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Entries By eric frank

Denali Expedition: Frank & Team Train at 14,000ft and Make Carry

Monday, May 31, 2021 - 11:09 pm PT

Sunday, May 30th, started out clear and cold but quickly warmed up as the sun hit our camp. The good weather meant moral was high in 14,000' Camp as everyone who was acclimated and ready to go started to climb towards High Camp at 17,200'. We, of course, being new to this high elevation stayed in camp and watched the conga line turn into a log jam at the base of the fixed lines. We made good use of our day by brushing up on our fixed line and running belay techniques. At the end of the day a well worn trail was stomped in by the uphill traffic and left us feeling optimistic about our own plans to cache at 16,200'.

Today (May 31) the team braved a cold morning in order to get a head start out of camp.  We climbed up the fixed lines and cached at 16,250' on the West Buttress.   The afternoon turned into a scorcher on the way down as the solar energy made it feel like 90 degrees outside.  We returned to camp and had delicious burritos for dinner. 

RMI Guide Eric Frank

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations Norm and your team!  Stay safe and enjoy, can’t wait to see the pics and hear the stories!

Posted by: Linda Hill on 6/3/2021 at 8:55 pm

Elliot - looks like an incredible adventure!!  Hope you and the team stay safe and warm. Keep on trucking and enjoy the views!


Posted by: Alex Thornton on 6/1/2021 at 8:22 pm

Denali Expedition: Frank & Team Continue to Wait out the Weather

Saturday, May 29, 2021 - 11:35 pm PT

Sleeping in was mandatory this morning as we waited for the sun to hit camp.  Rest was the name of the game today as a storm laid siege on the mountain.  Wind battered the tents with occasional snow as we all practiced the art of not getting bored.   We had a delicious and grand dinner which devolved into (surprisingly well informed) debates on which Disney characters were best.  The weather will hopefully improve tomorrow and we’ll be able to get up and stretch our legs. 

RMI Guide Eric Frank

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Such an exciting adventure. Go NORM! Looking forward to seeing more photos and hearing your stories. Stay safe, my cousin. :)

Posted by: Kathy Leslie on 6/1/2021 at 4:40 pm

Ptaying you all up and down and sunny no storms, sure-footedness. Love to Norm, from Uncle Kaz too

Posted by: Old aunt Karen on 6/1/2021 at 9:10 am

Denali Expedition: Frank and Team Settle in at 14,000’ Camp

Saturday, May 29, 2021 - 11:00am PT

After tucking in last night to blowing winds and less than optimal conditions, we awoke this morning to bluebird skies and generally improved weather. The team wasted no time digging out our camp and getting settled in to 14k life. Most of the day was spent making a quick lap to pick up our cache by Windy Corner and building snow block walls around the tents.The day ended shortly after 8pm.

Here in Genet Basin the temps drop quickly once the sun falls behind the nearest ridgeline and we all retreated to our tents to climb into our sleeping bags. 

Thanks for following along with us!

RMI Guide Eric Frank & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Rob, the expedition photos are incredible. Excited for you!  What an awesome challenge and reward! I’m at sea level battling 74 degree nights, 84 days, 12-17mph wind off the Gulf, Mosquitos like hummingbirds and prepping for Indy 500. Can’t wait to hear about your climb! Hold Fast!  TS

Posted by: Thomas Stephens on 5/30/2021 at 7:02 am

Sounds like you battled a frigid night. Love hearing about your journey. One step at a time!

Posted by: Allison Santana on 5/29/2021 at 6:13 pm

Denali Expedition: Frank and Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 10:37pm PT

An uncertain forecast greeted us this morning as we packed up to move to Camp 3. We ate breakfast in a windy snow storm, but in a stroke of luck the clouds lifted as we climbed away from camp. Our good fortune was tragically short lived. By the time we got to Windy Corner, the wind was gusting so hard our sleds were blowing sideways. Sharp crampons, good footwork, and strong legs got us through our obstacle. After picking up a few items from our cache, we pushed through two feet of fresh snow all the way to Camp 3, at 14,300 feet. 

We built camp in a mild blizzard and quickly hopped into our sleeping bags. Today was a tough day.  Days like these are when you really earn your chance to be on the mountain. We’re proud of how our team performed and got the job done.

RMI Guide Eric Frank & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go Heidi! Two feet of fresh. Brutal!

Posted by: Steve Christie on 5/28/2021 at 8:43 pm

Ooooh, I bet those sleeping bags felt good! Hope your weather improves for the next part of your climb!

Posted by: Maxine Kay on 5/28/2021 at 7:30 pm

Denali Expedition: Frank &  Team Enjoy Rest Day at 11,000 Camp, Ready to Move Up

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 10:05 pm PT

Today we mastered the classic mountaineering skills of reading, napping and making breakfast last three hours. All part of a well rounded rest day.

