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Entries By geoff schellens

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Moves Into 14K Camp

June 10, 2016 - 10:11 pm PT

We woke this morning to much improved weather. Some scattered clouds and a light wind but a huge improvement from yesterday.  We had a quick breakfast and set about breaking camp. Just after the sun hit we were off and climbing. The team did a great job today, we had to battle a little around Windy Corner, it was a bit windy (go figure), but we were out of it soon and on to 14K Camp. After tents were up, everyone settled in to our new home above the clouds. Tomorrow we will do some training and fortify our camp with snow walls.
Thanks for following along with us.

The RMI Upper West Rib Team

Sorry for the late comments. Garrick just forwarded the link. We are following you from afar. We will follow up on past reports. Congrats so far. Hope all finishes well.

Posted by: James and Sara on 6/12/2016 at 10:03 am

Good job team - hopefully you are all helping and supporting each other!  Climbing is of course a group effort and it takes everybody to get everybody to the top safely - make sure to help each other along the way!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jesse Godzala on 6/12/2016 at 9:01 am

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Sits Tight at 11,000’ Camp

June 9, 2016 - 9:22 pm PT

We woke up this morning to cold clear sky’s with a nippy wind. After a quick breakfast we packed camp, made a cache and got rigged to start climbing. Of course at this point it began snowing heavily, the wind picked up and the visibility went down. We pumped the breaks and hung out in Jake’s posh tent for a little bit. By noon thirty we called it and decided to set up Camp at 11 again. 10 minutes later another guided team returned from an unsuccessful cache attempt saying that it was really nasty up there! After getting tents up we got together for some fresh brewed coffee and snacks, the truffled gouda cheese was a huge hit.
The forecast for tomorrow is looking better so we are planing on moving up tomorrow.
Thanks for following along

The Upper West Rib Team

On The Map

We hope you have better weather tomorrow - enjoying the photos and updates. Ben, we are rooting for you and your team!

Posted by: Marc and Elyse on 6/10/2016 at 9:11 am

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Carries to 14,000’ Camp

June 8, 2016 - 10:30 pm PT

The team did an excellent job today. The weather was mealy; periods of light snow, partly cloudy, some wind here and there. Everyone handled all these conditions, and a big climbing day, in stride. We made our way from 11 Camp up Motorcycle Hill, up Squirrel Hill, across the Polo Fields, around Windy Corner and on to 14 Camp. At 14,000’ we caught our first glimpse of the Upper West Rib for a few seconds when the clouds parted. Then we headed back to our home at 11 Camp. Everyone is feeling great and excited to move up a little more.
Thanks for following along, cross your fingers for good moving weather for us.

RMI Expeditions Upper West Rib Team

On The Map

Fingers and toes crossed for good weather! Love seeing these awesome pictures and updates. Great job so far, team! FMR, Ben! Lol. With love from Brooklyn, NY :)

Posted by: Dizzle on 6/10/2016 at 3:10 am

Denali: Upper West Rib Expedition Team Enjoys a Day of Rest

June 8, 2016 - 10:04 pm PDT

The weather gods heard our prayers last night and rewarded us with cold clear skies this morning and views south towards Kahiltna Dome and Mount Foraker. Views to the Northeast revealed the first obstacle of our next leg, Motorcycle Hill, and further in the distance the Southern end of the West Buttress and the Upper Peters Glacier.

Our team enjoyed a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon and hash browns and with full stomachs we promptly went to work fortifying our camp by building snow walls around our tents, kitchen and most importantly building a bathroom fit for a Kings royal tush! The rest of the day was spent snacking, lounging and preparing for our carry tomorrow. For the rest of our ascent we will carry part of our gear and food higher on the mountain, in this case to somewhere between 13,600 - 14,000, and then return to our previous camp (11,000) This process not only helps reduce the weight needed to be carried between camps but will also allow the team to begin acclimatizing by climbing high and sleeping low where our bodies can better recover.

We’re now settled in for the night and the clouds have rolled back through camp and a light snow is falling. Everyone is doing great and were all excited to be trading sleds and snowshoes for crampons and an ice axe. From here on out we’re climbing!

RMI Guide Steve Gately & Team

Looking good guys. Weather looks like it’s been a bit challenging but you are up to the task. Keep up the good work. You are creating memories of a lifetime!

Posted by: SueP on 6/8/2016 at 1:50 pm

Keep up the good work !  Looks nice out but I think I would rather be on a snowmobile !!

Not sure if your bread crumbs are working - the tracker show 39 entries with the last one 3 days ago (June 5th)

Have a good climb !


