Entries By leon davis
May 19, 2016
May 18, 2016 - 10:22 p.m. PDT
Hello all who may be reading!
A beautiful morning made for a pleasant exercise in breaking down our large camp and preparing our sleds for hauling up glacier. By 11:00 a.m. the team made their way down Heartbreak Hill to the main Kahiltna Glacier and upstream we paddled in snowshoes. Veering from the main trail we split off further west into a small basin tucked between a long black ridge and a peak known as Farine. We made camp on a high snow roll overlooking the Kahiltna to the south and it is a truly awesome sight. Tomorrow we will wake early for an attempt on the west ridge. Good luck and good night!
RMI Guide Leon Davis and Team
Hi Chip! We hope you’re having an amazing time and it’s been everything you hoped it would be. We’ve enjoyed seeing the pictures posted so far, but look forward to hearing all about it. Love you! Mom and Dad
Posted by: Chris Nunan on 5/20/2016 at 2:11 pm
We are so excited for you! I’m sure it is everything you have dreamed! We are all good at sea level…no worries!!! We miss you and can’t wait to see all the pictures and hear all the stories!
Posted by: Alexis, Izzy, and Logan Nunan on 5/20/2016 at 4:18 am
May 18, 2016
May 17, 2016 - 9:52 p.m. PDT
While we had hoped for sunny warm skies, we were delivered a snowy cloudy morning. After a nice pancake breakfast we set out to do some training in the area. Avalanche education and crack rescue took up our entire day and folks picked up the skills pretty quickly. The clouds lifted long enough for us to drop a few folks into the hole and let their teammates pull them out. That certainly was a comical and educational experience for the team. Just before dinner the temps dropped off significantly and it started to snow again. Seems to be a bit manic weather here at 7000’ but everyone is rolling with it in style. Tomorrow we hope to move up glacier for some exploring.
RMI Guide Leon Davis & Team
May 17, 2016
May 16, 2016 - 3:07 p.m. PDT
Despite a bleak forecast we woke to sunny blue skies today. This morning the team ventured further up the SE fork for some glacier travel and exploring around Radio Tower. While Base Camp below was busy with planes dropping off more climbers we enjoyed a birds eye view of the lower Kahiltna, and a direct view of the north buttress of hunter. The air was hot and surrounding slopes reacted with constant wet slides and rockfall. Returning to camp was a sweltering affair, all of us sun baked by the relentless sun. Tomorrow we will stick around the area for some more skills training. We are still hoping for more of those sunny skies.
RMI Guide Leon Davis & Team
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May 16, 2016
May 15, 2016 - 9:39 pm
Greetings from base camp,
This morning we were not greeted with the sunny cloudless skies, but a low cloud ceiling. The precipitation fell as snow but behaved like rain once on the ground. That did not stop us from fortifying camp with snow walls which the team dispatched of quickly. It’s a fast hard working crew we have here. A few folks ran some crevasse rescue drills in the fog while the rest of the team did some training around camp. Tomorrow we plan to explore the southeast fork and try to climb something while getting some real field immersion training. Rain or shine we will be getting some real Alaskan expedition training in. That’s a goodnight from us here in midnight sun country.
RMI Guides Leon Davis, Mike King & Megan Budge
May 15, 2016
Saturday, May 14, 2016 - 11:47 p.m. PDT
Good evening friends and family!
Today our Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition flew onto the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier in unseasonably warm temperatures. Talkeetna is experiencing temperatures that are 20 degrees above average and it’s hard to wait around dressed in climbing clothes. But things are all good here in the mountains. The Cliff Hudson Fly In was going on in Talkeetna today so we were able to experience various aircraft showing off their abilities in honor of the late bush pilot Cliff Hudson. It was very exciting to share the same airport with old WWII planes and newest bush planes. Stay tuned for more seminar stories…
RMI Guide Leon Davis and team
On The Map
It sounds like your adventure is off to an exciting start - with an air show timed for your first expedition day. We hope every day is this enjoyable and exciting - and each day stays unseasonably warm.
Look forward to more news as your team ascends.
Thanks to Leon, Mike and Megan for helping us stay in touch.
Much love xo Mom & Dad
Posted by: Sue and Bob Lawley on 5/15/2016 at 2:52 pm
May 10, 2016
Monday, May 9, 2016 - 10:37 p.m. PDT
Today was our last full day on the lower slopes of Denali and it was a beautiful one. We had hopes to give Kahiltna Dome another shot but the weather remains the same with snow and low visibility. So we packed camp and made our way down the Kahiltna Glacier towards base camp. We passed a few teams on their way up, slowly moving under their heavy loads and exchanged the customary greetings. We had the nine mile trek down glacier almost all to ourselves and the silence was sublime! Things are quiet here on the lower Kahiltna as no team has flown on in a few days. It is indeed a rare day to have such silence and solitude, without the drone of the planes that regularly come and go. It has been a great trip with a great crew and many are counting the days until their return to give Denali a try.
