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Entries By joey manship


Denali Expedition: Bond and Team Rest at 14,000’ Camp

Monday 19, 2023

The sun quickly parted from 14,000’ camp this morning and we were then met with slushy snow.  We had a brunch fit for kings as Guide Andy procured brie and other items from descending parties. It added a certain sophistication to our bacon cream cheese bagels.  The day kicked off with a chess open in the main tent, joined by a local chess legend from International Mountain Guides, the team *cough Lenhardt* were humbled by their opponents’ prodigious skill and unassuming demeanor. Nevertheless, Guide Jack, Katharine and our very special Big Strong Andy assembled an impromptu chess board made of duct tape and packaged substances whose legal status is in question back on the lower 48.  The games were played with much merriment and sportsmanship.  For his final act, Guide Joey prepared for us another purloined comestible. The meatballs tasted even meatier as we were not the ones who brought them up.

As the snow falls, the team, hydrated and breathing light, await further developments in weather to allow for progress later in the week. Our pieces continue to act in concert for the real checkmate.

RMI Guides Andy, Jack, Joey and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Love these missives! Ya’ll are in the midst of, and living a great story.  Fingers and toes crossed and prayers sent up for a break in the weather and a safe, successful, summit!

P.S. We all love you Mikayla!

Posted by: Michelle DeMers on 6/20/2023 at 2:53 pm


Denali Expedition: Bond Girls Survive another Day at 14k

June 17, 2023 11:04 PM PT

Day 12 of our Denali climb.

Today we had a sleep in at Camp 3 and woke up in beautiful sunshine and 15cm (6 inches) of fresh powdery snow. We looked at all the climbers who went up the fixed lines to get to 17k camp for a summit push on Sunday, but we all agreed the night before that we need more time at 14k camp before our summit push. We hope for another weather window at the end of next week (fingers crossed). No worries, big strong Andy still has two pounds of cheese left and will be safe.

Instead of climbing, we hired lovely Lenhardt for an intense yoga session to get mentally and physically ready for this mountain. After that railroad, Jeff improved our eating tent to make it comfier for the following days and Katherine worked hard to make Joey's long hair cut more functional and fashionable for the mountain.

The focus of the afternoon was listening to music, chill outside, eat snacks and hydrate, and let our bodies adjust to the new altitude. We also improved our sleeping tents, so the polar bear can sleep well at night and doesn't attack his tent mates. In the evening, Heidi gave us a call to come to the edge of the world for the first round of Denali's Next Top Model. We stretched our legs and walked over to this stunning place where the mountain drops 7,000 feet to the northeast fork of Kahiltna. We had great views of Mount Foraker and the valley. We had a good photoshoot, and all the Bond girls made it to the second round. Heidi was very proud of us. When we came back to our camp, Mr. Bond had already prepared a nice dinner for us.

To finish the day, a short German "th" joke for you . The captain of a boat is calling the German coast guard "Help, we are sinking, we are sinking". The German coast answers "Ok, no worries, what are you thinking about?".

Stephan Schiffer aka Polar Bear

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wow! You are going to summit soon!! What a thrill and what an amazing achievement - so proud of you!

Posted by: Mary McKinley on 6/19/2023 at 7:05 am

Praying y’all get good weather for your next push! 17K! I can’t believe it! Good luck guys! Stay safe y’all!

Keep killing it Mikayla!!

Posted by: Mack Thompson on 6/19/2023 at 5:12 am


Denali Expedition: Bond & Team Land a Double Pancake Flip on Rest Day

June 16, 2023 11:38PM PT

On this glorious morning, we awoke to partly sunny skies and light snow showers (for those who don't know, this means mostly cloudy.) As temperatures warmed, we all gathered in the posh for another round of pancake Hibachi. Yours truly went for broke and landed a double pancake flip (that is one pancake flipping twice). Unfortunately, the blast wave of this extreme maneuver broke our big strong Andy's fork.