Posted by: David on 6/8/2016 at 9:58 am

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Check In from 11K Camp

June 6, 2016 - 10:20 pm PT

Welcome back folks! Our team woke this morning to clearing skies down the Kahiltna Glacier with views of Mount Frances, Mount Hunter and Mount Foraker. This is really the first opportunity our team had to get a sense of where we were and what’s around us. What a brilliant way to start our day after a stormy evening yesterday! After a quick breakfast we broke down camp, packed our sleds and headed north towards 11k Camp. This day is hard work. Faced with about 1,800ft of vertical and 100lbs of gear per person, it’s easily the hardest day we’ve had so far this trip. But, it’s also our last day with heavy sleds until we start our descent. Our team quite excited by that prospect basically drug us to 11k! Okay, well, not quite drug us but they out performed our expectations by a long shot! We’re now settled into camp after a few hours of hard work shoveling and digging tent platforms. The clouds have eased there way back in but were hoping for clearer skies tomorrow for the first well-earned rest day of the trip. Thanks for following along! Stay tuned for more!

RMI Guide Steve Gately

Really enjoying seeing your progress!  Looks and sounds like an amazing experience.  We are all rooting for you and your team back here at the office, Jim Dubay!  :)

Posted by: Karen Etters on 6/8/2016 at 7:39 am

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Moves to 9,500’

June 5, 2016 - 11:33 p.m. PDT

After a late night walking the lower Kahiltna Glacier we decided to sleep in. We had coffee and brunch around 10:30 and then waited to see if the weather would improve before breaking camp. We passed by Jake’s crew and woke them from an afternoon nap, and then on towards Ski Hill. With a heavy pack and sled, there is no way to make the climb up ski enjoyable. The team did a great job gritting their teeth as we slowly made our way up Ski Hill. As we made our way above 9,000’ the light snow we had become accustomed to picked up with the wind so we found a flat place around 9,500’ and settled in for the night. After pesto tortellini and a hot drink, we crawled into our sleeping bags. Everyone is doing very well and having fun despite the mediocre weather.

Thanks for following along, more tomorrow. 
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the UWR Team

On The Map

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Hits the Glacier

June 4, 2016 - 11:46 a.m. PDT

The team played a lot of hurry up and wait most of the day in Talkeetna. We put the final touches on packing, weighed in for the flight, and waited for a weather window to get into the Alaska Range. Our window opened right around 5 PM and we snuck into Kahiltna BC just before it socked in again. Once on the glacier we spent a few hours rigging for rope travel and re-packing before we hit the dusty trail. Everyone did a fantastic job and just before 1 AM we set up camp at 7,600’ on the Kahiltna   That’s it for now. We’re all really excited to be here.

Thanks for following along,

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and The UWR team

Hi Ben and Team.  Looks beautiful but super cold.  Stay warm!!  Ben is that you in the yellow coat??!  Safe travels.


Posted by: Melinda on 6/7/2016 at 8:28 am

Andrea mou!! Hope you’re having a blast. Pictures looks amazing. Stay warm - miss you!


Posted by: GSD on 6/6/2016 at 6:43 pm

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Gear Up and Prepare to Fly

June 3, 2016 - 10:54 pm PT

The Upper West Rib team started the day like any reasonable person in Talkeetna would, lots of coffee, eggs and bacon at the Roadhouse. From there we headed down to the K2 Hangar and went through all our gear and got packed up for flying into the Alaska range tomorrow. In the afternoon we had our NPS orientation and put the final touches on gear packing before relaxing a little. It began raining here in town but even the inclement weather couldn’t bring down the stoke in our group. Everyone is extremely excited to get into the Range. Keep your fingers crossed for good fly weather for us tomorrow.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Happy Birthday Ben

Posted by: Susan Moccia on 6/4/2016 at 4:38 am

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team & Gear Arrive Talkeetna

June 2, 2016 - 1:27 pm PT

The 2016 Upper West Rib team met today in Anchorage after months of preparation, training, and anticipation. With the team and all our gear in Alaska we took a shuttle up to Talkeetna, had a great group dinner at Twister Creek, went to bed. Tomorrow is our in town prep day and meeting with the NPS. Thanks everyone for following along as we begin our expedition.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

This picture is priceless, Benjamina! Lol. Safe travels, homie!

Posted by: Dizzle on 6/5/2016 at 9:57 am

Looking good guys!!!! Safe trekking. Will be following you every inch of the way from the comfort of my recliner chair

Posted by: Sue Moccia on 6/3/2016 at 7:09 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams on Top!

Today’s Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Casey Grom and Geoff Schellens reached the summit of Mt. Rainier around 7:30 am. Casey reported winds up to 30 mph and clear skies. The teams will spend some time on the summit before beginning their descent.

We look forward to seeing the teams in Ashford later today. Congratulations climbers!

Mike O’Hara so proud of you! What an accomplishment! I knew you could do it :)

Posted by: Zayna on 5/31/2016 at 6:36 pm

Pretty sure I caught your headlamps on the cathedral gap at about 1am

Posted by: Jake Olson on 5/30/2016 at 12:03 pm

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