Entries By josh maggard

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Set Up Camp at 14,200’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Friday, May 22nd 5:52 pm PDT

The day dawned (that is, the sun rose since it’s always some shade of dawn or dusk but never night) with blue skies and calm air in camp, so we hit the rally button, gobbled breakfast and set about breaking camp to head to 14,200 ft. As we climbed, clouds started to appear and stream over our heads and we knew that winds were building. Windy Corner lived up to its name, but it was really only unpleasant for a short while, with wind whipping snow and ice pellets into our face. As soon as we passed the Windy Corner, the winds died and the oven turned on. It’s a long move to 14k Camp, and once we arrived the work wasn’t over. We set about building walls, a new kitchen, and getting everything bomb proofed. Now we’re settled into our new digs, happy, warm, and content. 14k Camp really is the cat’s meow. Tomorrow we’ll retrieve our cache, and it will be great to be fully settled.

Until then,
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK surrounded by fortified walls. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Take A Weather Day at 11,200’

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 21, 2015 - 11:31 pm PT

Mt. McKinley made it abundantly clear today that we were welcome to stay in the tents, but were not welcome to move higher. Big snow plumes above us and swirling clouds, snow, and wind in camp made the decision to rest for the day easy. We passed the time with a long brunch, some tent time, and another long dinner session hanging out in the posh. This evening our visibility improved, the sun shone through, and the winds diminished, so we’re hopeful that we’ll take a take two tomorrow and head up to 14,000’. Keep your finger crossed for us.

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

An RMI Team taking a weather day at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Carry to Windy Corner

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Wednesday, May 20th 6:11 pm PDT

Our day was productive, if not easy. This morning the winds had abated, though not gone, and we seized our opportunity to make some headway. We swapped snowshoes for crampons, packed loads of food and fuel, and roped up for the climb to Windy Corner. The winds, not nearly as strong as yesterday, were nonetheless a bit blustery as we climbed and added a bit of extra challenge to the day, and everyone rose to that challenge. We made it to Windy Corner and cached our loads as the wind seemed to pick up a bit. We scooted back downhill to the comfort of our tents, and tucked in. By mid-afternoon, the winds returned to 11k Camp and brought snow with them. We’ll see how the current pattern progresses, and in the morning we’ll find out if the weather will allow us to move up, or whether we’ll extend out stay at 11,200’ for another day. For now we’re snug in our beds.


RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and Team

An RMI team ascending Motorcycle Hill with 11k Camp of Mt. McKinley, AK in the background. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Take a Rest Day at 11,200’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard, Robby Young | May 20, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 20, 2015 - 12:07 am PT

We wanted to get up to 13,500’ to cache today, but the weather had other plans. Clouds and snow were moving quickly over the Polo Field and West Buttress above us, and gave us all the clues we needed to guess what would be going on at Windy Corner. After watching the trend for a couple of hours and not seeing any improvement, we decided to sit tight and take a tent day. Sure enough, around noon the wind direction shifted and brought strong, gusty winds to camp, along with a fair bit of snow. The team did the tent time triathlon, competing in three events: napping (best napping and longest), spades, and sport eating lunch food. By dinner, the clouds above us started to break and the sun peaked through. We’ve got 6 inches of nice new fluffy snow, and the view as we crawled into our sleeping bags was sparkly and beautiful. We’ll add some more sleep hours, and hope that we wake up to conducive conditions for getting our cache in tomorrow!

RMI Guides Pete, Josh, Robby, and team

An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Rob Lindner

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Rest at 11,000’ Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 19, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 19, 2015 - 12:39 am PT

We woke to the sound of the mob leaving 11,000’ Camp to move to 14,000’. Winds have prevented teams from moving up for several days, and so 11 has become a bit of a bottle neck. Happy to be tucked into warm sleeping bags and without a camp to move today, we kept dozing until the sun hit our tents. With the warmth, we smashed out a smoked salmon and bagel breakfast, and donned empty packs to retrieve the food and fuel that we cached yesterday. Back in time for an afternoon siesta, we spent some more time horizontal, and then did a quick review of our crampon and ice ax skills. A story filled dinner stretched into the night and now it’s time to get some shut eye. We got the blog comments that you all posted today and read them over dinner. Many thanks. Tomorrow we’ll hopefully boost some food and fuel up higher to windy corner to set us up for a move to 14,000’. Good night to all. We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

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

Camp at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Make a Move

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 17, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,500'

We woke to sunny skies, and the forecasted winds didn’t arrive down low where we were. After bagel, cream cheese, and bacon filled breakfast sandwiches we crashed our camp, loaded our sleds (more and more team members are naming their sleds each day - the better to curse them by), and started the climb up Ski Hill. The steeper terrain with all of the weight of our gear was a big effort, different from yesterday’s long miles with little elevation change, but the team handled it really well, and pulled into a cozy camp at 9500’ this evening. A big meal of Mac and cheese fortified with bacon put everyone into food comas, and were crawling into the sacks for the night. Tomorrow, we plan to move to 11k to really start the process of acclimating. That’s all the news from here. We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team.

View from Ski Hill on Mt. McKinley.  RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Fly on and Set Up Camp

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer | May 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,600'

May 16, 2015 1:09 am PT

Hi all,

While yesterday became a waiting game that ultimately left us sleeping in town for another night, this morning was sunny and blue, and immediately after breakfast, we loaded the planes and were off! The flight in was spectacular with great views of the range. After a couple hours of sorting loads, packing, and rigging, we walked out of base camp and on to the lower Kahiltna. We made great time, and now we are snugly tucked into camp after an eventful day. Time to catch some Zzzz. We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

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

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Mt. McKinley: Pete Van Deventer & Team Kahiltna Bound!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Yesterday we spent the whole day on hold here in Talkeetna. Today is a new day. This morning’s skies are clear and we’re loading up to go! We are off to climb Mount McKinley!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

The May 12th McKinley Expedition boarding the plane bound for Kahiltna Base! Photo: Pete Van Deventer

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Mt. McKinley: Pete Van Deventer & Team are Rigged & Ready to Roll

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

Our team is assembled, or bags are packed, and we are ready to climb onboard the airplanes and take off! We spent today going through all of our gear, packing and repacking our bags, and sorting lunch food. With all of the details dialed in, we’re going to eat what is hopefully our last dinner in town for a few weeks, and catch some zzz’s. Tomorrow with any luck, we’ll board the planes first thing for one of the highlights of the trip: the stunning flight into Kahiltna Base Camp. We’ll be in touch!

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

The May 12th Denali Expedition at the NPS meeting. Photo: Josh Maggard The May 12th Denali team stroll through downtown Talkeetna, Alaska. Photo: Josh Maggard Pete Van Deventer and team checking gear prior to flying onto Mt. McKinley. Photo: Josh Maggard

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Wishing you good weather. Safe travel to Renee and her fellow climbers.  From Lou and all in Election Services Team

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Posted by: Louise on 5/14/2015 at 2:47 pm

Good luck to all…. from Melbourne Australia - Especially Renee! We are with you 100%.... so proud of you… best wishes xxxx

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Posted by: Kathy on 5/14/2015 at 2:43 pm


Mt. Rainier: June 14th SUMMIT!

Posted by: Lindsay Mann, Josh Maggard, Ben Liken, Katrina Bloemsma, JJ Justman | June 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb Teams Led by JJ Justman and Lindsay Mann reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  The teams reported great climbing conditions with winds of about 5 - 15 mph as they climbed above the clouds.  The teams will spend some time on the summit before starting their descent back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to Today’s Teams!

The June 14th Summit Climb Team at Sunrise on Mt. Rainier.  Photo: JJ Justman
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