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Entries By hannah smith


Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Call from Denali’s Summit!

Hey this is Dave Hahn with the final RMI Denali climb of the season. We are on the summit of Denali. We got here ten minutes after two, and it’s ten minutes to three now, so we’ve been here a good 40 minutes. It’s that kind of day, a perfect day, beautiful sunshine, nice and calm, absolutely wonderful day on top! We’re going to have a nice safe descent back to high camp, and we’ll be in touch. Bye for now!


Dave Hahn calling from the Summit of Denali July 6, 2019

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations team!  Hope everyone is feeling and doing great!

Posted by: Shannon Smith on 7/7/2019 at 8:45 am

Congrats Hahn and Team! Gods speed home.

Posted by: Uncle Mike on 7/7/2019 at 4:43 am


Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Ascend to High Camp, Ready for Summit Attempt

Friday, July 5, 2019 - 9:46 PM PT

Finally, the perfect weather arrived!  We made good use of this clear, calm, sunny, relatively warm day as we motivated on up to 17,200’ Camp.  The alarms at 14 Camp went off at 4:30 and we were walking uphill in pleasantly cool shadows by 6:45.  We had the advantage of having traveled this terrain before, we had the added advantage that other teams had tracked it in for us yesterday following the days of new and blowing snow.  And finally we had the huge advantage of the extra acclimatization days and nights spent at 14,000.  We were on the beautiful crest of the West Buttress proper before the morning sun found us.  And we were up Washburn’s Thumb and taking a break close to 16,900 when we greeted Mike Haugen’s victorious team making their way carefully down the ridge crest.  It wasn’t long after that -at 12:40- when we rolled into the camp they’d just left for us at 17,200.  The early arrival and pre-built camp meant we had a very easy afternoon of resting and drinking water.  We tried to limit our time out in the intense high altitude sun, but every now and then one of our climbers or guides could be found at the easily accessible edge of camp, staring wide-eyed at the drop down to 14 Camp or the bigger drop to the Kahiltna Glacier… or to the bigger drop down to Anchorage.  There is still smoke in the air, but I didn’t hear many complaints about limited views. 
In late afternoon we sat down to talk about the summit attempt we’ll make in the morning.  The forecast could not be better.  We’re feeling quite lucky and optimistic. 
Even so, it will be a tough climb and it will work us hard.  Every climber took an extra portion at dinner with the big day in mind. 
Dead calm at 8:40 PM, sun still high in the sky, all for tonight.  Stay tuned.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Visit the Edge of the World

Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 9:38 PM PT

Independence Day on Denali dawned clear and a bit gusty.  Moving higher wasn’t terribly practical for us on this day, although it didn’t seem impossible. We were encouraged at our 9 AM breakfast to know that Mike Haugen’s RMI team was starting out from high camp bound for the summit. That will make our move tomorrow a great deal easier as we’ll be able to coordinate a “gear swap”.
Today, forecasts called for high pressure building, hence the wind, but the prediction was that the wind would calm as the day went on, which is what we saw.  It was still gusting pretty good as we set off at noon for the “Edge of the World”.  Twenty minutes of roped glacier travel brought us to the very edge of the plateau we are camped upon.  It is always a fun shock to look virtually straight down for thousands of feet to the glaciers below.  After days of camping on a flat expanse, one can forget how high we’ve already climbed and a visit to the edge serves as a great reminder.  The views of the West Rib and a portion of Denali’s South Face are stupendous and today we enjoyed smoke-free views of the southern Alaska Range.  Mt Spurr and the Tordrillos seemed much closer than their hundred miles.  We each ventured out on an overhanging granite boulder for a hero shot or two and a look into the abyss. 
Back at camp we organized and pared down and packed for moving up. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Wow! Truly amazing Meghan!  Happy 4th!!
Peg

Posted by: Peg DecFilippis on 7/5/2019 at 3:16 pm


Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Remain at 14,000’ Camp

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 10:22 PM PT

Yet another snowy, cloudy morning at 14,000’ Camp.  There was less wind today though, so it was easier to be outside.  It wasn’t a day for moving up or down the mountain -everybody stayed put.  We found diversions, like remodeling the walls of our bathroom and kitchen and generally just digging holes in the snow.  There was a brief clearing around noon, but then things clouded up again and the wind appeared to ramp up on the South Peak. We did a mid-afternoon quesadilla session and then logged a little tent time.  In the evening we attended a barbecue.  The final National Park Service ranger patrol of the season is tasked with packing up the NPS camp at 14K and they decided they had too much meat.  Not wanting it to go to waste, they invited all the remaining teams on the mountain to come over to socialize and get a cheeseburger, which we did.  There were about fifty of us standing out in the snow, comparing home towns and countries and climbing goals.  Up at 17,000 there may be another 25 climbers waiting for a weather break, but they are sadly out of cheeseburger range. 
Believe it or not, we STILL like the forecast.  We’ll get moving again tomorrow or the next day. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Love you and miss you Tym!! Hang in there.