It was sunny, but windy for most of the day so we spent our day hanging out in the tents and letting our bodies recover from the toil of the last few days.

Tomorrow we plan to move up to 14,000' Camp and get in position for the upper mountain.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

We are watching updates Heidi tracking your progress one day at a time! Stay safe and sending love way up to your altitude!

Posted by: Maxine Kay on 5/27/2021 at 7:52 am

Denali Expedition: Frank & Team Climb to 13,400ft, Return to 11,000ft Camp

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 12:01 am PT

What do motorcycles and squirrels have in common? They’re both steep hills we climbed on our way to cache our gear at 13,420 feet! From our cache we gained our first views of the fixed lines up to 17,000' Camp and the Messner Coulior. We descended with light packs enjoying the sunshine with beautiful views of the lower Kahiltna flowing south and green tundra stretching as far west into the distance as the eye can see.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)


DAMN, hope your were able to fit your snowboard in your pack; STUNNER!

Definitely rarified air.

Let the journey be the focus.

Belgian Ales @ Hopleaf await.

I just can’t grasp why you haven’t been texting me lots of pictures - ha!

Love ya, my Brother


Posted by: Shawn Dalgleish on 5/26/2021 at 5:05 pm

WOW Heidi!  We think we spotted you in this most recent photo!  I shared your whole expedition thus far during homeroom with the third grade.  They loved it. 
I hope you packed enough chapstick.  That wind looks fierce.  Keep on doing awesome!  Kirby says you are a BEAST!

Posted by: Allison santana on 5/26/2021 at 10:41 am

Denali Expedition: Frank & Team Grab Cache, Fully Move in to 11,000’

Monday, May 24, 2021 - 10:24 pm PT

We're finally fully moved into 11,000' Camp. After a four hour lap to pick up our cache at 9,400 we have all our food and fuel with us. To celebrate to had pudding for dessert after a tasty meal of rice and curry. The weather looks good for tomorrow and we are hoping to carry some gear up to Windy Corner.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Please tell Norm that everything is ok at home and I am well. Thanks! Valerie

Posted by: Valerie Cognetto on 5/31/2021 at 11:14 am

We kidnapped your wife for the weekend, it will cost you a weekend of camping out at a country music festival, lol.  Seriously- we are so very proud and astounded by your accomplishment. Norm- you are amazing and we wish you a safe return home to all who love you. xo

Posted by: Allison and Jimmy on 5/30/2021 at 7:06 am

Denali Expedition: Frank & Team Move to 11,000ft Camp

Sunday, May 23, 2021 - 11:31 pm PT

Cold temps and wind greeted us as we began our move to 11,000' Camp, our Camp 2 this morning.  The climb warmed up as the sun hit us and we enjoyed stellar views. The day remained windy with blowing snow but our team powered through it.  Arriving at 11,000' Camp, we settled in and built our camp in fine alpine style.  We were pleasantly surprised to run into the rest of our RMI teams here at 11,200'. Hopefully the reunion will be short as those teams progress up the mountain while good weather remains over the range.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Someone said there is no WiFi in the mountains, but you will make your own connections! Enjoy it all!

Posted by: Maxine Kay on 5/24/2021 at 7:09 pm

Denali Expedition: Frank & Team Take a Rest Day at 7,800’

Fresh snow and deep drifts greeted us this morning as we lay in the tent listening to the wind blow.  Without being able to differentiate up from down, we decided to take a rest day and stay in camp.  Our job became rest and recovery, which our team much appreciated.  We are hoping for better weather and a move to Camp 2 tomorrow. 

RMI Guide Eric Frank & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

May the wind be at your back for tomorrow!

Posted by: Maxine Kay on 5/23/2021 at 2:42 pm

Denali Expedition: Frank and Team Cache Gear at 9,800’

Friday, May 21, 2021 - 11:28 pm PT

This morning we woke up to fresh snow as we began preparations for our carry to the 9800 cache. Our duffels and backpacks were able to easily swallow our gear as we only had to carry a load of about 50% of the weight from the previous day. The team ascended, cached everything and then descended in stellar form, ate a nourishing meal and went to bed with full stomachs and tired legs.

RMI Guide Eric Frank & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Just found your trip and will be following!  I climbed this route in 1996 with RMI / Robert Link and you are brining back some powerful memories.  One day, one camp, one step, one cut block at a time.  You’ll get there!

Posted by: Keith on 5/23/2021 at 8:50 pm

Looks great! Keep it up!

Posted by: Thomas Brown on 5/22/2021 at 6:52 pm

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