely summit the mountain. We are currently testing our patience waiting for the best opportunity for the team to move to 17,000' Camp and go for the summit. Rest days or waiting days can get long and can be quite boring but they are necessary. The down time can be hard and your mind can drift to family and friends and your life back home, but its important to keep your head here and in the game. Lots of tent time, snacking, reading, and Netflix occupy our time. We did get to greet a RMI team who came down from 17,000' Camp after a successful summit. It was fun seeing friendly faces and hearing about the route. It makes us that more excited to get up there. In due time it will be our turn. Till then we wait.

Till tomorrow,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wishing a great and fair weathered summit bid to the entire team! Happy birthday at my bad a$$ little sister who just turned 20 at 17k!!!

Posted by: Paulina Johansson on 6/22/2021 at 9:22 pm

BJ - thinking of you and continuing to wish you and your group the very best.  You’re almost there!  I am proud of you and I love you.

Posted by: Anna Geigle on 6/22/2021 at 5:36 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Ascend Fixed Lines, Carry Gear to 16,200

Good evening,

What a day, what a day! One step closer to the summit! Today started rather frigid. The clear skies made for a cold morning. Our toes and fingers were screaming for warmth. But as usual once the sun hit camp, everything warmed up. The classic freeze or fry. It was a productive day, that started with a refresher on fix line travel then followed by a carry to 16,200'. Getting our gear up there sets us up for a move to 17,000' Camp when the weather looks good. We are going to be patient and wait till it looks good and then go for it. Tomorrow will be a rest day. The team is pretty good at chilling which is good on expeditions. Keep your warm toes and fingers crossed for good weather for us in the coming week!

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

All of us are doing good here but we miss your cute face D

Posted by: Jeannette Arnold on 6/29/2021 at 4:14 pm

Wow—you’re making quick work of formidable “hills”!  Motorcycle Hill must’ve been a beast! 
Looking forward (I think) to seeing entertaining photos from the Edge of the World… Steven, I hope you didn’t think it would be fun to jump in your photo op—eeks!    The “classic freeze or fry” is a new concept for me, and yet another reason to admire Team Smith’s fortitude and determination.  17,000’ camp awaits!
- Pam

Posted by: Pam Singleton on 6/21/2021 at 10:47 am

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Retrieve Cache, Enjoy Day at 14,000 Camp

What a day,

Clear skies greeted us this morning creating a very brisk morning. Once again camp was quiet with the cold. As the sun broke over the mountain and warmed camp it became alive. Teams started moving around going various directions whether it was heading toward 17,000' Camp or going down to the 13,500' cache. For us it was going down to our 13,500' cache. We made fast work grabing our gear and getting back to camp. After a lunch break we went for a walk to the Edge of the World. You can see all the way down to our first camp at 7,800'. Its a long fall over the edge but makes for great hero shots. Everyone got belayed onto the rock (much like the rock from lion king) and got great photos, ice axe in hand, big smiles and thousands of feet of relief below them. As for tomorrow we are in a holding pattern with weather and logistics. No matter what we end up doing tomorrow it will be a good day and is all apart of our journey to the top.

All the best,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Julia—You are our HERO . only you can reach for the stars.  Happy 20th on the 20- My 80th Bday is also today. Ricardo y Norita - Tio Richard.

Posted by: Ricardo J Ferro on 6/21/2021 at 7:06 am

Happy 20th birthday to my amazing & brave niece, Julia! You are beautiful inside and out! Love you so much!

Posted by: Poupou on 6/20/2021 at 2:23 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Snow Overnight Prompt Rest Day at 14,000 Camp

Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 10:02 pm PT

Howdy all,

The snow continued through the night and into the morning. A layer of frost coated the under side of the fly. Every time you hit the tent to knock the snow off, the frost fell down onto our sleeping bags. As the sun came out and warmed the tents, the ice melted and the frost turned into little water drops. Due to the snowfall and wet tents, we opted for a rest day to allow everything to get dry. Snow fell most of the day, sometimes while sunny others fully cloudy making for a very white scene. But later in the day the clouds cleared and the views were amazing. Having such great views makes being patient worth it. The temps bounced from chilly to very hot in the tents all day. One could swear it was 100 degrees inside. They say its freeze or fry out here and we can all feel why. Tomorrow's weather looks good, so we will be going to our cache at 13,500' to grab our stuff. Its exciting to be reunited with your snacks you parted ways with at 11,000' camp. Sleeping bags are calling our names.

Till tomorrow,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wishing you all the Best Hannah and Dustin!!!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/19/2021 at 3:32 am

These updates are the highlight of my day, you truly give us perspective on the tremendous feat you have all undertaken and prepared for.  Putting it out to the universe for great weather to make the summit happen. The pictures are amazing, keep them coming! I love my Lu, what a golden birthday this is!!!!

Posted by: Daysi on 6/18/2021 at 3:58 pm

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