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Entries By geoff schellens

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Enjoys the View

June 13, 2016 - 7:09 pm PT

After a big day caching at 16,400’ on the rib we slept in this morning. Eventually folks started to rise and trickle into the kitchen where Steve was make breakfast burritos and fresh coffee, we relaxed, ate and drank our fill until around noon. Then we got geared up for a short walk over to the Edge of the World. Today was a perfect day for it with mostly clear skies and no wind. We spent an hour taking pictures and enjoying the view of the Alaska Range before heading back to camp. We did a little bit of fixed line and running belay training and then chilled for the afternoon. Tonight we will be exploring some exotic cuisine from India and sipping tea before bed. It is looking like the next couple of days will bring snow and high winds to the upper mountain so we will most likely have a couple more rest days at 14 before it breaks later in the week. The weather days are actually a blessing in disguise, it allows us to be fully rested and better acclimatize. Everyone is in good spirits and enjoying some down time.

Thanks for following along with us,
The Upper West Rib team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Jim and Team,  Ry and I are following you everyday.  The pictures are absolutely amazing.  We’re excited to watch this story unfold.  Can’t wait to see you and hear the stories.

Mac & Ry

Posted by: Mac Hawley on 6/15/2016 at 9:14 am


As I sit here suffering through shin splints from a 5 mile run, I can’t help but marvel at the undertaking you have taken on. May the force of a thousand Spartan’s guide your way safely and swiftly. This goes for Jim too (and the rest of the team of course). Keep at it bruh. We are all super proud and super stoked. We are beers ready, glittered up.

Posted by: Spiros Botos on 6/14/2016 at 7:19 pm

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Caches Gear at 16,400’

June 12, 2016 - 10:50 p.m. PDT

The Denali - Upper West Rib Team did a great job today. Blue sky and light wind graced us this morning, and despite a slower than desired departure out of camp everyone climbed really well. As soon as we stepped out of camp we sank up to our knees. This was the first day we got off the beaten path and made our own trail up to the Upper West Rib. Unfortunately with all the new snow fall in the last couple weeks breaking trail was difficult and energy expensive. Despite this added challenge the team did a great job and we worked our way up to the West Rib at 16,400’. We cached a couple days of food and fuel here and began our descent as the clouds started to roll over the ridge. We’re all tired after a high output day but happy with our accomplishments. The weather forecast is calling for a storm approaching tomorrow and lasting a couple days so we will rest and prep for our summit rotation.

Thanks for all the support out there!
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Upper West Rib Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Dubay, you missed a great summit in Baltimore last week for an even better summit. Good fishing (of course Garrick’s boat caught all the fish), good food, good company. Be safe and enjoy. See you soon.

Posted by: Bill Pinkham on 6/14/2016 at 4:42 am

Amazing photos. Lots of thoughts for you all from down here in WA! Happy climbing!

Posted by: Korinne on 6/13/2016 at 2:55 pm

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Rest at 14K Camp

June 12, 2016 - 11:35 am PDT

Good Evening,

Today was a very productive rest day for the Upper West Rib team here at 14k camp. We slept in, had a slow breakfast of eggs and hash browns with lots of coffee and then relaxed. At around noon we started building snow walls to fortify our camp. The team was unstoppable! These guys worked for hours and even when I told them to take a break, they would be back at it 5 minutes later. We are planing to cache some food and file up on the Rib tomorrow, weather permitting.

Thanks again for following along,

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and The UWR Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Great Job !  Happy Monday morning to you all. The view looks spectacular !!!! Have a great day today !

Posted by: David on 6/13/2016 at 7:17 am

Ben, sounds like you are with the perfect team - always moving and pushing ahead! Do the walls make good forts for a snowball fight? Have a great day! Love, Uncle Marc and Elyse

Posted by: Uncle Marc and Elyse on 6/12/2016 at 12:50 pm

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

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

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

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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

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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

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

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

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

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

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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

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

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

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