Entries By josh gautreau

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team - A Good Day on the Mountain

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Josh Gautreau | June 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

June 14, 2014 - 10:21 pm PT

Our intentions to get up early and head to 10,000’ to cache some gear were thwarted by high winds and blowing snow. Every time we woke up to check the weather it seemed to be worse. By 10:30 this morning we were about to concede to Mother Nature and call it a weather day when the winds began to die and the sun started to peak through the clouds. We hopped into action and got our gear ready for a trip up higher.

We worked most of the rest of the day to haul our packs and sleds up Ski Hill and beyond. We gained around 2,300’ with heavy loads, dug a hole, threw in some gear, buried it, and headed down hill for our camp and quesadillas. Time for some sleep so we can get up early and head up to 9,600’ to make a new camp.

RMI Guide Mike Haugen and Team “The Ocho”

Mt. McKinley's Ski Hill with Mt. Hunter in the background. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Move to Camp 1

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Josh Gautreau | June 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

June 13, 2014 - 8:22 pm PT

With an early start, we headed out from Basecamp to Camp 1 at 7,700ft. We left camp at six this morning and traveled down the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. The beginning portion is called Heartbreak Hill since it is downhill from Basecamp. This same hill is a heartbreaking uphill climb upon return to Basecamp after the climb. We made very good time as we joined the main Kahiltna Glacier and headed towards camp. Although it is not a big elevation gain day, it is a steady rise from the base of Heartbreak to Camp 1.

We arrived in camp around 10:30 this morning and got ourselves dug in since the weather has been pretty touchy this season. Our plan, if the weather allows, is to carry some of our gear up towards Kahiltna Pass around 10,000 ft. We carried our entire load today (100lb+ per person). Now it is time to start caching gear up higher to make our travels more efficient and to help us with our acclimatization process. Good night!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent and Team “The Ocho”

Climbing teams leaving Mt. McKinley's Basecamp. Photo: Chris Villar

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Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team on Mountain Time

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Josh Gautreau | June 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

June 12, 2014 - 9:02 pm PT

RMI Team Haugen is at Kahiltna Basecamp. We departed just before 9:00 am from Talkeetna as the weather was clearing and Denali was looming in the distance.

We have taken the day to organize our gear and get a plan together to tackle the lower glacier. Basecamp is in good shape with all of the new snowfall and we are excited to head out towards Camp 1 at 7,800’ on the Kahiltna Glacier. We plan on leaving basecamp very early since it did get pretty warm during midday today.

The adventure begins!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

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Mt.McKinley: Haugen & Team Fly onto the Glacier!

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Josh Gautreau | June 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,200'

June 12, 2014 9:20am PT

It looks like we got lucky with the weather and found ourselves a day to fly! The mountain is visible from Talkeetna which seems like it is a rarity this season. All systems go!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen & Team

View of Mt. McKinley from Talkeetna. Photo: Mike Haugen Josh, Bruce, & Mike Ready to Fly. Photo: Mike Haugen

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Mt. Rainier: June 7th SUMMIT!

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Ben Liken, Josh Gautreau, Solveig Waterfall, Zach Lovell, Mike King | June 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

RMI Guides Mike Haugen and Solveig Waterfall and their Four Day Summit Climb Team reached the top of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  The team reported clear and beautiful weather with light winds of about 10 mph.  The team has started their descent and will be back at RMI Basecamp this Afternoon.

Congratulations to Today’s Team!

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Mt. McKinley: Rest Day for Van Deventer and Team

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Gautreau | May 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 25, 2014 - 11:56 pm PT

We took full advantage of our rest day today, eating a big brunch of egg, bacon, and veggie quesadillas (there is a recurring theme here involving our meals). The storm that was forecast for last night and today didn’t materialize, so it was a great day for chatting in the posh, catching some sun, and catching up on journals and reading. Everyone’s legs appreciated the recovery from yesterday’s big effort. 

The forecasts going forward are pretty scattered, and aren’t really painting a clear picture, so at this point we’re in standby mode, waiting for our weather window to present itself. We’ll see when that happens, but until then, we are living really comfortably at 14 camp. We’ll be in touch with more news tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

Enjoying the view from 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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McKinley Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Head up the Fixed Lines

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Gautreau | May 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 25, 2014 - 1:57 am PT

After several days of winds up high, and cold conditions that turned several teams around, we hit the jackpot today. We walked out of camp just as the sun hit, turning a pretty chilly morning balmy. We stopped just below the fixed lines to get ready, then headed up for our first run at them. Despite pretty blue and icy conditions, the climber traffic over the last couple days left some nice buckets for our feet scratched into the surface of the ice. Once above the lines, we headed out the West Buttress proper, which offers some of the best climbing and views of the whole route. At the base if Washburn’s Thumb, we set our cache of food and fuel, then turned back the Buttress to descend. We rolled into camp just in time for dinner and to catch the weather report. It sounds like we’re going to have a proper snow storm tonight and tomorrow, with 1 to 2 feet forecast. With that news we spent some more time fortifying camp, then crawled into sleeping bags just as the snow started. We’ll give you an update tomorrow and let you know how we fared.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

Ascending the fixed lines above 14,000 ft camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Katy Laveck

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Check in from 14,000’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Gautreau | May 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 22, 2014 - 6:51 pm PT
We’ve been in and out of the clouds all day here at our 14,000’ camp on Mt. McKinley. Despite the clouds and requisite light snow, the solar is pumping, and it feels like we’re in a greenhouse. We woke on the later side, giving the sun time to make it to us, and ate another big breakfast of hash browns, eggs, and bacon. Anything to get calories in. After a bit of camp tending, we set out for a quick jaunt to our cache at 13,500’. We retrieved all of our food and personal gear, then turned and headed back for camp. The afternoon was for relaxing, drying sleeping bags and clothes, wet wipe bathes, and general self care and rest. More than likely we’ll be resting tomorrow and training for the fixed lines.

Thanks for reading,

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

An RMI Team in and out of the cloud at 14,200' Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Move to 14,000’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Gautreau | May 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 22, 2014 - 1:55 am

We are tucked in tight at 14,200’!

It was a beautiful, clear morning, so we crashed our camp along with a few other groups, cached our sleds and snowshoes (no one was sorry to leave them behind), and once more pointed our feet towards Motorcycle Hill. The going was a lot easier today with the trail that we put in yesterday having had a fair amount of traffic. We passed through a once more windless Windy Corner, and headed for 14,000’ with everyone moving well under heavy packs. Mike Walter and team were at 14,000’ to greet us, and made our move in easy, helping with water, tent platforms, and a kitchen. We definitely owe them a big thanks. We lose the sun a bit earlier here, and the extra three thousand feet definitely makes itself evident in the temperature. No one needed coaxing to crawl into the sleeping bags and call it a day.

We are psyched to finally be here, in position to set ourselves up for a summit bid. It’s nice to check off another milestone too. We’ll let you know what adventures tomorrow brings.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

An RMI Team ascending Motorcycle Hill en route to 14,000 ft Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Take a Weather Day

Posted by: Josh Gautreau, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer | May 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

May 19, 2014 5:34 pm
The winds started to blow last night, and the temps dropped. The winds weren’t steady, but periods of calm were punctuated by gusts that slapped and rattled the tents. All morning we watched huge plumes of snow stream off the West Buttress, indicating steadier strong winds up high. Needless to say, it wasn’t a day to head around Windy Corner. We spent the morning moving and fortifying our walls, as the wind has conveniently switched directions by 180 degrees. A long siesta in the afternoon should have everyone well rested and ready to go for a carry tomorrow. We’re hoping hard for the weather to improve, to continue our progress, but the day of acclimatization can only help us at this point. Until then we are well dug in and will tuck in for a cozy night here at 11,000’. We’ll be in touch tomorrow!

Hasta maƱana,

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

From 11,000 ft camp on Mt. McKinley, watching winds and weather above.  Photo: RMI Collection

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