Entries By jt schmitt
July 19, 2018
At the end of this past April, eleven RMI guides came together in Washington to take the AMGA Alpine Skills Course, a prerequisite for the Alpine Guide Course, and a great continuing education opportunity for all of us to remain at the forefront of current guiding techniques. After a winter of far-flung adventures, Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, Alan Davis, and myself converged on Ashford. These courses are an important chance for us to refresh our skillset and learn some new tricks from our peers and the instructors from the AMGA.
Over the course of 5 days at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park, and on Mt. Erie, outside Anacortes, WA, we reviewed snow anchor construction and multi-pitch techniques for snowy environments, belaying and lowering techniques, short roping and short pitching, and anchor station management. Success in our guiding often lies in not only being able to utilize a number of techniques to manage risk, but in being able to maintain efficiency and timeliness at the same time. As we worked through different transitions, techniques, and scenarios with our peers, we all walked away with a few new tools in our bag and I’m convinced will be better guides for it.
This was a fantastic event for the eleven of us, and many thanks go out to RMI and the AMGA for putting it on. Congrats to Dave Hahn, Andy Bond, Mike King, Jenny Konway, Grayson Swingle, Hannah Smith, Gloria Roe, Nick Scott, JT Schmitt, and Alan Davis for completing the course!
June 25, 2018
Monday June 25, 2018 - 2:11 PM PT
We woke at midnight for a 1:35 AM start down from 11K camp. What originally looked like a cloudy day in whiteout navigation mode turned into a beautiful clear morning with alpine glow on Mt Foraker’s Sultanna Ridge. We took some breaks, dug up a cache, and finally walked up ‘heart break hill’ to finish the self propelled portion of our expedition. We waited for 3 hours plus for the weather to clear between the Alaska Range and Talkeetna. Finally, K2 Aviation swooped in with the stunning Turbo Otter ski planes to whisk us back to a rainy Talkeetna. Food, beverages, showers, and sleep are in order… for some of us, in that exact order. Thanks for following along and what a great team to climb Denali with!
On The Map
June 25, 2018
Monday, June 25, 2018 - 12:14 AM PT
This is Mike, checking in from 11,000’ Camp as the team continues their descent to the airstrip. We woke at 17,000’ Camp this morning after a long summit day. The team packed up and headed down the West Buttress with spectacular views of the Alaska Range. Once on the fixed lines we baking in the mid day sun and were looking forward to getting our cache sorted and headed to 11,000 Camp for some dinner and rest. We got water and high fives from the other RMI Teams and turned in for some rest, not sleep. We’ll plan on hitting the road at 2 am in hopes of getting an early flight to Talkeetna. The weather isn’t promising so an extra night or 2 at the airstrip might be in our future.
Congratulations on your successful climb and descent…..... Lot’s of good memories, pretty pictures and the satisfaction of a job well done….......My granddtr and her husband are with the Hauger team, Lindsay and Matt…
Posted by: Barbara Jones on 6/25/2018 at 8:42 pm
Mike, congratulations to the team. We know everyone is anxious to Talkeetna. Hopefully, you will get some rest before meeting us in Colorado. Mom and Dad.
Posted by: Ron King on 6/25/2018 at 8:46 am
June 23, 2018
RMI Guide Mike King and his team reached the summit of Denali, 20,310’ today around 6:35 PM PT. Their June 4th Expedition met in Anchorage and has spent the last several weeks, acclimatizing, climbing and waiting out the weather. Their patience and perseverance paid off today.
Congratulations to the team!
On The Map
Great work from the whole team.
Special shout out to Ben Ammon.
Posted by: Kevin Pilloud on 6/25/2018 at 7:45 am
Awesome work to the whole team!! We have done our best to follow the hike and send good vibes to Alex and the team. Make it back safe so we can hear about the adventure ~ Matt & Malin
Posted by: Matthew A Lewis on 6/24/2018 at 6:53 pm
June 22, 2018
Friday, June 22, 2018 - 7:45 pm PT
It’s been a Tale of Two Camps, either the Camp all sits together or they rally up the same piece of terrain at the same time. We were second on the fixed lines and after an initial moment of flailing we got to 16,200’ for a break. The remainder of the day had us climbing the West Buttress into 17 camp with amazing views of the Peters Glacier and North Summit of Denali. Light wind made some of the exposed ridge sections feel more exposed. Today was a good lesson in keeping toes and fingers warm because we didn’t set any records for the 14-17 leg. Everyone is nestled in their tents drying out boots and gloves. Dinner, hydration, sleep and hopefully we’ll be heading for the summit on Saturday.