Posted by: Kristen on 7/4/2019 at 10:07 am


Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Wait out the Weather

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 9:58 PM PT

It started snowing around 4 this morning, which was contrary to predictions.  The entire day ended up cloudy, snowy and windy… about the nearest thing to a genuine storm that we have had.  Forecasts still call for high pressure and nice weather out there somewhere, but it hasn’t found us yet.  We gathered for meals in the shelter of the dining tent, but spent most of the day in our own tents, listening to wind and passing time.  We’ll chalk it up to an extra acclimatization day, which is hardly ever a bad thing.  There were a couple of calm periods and a few minutes of sun here and there, but the clouds never pulled off the upper mountain.  Walking around camp in the flat light was a challenge as we’d frequently stumble into old holes dug in the snow for kitchens or caches or tents.  Still, it never got particularly cold and the wind never hit more than about 25 mph, so we won’t complain too much. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I hope someone brought a flag so you can celebrate Independence Day on the top of the mountain.  Happy 4th to all of you.  Sandy

Posted by: Sandy Bemis on 7/4/2019 at 4:52 am

Happy 4th of July to those almost at the top of the world! Thanks for keeping us all updated on this amazing trip. Praying for good weather!

Posted by: Tracy Wilhelm on 7/4/2019 at 3:51 am


Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Enjoy a Restful Day

Monday, July 1, 2019 - 10:34 PM PT

Last night’s snowstorm was short-lived, we got perhaps one inch of new at 14 Camp.  Afterward, the bulk of the night was calm and in the morning -with some of the smoke washed out of the sky- we were treated to long distance views of the Chugach Mountains to the SE and to volcanoes 150 miles or more to the South.  Reports were that it was still windy high on Denali, but in our sheltered bowl at 14,000 ft it was a calm and easy day.  We did a long and lazy breakfast of coffee and pancakes which took us pretty much up to lunch.  Then it was time for napping, books, TV or movies on the phones, daydreaming, drinking and eating.  An enormous cloud cap formed on the upper mountain and so it wasn’t nearly as hot today as it had been, but the mild temperatures have still made life at 14K considerably easier than usual.  We are all for easy.  With Mike Haugen’s team waiting up at 17,000 and looking to summit tomorrow, we’ll most likely wait another day at 14,000 so as not to crowd them.  The forecast is calling for dry and stable weather, giving us the luxury of dragging feet for better acclimatization before we make the big jump up for our summit bid. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

So captivating.

Posted by: Vvkidd on 7/2/2019 at 4:30 pm

Go team!  Great work on the carry to high camp!

Posted by: Ken Porrello on 7/2/2019 at 8:57 am


Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Carry to 17K Camp

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 10:26 PM PT

Storms were forecasted for today… 90% chance of snow.  But when we looked at the world at 4:30 this morning, things were just pretty, clear and calm.  So we got up and ate breakfast.  After breakfast it was still just fine in our neighborhood, so at 7 AM we set off to do a carry onto the West Buttress.  The track was well packed and so we made great progress in the shadows, moving up a series of gradually steepening hills until we were at the “headwall” and the ropes fixed in place up it.  The start was a little sporty since there was a small vertical wall to scale in order to get past the bergschrund (a particular kind of crevasse at the top margin of a glacier). But with the aid of the rope and some sharp crampons, we each clawed our way up and over the lip to begin the merely steep and never ending slope above.  But it did end as we pulled onto the ridge crest at 16,200 ft which turned out to be the perfect place for a rest break at 10 AM.  Then we began climbing the ridge itself with spectacular-and still largely clear- views and the cleanest pink and white granite to clamber around and over.  One more short section of fixed line took us up the steep flanks of Washburn’s Thumb at 16,800 ft and then it was relatively easy -but exciting- ridge walking with the Peters Glacier far below on the left and Genet Basin 3000 ft down on the right.  By this point there were starting to be a few clouds and some wind gusts, but with the mild temperatures the wind wasn’t much of a concern.  We cruised into 17,200 Camp at 12:15 and had a brief reunion with Mike Haugen’s team encamped there and waiting for the weather up top to be workable (it wasn’t today… too windy).  With the idea of getting lower down before the storm moved in, we cached our supplies and skedaddled down the ridge.  We were almost back in camp at 3PM when the clouds formed fantastic waves and tendrils all around the upper mountain.  It began to snow heavily just after our six o’clock dinner of tortellini and soup… fulfilling the 90% prophecy.  But we got our carry in.  Rest is in order for tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team

