Log In

Need an RMI account? Create an account

Register With Us

Already have an account?

*required fields

The password must meet the following criteria:

  • At least 8 characters
  • At least 1 lowercase letter
  • At least 1 uppercase letter
  • At least 1 number
  • At least 1 symbol (allowed symbols: !?@#$%^&/*()[]{}><,.+-=;)

Keep up to date with information about our latest climbs by joining our mailing list. Sign up and we'll keep you informed about new adventures, special offers, competitions, and news.
Privacy Policy


Check Availability

RMI Logo

Entries By erika birkeland

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Have Snowy Rest Day at 11,000ft

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - 10:2 pm PT

Hello readers,

Today we took a rest day. We watched teams pack up as the clouds rolled in and out and snow trickled down. All day snow has pitter pattered against our tents. For most of the day we were engulfed by all white. Teams rolled in from below and from above bundled up and looking a little weathered. The hope is to move tomorrow but the forecast isn't looking the most promising. It would not make sense to journey through snow, wind, and single digit temps to set up a brand new camp. If the weather improves and holds we will move up, otherwise we will weather this storm here at 11,000' Camp. Send all the good weather vibes our way!

Goodnight all,

RMI Guides Hannah, Devin, Erika, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Hannah! I am sending all the good weather vibes you and Team Tata need to climb high!!! All the best!!!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 5/26/2023 at 3:04 am

Sending you all the good weather magic ✨ So proud enjoy every minute!

Posted by: Allie Bonnom on 5/25/2023 at 4:23 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Enjoy Good Weather and Views on Carry

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 - 9:25 pm PT

Hello again,

It was an early morning today for our carry to 13,500' to cache gear. We were the first to leave 11,000' Camp as we headed up Motorcycle Hill. It's not a casual start as it's quite steep and contains some cracks to step over. Once onto Motorcycle Hill, we preceded to go up Squirrel Hill and then walked across some flatter terrain called the Polo Fields. At the other end of the Polo Fields is Windy Corner and that leads us to our cache. It was a fantastic day with good weather and beautiful views. Words and pictures never do it justice. Once we dug our hole and offloaded our gear it was back to camp. It was a long day and deserves a rest before we break down camp and move to 14,000' Camp. Weather seems to be holding with chances of snow but for us some rest will set us up for success later on. Fingers crossed for good weather Thursday on our move. For now we are going to enjoy some down time in our tents and plenty of opportunity for snack consumption.

Goodnight all,

RMI Guides Hannah, Devin, Erika, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

So glad you all are making good time and having good weather!  I’m thinking of you! 

Posted by: Adam on 5/24/2023 at 1:37 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Enjoy Much Needed Rest Day

Monday, May 23, 2023  - 9:01 pm PT

Hello fellow readers,

Today was our first rest day of the trip and much needed. Our sunburnt lips and face, chaffed hips, and tired bodies needed the well deserved rest. We enjoyed a casual morning with coffee and pancakes at 9:30 am, followed by lots of down time in our tents. The afternoon was spent gathering our group gear piles for our cache tomorrow and reviewing crampon technique for tomorrow's steep ascent up motorcycle hill. The team is ready and psyched to head further up Denali and get closer to being on top. Camp is bustling with more hopeful people. As per usual we have all crawled into our tents to get settled for the night to rest up for tomorrow's cold early start.

Goodnight all,

RMI Guide Hannah, Devin, Erika, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Corey, hope you know I’ve been gloating about you to everyone lately. Went up to visit some Bilodeaus in VT and they’re thoroughly impressed with your expeditioning!!

Also, the Cubs won tonight. May this power you through the next portion of the journey.

Annanana + Bennington (not Bennington, VT though)

Posted by: Anna Nolan Not So Mountain Explorer on 5/23/2023 at 8:03 pm

Glad to read about the rest…now awaiting the rest of story. Go Bethany. You can do this! Love Mom and Dad

Posted by: Jan L. Gray on 5/23/2023 at 7:27 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Retrieve Cache

Sunday, May 21, 2023, 9:40pm PDT

Hello, hello!

