Entries By dominic cifelli
September 25, 2022
Categories: Expedition Dispatches
This year, the monsoon has not been kind to the climbers on Manaslu. Snow, rain, and more snow have prevented most climbers from going higher than Camp 3 (22,000’). Fortunately, we were able to fit our second rotation in between two storm fronts and have some beneficial days on the mountain. Though our plan for rotation 2 was to cache gear at Camp 4 (24,000’) in preparation for our summit push, we were happy and fortunate to reach Camp 3 in good weather.
Two long nights were spent sleeping at 21,000’. We saw every hour come, and every hour go. Getting a good night's rest becomes more difficult as you go up the mountain, but it’s all part of the process. We have to let our bodies adjust to the new altitudes we’re asking it to rest at, which often involves climbing higher than we sleep at night. Climbing without supplemental oxygen takes more time and patience than climbing with. The body is highly stressed; it needs more time to acclimate and more time to recover. We’re trusting the process and our bodies as we prepare for the summit push.
We’re back down at basecamp resting, playing cards, Backgammon and seeing how much caffeine the human body can handle. We’re hopeful for a weather window opening up towards the end of September/early October. The summit awaits. Wish us luck!
RMI Guides Dominic Cifelli, Dustin Wittmier, and JT Schmitt
I hope the team is OK and safe at Base Camp and no one was caught in the avalanche.
Posted by: Mitch Green on 9/26/2022 at 7:34 am
September 17, 2022
RMI Guides JT Schmitt, Dustin Wittmier and Dominic Cifelli are in Nepal on an expedition with the main objective to climb Manaslu without supplemental oxygen. They departed the United States on September 1st and are able to check in from basecamp:
We arrived at Manaslu basecamp on September 11th after four days of trekking through remote valleys in Nepal. Most days were spent shrouded in a cloudy veil, but we were treated to the occasional view of rugged glaciers clinging to high mountains. Staying in tea houses, we were immersed in Nepalese and Sherpa cultures through conversation and enjoying traditional foods together.
Six days after arriving in basecamp we are well established at 16000’ and have made our first rotation on the mountain. We spent three days moving to as high as Camp 2 at 21,000’, setting up our tent and caching gear. On that rotation we spent two nights at Camp 1, letting our bodies acclimatize to sleeping at 18900’.
Currently we are on our third rest day, waiting out torrential rains; and the report from higher on the mountain is that there is significant snow accumulation. It is beneficial that Wi-Fi is available in basecamp so we can continue to monitor weather forecasts, waiting for a window to make a second rotation.
We are hopeful we will be able to push through some marginal weather tomorrow to take advantage of a small, upcoming window. Our second rotation will hopefully allow us to reach Camp 4 at 24,300’, to cache some gear and set us up for a summit push.
RMI Guides JT Schmitt, Dustin Wittmier & Dominic Cifelli
Stay strong team! Love you Dom. Uncle artie
Posted by: Art cifelli on 9/21/2022 at 4:30 pm
This is So Awesome!! You Are Strong!! You can do this!! After all you pulled my old farmer a$$ to the top of Cotopoxi!!!
All the best for Strength and Stamina Dustin!!!
Posted by: Dave Kestel on 9/19/2022 at 7:17 am
August 24, 2022
The Five Day Climb August 20 - 24 reached the summit of Mt. RaInier on Tuesday, August 23rd led by RMI Guides Dominic Cifelli and Joe Hoch. The teams were able to spend time in the crater enjoying the beautiful morning. After taking all the photos, the teams started their descent to Camp Muir. Climbers enjoyed some rest and a final night on the mountain. They plan to start their descent to Paradise around 9 am. We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp early this afternoon.
Congratulations Team, with a special shout out to Alex and Kristina Beuning. Lots of pride and love coming from this Mom
Posted by: Deb Anderson on 8/24/2022 at 8:08 am
August 18, 2022
RMI Guides Casey Grom and Dominic Cifelli led their Four Day Climb teams for August 15 - 18, 2022 to the summit of Mt. Rainier today. Climbers reached the summit around 5:30 am. They reported an excellent climb and overall great day. The teams are heading back to Camp Muir where they will take a quick break before continuing the remaining 4.5 miles to Paradise. Their program will conclude this afternoon at Rainier BaseCamp.
Congratulations to today's climbers!
July 17, 2022
The Four Day Climb July 14 - 17 led by RMI Guides Bryan Mazaika and Steve Gately reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. As of 7 am they were in the summit crater. The cloud deck is below Camp Muir, so the teams were enjoying clear skies and light winds. After returning to Camp Muir later this morning, the teams will continue another 4.5 miles to Paradise. Once back at Rainier BaseCamp they can relax and celebrate.
Congratulations to today's teams!
Congrats to all the climbers! Huge shout out to Samia for getting out there and crushing it! One minute you’re in NOLA, below sea level, and the next you’re at the top of Rainier! Don’t ever stop!
Posted by: Nora on 7/17/2022 at 10:01 am
Congratulations to scott and mike. Great job making it to the top what a great accomplishment. Look forward to hearing about your adventure.
