Entries By garrett stevens

Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Hope for a Good Weather Window

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Geoff Schellens | June 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 18, 2014 - 12:24am PT

Today we got some news that a window may come our way in the next few days! We woke with the sun warming us. Granola and coffee got our day started at 14k camp. We saw fairly good weather throughout the day, yet a forecast for another big pulse of heavy snow for the near hours! Our equipment, attitudes, and stoke for the future are high and our methods of getting there are well calculated.

We wait another day hanging in there for the final push up the mountain. This season has not given many opportunities for a summit push but if we try and give it our whole effort we may just succeed! Tomorrow we will make our final preparation to stay or plan our departure Keep your eye on us and think high pressure weather.


RMI Guides Garrett, Tyler, Geoff and the No Troubles Team

Storm on Mt. McKinley at 14,200'. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Can’t Get No Satisfaction!

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | June 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 16, 2014 11:05pm PT

Well, the Rolling Stones hit the nail on the head with this one. We’ve sort of adopted it as our theme song of the day, as the weather continued to thwart upward movement for our team. Temperatures and wind in camp were more conducive to resting inside than hanging around outside, and the team spent most of the day relaxing in our posh, eating pancakes and sharing stories with the other climbers who stayed in camp.

While the forecast isn’t the greatest we’ve seen, we’re still hoping for a window of high pressure for a summit attempt this week. We are getting close to a go/no go date, but spirits remain high and the stoke for the experience is strong. Keep sending the positive vibes and we’ll do our part if the mountain cooperates!! Cheers from a well-lived-in 14K camp,

RMI Guides TJ, Garrett, Bryan and the No Troubles Crew

 14,00' Camp on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Happy Father’s Day From 14,200’

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | June 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 15, 2014 - 11:35 pm PT

Well, the weather keeps us down in from higher altitudes. Though a short window during this morning allowed us to venture out to one of the best view spots in all of the Alaska Range, The Edge of The World. We took pictures and told stories as the clouds came in and out, enjoying the company and scenery. But we’d like to give some personal shout outs from each of the folks here, so keep reading:

Happy Father’s Day Dad, Ken, and Frank! Love you guys! Nicole, Emma, and Baby Jake- love and miss you guys! Mom- I am warm and happy. You can sleep now :) all of my love! Aunt Marie and Uncle Kelly- thanks for the prayers! Houston Nicole, thanks for all of the comments! Wish you and Shaun were here. Have a great trip Wade!  Thinking of everyone down there! -Jen

Hope all is well at home, can’t wait to catch up. Hopin for good weather as the clock is ticking. Happy Father’s Day a little late. The views are great as is the food. Missing my little lady a lot. See u all soon.

Hi Oz, I love you and miss you. So happy and proud to be your father. See you soon.

On this Father. Day at camp 14 I’m thinking of my father. When you were alive. you would say you didn’t ever want to know when I climb McKinley. I’m so glad that you are my gaurding angel on this trip. Dave Johnson

Happy father’s Dad and Tommy! To all the other dads in my family! Love you all. Ty

Happy Father’s Day dad! Thinking of you from a frosty 14 camp, hope you’re enjoying a sultry southern Sunday! Love, Garrett

RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens & Bryan Hendrick

The view from the Edge of the World, Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team - Fun game of the Day: Add-on!

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | June 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mexico *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 14, 2014 - 4:00 pm PT

It’s another rest/weather day here at 14k camp, and we’ve decided to combat a few hours of down time with a fun dispatch game called add-on! We’re going to pass the phone around and let folks contribute their own voice to the blog today…have fun guessing who wrote what!

So there I was tied up to Denali....eating cheez its, looking for makin bacon. Wondering how long before I will be done piggin out.
Just like our bacon pieces we were fryin.
Hard days are made easier by good company, good food, great views and most of all encouraging blog comments…and Jerry.. Yes, the comments are great and looking forward to those promised margaritas at Amado’s.. And the mountain diet will defo put magic into the armadillo hoppyum combo. The coffee could be better too bad there is no Berres brothers coffee.
I would prefer Jim Beam but whatever, I guess better coffee would work for now.  I think Charlie Brown ran past my tent. I guess I will go back to the posh and listen to Jimmy Buffett and wait for my cheese burger in paradise.