Today we woke up to clear skies and chill to the air. The cold is a welcoming feeling after so much heat. We whipped up some bagels then headed back downhill to retrieve our cache. We made quick getting to it and steady work getting back up to camp. After another round of bagels we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. The sun warmed our tents and dried wet socks before evening showers drifted in. Camp has filled up with more eager climbers hoping for the chance to stand on top of this beautiful mountain. One RMI teamed moved to 14k Camp where another RMI team sits waiting. We are here at 11k Camp with one more RMI team. We have twelve RMI guides currently on the mountain and eight of them are female. It's pretty cool to have so many strong female guides on the mountain at once. Any who, we are all snuggled up once again in our sleeping bags reading books, listening to music, watching TV or eating snacks. It's a fun feeling knowing we do not have to walk anywhere tomorrow and get to sleep in. 

So goodnight all,
RMI Guides Hannah Smith, Devin Guffey, Erika Birkeland and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Hannah! Tell your team that Farmer Dave said they are Lucky to have you for their guide!! All the best to you and your Team!! Climb Strong!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 5/23/2023 at 3:30 am

Woo go Corey! So proud of you

Posted by: Mom and Dad Burley on 5/22/2023 at 6:09 pm

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

Saturday, May 21, 2023 - 10:30 pm PT

Good evening readers,

Today we woke to a wet rain falling on our tents. The plan was for an early start but we postponed our departure by a few hours watching the clouds. After yummy breakfast burritos we began breaking down camp and hit the trail. The team made their way back up Ski Hill on our way to our new home at 11,000' Camp. After walking for a few hours of descent weather we hit a hot pocket that made everyone go into a heat panic. But we persevered and made it to some cooler temps. At our last break the snow flakes got bigger and a chill hit the team but this was short lived and we were back to being hot as we rolled into camp. It was a tough long day with heavy packs but it sure feels good to be here. We made camp, ate dinner and it's off to bed to let the bodies recover. Tomorrow we will back carry down to our cache to be reunited with all our gear and then rest for the majority of the day. Snow falls as we get snuggled in. Frequent taps on tent walls make the snow slide down. We will see how much snow falls through the night.

Good night all,

RMI Guides Hannah, Devin, Erika, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wow impressive to read and how encountered. Hard to believe hot pockets up in the snowy mountain. Keep up the good work.
Go Bethany Go!! Love Mom and Dad

Posted by: Jan L. Gray on 5/21/2023 at 7:29 pm

Rest up well tomorrow, Anna.  Veggies will be waiting for you when you get back!
Go team, Tatas!!  Keeping all of you in our prayers.

Love you, Anna!
Mom & Dad

Posted by: Kathy on 5/21/2023 at 7:14 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith and Team Cache Gear

Friday, May 19, 2023 7:50pm PDT

Day two complete!

We woke to beautiful weather for our walk uphill to cache our gear. Camp was busy early in the morning with teams packing to move or carry. The team made fast work packing, and we were walking roped up only two hours after waking. Firm snow helped the sleds pull easily. The temperatures warmed fast and before we knew it was toasty out. So far, we have not experienced the Denali cold. I’m sure it is coming but right now we might as well be in the southern states.

Once we dug our hole deep enough that no ravens could get to our food, we headed back to camp.  It got a bit dire for a second with the overwhelming heat, but everyone made it in good style. A well-deserved down time was enjoyed before we rallied for dinner. During our rest we were greeted by a little bird that landed on my food, I think that is a good sign. Burritos filled our bellies, and we discussed tomorrow's plan.

As we lay in our tents resting for tomorrow a light snow makes a pitter patter on our tents. Fingers crossed it stays light and we can move to 11k camp tomorrow.

RMI Guides Hannah, Devin, Erika, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go Dawn!!!

Posted by: Matty G on 5/20/2023 at 7:52 pm

To Bethany Gray:  I love you so much and am so proud of you for this exciting adventure.  Today would be your grandmother, Verna’s birthday, (5/19),
It’s a good sign, so enjoy your climb. Love you, Aunt Jackie

Posted by: Jackie Gray on 5/20/2023 at 7:31 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith and the All-Women’s arrive on the Kahiltna Glacier!

Thursday, May 18, 2023 10:55pm PDT

Hello from the Kahiltna Glacier!

