Entries By josh maggard

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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Mt. McKinley Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Have Decision Day

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | June 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

June 2, 2014 - 11:16 pm PT

With things looking up for us, we got up early and packed camp this morning. With full packs and a lot of excitement to be moving again, we headed once more up towards the head wall and the fixed lines. We were not by any means the only group with this idea though and a train formed pretty quickly. As we worked our way up the lines in traffic the wind started to pick up, at first just occasional gusts that swirled through the basin, then becoming steadier, stronger, and carrying snow with them. By the time we reached the col at 16,200’ conditions had deteriorated significantly. It was a frustrating decision, but this was the type of weather that was too much for us to continue on in, and we decided quickly to turn back down the fixed lines to 14,000’ camp, out of the winds.

Once camp was reset, we had a tough team meeting over dinner. We’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and sacrifice into this endeavor, both on the mountain and all of the preparation and training, but we’ve been here for a long time, and it’s time to think about heading down. Everyone agreed that tomorrow, we will pack camp again, but this time will turn our boots downhill and head for the airstrip, home, and families. The team has worked so hard, and come together so well, and it’s a disappointment for all, but with any luck we’ll be at the airstrip tomorrow, and fly in the evening or next morning.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see everybody soon.

Best,
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

Ascending Mt. McKinley via the West Buttress above 14,000 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Looking to Tomorrow

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | June 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Sunday, June 1, 2014 11:34 pm PT

The best laid plans are always subject to change. Our first view out of the tent this morning was of blue sky, but when we turned our gaze towards the summit, we found a large lenticular cloud spinning over the mountain, with jets of snow shooting up into the sky. Needless to say, we spent another day in camp. Our prospects look good for tomorrow, with a favorable forecast of high pressure for the next several days. We’ve said this before, and some are wondering how much longer we can wait; the team made the decision today that Tuesday would be our definitive up/down day.  On the plus side, a slew of independent climbers made the jump to 17,000’ today despite the winds, so that should alleviate some of the congestion tomorrow.

We redecorated our posh tent today with a sun painted in Gatorade, a hockey player’s face (looking towards the Stanley Cup), and the quote “we’re doin’ it”. Spirits are still high despite the waiting, and we have a lot of hope that tomorrow will deliver for us. For now: off to bed to rest up for the fixed lines and West Buttress tomorrow!

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

An RMI team's posh tent at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley, Alaska: Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Hoping for a Move to 17K Tomorrow

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | June 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 31, 2014 - 11:23 pm PT

The weather slowly cleared over the course of today. We woke to heavy snowfall, but calm winds, and the snow slowly eased through the day, clearing enough by the time we headed to the tents this evening to show blue sky over the West Buttress. The anticipation and excitement in the cook tent this evening was obvious, as we do plan to try to make the next jump tomorrow, climbing to 17k camp tomorrow. If all goes well, the next few days will be big, and will go by in a whirlwind. We’ll keep you all updated on our progress, and wish us luck!

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

Mt. McKinley's 14K Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team in One More Weather Day

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 30, 2014 - 10:54 pm PT

Ground hog day of a sort here, though not really. We spent another day sitting, listening to what sounds like a freight train above us: the wind blowing over the Buttress.  Mid day though, the wind direction shifted, and 14 camp went from being a place of relative calm, to getting intermittent gusts of wind to 30 mph or so, enough to move a lot of snow around. At the same time the snowfall intensity increased, so that it finally feels like we are sitting in some real weather in Alaska. A number of skiers around camp took the opportunity to make some nice powder turns, making us all jealous. With all of that, we are still optimistic about our window in the next day or two, and so spirits are high. Once this system blows itself out, it will be off to the races for us, hopefully as soon as tomorrow. We’ll let you know how it goes!

Best,
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

Views from Mt. McKinley's 14,000' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team and 14K Camp Life

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 29, 2014 - 7:22 pm PT

Today has been more of the same from the last few days: snow, some light winds, and evidence of strong winds up high. As the weather continues to stall groups here at 14K camp, more and more groups have arrived to join the community. When we arrived, 14K Camp resembled a tiny village of tents and snow walls, but sprawl has taken over and camp looks more like a city everyday. As the population grows, so does the sense of community, since everyone is dealing with the same problems. When they announce the weather over the radio at 8 pm, small clusters of climbers come together across camp to listen and discuss afterwards. As you walk through camp, the weather is on everyone’s tongue; what is it going to do tomorrow, when will the window come, and what is causing this pattern is discussed a hundred times a day. A small barter market of food, toilet paper, and entertainment has sprung up. It feels like a small emptiness opens every time a team runs out of days and has to head back downhill, but their space (both physical and psychological) is quickly filled by the arrival of a new group. All of this helps to keep us patient and sane as we wait. Tomorrow will likely be a continuation of this trend, but the awaited window does seem to be showing itself in the forecasts, so the end may be in sight!

Best,
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, and Josh

Mt. McKinley's 14K Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Comfortable at 14,000’

Posted by: Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard | May 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 28, 2014 - 11:25 pm PT

We weren’t surprised to wake up to more snow and evidence of winds up high today. It’s part of the process, and it took the team one glance up to the Buttress to know that we’d be sitting in camp again today. To combat the sitting, we made a checkers/ chess board, with jolly ranches and butterscotch for checkers, and Robby’s artistic renditions for chess pieces. The forecast we got tonight looks like it may be another few days before we get our window, but spirits are high, and we’re very comfortable here at 14 until that time comes. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the shift in weather we’re looking for.

We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

A panoramic view of life at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Billy Nugent

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Get a Brisk Dose of Winter

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 27, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 27, 2014 - 10:34 pm PT

Greetings!

The team awoke this morning at Denali’s 14K camp to a brisk dose of winter. A few inches of snow fell overnight and winds were blustery and it was apparent another weather / rest day was in order. The team enjoyed a casual breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and our go-to guilty pleasure, bacon.  Regretfully, we said goodbye this morning to our friends Mike Walter and team as they began the journey home after spending the last few days enjoying their company here at 14K camp.  We are in great position for a bid for the summit as soon as the weather allows, and we are anxiously awaiting our opportunity. Until then, hope all is well and thanks for following!

RMI Guides Robby, Pete, Josh and Team

Mt. Foraker from Mt. McKinley's 14,200' Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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