Entries By josh maggard

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Conclude Their Expedition

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young | June 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

June 2, 2015 - 6:56 pm PT

The last few days of a trip always fly by. The summit, descent, and celebration in town all came together over the course of three days. Our summit day was spectacular, with blue, sunny skies, little wind, and balmy (0 degrees F) temps. We got up with the sun the next morning, which felt considerably colder, and packed our bags to descend. We originally planned to go as far as 11,200’ Camp, picking up our cache at 14,000’ along the way, but when we walked into 11k at 4.30 in the afternoon, and with plenty of energy to spare, we decided to keep the momentum rolling, rig sleds, and head to 7,600’ camp. The few hours of fighting with our sleds downhill proved well worth it. We got to camp at 8:30, where RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Eric Frank with their Upper West Rib team were super nice and had stoves boiling for us already. We set a hasty camp since we were only going to be there for a few hours, and went to bed. We had our only real alpine start of the trip, waking at 2.30 am. The walk out the lower Kahiltna was one of the highlights of the trip. High thin clouds reflected the light of a not yet risen sun, and the alpenglow on the surrounding peaks burned a brilliant red. A wind at our backs pushed us towards Base Camp. The scene kept our eyes drifting to the sky, and it was impossible not to enjoy the walk despite the heavy packs and sleds. By 7:30 we were at the airstrip, ready for the first flights of the day to Talkeetna. In no time the incredible pilots from K2 descended in two Otters, we loaded the planes, and we were in town, taking in the scents of grass, flowers, and trees for the first time in weeks. We showered off the smell of 18 days on the mountain, and set about filling our bellies with something that we hadn’t carried on our backs. We spent the afternoon drying gear and packing bags for our inevitable separation, and then had a final celebration dinner at the West Rib, a restaurant that is synonymous with Mt. McKinley climbers. Now, we are beginning to part ways. Some of our climbers have left for Anchorage and flights home, while others are staying in Alaska for a bit longer, albeit as tourists. Jet boat adventures, bicycle tours, and road trips to the North side of the park all lie in the future. The guides will amuse ourselves tomorrow with some time on a boat, dropping lines for Halibut, before we also head South to the Mt. Rainier climbing season. The group did a spectacular job on the mountain, climbing smoothly and safely, and we were rewarded with a truly fine summit and 100% of our group on the summit. The guides thank the whole team for their efforts, laughs, and incredible chemistry; it was a really memorable trip for us as well! Thanks to everyone for following along. Now its off to a boat, where someone else baits the hook for us and the fish can’t help but bite!

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and Team.

The RMI Expeditions May 12th Mt. McKinley Expedition on the summit May 31, 2015.  Photo: Robby Young

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14

Well done Renee!! Amazing achievement.

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Posted by: Michelle T VEC on 6/3/2015 at 10:58 pm

Wow Renee!! Congratulations!

You are an example to us all!

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Posted by: Kelly T on 6/3/2015 at 5:37 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Making Good Progress on Their Descent After Summit

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 31, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Sunday, May 31st 1:54pm PDT

This afternoon our team descended to 14,200 feet. Once evening hits, we will continue our descent to either the McKinley camp at 11,200’ or 7,800’.  If we stay on schedule and pending the weather, we will be at the airstrip and ready for our flight back to Talkeetna by tomorrow afternoon.

We will be home soon!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

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11

Go Naie Naie! Enjoy the final climb down the mountain with team PJR! So happy for you all. You truly are an inspiration Renee. Tell Jord to buy you a… read more

Posted by: Sarah on 6/1/2015 at 8:28 pm

Wooohooo the final countdown is on team PJR!!!
You are such a champion Renee, can’t wait to see your smiling face back in Melbourne again :) Bet you can’t… read more

Posted by: Paul on 6/1/2015 at 8:03 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Summit!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 30, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 20,320'

Update Saturday, May 30th 8:30 pm PDT

Summit day! We decided to do something a bit unorthodox and wake up and leave early without the sunshine. Usually it would make for a really cold couple of hours, but the temperatures have been unseasonably balmy. It had the added advantage of getting us out ahead of several other teams that were heading for the summit also. The deviation worked out perfectly and we had a nice warm morning to walk, with no other teams in front of us. The skies stayed crystal blue all day, and 6 1/2 hours or so later, we were standing on the highest thing around! We had a good half hour on the summit, snapping pictures and taking it all in, before chilly breeze convinced us to head back for camp. We are back with plenty of time to brew up dinner and watch the later teams on their descent. It was a special day and everyone’s really excited. It was especially great to have the whole team make it to the top. Tomorrow we turn our sights downhill and start the journey home!

Pete, Robby, Josh and team

Saturday, May 30th 3:32 pm PDT

This is RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer calling in from the top of Mount McKinley in Alaska. We just touched the summit; it’s just past after 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Our group and Mike Walter’s group summited today in short order. It’s a really, really nice day up here—sunny, light winds, and relatively warm as far as Alaska goes. The whole team made it up. It was awesome, Really great day and everybody is excited. [cheers] We’ll give a shout when we’re back at 17k Camp safely and soon we’ll be back in Talkeetna before we know it, heading downhill. Alright, talk to everybody later.

Looking at the summit ridge of Mt. McKinley and Mt. Foraker from the summit of Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: Solveig Waterfall


RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer calls from the summit of Mt. McKinley.

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29

Awesome news - congratulations and I look forward to seeing some great summit pictures! Anna.

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Posted by: Anna on 6/1/2015 at 4:20 am

Congrats, Brian!  All of us back home are very proud of you.  xoxo, Karen

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Posted by: Karen on 5/31/2015 at 7:17 pm


Mt. McKinley: Pete Van Deventer & Team Ready for Summit Bid

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 30, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

Friday, May 29th 10:30 pm PDT

All according to plan! We woke up early this morning, packed everything up, left a bit of food and fuel in a hole at 14K, and headed up the fixed lines. We had another brilliant, sunny, calm day on the West Buttress, and were in camp at 17K by mid afternoon. A couple of hours of work leveling tent sites and building walls got us set to be here. The forecast looks good for tomorrow, so we intend to head for the summit in the morning. We’ll hope to be reporting success tomorrow evening! But now, to bed so that we’re ready to go.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard, and team

An RMI climbing team at the top of the fixed lines. Photo: RMI Collection

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Great photos and updates. Very exciting to read. Cannot imagine what the team is experiencing. So much fun. Brian… would love to hear all about the experience once you get… read more

Posted by: Faisal M on 5/30/2015 at 2:39 pm

THIS IS SO EXCITING.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL AND RENEE FOR SUMMIT DAY.
YOU ALL DESERVE THIS SUCCESS.
JORDY WILL BE FLYING OVER YOU… read more

Posted by: Lori on 5/30/2015 at 2:31 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team take a Well Earned Rest Day

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 28, 2015 11:34pm PST

After a big day yesterday, we took it easy today to rest up for a forthcoming summit push. We woke late and enjoyed a breakfast of eggs, bacon; and hash browns which stretched into afternoon. A few hours of sorting gear, napping, and reading led into a dinner of quesadillas. Unfortunately, the meat department may be getting low… From here on out its freeze dried dinners, ramen, and oatmeal. With that in mind we savored the fresh food, and wrapped up small details for tomorrow. Everything seems to be lining up for us to move to high camp tomorrow. We’ll wake early, beat the sun out of camp, and take our second stroll along the West Buttress. Everybody is excited and fired up.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

RMI Guides
Pete, Josh, Robby, and Team

An RMI Dining tent on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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Hi Renee and Team,
I’m so excited for you all, what an amazing journey!!
Looking forward to more news and I am so proud of you Renee.read more

Posted by: ARNA TELFORD on 5/30/2015 at 12:01 am

Good luck team Pete !!! Can’t wait for your next post.
Matt sounds like you are having awesome weather we all hope it keeps up for your last… read more

Posted by: Terri on 5/29/2015 at 5:53 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Carry to High Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Thursday, May 28th 3:49 am PDT

After so many posts about waiting for weather, this one is different. We headed for the fixed lines this morning under clear, sunny skies. The day turned into the nicest that Robby, Josh, or I have ever had on the West Buttress—warm and without a breathe of wind. Because the weather was so nice, the climbing conditions so perfect, and the group climbing so well, we decided to push all of the way to 17 Camp and leave our cache there. The climbing on the Buttress is some of the best of the entire route, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the huge views, interesting climbing, and the accomplishment of getting it done. It was a big day, just under 10 hours round trip, so everyone is knackered but elated, and we will more than likely sleep in and take a rest day tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

Looking up at the West Buttress on Mt. McKinley, AK from 14 Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Matt thanks to you and your team for all the updates.  This has been so exciting to follow you and your team Pete on your blog.  This is the day… read more

Posted by: marilyn collura on 5/29/2015 at 3:47 pm

Pete thanks for the updates, fun to follow along.  Brian, following along, hope to see a post that you made Camp 17 in the next day or so, best of… read more

Posted by: Oscar Berke on 5/29/2015 at 8:32 am


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Check out the Views from the Edge of the World

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 26, 2015 - 11:13 pm PT

We woke to a swirling cloud cap above, that left little doubt that it was unpleasant in the West Buttress. We decided to wait the day yet again and see what tomorrow brings. We did take advantage of a break in the clouds to walk to the “Edge of the World’, where Genet Basin drops almost 7,000 feet to the Northeast fork of the Kahiltna. The views from here are unsurpassed and everyone took turns being belayed out to the edge to snap photos. We’ll give another shot at caching on the buttress tomorrow. We’ll let you know how it goes.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard, and team

Looking out over the Edge of the World from 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Incredible photo!!, well done to all. Feels like you’ve been gone for a lot longer than 18 days renee, I’m sure it feels like a long time for you also… read more

Posted by: Leigh on 5/28/2015 at 3:52 am

Team PRJ… wow sounds like mother nature is flexing her muscles. Hope you are keeping warm and well fed… especially Renee. I miss you so much! Work is not the… read more

Posted by: Kathy on 5/27/2015 at 8:28 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Retrieve Cache, Ready for Carry

Posted by: Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard | May 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 26, 2015 - 12:17 am PT

Just like Johnny Cash said, “that train keeps a rollin’.” The winds were down, a cloud of sparkling ice crystals hung around, reflecting the sunlight and solar baking everything, and we returned to a dead calm Windy Corner to retrieve our cash. We are one step closer now with all of our food up here with us. The next step is to take a run at the fixed lines and cache some food in the West Buttress. To prepare, we spent the afternoon practicing with our ascenders and getting prepped for that potential carry tomorrow. Mac and cheese with bacon for dinner to fuel us tomorrow. We’ll hope to wake up with a green light to head up. For now, good night!

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

An RMI Team approaching 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Go Renee. Am waiting with bated breath to hear you’re at the summit. I hope it’s as awesome as the views do far. I think all of the VEC are… read more

Posted by: Glenda on 5/30/2015 at 12:46 am

Rennee you are doing not only us here at the VEC, but your family and more importantly yourself proud ! Everyone is 100% right behind you all the way my… read more

Posted by: Paul your GOD Webbyyyyy on 5/26/2015 at 8:23 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Hoping for Better Weather

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer | May 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 24, 2015 - 9:30 pm PT

The wind and snow continued through the night and into today. We spent the night listening to the roar of a freight train of wind above us on the West Buttress. The max gust through camp, according to the NPS weather station was 52 mph. That wind and snow put a few holes in our posh tent, and knocked over a few walls, so we spent the morning stitching up holes and rebuilding walls. Otherwise we fared pretty well through the blizzard. This afternoon things started to subside, and by evening the sun was showing, sparkling off of the small snowflakes that are hanging in the air. Our hope is that that trend will carry through tomorrow, and we’ll have the visibility to head back down and retrieve our cache from Windy Corner. Fingers crossed. The change in weather has also caused a change in the general mood of camp, and we’re listening to laughing, joking, jovial voices all over camp. We’ll let you know how things go tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard, Robby Young, and team

An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley fortifies snow walls and clears tents after new snow.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Hi Renee and team! I have my fingers and toes crossed for the weather to continue to improve - keep up the mac ‘n cheese consumption and look forward to… read more

Posted by: Anna on 5/26/2015 at 5:02 pm

Jon, guides and team,
Sorry to read that you were pounded by the wind and snow but glad that all of you are safe and survived the blizzard.  Hopefully… read more

Posted by: Kemai on 5/25/2015 at 9:55 pm


Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Waiting at 14,200 ft Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 24, 2015 - 9:32 am PT

Winter has come to Denali. We spent the night listening to snowflakes pelt the tent walls, interspersed with frequent tent shaking blasts of wind. As we stretched breakfast into a long brunch, the story didn’t change, so we decided to focus our energy on building up our walls a bit more and solidifying camp rather than going to get our cache. The evening brought stronger snow, and a fresh forecast of more snow tomorrow and wind, so we’ll see how the plan for tomorrow shakes out. From the wintry white north,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard, and team

A snowy camp at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Hey all you Elves in winter wonderland. Looks like Santa Claus back yard.  Looks like few teams set up their camp there too.
Hope to hear you can… read more

Posted by: Lori on 5/24/2015 at 3:42 pm

Glad Team Pete made it in time before the weather turn wintry good idea to stay put. Sorry to hear weather has not been cooperating hopefully it will be better… read more

Posted by: Terri on 5/24/2015 at 3:41 pm


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