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Entries By geoff schellens

June 14, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Awaits a Perfect Weather Window

Sunday June 14th 12:00 a.m. PT

The weather has turned and things in the Alaska Range are looking up. All day we lounged under blue skies and made our final gear decisions.
It appears from the forecast that tomorrow and Monday will be our best opportunity to climb. We anticipate leaving in the morning and starting a 72-hour cycle of nearly continuous movement, punctuated with some periods of sleep, that will hopefully take us to the top and all the way back to our plane ride to Talkeetna.

RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Eric Frank

Kim- in the immortal words of Diana Ross “way to go Kim & the rest of your group”!! Oops I mean, “ain’t no mountain high enough”- good luck on the big climb!!

Posted by: Michael on 6/14/2015 at 3:15 pm

Kimapotamus- exciting news about your trip!!! Good luck with the big climb-you will totally rock-it!!!! 

Posted by: Lora on 6/14/2015 at 3:11 pm

June 13, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Checks in From 14K Camp

Friday June 12th 10:30 pm PT

A blog post brought to you by Kim, Pete and Phillip:

We awoke to clear blue skies and stellar views of the Alaska Range. It was followed by an exquisite breakfast of fluffy blueberry and granola pancakes, topped with a wild cherry compote. Then we made a six-feet deep hole and went to “The Edge of the World”.

Weather is looking better and we are hopeful that we will move up the mountain this weekend.

We are looking forward to moving higher up on the mountain, since we are all rested up having slept more in the past few nights than we have in the last month. Clearly we are enjoying the mountain lifestyle, but ready for the next challenges.

Viele Grüße vom Berg, cheers
The Gang

P.S. Hi Sophia! XO love Aunt Kim

Glad all is going well.  We had dinner with the family tonight.  We all are very excited for you.
Mom and Dad

Posted by: MaryAnn and Arthur on 6/13/2015 at 6:47 pm

Hi Aunt Kim!!! Thanks for giving me a shout-out on the mountain- now I’m famous!! Good Luck with your big climb!!!
PS I wouldn’t want to be with a bunch of boys- they may have cooties!

Posted by: Sophia Rose on 6/13/2015 at 3:29 pm

June 12, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Train at 14,000’

June 11, 2015 10:02pm

With unsettled weather upon us we slept in this morning had a nice brunch and spent the afternoon reviewing some technical skills. We discussed some of the techniques we will use and practiced removing and stowing various types of gear as we climb. The team is anxious to get climbing but there is nothing we can do until the weather improves. For now we are enjoying long meals, funny stories, and some good naps. That’s all for now. Thanks for following along and keep your fingers crossed for some good weather up here on Denali.

RMI Guides Eric Frank, Geoff Schellens & Team

Hi Kim & Co.!!! I am no Al Roker but surely things must be getting better in your neck of the woods!!!  Fingers crossed that the snow is done for the time being!!! Btw Sophia is auditioning for the role of Flounder on Monday (Ariel’s sidekick)...
Hugs &kisses;
Ron the Potato, Jerome, Adam Richman, Mark Klein & me

Posted by: Lora on 6/12/2015 at 7:30 pm

Hi Kim, I hope there is a dramatic improvement in the weather so that you & the team can move upward! Hopefully, tomorrow (Saturday) will be the “big’ day where the snow will stop,the sun will shine & the winds will be calm!!! I am sending positive weather vibes your way!  Travel safe & stay well!  Love,  Dad

Posted by: SHEL on 6/12/2015 at 4:58 pm

June 10, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Bides Their Time

All of the pieces are in place for an attempt on the Upper West Rib, now we are just waiting on the weather. With yesterday’s carry to 16,400ft we have had a chance to stress our bodies and progress the acclimatization process.
The weather in the Alaska range can be a fickle thing. Moisture from the south mixes with frigid temperatures from the north, and the resulting scale of weather can be anything from light snow flakes to true arctic blizzards. Right now we are in a holding pattern waiting for the snow to stop. It has only snowed a few inches today, but two feet are predicted for the coming 48 hours. With our shovels at the ready we are waiting to see if the prediction comes true.

There is a silver lining to the forecast, however. It appears as though after this round of snowfall, the weather will stabilize and we may get our window to climb. That is still a few days out, but we are hopeful. The highlight around camp today was a potluck style lunch. After two weeks on the glacier a little variety in the daily diet was a welcomed change.

Thanks for following along, and if anyone feels like overnight shipping a snowblower and a few gallons of gas our way, it would be much appreciated.

RMI Guides Geoff Schellens, Eric Frank and the UWR team.

Hi Kim!  Cannot believe all the snow!  Hope you are not getting too frustrated, I certainly admire your stamina!  On the bright side - the 17 year cicadas are in the midwest right now.  Hope it clears up soon!  Love, Momma

Posted by: Jane Lubow on 6/10/2015 at 9:02 pm

June 10, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Carry to 16,400’

June 9, 2015, 9:46 pm PT

The weather forecast has been calling for an impending storm, luckily it held off until late this afternoon. This morning we woke, ate a quick breakfast, and rigged for caching up on the Rib. With light loads and good climbing conditions the team made good time as we worked our way up to the West Rib. Clouds and light winds picked up in the afternoon and we decided to cache at 16,400’. Clouds enveloped us on our decent and the winds kicked up shortly after we returned to 14 Camp. The team did great and we are now in a great position to push higher when the weather allows. Everyone is well and looking forward to more climbing. Until we get our weather window we are maintaining excitement by focusing on the small things. For example, tomorrow we are planning a potluck lunch and maybe some competitive napping. That’s all for now. Thanks for following along with us.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

On The Map

Kimmer!!! Y’all are amazeballs!!!! Way to go!!! I must quote Dr. Shelly now “things are getting very exciting”!!! Marina & Sophia say hello and give you kisses!! Have you made a Pringles, pb&j quesadilla yet???

