Entries By leon davis
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
May 5, 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 10:29 p.m PDT
Today the team went out to stretch their legs and explore the various corners of the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. We left camp early in the cold, biting air of morning and made our way up to a basin on the north side of the Radio Tower. Recent snow made for a lot of trail breaking to gain the north ridge. After crossing the bergschrund, we found the ridge to be very steep, firm underfoot, and very exposed. Our options were limited with the gear we had and the nature of the potential consequences. So we made the summit ridge our high point and descended to set up some fixed line work and anchor building. The team is in good spirits, eager to learn, and attentive to their well being. Tomorrow we explore the inside of a crevasse to see how deep the rabbit hole really goes.
On The Map
May 4, 2016
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 9:31 p.m.
This morning we woke up to a few inches of light snow and little visibility. Our goal today was to fortify camp with walls cut from snow and our team worked fast together. By early afternoon the sun cast a blue light down glacier and the north buttress of Hunter made itself present with its steep rock and ice. The team finished by 1300 and relaxed for a short while under a warm sun. Before dinner we sat together to review some knots and hitches and prepare for a climb up Radio Tower tomorrow morning. Every once in a while I catch the team standing quietly, shovels in hand, pausing to take in the surrounding splendor before returning to their work. All is very well here in our snowy castle.
May 3, 2016
Monday, May 2, 2016 - 10:03 p.m.
Greetings Blog Followers!
Our first Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition is doing fine at Kahiltna Base Camp! Our morning in Talkeetna, AK was anything but slow and leisurely as we performed many logistic moves in order to get ahead of the changing weather forecast. We made it onto K2 Aviation’s Otters by noon and made camp quickly in great weather. Despite being thrust into action on a compressed time schedule, the team worked very well together displaying great work ethic and sense if humor. It’s 9:00 p.m and we are all warm and happy in tents looking forward to fortifying camp tomorrow.
Good night friends and family from the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier; we’ll check in again tomorrow.
RMI Guides Leon Davis and Mike King
On The Map
September 20, 2015
Posted by: Leon Davis
The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Leon Davis reached the top of Disappointment Cleaver on Mt. Rainier before route conditions forced the team to descend. Leon and the team descended back to Camp Muir to rest and pack up. At 8:45 am the team left Camp Muir to begin their descent to Paradise. We look forward to seeing them in Ashford this afternoon.
I am so disappointed for you. Sorry after all the hard work and attempts that you were not able to stand on the top.
Posted by: Rick on 9/20/2015 at 12:59 pm
September 12, 2015
Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!