What a busy day it was. We loaded planes and were in the air by 9am. It was chilly morning in Talkeetna, warmed by bour last Lattes and Michael but man was it hot on our walk. I thought it was cold in May. We took off downhill on what is called heart break hill. It is not heart breaking yet but it will be on our return. But that is a way away from now. Everything is so big around us you have little idea how far everything is. Is it close or is it miles away? We walked for 5.5 hours to reach our camp at the base of ski hill. It is a tough walk with heavy sleds and heavy packs. You really enter a pain cave to push through. One stretch is your quads, the next your hip flexors, the next your calves, something is always uncomfortable. But hey that is what we signed up for!

After setting up tents and moving in we gathered for dinner. We carried in pizza from Mountain High Pizza, and it was delicious. We topped off the night with a hot drink and the crawled into our sleeping bags. It’s a marvelous feeling to lay down and release the body. Tomorrow we will carry gear to just over 10k feet and then return to our camp for the night. The lighter loads will feel a lot better going up ski hill. Weather is moving in so fingers crossed it stays at bay till we return to camp or even better till the following evening so we can get to 11k camp. The team is looking good, and morale is high.

We are all excited to keep moving uphill.

Goodnight all,

RMI Guides Hannah, Devin, Erika, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Remember Corey, the only thing to fear is fear itself. That and frozen pizza. Stay warm!

Anna + Bennett

Posted by: Anna Nolan on 5/19/2023 at 8:04 pm

Go Aunt Corey, Go!

Posted by: Jack McKenzie on 5/19/2023 at 6:55 pm

Denali Expedition: Smith & All Women’s Team Prep in Talkeetna

Hello fellow readers!

Welcome to our journey! We have wrapped up day two of our Denali Expedition. Yesterday the team met at carousel 1 of the Anchorage Airport with heavy duffels in tow. A rainy drive through the woods of Alaska brought us to the launching pad of Denali Expeditions, Talkeetna. Talkeetna is a Native American word meaning where the rivers meet. At the end of town, you can stand where the Susitna, Chulitna, and the Talkeetna meet with views of Hunter, Foraker, and Denali off in the distance. Today the clouds covered up the mountains but the river rushed by with huge chunks of ice floating along down stream, making for a gorgeous view. It was a busy day for the team sorting gear and getting ready for our flight tomorrow. We are separated into two teams with five going on one plane and four on another. As of now, the weather looks good for getting onto the Kahiltna glacier. The team enjoyed their last dinner in civilization before eating a bunch of noodles and burritos on the mountain. You can see and feel the excitement but also the nerves and jitters for what lies ahead. It's going to be an amazing adventure and a memorable one too. Not only because we are climbing the tallest peak in North America but we are doing it as a team of all Ladies! So say hello to your all women's team, The Tatas. 

Stayed tuned for what's next,

RMI Guides Hannah, Devin, Erika, and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go Corey!! Show Denali who’s boss!!! Let me know if you find a Mrs. Claus up there, she’s been dodging my calls (  ; _ ;)/

Anna + Bennett

Posted by: Anna Nolan on 5/19/2023 at 10:30 am

We are tracking your progress via the points you are dropping, plus dad is plotting and forecasting where y’all head next via Google earth.  Have fun and stay safe, Anna!

Love, Mom & Dad

Posted by: Kathy on 5/19/2023 at 9:00 am

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Climb Summit!

Success! The Four-Day climb led by Taylor Bickford and Seth Burns reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning around 7:45am. They enjoyed a good climbing route and weather during their ascent.

The team will be back at Basecamp this afternoon to celebrate their hard work!

Leave a Comment For the Team

Mt. Rainier: August 17th Teams on Summit!

The Four Day Climbing Teams led by RMI Guides Hannah Smith and Dustin Wittmier reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. The team has clear skies and calm winds for their climb. A blue bird day!  The team is back at Camp Muir and will begin their descent to Paradise shortly.

Congratulations Team! 

Leave a Comment For the Team
Next Page
Filter By:

Sign up for Expedition Dispatches

check the Summit Registry try our Adventure Finder alerts for 2024 RAINIER DATES
Back to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

Image of Mt Rainier
    *required fields
    • Keep up to date with information about our latest climbs by joining our mailing list. Sign up and we'll keep you informed about new adventures, special offers, competitions, and news.
      privacy policy

Thank you for subscribing to the RMI Expeditions Newsletter!

While you're at it, you can sign up some of our other mailings as well:

Please choose the programs you'd like updates on: