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Entries By james bealer


Denali Expedition: Gately & Team Remain at 14,200 Enjoying Pancakes

The team woke up to another expected stormy morning. We decided to make pancakes for breakfast, a lengthy process at 14,000' when you're serving for 12. We manage to take until almost midday to scarf down the feast. The weather however isn't as severe as the forecast was calling for but still not nearly suitable enough for travel higher. So we'll spend another afternoon hunkered down in the tents. The forecast is calling for another day of stormy weather before improvement is expected into Tuesday. Waiting out bad weather such as this is a common occurrence on this mountain and I may argue that it's simply an "entry fee" for safe passage to the summit. The team is doing great however with all the down time and all are well equipped with various forms of entertainment to pass the hours. My favorite being snacking. I mean, the more I eat the less my pack weighs, right? If only such simple logic actually translated to reality as efficiently as it does in my head! As I finish ty ping this I can hear the wind fiercely barreling over the exposed granite of the upper mountain like a freight train rumbles the earth as is passes through a small western town where the residents are so use to the thunderous event that it seemingly goes unnoticed. Such is life at our little village here perched at 14,000ft. Just a quaint little town with a train problem. RMI Guide Steve Gately

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Denali Expedition: Gately and Team Rest at 14,200 Camp

The team slept in this morning after a long day climbing to 16,400' yesterday. With our cache in place we are now just waiting for the right weather window. Unfortunately the forecast is calling for a strong low pressure system to move through the area starting this evening through possibly Tuesday. The system is expected to bring high winds and heavy snowfall. The weather up until now has been spectacular so I suppose we can handle a few days of rest. That's all for now. Thanks for following along. RMI Guide Steve Gately

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Denali Expedition: Gately & Team Cache Supplies on the Upper Mountain

Friday, May 24, 2019 11:19 PM PT After awaking to an uncertain forecast and thick clouds passing through camp, the team gathered for breakfast to wait and see what the day held. After a short wait, the clouds began to break and we were greeted with views of the West Buttress. The day went on to deliver excellent weather and we were able to establish a cache at the base of Washburn's Thumb, around 16,400 feet. With our final cache in position, we are now resting at 14k camp and waiting for a weather window to move to 17k camp and then make our attempt on the summit. RMI Guide Steve Gately & Team
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Inspirational to observe the daily progress.  Love the commitment!  Eyes front, steady as she goes & God Bless!!

Posted by: Tom & Susan Dietz on 5/25/2019 at 12:33 pm


Denali Expedition: Gately & Team Fortify Their Camp at 14K Camp

Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:28 pm PT Today the team focused on fortifying camp, finishing the snow walls that shield our tents from the wind. The Mountain treated us to beautiful morning views above the clouds while we worked, but the weather turned snowy by afternoon. Later in the day, the team practiced using ascenders in order to be prepared for our eventual trip up the fixed lines. Weather allowing, we are hoping to put those skills into practice tomorrow, leaving a cache of summit food at 16,000 feet. RMI Guide Steve Gately
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This is such exciting adventure to follow!  I am so proud of my Grandson James!
It is such a pleasure to read each word on every blog—Thank you all for this! On to the Top of the
Denali World with safety!!

Posted by: Pat Howell on 5/25/2019 at 12:37 pm

The blog makes it sounds so beautiful!  Stay safe and can’t wait to see your pictures and hear your stories.

Posted by: Jill and Kristi Snow on 5/24/2019 at 4:21 pm


Denali Expedition: Gately & Team See the Edge of the World

The team woke up to gorgeous weather and we enjoyed another lengthy breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns and bacon before heading down to 13,600ft to grab our cached gear. We spent the afternoon fortifying our camp by quarrying snow blocks to build walls around our encampment. With a little time left to spare before dinner we all walked out to an area known as "The Edge of the World". By walking out to the edge of Genet Basin, where 14K Camp sits, you're met with 6,000ft of relief straight down to the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. One by one each climber is belayed out to a perch of rock that overhangs the immense exposure. Easily some of the most epic and grand photos you'll ever take in your lifetime. We're back at camp now and ready to dive into another dinner. Tomorrow the plan is to take another rest day and finish fortifying our camp ahead of some stormy weather arriving this weekend. The team is all doing great and enjoying their time here at 14,000ft. RMI Guide Steve Gately
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Go, brother Kelby, go! Good luck, gang. You’re crushing it!

Posted by: Phil Richardson on 5/23/2019 at 7:31 am


Denali Expedition: Gately & Team Move to 14K Camp

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 8:43 pm PT The winds from the previous day had subsided overnight an we woke up to mostly clear skies. You could see the south winds hammering the pipe West Buttress from camp. By the time we made it through breakfast, the winds dropped and we were in camp. With warmer temps forecasted and only light winds in camp we opted to try for the move. Long story short, it was windy. The kind of wind that your walking straight into for hours. The team did well taking care of hands, feet and faces. We finally found a break from the torrent at 13,600ft. A long hard day brought us to our new home here at 14,000ft. With camp finally set up, we're all looking forward to a hot drink and a big dinner. Tomorrow we'll try and back carry to 13.6k to pick up our cached gear then enjoy the afternoon off to rest and recover. That's all for now, life is good! RMI Guide Steve Gately
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Denali Expedition: Gately & Team Rest Day at 11K Camp

Monday, May 20, 2019 10:59 pm PT I was up this morning early to keep a close eye on the weather in anticipation of a potential move to 14k Camp. Puffy cumulus clouds clung to the surrounding terrain features and were lapping in and out of camp like the tides at about 6AM. Our forecast was calling for an 80% chance of snow showers and increasing south winds into the evening. I opted to give the weather an extra hour to show it's true intentions. I could hear the noises of other teams rustling around, presumably preparing for their own move to 14k Camp. I've seen plenty of deceiving mornings here in the Alaska Range luring you to trust that the forecast was wrong, as if so often can be. I ultimately didn't like the look of it. The team has worked hard for five days now and a full rest day seemed appropriate before committing ourselves to the higher altitudes of the mountain. So we slept in until about 9am and made a wonderful breakfast of eggs and hashbrown burritos that lasted nearly until midday. By then the clouds had overtaken camp and it began to snow lightly. By 1pm the snow intensified and the forecasted south winds showed up early and turned camp into a whirlwind of snow that made it hard to see across camp. Wrapped snugly in our warm bags we all felt good about our decision to take an extra day. It's not always you get such confirmation of a decision well made but today we did and it felt good all the while snuggled up in our warm bags reading and snacking the afternoon away. Tomorrow's forecast looks much more promising and we'll repeat the process of waking up early, sticking our heads out the tent and making another decision. Hopefully this time we'll like what we see and we'll get to move on up! Thanks for following along everyone! RMI Guide Steve Gately

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Hi Steve. Bruins swept, sitting and waiting on a 3-2 blues over sharks series. Chara still 7’0” on skates and moves like a sack of pea gravel. Go Red Wings.

Posted by: Wild Bill on 5/21/2019 at 11:08 am


Denali Expedition: Gately and Team Retrieve Cache, Return to 11,000’ Camp

Saturday, May 18, 2019 10:11 pm PT We awoke to clear skies this morning and the team enjoyed the extra sleep and a leisurely breakfast of toasted bagels, cream cheese and bacon. Just before midday we put the ropes back on and traveled back down glacier to about 10,000' to retrieve our cache of gear. The weather stayed cool for us with high wispy clouds and filtered sun making the climb back to camp quite pleasant. The team then had the rest of the afternoon off and spent it snacking, napping and more snacking. Well earned time off after the long haul up the Kahiltna. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will try and climb higher to about 13,600ft to place another cache of gear and further acclimate. This though we lose the sleds and snowshoes for crampons and an ice axe! RMI Guide Steve Gately

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Denali Expedition: Gately and Team Move to 11,000’ Camp

This one is going to be brief, I apologize but its been a long day! We were graced with good weather this morning and we rose early to break down camp and move to 11,000'. The team did a great job moving through the terrain. Light snow flurries kept the temps cool and good for climbing. The final hill into 11,000' Camp is a total butt kicker and the team styled it like pros. The team spent the afternoon building camp and setting up tents before enjoying a well earned meal and a good nights rest. Tomorrow we will travel back down glacier to about 10,000' to retrieve our cached gear and then enjoy having the afternoon free. All is well and the team is doing great! RMI Guide Steve Gately & Team
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Keep up the good work! We really enjoy being able to follow along with these blogs.

Posted by: Dale Thompson on 5/18/2019 at 10:37 am

Great to read of favorable weather & all doing well!

Posted by: Tom Dietz on 5/18/2019 at 10:03 am


Denali Expedition: Gately and Team Fly onto Kahiltna Glacier

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 11:00 PM PST After a good night's rest the team had early start and a quick breakfast before meeting at K2 Aviation to finalize our departure. Weather was looking great and by 8AM we started loading up the planes. Before we knew it we were airborne and on our way. A couple hours spent reorganizing gear at KIA (Kahiltna International Airport) and we donned the weight of a 22 day trip and took off down the Southeast Fork. It's such a pleasure to be able to travel through this stretch of terrain with good visibility and weather. The Alaskan giants of Hunter and Foraker are staring you down and making the turn North up the Kahiltna glacier Denali slowly reveals itself. The team did great handling the heavy weight and readjustment to life on the glacier. We are now camped at the base of a major feature known simply as "Ski Hill" at a popular interim camp at 7,800ft. Tomorrow we will bring a cache of gear to 9,600ft, bury it and return to 7,800ft. This will help get all of our food and equipment further up the hill without having to carry it all up at once. I didn't have to do much convincing! Thanks to everyone whose following along! RMI Guide Steve Gately

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