And there you have it. Some of these may be references to very personal items - we decided it was probably better not to ask too many questions. Time keeps on slippin’ by here in advanced base camp, but spirits are high and team No Troubles is ready when the mountain gives us a chance. Hasta pronto!

RMI Guides Garrett Stevens, Tyler Jones, Bryan Hendrick and the crew

Looking through Camp Walls at Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Jones and Rest and Re-Fuel

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | June 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 13, 2014 3:21pm PT

Denali is a mountain of many moods. Yesterday, as we carried our cache to our highest point yet, she gave us a taste of moderate winds and blowing snow, showing a little irritation. Today, she seems more benign, with light winds, high clouds, and intermittent snow here in camp. The tents are warm and comforting, and we’re all enjoying a well earned rest session.

To that end, we started the morning with plenty of hot coffee, endless strips of crispy, delicious bacon, and the Tyler Jones specialty of blueberry pancakes that would give the best griddle cooks a serious run for their money. The perfectly browned hot cakes, the secrets of which TJ learned from his grandpa, just kept coming, and we all ate our fill until we couldn’t stuff another one down.

The remainder of the day will be dedicated to recuperation, re-hydration, and maximum relaxation.  In fact, the main goal is to move as little as possible and save our energy for the climbing to come. Until then, we’ll be standing by, waiting for the best window for our summit push. Thanks for all the positive vibes and keep’em coming!

Cheers for now, check back tomorrow…

Team No Troubles

Posh Tent at 14,000' on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team - Locked and Loaded, Luggaged Lugged

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | June 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 12, 2014 - 9:47 pm PT

Climbing in Alaska, so close to the Arctic circle is never an easy task. Formidable and imposing features surround the landscape we travel through. Climbing, especially on “The High One” presents the added challenge of high winds, low temperatures, and high altitude.

Today, we awoke to one of these elements; low temperatures. It makes for a unique challenge when faced with the need to begin the days work. Forcing ones self to leave the warm cocoon you have been comfortably nestled in all night. We began our day with a warm dose of oatmeal and hot drinks, and soon took off towards the fixed lines that lay above our current camp at 14,000 feet, in Genet Basin. As an expedition this was our first time above our current camp.

As we struck out from camp we welcomed the warmth of the sun on our backs. After climbing to the base of the fixed lines, we began our steepest climbing of the day. Travel was smooth and the reality of the climbing set in. From the top of the fixed lines we ran the ridge of the West Buttress and made efficient work to the base of “The Thumb,” at 16,700’. We created a cache of food and some personal items needed for high camp and our summit attempt. From our cache we retraced our steps back to camp. The team made quick work of dinner and now are fast asleep.

For now we wait and rest, ready to launch. All we need is a window and bang! We’re off. Keep it locked in…

RMI Guide Tyler Jones

An RMI team at the top of the Mt. McKinley's fixed lines. Photo: Linden Mallory

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McKinley: Jones & Team Cold Temps & Wind = Another Rest Day

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | June 11, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 11, 2014 3:14pm PT

Greetings from Team No Troubles,

Sitting here for another rest day at 14,200’. Cold temperatures and steady wind have been the story of the day, and we made the right decision to stand by for the time being.

Last night saw the mercury plummet to an ambient temp of -17F, which is much more common up here in April than it is in June. Combine that temp with winds in camp of about 15mph and you have a recipe for immediate freezing of any exposed skin, as the wind chill hovers somewhere between -45 and -50F.  Brrrrr shiver!

So instead of our planned carry to the top of the fixed lines, we’ll stay in camp today, on a steady orbit around our posh and sleeping tents.  The team is on guard against any uninvited trespassing into our bathroom, too, as we’ve had more than one inquiry from other folks about using our lovely on-mountain comfort station.

