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Entries By dustin wittmier

Denali Expedition: Gorum & Team Carry Gear to 10,000

Thursday, May 23, 2019, 6:17 PM PT

We went to sleep last night surrounded by some of the biggest, most beautiful mountains on earth.  When we woke up this morning, all we could see was white.  Our blue skies had been replaced by clouds and light snow.  Luckily, the change in weather did nothing to slow our progress. We rolled out of our tents, packed up what seemed like a totally unreasonable amount of food and gear, and then headed uphill. We hauled our packs and sleds up to 10,000’, dug a hole in the snow, and buried all of our things. In a few days time we will be back to retrieve them, and move them farther up hill. After squirreling away our gear, we boogied back down to camp. The team made excellent work of the downhill, which is always a good sing. We are all dried out and are eating burritos now.  Not much else to report from the day. The view were minimal. The work was hard. The plan is to go to bed early and move our camp to 11,000’ tomorrow if the weather cooperates. Either way, we are having a great time here on the Kahiltna!

RMI Guide JM Gorum

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Gorum & Team Fly on and Move to Camp 1

Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 11:30 PM PT

Well, we are on the Kahiltna Glacier. We have begun the climb! We flew on early this morning with perfect weather, a smooth ride, and amazing views of the Alaska range. After landing, we consolidated and re-organized our gear, picked up fuel from base camp, rigged our sleds, and started walking. After about five hours of travel time, we arrived at 7800 feet, our first camp on the Kahiltna. After setting up tents and building a kitchen we moved into an early dinner. We’re going to try to wake up a little on the early side tomorrow. Our plan is to carry a load up to 10,000 feet. Hopefully, with an early start, we can be back down in camp hiding from the sun during the hottest part of the day. Everyone did really well today despite the warm temps and heavy loads. We’ll check back in tomorrow afternoon.

RMI Guides JM Gorum, JT Schmitt and Dustin Wittmier

On The Map

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Ah! You have arrived! Good luck on the journey! We’re all cheering for you. All our love. Listen to the mountain.

Posted by: Beth Ludwig on 5/23/2019 at 6:05 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Are Safely Down from Orizaba

We are back at Senior Reyes’ historic soap factory turned climbers hostel. The Mexican music and loud fireworks are going off like we had some remote control. The roosters and dogs are going berserk. But all the local acoustic entertainment is just part of climbing and traveling in Mexico. We are wrapping up a great 10 days with a fun group of guys. We climbed and stood on top of three volcanoes, ate amazing food, sampled many of the local libations and enjoyed some of the clearest views of this area anyone in recent past has ever seen. This trip isn’t so much of an expedition as it’s a fun Mexican vacation where we climb high altitude volcanoes instead of sitting on the beach. If you need to test your mind, body and spirit at altitude this is a good choice. We will be getting an early start towards the airport tomorrow. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Thanks for the updates and fantastic pictures. Looks like everyone had a good and safe

Posted by: Karen Knight on 2/24/2019 at 9:14 am

Awesome Mike!! Thank you for your posts. I am super torked up for next week with Eric and Jenny.

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/24/2019 at 2:17 am

Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team Summit El Pico de Orizaba!

Couldn’t have asked for a nicer day to climb the 3rd highest peak in North America! The entire Team is here, feeling a little worked but with smiles on their faces. Warm, clear night to start and a slight breeze once up in the glacier. We have a lot of smoke obscuring the views to the East and clear skies our to the West with Ixta, Popo and La Malinche. We have a long descent ahead of us and we will check in once back at Sr. Reye’s hostel. Drew, we missed you up here, hope the flight went well!

RMI Guide Mike King

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Wow! Amazing pictures!  Glad you all made it safe and sound.

Posted by: Jean Wittmier on 2/24/2019 at 6:49 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Enjoy Rest Day, Head toward Orizaba

The last two days have been a whirlwind. We had a long drive to Puebla after climbing Ixta. The team rallied out that night for a much needed meal and then hit the racks for some well deserved sleep. The Hotel Colonial in Puebla was built in 1865 and is located on the historic square among several massive cathedrals.

