Entries By dominic cifelli
June 18, 2019
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 8:55 PM PT
Well, today we finally got out of 14 Camp. We had spent eight nights there and by an early season Denali trip that’s nothing but for us and the weather we have had, it felt like an eternity. Today proved to be no cooler temperature wise, HOT going up the fixed lines and once we gained the West Buttress proper it was some of the figurative coolest ridge walking this group has done. We didn’t get great views due to thin clouds but that’s ok, our entire trip has been good views.
We don’t know what tomorrow holds and we could take a rest day if needed. High pressure is building over Denali and we are hopeful to summit tomorrow. Getting to 17 Camp can be a chore, but once you’re there Camp must be built, 6 XGK stoves must be managed to make drinking water and hot water for meals. Camp is situated in a glacial depression and we can see the Autobahn which plagues climbers for the first two hours on summit day. This section gets its name from how fast you can get going if you fall and are not clipped into the running belays. Other than a long day, the Team is doing mostly well. It’s normal to not feel 100% here at 17,200’. None of us are living our best lives physiologically, but we are really excited to have a crack at 20,320’. Thanks for the support and blog comments, I’ve been saving them for an alternative pep talk tonight instead of my traditional surly high school gym coach style motivational speech.
On The Map
Great job Gareth and team! We’ve loved following you every step of the way - fingers crossed for tomorrow! Keep up the good work! - The Lickstein family
Posted by: Kristine L on 6/18/2019 at 11:10 pm
June 17, 2019
Monday, June 17, 2019 - 8:40 PM PT
Not much to report except that due to some weather and a few extenuating circumstances we took yet another weather/rest day. The forecast is looking good for the remainder of the week. We will plan on moving up to 17,200’ tomorrow. The Team is doing well, we are all anxious to get out of this camp after eight nights. They built an igloo to stay busy and spent a lot of time chatting in the kitchen tent. That’s all from 14, hopefully you’ll hear from us after a successful move day to High Camp.
Safe climbing! We’re following your blog and hoping you can get the weather move on up.
Posted by: Stephanie Smith on 6/18/2019 at 4:44 pm
EIGHT DAYS?!!! I’ve been without connectivity for 4-5 days. I thought King et al was taking new group up. Okay, weather forecast looks promising. Igloos sound fun. But, it sounds like your turning native. Climb forth and conquer! Lol! Be safe
Posted by: Susan Moore on 6/17/2019 at 9:42 pm
June 16, 2019
Sunday, June 16, 2019 - 11:36 AM PT
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads reading this. We got a little snow and slight breeze last night. The weather from the SE continues to bring clouds and precipitation towards the mountain. We have opted to stay put today and see what Monday brings. There is a period of improving weather Wednesday to Friday. Since we have our cache in at 16,200’ we just need 36-48 hours to launch up for a summit attempt. Moral is still high in the Team. A snow couch and lounge area was built yesterday with a large snow “TV” carved out for viewing the clouds roll over Mt Foraker. Obviously we would have preferred to have been up and down by now but that’s not what Denali had planned for us. We will improve camp today, eat a big lunch and continue the 14,000’ Camp hangout. Everyone is healthy and happy, fingers crossed for improving weather.
RMI Guide Mike King
On The Map
Not flippin submitting, stoopid autocorrect ;)
Posted by: Dan Naylor on 6/17/2019 at 1:26 pm
Rogers & Gaz, keep it up lads sounds an amazing expedition.
Good luck with the weather for submitting :)
Posted by: Dan Naylor on 6/17/2019 at 1:25 pm
June 15, 2019
Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 2:21 PM PT
We got up with a few more clouds in the glacial valleys below us and figured we would hope for the best. After breakfast we packed up camp and headed towards the fixed lines. As we climbed the lower slopes out of 14 Camp the clouds moved in with a light wind and snow. After an hour we caught our last view of the upper mountain and saw snow blowing 500+ feet into the atmosphere. Since there hadn’t been any snow accumulation up there for a while we decided the winds on the Buttress were to high for the exposed terrain we needed to travel through before reaching 17 Camp. The Team is back in camp at 14,200’ and settled in for our continued hangout. We will be watching the forecast closely and looking at the “nowcast” and hope for a 36-48 hour window to sneak up there and have a summit bid. Thanks for following along.