Posted by: Lora on 6/10/2015 at 11:51 am

Hi Kim, Great update! We are all so pleased that you & the team are on the “move”!  Wow…16,400’ for the carry! Now lets all hope the weather “breaks” soon & you have a great “window” that will allow the team to take the next big “step”! Travel safe & stay well!!  Love,  Dad

Posted by: SHEL on 6/10/2015 at 8:39 am

June 8, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Getting Strong at 14,000’ Camp

June 8, 2015, 6:16 pm PT

Not too much to report from camp today. The weather was moderate, but not good enough to coax us out for a walk or carry up hill.
At this point the team is just focusing on resting, meeting the neighbors and getting ready to utilize the next window of good weather.
Speaking of neighbors, the most exciting news of the day is that we are joining Tyler Jones’ team for dinner tonight. After ten days on the glacier together, the whole team is ready to interact with some new faces and hear new stories. Tyler’s team was nice enough to invite invite us over for a round of loaded quesadillas. The only remaining question is what we should take as a house warming gift.

RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Eric Frank

On The Map

Looks like it is going to be a good time while having a great climb. 

Posted by: Kevin Stone on 6/10/2015 at 10:54 am

Sounds like a big RMI shindig.  I certainly hope Pete brought his guitar for dinner entertainment purposes.

What?  He left it home?  Are you kidding me?

Good luck to you all.

Art Muir

Posted by: Art Muir on 6/9/2015 at 2:06 pm

June 8, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Builds a Snow Fortress

June 8, 2015, 10:59 am PT

After a strenuous day getting to 14 Camp yesterday, we slept in this morning. The sun crept into camp around 9:15 am and we slow crawled out of our tents shortly thereafter.  The weather today was pretty good but the forecast is calling for some more snow and wind so we spent the day building giant snow walls around our camp and resting. The team is doing very well and acclimating well. If the weather is good tomorrow we might go do a short walk up the West Rib but either way we are dug in here at 14,200’ and are ready for whatever the weather gods allow us to do.

That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

On The Map

Hi Kim!  We missed you this weekend and are looking forward to hearing from you!  Hope the climb starts going better!  Love, momma

Posted by: jane Lubow on 6/8/2015 at 6:24 pm

June 7, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Moves to 14,200’ Camp

Saturday, June 6th 10:55 p.m. PT

After three days of significant snowfall, we awoke this morning to mostly clear skies and moderate winds. Three days of laying in a tent will make anyone antsy, and, understandably, the team was raring to head up hill.
We used the energy and enthusiasm to make a move to Mount McKinley’s 14K camp. After an hour of wallowing through deep snow, we escaped onto firmer terrain and found ourselves here in camp six hours later.

Everyone is tired from the exertion, but elated to be this high on the mountain. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Hi Kim, John and Marko want to see pics of the outhouse if you could please post. John wants to know if you’re packing out toilet paper. Please advise.

Posted by: Maria, John, Marko on 6/8/2015 at 9:49 am

Great job Kim and team getting to 14K camp!!  I hope the weather holds out for you guys for the rest of the trip. Wishing you lot of luck and clear days ahead!! Cheers, Cindee

Posted by: Cindee on 6/8/2015 at 9:17 am

June 5, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Overnight Snow Fall for Upper West Rib Team

June 5, 2015 - 6:53 pm PT

We woke this morning to silence, my first thought was that the weather had become good. Soon I rubbed my eyes and realized the we were completely snowed in. After digging out of the tent we spent another hour excavating camp before we could even start making breakfast. Obviously not a move day. Once camp was dug out and coffee was coursing through us we spent the day sharing stories, reading, and napping in our tents. The wind and snow let up for most of the afternoon and we are all hopeful that tomorrow will bring good weather for us. The team is antsy to move higher on the mountain but there is nothing we can do about the weather. Spirits remain high and everyone is healthy and happy. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow. Thanks for following along with us.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

On The Map

Hi Kim, Hope you and the team are on the move today! You guys must be getting tired of “snow days” and nearing reruns of your movies Have a great, safe journey upward!  I was just in NY and Katie sends a BIG hello from Brooklyn. x Trish

Posted by: Trish on 6/6/2015 at 3:07 pm

June 4, 2015

Denali - Upper West Rib Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Upper West Rib Team Rests Again

Thursday, June 4, 2015 6:45pm PST

The snow is still falling and the winds continue to blow here at 11k camp. This morning, the Upper West Rib team woke to another six inches of accumulation and drifts ranging from mid-calf to mid-thigh. We quickly shoveled our camp back into shape, then lingered over breakfast bagels for several hours while we discussed potential future schedules.

Overall the team is doing an excellent job of staying busy and motivated while utilizing these imposed rest days. Between bouts of shoveling, we are able to sneak in hours of reading, naps and movie watching. Once the weather improves we will be strong and ready to cruise uphill.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Hi Kim - Re: the “hours of reading, naps and movie watching?!” Seems I’ve been “training” for this trip my whole life without even knowing it. I’m signing up for the next one!


Posted by: Michael on 6/5/2015 at 4:27 pm

We are in Atlanta.  Hope you guys get to start moving soon! Sophia’s haircut is great. Love momma

Posted by: Jane on 6/5/2015 at 10:44 am

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