RMI Guides Leon Davis and Mike King
On The Map
May 9, 2016
Sunday, May 8, 2016 - 9:39 p.m. PDT
Today the team learned that not everyday can be blue skies filled with unicorns. We woke early this morning, fighting the temptation to stay in our warm cocoons, to a complete whiteout. Everything that came in contact with the atmosphere grew a layer of frost overnight and we could barely see more than 10 feet in front of us. But we brewed up, ate a quick breakfast, and began the waiting game. We would need full VFR (visual flight rule) conditions to venture onto Kahiltna Dome but alas the weather never improved. After some tent time the team went out to investigate some ice fall debris fallen from the east face for some classroom sessions. The biggest block, close to the size of a two-car garage, provided some fun ice climbing routes. We hope to wake up tomorrow to better weather in hopes of giving the Dome one last shot before heading back down stream.
Goodnight from the great white north!
RMI Guides Leon Davis and Mike King and team
Aagh shame, Rogan, but you might as well experience the good as well as the bad. Pity you missed the unicorns . At least you have team leaders who can make the best of the weather to teach you other things in the classroom sessions. Just keep happy and warm.
Lots of love and hugs, mom xx
Posted by: Daphne Carew on 5/10/2016 at 2:09 am
Hi Dave - Hope all is well and the white out is over. Keep staying safe!
Love Cathy and Nick
Posted by: Cathy Grotjahn on 5/9/2016 at 2:25 pm
May 7, 2016
May 7, 2016 - 8:31 pm PT
Good evening everyone,
The team is hunkered down here at 9,600’ camp near the base of the east face of Kahiltna dome. It was a fine warm day to drag our loads out of 7600’ camp and set ourselves up for an attempt on the dome tomorrow morning. Lots of snow here off the beaten track so we are going to have some work to venture up the east face. Our team of four paired themselves down to one tent in order to lighten the load and sleep a bit warmer at night. Early to bed for us and an early rise in the morning. Hope everyone at home is warm and comfortable.
RMI Guides Leon Davis & Mike King
We are following you. Looking for photos. It really looks beautiful on the mountain. Way to cold for me. It’s 83 here in GA.
Stay safe. Keep warm. Can’t wait to hear about your trip.
Lori and Chuck.
Posted by: Lori Pesta on 5/8/2016 at 3:38 pm
Adelle van zyl..hi there. Happy mothers day..may you have at least another one. Have a piece of cake and coffee up there. Everything us cool here but not as cool as Dinali. Looking for “selfies” of you and your old mountain friend or at least a spare Eskimo that you might run into on the mountain. Live you lots. Love from the Mornay family and Jaco family who are with Rina at the momeny.
Posted by: Mornay on 5/8/2016 at 1:18 am
Friday, May 6, 2016 - 9:40 p.m. PDT
We held our breath this morning peering outside the vestibule, expecting to see a foot of snow and nothing else. Instead we found an inch of new snow and a cloudy glacier with low visibility. We enjoyed a pancake breakfast and packed as much gear as we could without taking the tents down. By late morning the cloud ceiling rose just high enough for us to see and that was good enough. By one o’clock we we walking down Heartbreak Hill with enough supplies to last four days. It was a beautiful quiet walk up the main flow of the Kahiltna and by 4:30 we were at the base of Ski Hill making camp next to Mike Walter’s Denali team and a group of soldiers. Our crew is strong and looking forward to moving camp tomorrow to 10,000 ft, provided we can double down on our bet that the weather forecast will prove wrong one more time.
May 6, 2016
Today the seminar team had a fine time learning and drilling crevasse rescue techniques. Colder today than the previous few, we bundled up and traveled a few minutes from camp to a nice staging area above a deep blue hole. The team first drilled pulling a snow-filled duffel out before practicing with a live load. Everyone got the opportunity to experience the inside of a crevasse as well as pulling a teammate out of one. Clouds are starting to build over Foraker as a southwest flow moves it’s way into our area and by late morning, silence filled the arena that hummed with the activity of planes flying into Basecamp. Before dinner we rigged our sleds and packed some gear for our anticipated move from BC and up the Kahiltna glacier tomorrow. An early and quiet goodnight from the expedition skills seminar.
On The Map
So proud of you Justin Nezda. Sounds like you’re getting the complete cold Alaska experience. Sending you good thoughts and wish you luck on the upcoming challenges. Can’t wait to hear all about when you come home. Love you, Erin
Posted by: Erin on 5/6/2016 at 8:56 am