To make the most of our relatively mild weather and rest day, we headed out of camp and practiced fixed line travel and clipping pickets. The team did great and is ready for whatever gloves the mountain throws at them.

Famished, we made our way back to camp to gorge on snacks, mainly cheese. This helped quell our toilet paper crisis for the near future.

After dinner and a sweet treat of Jack's cheesecake the team retired to hopefully sleep deep and oxygen rich.

- Clown Fish/Joey

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Denali Expedition: Bond & Team Enjoy Views from 14,000ft Camp, Retrieve Cache

Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 9:07 pm PT

Good evening and welcome back to The Bond Girls Late Night blog, where you get all your juicy mountain deets and feats. Today we woke up to the most astonishing scene of Hunter and Foraker, something this resident Alaskan only sees from time to time from the Fred Meyer parking lot. For almost all of us, it was a frigid night, you can bet for night two at 14,000' some of us will be breaking out the toe warmers. As the sun rose this quickly changed. We ate a big breakfast of bacon and crème cheese bagels and got on the move down to our cache at 13,500'. After about an hour and 40 minutes we were back at our new base camp, where we enjoyed some stretching, field baths, trashy realty tv and naps.

Please see below for all of our members and their spirit animals deemed by me:

Katherine - Tucan / Mongolian horse

Linhardt - earth worm (healthy) / Guinea pig

Joey - clownfish / stink bug

Andy - black footed ferret / sting ray

Scott - eel / camel

Stephan - porcupine / platypus

Andy (guide) - sloth bear / manatee

Jeff - musk ox / horn toad

Jack - north Texas hare / anteater

Steve -  pigeon from Italy / moose

Mikayla - gull / sewer rat

Kevin - warthog / Airedale

Shout out to my girl Mack who’s completing a tour oversees here soon, and to all of my friends and family who helped and inspired me to get here.

PS Alex I know your birthday is in July I was just delusionally tired when I wrote that last blog lol.

Signing off for now, Mikayla (Pony Rider / Goldie Locks) and the rest of the girls!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Appreciate the shout out homie, can’t believe y’all’s journey so far! I’m so proud of you Mikayla! Y’all are absolutely killing it! You are gunna have to tell the story on these spirt animal picks when you get back haha!! Stay safe!

Posted by: Mack on 6/17/2023 at 4:42 pm

Hello to Stephan and the other team members. We really enjoy reading about all your adventures and are deeply impressed by your energy, perseverance and team spirit. We are looking forward to more reports and photos of this amazing expedition.
Your family

Posted by: Margret and Hans Schiffer on 6/17/2023 at 5:40 am


Denali Expedition: Bond & Team Pack Up Camp and Move to 14,000ft

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - 11:19 pm PT

Greetings from 14,000' Camp. We packed up 11,000' Camp this morning and climbed up Motorcycle Hill and Squirrel Hill passing the Father and the Son wall. We strolled along the Polo Field and climbed past the 13,000' cache garden where we left supplies yesterday. The terrain on the route is steep and strenuous. The Bond Girls were carrying heavy loads with our sleeping bags, tents, personal gear and one piece of group gear each. But the reason I asked to do to the blog today was the loads carried by Andy, Jack and Joey. Their packs were overloaded beyond imagination and the sleds they dragged were piled high with gear! More than twice the weight any normal person could move. I worked on the railroad most of my life and have witnessed people doing extraordinarily hard jobs under extremely difficult conditions many times but the efforts of these three men today left me in disbelief! I stand at 14,000' Camp tonight looking at the beautiful sight of Mount Hunter and Foraker humbled by the efforts of the men that made it possible.

Jeff Ebeling aka Trashman

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hello to Andy Geldean and the rest of the group. I’ve been following the blog and am exhausted just reading about your journey. You all amaze me. So proud of you Andy. Can’t wait to see pics.