Posted by: Eileen on 7/17/2022 at 9:42 am
July 14, 2022
The American Lung Association Climb for Clean Air team led by RMI Guides Dominic Cifelli and Nikki Champion reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. The team climbed the Disappointment Cleaver Route and had a beautiful day of climbing.
The climbers on these teams raise funds for the American Lung Association’s Climb for Clean Air Campaign. As of today the teams have raised $335,690.06!!
Congratulations Ana and Rathan!.
Posted by: Sowmya on 7/17/2022 at 7:17 am
Posted by: Leo on 7/15/2022 at 5:36 pm
July 7, 2022
Thursday, July 7, 2022 - 11:52 am PT
We are calling ourselves lucky. Very lucky. The clouds moved away long enough for the glacier surface to freeze up for our nighttime ramble down the lower Kahiltna. We started walking down from 11,000 at 12:30 AM. The midnight sun was beautiful on the peaks around us as we cruised down in the cool shadows. The first hours, to the base of Ski Hill, were straightforward… then things got complicated. Lots and lots of crevasse crossings. But that is where the freeze helped immensely. It also didn’t hurt that other teams preceded us, breaking into holes and showing us where not to walk. In the end we made it through without any collapsed bridges. It took about seven hours to get to the airstrip. Half the team flew off in a K2 Otter just before 10 AM but before the plane could make it back for the other half, clouds rolled in. They didn’t roll away until mid afternoon, at which point the Otter swooped in to get the job done. We were the last team on Denali for the 2022 season… and then we were just a bunch more tourists in Talkeetna with funny tans. The team had a celebratory dinner at Mile High Pizza Pie, and then a late night Cornhole tournament in the beer garden of the Fairview Inn. A little live music and a nightcap (or two) put a finish on an excellent expedition. Thanks for following.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
Photos courtesy of Dave Hahn
Congratulations to Jim Karmozyn and the entire team on a safe and successful climb and return.
Posted by: Ted Wioncek on 7/8/2022 at 12:17 pm
Woweeee! So proud of you all! What an awesome, incredible journey! We thoroughly enjoyed following along.
Diana and Tom
Posted by: Diana Weiss on 7/7/2022 at 3:24 pm
July 6, 2022
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 - 8:25 pm PT
We pulled out of 14,000' at 10:30 this morning. Winds were still blowing up high, it certainly wouldn’t have been a summit day, but much of the low cloud had cleared out. The couple of hours down around Windy Corner, across the Polo Field, down Squirrel and Motorcycle Hills were the usual insane sled rodeo. The sleds don’t like being heavy or on a side hill and so they flip a lot and we all just try to keep smiling and pulling. We set up camp -possibly our last- in early afternoon and dove in for naps. We’ve just eaten dinner now and we’re napping once more. The plan is to get up in three hours (at 10 PM) and to set off around midnight toward the airstrip on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna. We’re hoping the surface of the lower glacier freezes up hard and that our timing is just right for taking advantage of that freeze.
July 5, 2022
Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:46 pm PT
We woke to a calm but cloudy morning at 17,200'. There was light snow falling -some of the first snowflakes we’ve had on this trip. It wasn’t too hard to be out in it for packing though. We got it all done and got walking at noon. Many careful steps were taken along the crest of the West Buttress in the clouds. We got a little surprise when we started down the fixed lines at 16,200. There was an actual squall with snow blowing in our faces as we delicately stepped down and across crevasses. Things eased as we got to 14,000' at 3 PM and re-established camp. We then had a quiet afternoon and evening of resting, relaxing and eating, with everybody making mention of how much easier life at 14,000' was compared to 17,000'.
Tomorrow we’ll hope the clouds go elsewhere as we get down to 11,000' and get set for the big walk out the lower glacier.
July 4, 2022
Monday, July 4, 2022 - 1:50 a.m. PDT
Briefly…Because it is 12:38 a.m. at 17,200 ft…we did it! Fabulous climb to the top of North America. The day started out a little more windy than predicted, so we pushed our start back to 10:15 a.m., by which time thinks were looking more promising. We went back and forth all day between a little cool and a little hot. Luckily, when we hit the top at 6:30 p.m., it was calm and easy. In fact we enjoyed it so much we spent 50 minutes on top! There was only one other team today and we will likely be some of the very last for the season. Beautiful views down into all the fascinating glaciers and valleys surrounding Denali. We picked our way carefully down, leaving the summit at 7:20 p.m. and arriving back at high camp at 11:00 p.m. Late night dinner and then crawling into sleeping bags for well earned rest.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn and team
Congratulations to Jim Karmozyn and the entire team on reaching the summit! I knew you could do it.
Posted by: Ted Wioncek on 7/7/2022 at 10:56 am
Congratulations to Yifei and the entire team! You’ve worked so hard for this and now you are literally on top of the world! Can’t wait to hear all the stories!
Posted by: VJ Ammar on 7/4/2022 at 7:36 pm