On The Map
June 22, 2018
Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 10:04 PM PT
Yup, just another weather day here at 14,000’ Camp on Denali. Snow and calm air the entire day. Breakfast was ate, coffee drank and cards played throughout the day in the Posh. We were hopeful this low pressure system was breaking up tomorrow. Instead it looks to be a Saturday to Monday window. We’ll wake up at 5 am and check the weather. Fingers crossed we can get to 17 camp and be on the summit Saturday.
On The Map
Wishing clear skies boys! All the best, Yeagers
Posted by: Dave Yeager on 6/22/2018 at 7:16 pm
Woo hoo! Looks like you may get a break in the weather soon? No recent JT type 2 adventures to report.. Thinking of all you guys on the homestretch! Hopefully you’ll be on that summit soon. Hugs!
Posted by: Madeline Emmer on 6/22/2018 at 1:18 pm
June 20, 2018
Wednesday, June 20th - 8:18 pm PT
We woke to clouds and snow at 14K Camp today. We were hoping for clear weather to make a carry to 17K Camp; unfortunately, the winds up high prevented us from getting on the fixed lines. We eventually went for a walk up towards 15,000’ to stretch our legs and lungs. The Team got a spectacular view of Genet Basin and the lower Kahiltna Glacier. We are back in camp now and continue to hang out at 14K. The forecast has been accurate for 17K and above but not so for 14K Camp. We’ll need to see decreasing winds up high to make our move and if we don’t get that in a few days the only option will be to descend.
Robby and Team—
Crossing my fingers for clear skies and a lull in the wind so you can keep moving up that mountain!
Rob, even in remote Alaska at 14,000’ , you made my birthday so special. Thank you <3
Posted by: Sharon Del Vecchio on 6/21/2018 at 6:40 pm
June 18, 2018
Monday, June 18, 2018 - 1:27 PM PT
Listening to the wind run down the West Buttress sounds like a never ending wave crashing against a rocky shore. The snow is drifting 3-4 feet in places thanks to the 30 mph wind gusts. This is an actual weather day, the previous four have just been a warm up. The forecast is for more of the same. We continue to hang out in our tents and later today there is going to be a food swap so the team can get some different snack food choices.
On The Map
Praying the weather eases up.. I can only try to imagine what its like… You guys are amazing! Hang in there! Sending special love to JT.
Posted by: Wendy Emmer on 6/20/2018 at 6:43 am
Doing our clear skies weather dance for y’all!
We are rooting for you and keeping tabs everyday!! A big thank you to Mike for the updates.
Posted by: Elisabeth Yeager on 6/20/2018 at 4:51 am
June 17, 2018
Sunday, June 17th - 5:53 pm PT
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads following along. The storm broke by mid day with views of the wind blown West Buttress. The Team spent some time walking around camp and getting to know some of the other groups at 14K Camp. We’ve been eating good, getting plenty of sleep and are all eagerly awaiting a window to climb to 17K Camp. The forecast is 5-6 mores days of high winds above and snow down here in Genet Basin. Books are being swapped and audio books Airdropped. That’s all from 14 for now.
On The Map
David: Hope you and team had a safe and warm(ish) Father’s Day, daddy! We’ll get ice cream as soon as you get back to celebrate O:) Love you! ~Theresa
Posted by: Theresa Smalley on 6/18/2018 at 9:50 am
Glad to hear you are comfortable and becoming well read. Know Scott’s mom is breathing easier as you aren’t climbing in the wind. Wishes for calm winds and blue skies…good climbing when the weather is right.
Posted by: Glenda Bemis on 6/18/2018 at 6:54 am
June 16, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 2:22 PM PT
We had a foot of snow with enough wind to drift upwards of 3 feet in most places. We spent the morning relocating our posh due to being buried and partially collapsed. The team is putting the finishing touches on a toilet cave so they can see a man about a horse without getting a spin drift bidet in the process. Other then maintaining camp we’ll eat, nap, shovel and repeat until the storm passes. Moral is still good and we are hopeful that a clearing will arrive early next week. The wind loaded slopes will pose an avalanche hazard so we’ll need a few days minimum to settle the slopes leading to the fixed lines. That’s all from 14 Camp.
On The Map
Hi dad! Happy fathers day!! I hope your day is amazing. we miss you. Please bring me back a moose! Love you!
Posted by: Adleigh Faulkenburg on 6/17/2018 at 2:02 pm
Hi dad!!! Happy father’s day! Please don’t get eaten by a bear.
Posted by: Teagan Faulkenburg on 6/17/2018 at 1:58 pm