Posted by: Dawn riewe on 6/15/2023 at 2:50 pm

Moving on up! Go, Scott go!! Congrats guides and team on conquering a long, hard day! Hot cider cheers from Nashville!  CKP

Posted by: Christine Perkinson on 6/15/2023 at 11:33 am


Denali Expedition: Bond & Team Move Cache to 13,600ft

Chapter 6

The Bond Girls squirrel up Squirrel Hill. The Bond Girls completed quite a mission today!  We left 11,000' camp and moved a cache to 13600' in preparation to move to 14,000' Camp tomorrow (if the weather allows).   We finally infiltrated Motorcycle Hill, which has been staring at our camp since arriving here last Friday. Before I tell you about our day, I have to tell you what made the day possible.  After some weather at 11,000' Camp, serious trail breaking was needed.  All of the guides at 11k Camp worked together as a team to discuss weather and a plan to put in the route for everyone.  Climbing this mountain is not possible without teamwork (unless you’re that guy who climbed it in like 11 hours, but even he probably had some help).  We all pitch in, carry group gear uphill on shared ropes.  We set up camp together, eat meals together and make each other laugh over hot drinks when the weather outside is… well, Denali.

Back to the daily adventure! The wind rushed through our hair on Motorcycle Hill. Trying to get my full zip gortex pants on was like trying to get Church the cat from Salem’s Lot into a cat carrier for an exorcism.  Luckily Jack saved the day. Thanks Jack!  It is a pretty humbling experience to not be able to wrangle your own side zip pants!  After Motorcycle Hill we took on Squirrel Hill. Climbing Denali, you become like a squirrel, caching treats and clean socks… or the books you don’t feel like carrying any higher, deep under the snow, marked with a little flag, to come back to when you are able to collect them. Squirrels are endowed with luxurious tails, we brandish orange plastic sleds. Luckily we did not bring the sleds today.  Squirrel Hill stole Windy Corner’s thunder as goggles and summit parkas struggled to keep us warm. Pony Rider led the charge across Polo Field with a war cry, and Windy Corner was actually quite pleasant today. The weather cleared up for the team to enjoy a break at the cache and take in the majestic mountain paradise of Denali.  The walk back to camp was beautiful.  Now we hydrate, try to not smell so bad and get ready for burritos. The caches at Basecamp are a bit more celebratory. Visions of beer, cigarettes and hard liquor cheer exhausted climbers on to the finish line; the airstrip of the Kahiltna glacier.   There bush planes take you back to reality...Talkeetna, where the past three elected mayors have all been cats (two long haired Siamese and one tabby to be precise). I am grateful for the knowledge, experience, fortitude and tenacity of this team. We take on hardwork with a smile and show up for each other. Trash Man, Sled Dog, Polar Bear, Goldie Locks (formerly known as Pony Rider) Joey Dreamboat Manship and Bond-O are a few of the many nicknames this crew has, surely more will be given before The Bond Girls break into our base camp cache and get weird while we wait to fly off of the Kahiltna glacier.  

Thanks for stopping by to check up on your favorite secret agents!

Tune in tomorrow night for another installment of, “Who’s Cache is it Anyway?"

Shout out to Jessee and all of my Wyldcats! To Mom, Dad, Maggie and Lenora, I love you!

-Katherine

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Sounds like it’s time for some Katy Perry.

Posted by: Holly on 6/14/2023 at 6:33 pm

I think I may know Pony Rider/Goldie Locks.  I’m so glad ya’ll were able to get back climbing.  Love following the progress.  I can’t even imagine the views and I appreciate the teamwork.!

Posted by: Michelle on 6/14/2023 at 4:58 pm


Denali Expedition: Bond & Team Take Second Rest Day Due to Weather

Monday, June 12, 2023 - 10:06 pm PT

Day ???

As a kid I remember snow days being a little more fun than this. The team emerged from hibernation and were greeted by less wind, but a lot more snow - both key ingredients to our second straight rest day. We spent most of the morning uncovering and digging our tents out while Chef Joey cooked up some delicious breakfast burritos - a fair trade if you ask me. The team passed the time lounging in the posh, playing games, and learning that some are much worse at spelling than others. The weather finally cleared (kinda) in the afternoon, and we crawled out of our cocooned tents to soak in the sun. Days like this are what the Bond Girls prepared for. 

Hoping the sunshine continues to hold so we can venture out of our little camp tomorrow and push toward 14k.

- RMI Guide Andy Bond aka Sled Dog

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Denali Expedition: Bond & Team Wake to Fresh Snow and Wind Drifted Camp

A new chapter in the adventures of the newly named RMI Denali team - The Bond Girls - The flapping sound of our tent walls in the winds acted as our alarm clock this morning. We awoke to a freshly snowy and wind drifted camp. Egads! After shoveling off / out our various camp structures including the kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathroom, we set about to enjoy a slow morning. Hot drinks were casually sipped and topics with no answer were discussed. Is Texas just a terrible place or just an awful place? Whatever happened to David Hasselhoff? Or Oprah for that matter? At some point smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels were devoured. It became clear as morning went on that we would not be granted a break in the weather to head uphill to cache supplies. So with the plans for the day settled the team got ready for another weather day. Snacks were devoured and stories were told, all while the wind and snow raged on. We dug trenches through the snow that would have made a French WW1 general proud. Hopefully in the night the storm will break and the wind will cease. I know I would love myself some sunshine right now. Or perhaps a beer in a Bavarian town. If the weather persists, you’ll find us here again, same place, same time. Doing battle with The Great One.

Signing out from,

Camp 2 (11,000 feet) - Denali, Alaska

RMI Guide Jack Delaney and the Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Praying the weather breaks.  In the meantime the Bond team will eat snacks and Bond.

Posted by: Michelle on 6/12/2023 at 5:46 pm


Denali Expedition: Bond and Team Pick up Cache

Today was our promised “easy day” by our guides and the jury is still out. We climbed down to 10K to grab our previously buried cache and climbed back up to camp 2. The day was and still is snowy and windy, but we got to spend a lot of it in our tents eating our newly uncovered snacks.

Tomorrow - should Denali allow, we will climb to 14,000, to bury another cache.

Happy adoption day to my dog Mav and early birthday to my best girl Alex, and lastly to my mom, we are giving it hell! I love you.

Ps I wrote a really great dispatch yesterday, but the German guy stole my blog.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Thanks Mikayla! I love checking the blog and you wrote this one. You all are a crazy, dedicated bunch.  I hope Denali allows. I love you Capt., Cakes,  Baby girl.

Posted by: Michelle DeMers on 6/12/2023 at 5:41 pm

Y’all are absolutely amazing, hoping all the best to the whole team for the rest of your journey!

To Mikayla- be safe homie, I read every new blog post to kumar and the production team, they all think y’all are crazy, but also are all rooting for you all the way from South Korea…I love you and I promise we will make a cake for Mav once you get back to celebrate his adoption day, be safe Mikayla.

Posted by: Mack Thompson on 6/12/2023 at 2:34 am


Denali Expedition: Bond & Team Enjoy Pancakes while Resting

Thursday, June 8, 2023, 9:52 pm PDT

This morning we woke up to Joey the Guide’s scrumptious pancakes.  Does he moonlight at Benihana’s?  Conditions weren’t favorable so we made it a rest day.  We ended the day with dinner and optimism for a move to Camp Two tomorrow.  And now, a poem:

All day we were stuck at Camp One
Blueberry chocolate chip pancakes are fun 
Tomorrow we’ll try for 10 And if this happens again
Call our team the cloistered nuns 

- Lenhardt Stevens and the June 4 Denali Expedition Team
 

--

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Scott, hopefully the weather clears quickly so your third attempt proceeds safely!

Posted by: Roger Coffey on 6/10/2023 at 11:28 am

Hopefully today the weather is more favorable. We are all rooting for you Mikayla and your team! One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time. -Barbara Walters

Posted by: Larisa Corbett on 6/9/2023 at 9:37 am

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