Denali Expedition: Hahn and Team Retrieve Cache

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 10:10 PM PT

To deal with the heat, we got up a little earlier than we might ordinarily have for an easy day at 14 Camp. At 7:00 AM it is still shadowy and cool in camp but not so cool that we rushed our breakfast of bagels and salmon with cream cheese. The main task for the day was our back carry dropping down from 14,200 ft to retrieve the cached food and fuel at 13,500 ft. We were out of camp at 9:20 and down to the cache just 15 or 20 minutes later. The ravens showed no interest whatsoever in our buried treasure although we’d seen where they raided a nearby poorly done cache a few days back. After a bit of hard digging, we distributed the load and began trudging back up at 10:00. The route happens to be quite direct this season—just a factor of a few crevasses either being bridged well or not in a given year—and so it only took 45 minutes to get home. On the spooky side of things we witnessed the normally stable and well-frozen West Buttress shedding rock down its steep flanks due to the heat. Back at camp, the easy part of our day began. We took shelter and drank water. The forest fire smoke grew thick enough that we couldn’t see down onto the Kahiltna Glacier and all but the top 3000 ft of Mt Foraker was obscured. We were pleased to connect with RMI Guide Mike Walter’s victorious team when they came down and became our neighbors. 
In the afternoon we reviewed the techniques we’ll employ to safely ascend the fixed lines between 15,000 and 16,000 ft. Tomorrow the forecast calls for a weather change, but if that is slow in arriving, we’d like to carry up onto the West Buttress.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thanks for the pictures and updates! The warmth is a fooler at those altitudes?! Hope you are having a great day in thinner air - does the smoke keep rising with you?

Posted by: Rich Green on 6/30/2019 at 10:14 am


Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Move Into 14K Camp

Friday, June 28, 2019 - 10:23 PM PT

The heat wave is on.  The highest temperatures of the season -so far- are hitting the mountain.  The freezing level was up at 13,000 feet today and that is the expectation for tomorrow as well.  (It might “normally” be down at 8,000 feet this time of year).  We were up at 4:30 to take advantage of the cooler morning shadows.  It took until about 7:10 to get on the move though after a good breakfast and some packing and gear sorting.  We rolled up the now familiar series of hills -Motorcycle, Squirrel, Polo Field- but this day had much less cloud about than our carry two days back.  There are layers of forest fire smoke in the air though -a big fire (56,000 acres) is burning down on the Kenai Peninsula, among others.  Even so, we could see all the way down to the Tordrillos at the southern end of the Alaska Range
We moved quickly around Windy Corner and then lost any wind or breeze as we worked up into the giant reflector oven of Genet Basin.  It was getting downright hot at 1PM as we pulled into camp at 14,200 ft. 
It was a fine thing to be greeted by Mike Haugen’s team taking their rest day.  They helped us out with some water to get started and showed us a nice set of pre-built tent platforms not far from their own.  We built our new home and then crawled in to take shelter from the blazing sun.  Each time any of our climbers or guides came out -there’d be a few “wow’s” and some jaw-dropping or head-shaking as they tried to take in the views out over the mountains and glaciers to the South.  And usually bigger WOW’S as they turned to look at Denali’s South Peak standing a mile in the sky straight up over us.
We ate our dinner in a new snow dining room, told some stories and talked over plans for the next few days.  First off, we plan to get a good night’s sleep after a hard-working day. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Hahn and Team Enjoy R & R Denali Style

Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 10:44 PM PT

No alarm clocks this morning. It was a rest day at 11K. Everyone came into the dining tent with smiles around 9 AM, having enjoyed lying in. We stretched breakfast to last a couple of hours as we swilled coffee and chowed down on perfectly constructed breakfast burritos. Some followed that with the first naps of the day, others read, chatted, sorted gear or daydreamed. It was a fine day with mild temps and strong sun. Nobody was sorry to have an occasional cloud throwing shade. We rehydrated and rested. R & R Denali style. There are only about three other teams at 11,000 ft at the moment - the climbing season is tapering off - and so things were quiet and calm. The forecast calls for a few more nice days, which is usually about all one can ask for around here. We will spring back into action tomorrow with the big move to 14 Camp.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Congratulations team on the progress to 11,000.  Big milestone!  You rock!

Posted by: Ken Porrello on 6/28/2019 at 12:57 pm

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