On The Map
Bundle up and good luck from harmony grove wisconsin
Posted by: Brian,Jan, Andy klock on 6/16/2019 at 4:43 am
June 14, 2019
Friday, June 14, 2019 - 5:26 PM PT
The Team had another calm night here at 14,200ft. Our four nights here have been great for sleeping and acclimating and the fifth should be no different. We ate another big brunch, just without the mimosas. The weather has been splitter and the outlying forecast seems to be delayed. We also are not seeing the tell tale signs of deteriorating weather, lenticular clouds over Mt. Hunter and Mt. Foraker. With light snow and calm winds for tomorrow and Sunday our plan is to move up to 17,200’ and hopefully summit on Father’s Day the 16th.
We walked out to the “Edge of the World”, an outcropping of rock where Genet Basin looks down into the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. The glacier valley is how climbers can begin the West Rib and Cassin Ridge climbing routes. The clouds came up quickly and the views were obscured. Regardless we got out of the tents and stretched the legs and lungs a bit. Fingers crossed this streak of weather continues and if it doesn’t, we will continue to sit here at 14 and wait for a better window.
On The Map
Hi Gaz. Keep going bro! Amazing progress. Good luck to you and all the team. Lots of love xxxx
Posted by: Stu on 6/15/2019 at 7:06 am
Talk about “There’s adventure out there”! Your team is amazing and it is thrilling to follow you.
Hope you have a great day today climbing to 17,200 feet (whew!) and a glorious summit coming up.
The photos are wonderful and we look forward to more.
Posted by: Stephanie on 6/15/2019 at 5:52 am
June 13, 2019
Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 5:18 PM PT
Today we got a casual but cold start to begin our carry to 16,200’ at the top of the fixed lines. The route heads out of camp and ascends moderate glaciated slope that terminates at the bergshrund. From there we clip our ascenders on a fixed rope to climb the 35-40 degree slope and gain the West Buttress of Denali. There was a lot of traffic on the Buttress from teams descending and ascending. We opted to cache our food and fuel at the top of the lines rather then play a game of red light/green light above 16,000’. The Team did well, we will make a few refinements for our second lap on the lines for our move day to 17,200’ Camp. We are all back safely at 14,000’ Camp and looking forward to a rest day tomorrow. From there we will have to see what the weather does. Everyone is acclimating well and appetites have remained strong. Currently there are lots of laughs and conversations happening in our kitchen tent. We high fived Robby Young’s RMI Team on the fixed lines after their successful summit yesterday. Thanks for following along, the amazing views and beauty of the Alaska Range continue to astound.
On The Map
Glad everyone is happy and well. Hope you are all enjoying your rest day. Love seeing the amazing photos and reading the blog each day. Great news about the other teams successful summit climb. Thinking of you all. Sue and John Rogers x.
Posted by: Susan Rogers on 6/14/2019 at 6:36 am
June 12, 2019
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 4:45 PM PT
After 7 days of work the Team wanted 10 hours of sleep/tent time and the guides were happy to wait until the sun hit our tents before we had a casual breakfast of hash browns, scrambled eggs and bacon. There’s not much going on today since it’s our first full rest day. People have been reading, writing in journals and walking around camp. We are just back from some fixed line rehearsal on the little hill outside of camp. This practice got everyone tuned up for a potential carry of gear on the West Buttress tomorrow morning. To gain the Buttress we ascend a moderate slope and then get on the fixed lines with our ascenders. There is some snow currently falling through a thin cloud that is making the tents an optimal temperature for napping so with that we’ll check in after our cache tomorrow. Thanks for following along.
We’re enjoying reading the daily blogs on your progress Gareth. Well done to you and all the team. Keep safe. Lots of Love from Mum and Les xxxxx
Posted by: Christine Jones on 6/13/2019 at 1:22 pm
Glad you all are doing well! Tell Gareth I’m getting his messages keep up the good work!! And me and the kids miss you!