We spent the day off exploring historic Puebla. Some of the group got massages while others wandered the various markets and narrow streets lined with colorful buildings. We are recharged and ready to head towards Orizaba this morning. The ride to Senior Reye’s climbing hostel takes us hours hours East towards the Gulf of Mexico. From there we will pack our mountain gear and head up in 4x4 trucks through the dry grassy slopes and dense pine forests that cover the lower flanks of Orizaba. Once at the Piedra Grande hut we’ll get a walk in to stretch our legs and get some rest for the main objective, Orizaba’s 18,400’ summit.

The group is doing well and surprised how fast the trip has gone.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Summit Ixtaccihuatl

This is Mike, we topped out on Ixtaccihuatl around 7:50 am with a stiff wind for the entire climb. The air temperature was warm and we had a beautiful full moon. The combination of moon light and wind made for a crystal clear climb and amazing sunrise. We are in our descent now and will check in once we are back down at the bus.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team at Ixtaccihuatl’s High Camp

This is Mike checking in from 15,300’ on Ixta. We got a casual start to the day with a big breakfast and final packing of our equipment. It’s always a bummer to have 40ish pounds of stuff for just one night out. The trail ascends a ridge with a series of weaknesses that allow for a moderate elevation gain. We enjoyed clear views of Orizaba and La Malinche. From camp you could even pick out the glimmer of glass on the high rise building of Mexico City.

The traditional high camp where the Refugio sits is currently occupied by a 50+ member unit of the Mexican Army. We opted for the camp that is slightly lower to have a quiet evening. The wind is currently shaking the tents and depositing grit on our teeth. We’ll have some dinner and get our packs ready for tomorrow’s summit bid. The weather looks good, so fingers crossed for clear skies and no electrics storms.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team Top Out on La Malinche

It took six attempts but finally the weather cooperated for a successful acclimatization hike to the top of La Malinche, 14,501’. A new high point for some of our Team. The ‘day hike’ is the equivalent of a Rainier summit day from Camp Muir in elevation gain. The Team did well despite having just arrived sea level more or less.

This morning we are in route to Ixta, a quick stop for breakfast and coffee then a travel day to the Altzomani Hut. There, we will pack for our hike to high camp and enjoy a nice dinner and spectacular sunset. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Meet in Mexico City, Ready for First Hike

This is Mike checking in for the Mexico Volcanoes team. Everyone arrived with bags in tow yesterday. We will head out in a few minutes for a day hike on La Malinche. The goal today is to stretch the legs and lungs a bit and sleep at 10,000’ tonight. Our drive today takes us out of Mexico City and into the surrounding countryside for three scenic hours before climbing the lower slopes of the mountain. we’ll spend the night in little cabanas after our acclimatization hike. We’ll check in each day, thanks for following along.

RMI Guides Mike King & Dustin Wittmier

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Have a safe journey

Posted by: Dick and Kay Seubert on 2/18/2019 at 1:12 pm

Have a great climb, and post lots of pictures!!

Posted by: Ray Wittmier on 2/17/2019 at 7:14 pm

Mt. Baker: Mazaika & Team on the Summit!

7:58 AM PT

Hi this is Bryan calling from the Mt. Baker Coleman-Demming climb. We went up and over the Roman Wall and the team is celebrating on the summit as we speak.  We have beautiful conditions, calm winds, sunny and reasonably clear.  We have great views of the North Cascades, Glacier Peak and Mt. Rainier from a distance.  We are enjoying our break up here and we will spend a little bit more time.  We have a solid effort to get back to our camp at Hog’s Back.  Everyone is doing great.  When we get back to camp we will pack up and eventually we will head out back to Glacier.  We will wrap of the trip with a celebration with pizza and beer.  IT’s been a solid effort by the team, we are super proud of everyone.  Thanks for following.

RMI Guide Bryan Mazaika

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My daughter, Tara Frantz, said to follow the 9/6 4 day Summitt link & im not sure if this is it…but just wondering how she is doing ?  I’m SO PROUD of her & what she’s doing.  I can’t ever imagine how hard it is & yet how Beautiful it will be.  Let her know I’m thinking of her.  May you all b kept safe & be Blessed of the natural Beauty that surrounds you !!

Posted by: Catherine Frantz on 9/8/2018 at 8:01 pm

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