Keep sending warm thoughts, and hopefully warmer weather, our way! Keep the comments coming too, we love to hear from y’all. From a frosty 14K camp.

RMI Guides Bryan, Tyler, Garrett and the No Troubles Crew

An RMI team's 14K camp on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Jones and Team Acclimating in the Arctic

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | June 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 4:10 PT

The first real weather day for us this trip. The overnight temps dropped to -7F not including the wind chill. Our early morning plans to move a few items for caching up to our high camp were foiled by the high winds—35mph winds at 17,200’ and negative temps!  Not to mention the squalls of crystalline snow flakes flying in all directions.

The sun peered out from the flanks of the west rib shedding enough solar rays to warm the tents. With the brim of a ball cap we scraped the tent walls free of the frost of our night’s breathing. Lighting the stoves in our kitchen tent soon brought the smells of coffee, bacon, and cream cheese with bagels.

This motivated our spirits to make our camp a fortress. We spent two hours building large block walls and remodeling the bathroom—which, I might add, could be the best one currently on the mountain featuring a snow free enclosed taj ma-stall! Not to mention the fact that RMI Guide Bryan Hendrick took on a project to expand and improve an igloo just outside camp…soon we’ll have a monstrous underground lair for additional resting and wind protection. Sick!

We are now taking a rest, drying out and warming up after a great session. The wall building serves as great acclimatization through light exercise, team building, and making camp even better for this time we’re spending in this harsh Arctic environment.

We will keep our hopes high for lighter winds, less snow, and a bit of warmth.

RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens, Bryan Hendrick, and the crew!

RMI tents at 14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska protected by snow walls.  Mt. Foraker

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Rest at 14,200’ Camp

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Garrett Stevens | June 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Today was a pretty chill day for team No Troubles here at 14,200’. We took the concept of a rest day very seriously, and slept in until the sun hit the tents late this morning. Breakfast was a delicious combination of retort eggs/bacon/sausage/gravy meals and freshly fried hash browns with cheese. The hot coffee was the perfect complement to our leisurely meal, and we waddled out of the posh sufficiently stuffed for the morning.

After a couple of hours of relaxation, we took some time to refresh our skills with the ascenders for the fixed lines, as well as practice for the running belays we’ll encounter up on the West Buttress. The afternoon’s weather turned a little more arctic, and we crawled into our tents after dinner to escape the frigid temps (-5F) and the blowing snow.

For now, we’re hoping for a break tomorrow morning so we can get our cache up onto the buttress. But as we all know, the weather has the ultimate say up here, so we’ll make a game time decision in the morning. Thinking warm thoughts from 14 camp, ta ta for now!

RMI Guides Garrett, Tyler, Bryan, and the team

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Mt. McKinley: Jones & Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

Posted by: Garrett Stevens, Tyler Jones | June 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 8, 2014 - 5:50 pm

This morning we woke to warmer and windless air. The team packed our camp, had quick coffee with oatmeal and a granola bar. We then packed tents away, and organized snowshoes along with most of the sleds, some trash and few extra things we could spare to leave behind in a cache for us to pick up on our decent.

The travel was as calm and nice as we could ask for with light clouds passing over head. If we could complain about our weather we would just say we were too hot at times. This was a welcome change to the chilly morning we climbed in for our carry yesterday. Our crew made great time, even adding a rest stop on a completely windless Windy Corner.

Once we arrived at camp our days work was far from over as the snow began to fall. We dug tent platforms, built another priceless kitchen posh house and prepped camp for a storm that is expected over the next few days. We are now getting some rest and fluffing our feathers. Soon will have a deluxe meal of quesadillas with chicken, fresh veggies, beans and rice to fill our bellies and help us sleep warm in our new camp in the Genet Basin at 14,200 ft. Tomorrow we have earned a full rest day of eating, drinking and acclimating.

Will be in touch soon!
RMI Guides Tyler, Garrett, Bryan and the “No Troubles” crew!

An RMI Team ascending Windy Corner en route to 14,200 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita

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