Posted by: Meagan jones on 6/13/2019 at 11:27 am
June 11, 2019
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 5:56 PM PT
We woke up and it was cold! Our bodies aren’t accustomed to the colder temps of 14,200’ but that will change as we take a few rest days. The views of Mt Hunter and Foraker have been exceptional. Several teams moved up to 17,200’ this morning and a few are scheduled to head up tomorrow. The weather has continued to hold and looks to be improving over the weekend. We enjoyed a late breakfast of cream cheese and bacon bagels. Everyone is having some lunch in their tents and hopefully a nap to best utilize this active rest day. This evening we will build some snow walls to reinforce our camp should the weather take a turn for the worse. Not much happening at 14 Camp and that’s just fine with us.
On The Map
The chill sounds great! 93° here in Portland for high, and 79° right now with a starry sky and 3/4 moon. Beautiful night. But, y’all must have amazing vistas up there. Lucky you! Photos are too perfect.
Posted by: Susan Moore on 6/11/2019 at 11:34 pm
The views look amazing! I hope you’re having a fun time Birkan! The kitten and I miss you! Can’t wait to hear all about it!
Posted by: Kayla on 6/11/2019 at 6:06 pm
June 10, 2019
Monday, June 10, 2019 - 6:58 PM PT
The good weather train continues to roll on Denali. If your looking at the forecast, it’s been inaccurate aside from the calm wind speeds. The Team got a good workout today as we packed up camp and moved to 14,200’ and while we did well, the higher altitude, calm air and insane heat reflecting off the glaciers gave us a good challenge. We have been moving gear, food and fuel uphill for 6 straight days and tomorrow will be no different. We will sleep in, eat a big breakfast and then need to descend 800’ and retrieve our cache. Now that we are at “Denali City” there are lots of climbers, great views of the West Buttress and the greater Alaska Range. We’ve been eating good, burritos, buffalo chicken wraps, salmon cream cheese bagels, etc. Everyone is feeling some minor aches and pains from the hard work but they are smiling and happy to be at 14 Camp to begin the climbing above here once our bodies acclimate and the weather and mountain give us the thumbs up to headed to High Camp. Thanks for following along, more from Genet Basin and the 14 Camp hang to follow.
Sounds like a great adventure and challenge! Enjoy. Joe Parrinello
Posted by: Joe Parrinello on 6/12/2019 at 8:58 am
By God thats a lot of snow! Let’s go birkan!
Posted by: AlexK on 6/11/2019 at 11:29 am
June 9, 2019
Sunday, June 9, 2019 - 3:47 PM PT
The calm and mostly clear weather continues to give our Team great windows to get our gear, food and fuel moved up Denali. This morning we got a good start with cold temperatures to avoid being out in the heat. The temps dropped slightly as we climbed motorcycle hill then squirrel hill and onto the lower polo fields (actual names of these landmarks, not hypoxia kicking in). Despite the steep aspects and heavy packs the Team crushed the difficult carry and was rewarded with a sunny and warm not so “Windy Corner” of Denali’s West Buttress. We could see teams moving up towards the fixed lines out of 14 Camp and got a chance to talk with RMI guide Robby Young as his team was headed up the fixed lines. The grand scale of the Alaska Range has kept people mesmerized along with the constantly changing scenery as we climb higher. We will rest for the remainder of the day and there’s bound to be more laughter once people get a nap in. It’s been a great group and trip so far. Tomorrow our plans are to pack up camp and move to 14,200’ and get our base camp hang dialed in so we can take advantage of the next favorable forecast window.
On The Map
Please tell Allan Oliver that Emily and I are thinking about him and can’t help but be super impressed that he is doing this! Amazing! Chris
Posted by: Chris Beecroft on 6/10/2019 at 12:49 pm
Hi Mike and team,
I couldn’t find y’all in the registry. Gorem and team coming down, while your behind Nick, et al. So happy for all to get better weather. What’s on the menu? And, how about a shot of Foraker please. Windy corner looks gnarly! Have fun, and step safe
Posted by: Susan Moore on 6/9/2019 at 7:47 pm