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Entries By mike haugen

June 23, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Gear Up for Move to High Camp

June 22, 2015 11:30 pm PST

We spent what is hopefully our last day at 14,000 feet resting and getting geared up to move to our High Camp at 17,000 feet. It started out very sunny, but soon the clouds climbed up and whited us out. The clouds gave us a dusting of snow as well as some reprieve from the brutal solar radiation that can come with the sunny skies high on a mountain. The weather is looking good for us to move up and make a push to the top over the next couple of days. Wish us luck and do your good weather jigs for us.

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Doug -Thinking of you Bro and following the progress closely. Sending all our good energy here to you and the team. Go get it! —Don

Posted by: Don Watson on 6/24/2015 at 7:35 am

Good luck to the whole team! Doing the good weather dance and sending good vibes across the miles to all of you. Judi

Posted by: Judi on 6/23/2015 at 2:28 pm

June 22, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt.McKinley: Haugen & Team Cache Above the Fixed Lines

June 21, 2015 11:09pm PST

Our alarms woke us up early to a beautifully clear, but cold, morning. We had breakfast and set out around 5 a.m. to cache some gear up higher on the mountain. The route above 14,000 camp becomes very steep and we use fixed lines the gain the West Buttress at 16,200’. When we got to the top of the fixed lines, our El Siete crew had not had enough. We decided to do some more climbing and bury our cache below a huge rock feature called Washburn’s Thumb at 16,500 feet. Although we had to do some delicate passing of some upward teams on our way down, we made it back to camp in good time. We are taking a rest day tomorrow and then hopefully moving up to high camp the following day. That is all weather dependent of course!

Mike Haugen and RMI Team 7 “El Siete”

Thanks for your postings, it’s impressing what you achieve up there in that beautiful mountains. And Erlend; it was so nice to speak with you this morning, made my day and the rest of the time you are away.I called your mother and Lorents, they were so glad to hear that everything is OK with you,Fredrik and the whole team. Robin came today,he’s in good mood and I think he will be staying for some time :)Wish you the best for the days that are coming,you are all fighters up there it seems :) Love you E. Hugs and kisses, Hilde

Posted by: Hilde Hestflått on 6/22/2015 at 2:04 pm

It is amazing that you had the strength to continue even past the expected drop zone. You are mountain warriors for sure! Talked to Doug last night and it was so good to hear from him!! We are very excited for his adventure up Denali.

Posted by: Chris on 6/22/2015 at 1:10 pm

June 21, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen and Team Rest at 14,000’ Camp

June 20, 2015 10:01 pm PT

It started snowing when we went to bed last night and it did not stop until we woke up this morning. We have made such good time so far, so we decided to take a weather/rest day today. It turned out to be a great decision since it turned into a whiteout and began snowing again by midday. We made a half day out of making breakfast quesadillas and hanging out in the cook tent. I am not really sure where the rest of the day went! We are sitting in the sun as of dinner, so I expect we will be able execute our cache plan tomorrow. 

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

We love the blog updates! Happy Father’s Day to Matt Krull. We miss you buddy and we’re sure your family does as well. Keep up the great work and we look forward to seeing pictures of you on top of the highest mountain peak in North America!

Posted by: Scott & Scott on 6/22/2015 at 9:28 am

Sounds like it’s been smooth sailing so far! I’m giving updates all the time, thanks for the blog. No snow in the Midwest—hot first day of summer, and the corn is as tall as I am! Tell Brian I planted more, weeded the garden, and gave the critters all some love. You’ve got fans in Iowa, Texas, Hawaii, Japan—you are all in our thoughts. Judi

Posted by: Judi on 6/21/2015 at 7:00 pm

June 19, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Rest Day at 14K Camp

Friday June 19th 11:15 pm PT

After a much needed full night of sleep, we woke up to sunny, perfect weather. The Uchal-Dee power duo made us some delicious pancakes for breakfast. We did some training for our next adventure on the fixed lines that we will find on the steep slopes that lead us up to our next camp. The rest of the day was spent enjoying the great weather. We are going to bed with a light snow showering down on our tent. Our plan is to try to carry some gear up towards 17k camp...if it clears that is.

RMI Guide Mike Haugen


Please tell my dad “Happy Father’s Day” from his family. We love him and are thoughts and prayers are with him.

We can’t wait to hear the stories…

Thanks for your posts.


Posted by: Josh on 6/20/2015 at 11:52 pm

  Beautiful pictures! I am glad the blueberry pancakes materialized for the hungry gents. Hope the weather holds for you guys. We are at our cabin on the lake riding our ATV’s and fishing in the lake for Father’s Day weekend. Our adventures are much more mild. Enjoy your Father’s Day adventure tomorrow, Doug, and we will enjoy ours.

Posted by: Chris on 6/20/2015 at 4:47 pm

June 18, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Move into 14K Camp

Thursday June 18th 10:15 pm PT

Today was another early wake up, and then we broke camp and retraced our steps back up to 14K Camp. Everyone did great with the move, and the name of the game for the rest of the day was beating the heat around camp, moving in and mentally preparing for a much deserved day of rest tomorrow. The word on the street is blueberry pancakes could be involved.

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Thanks for the posts.  They are great.  Go Aaron, we are praying for you and for good weather.  Thanks to the entire team!

Bob / Dad

Posted by: Bob Telford on 6/19/2015 at 6:51 pm

It’s so nice to reed that the whole team are doing good!:) All the best wishes for Erlend and Fredrik and everyone > you’ll make it. Erlend: :)(Robin is ok,  and Charlie didn’t do anything wrong since you left, I am cleaning the whole house this weekend and I’m not going out,can’t wait till you are back. Stay safe <3 Love you, h,  Trondheim, Norway

Posted by: Hilde on 6/19/2015 at 3:01 pm

June 18, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Full Day of Cache Day

Wednesday June 17th 10:00 pm PT

We feel like we are finally on the mountain. We woke up early and left camp around 4:30 to cache some gear at 14,000’ Camp. Our attempt to beat the heat worked since we pulled into camp right when the direct sun hit. The rest of the day was spent resting and preparing for the move back up to 14 Camp tomorrow. The boys of el Siete feasted on quesaritos this evening, and are going to sleep with full bellies and full hearts thinking about you all.

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

El Siete—every time I see your name I think of the theme song to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Hope things are all good, no bad and ugly. Brian, missing you, and will check the garden and give Perry and Darthy and Mama Cat a hug for you. Keep having fun team!

Posted by: Judi on 6/18/2015 at 3:20 pm

June 16, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Back Carry and Reorganize Gear at 11,200’ Camp

June 16, 2015 9:32 pm PT
We had another early morning today. Instead of moving uphill, we went back to 10,000’ to retrieve our cache. All went according to plan and we got back to camp around 8:30 a.m.  We did a bit of relaxing and reorganizing of our reunited gear. The sun was out on the glacier, which provided some intense solar radiation that we tried to stay out of. Our plan is to get up early and carry some gear up to our next camp at 14,000’ and then return to 11,200’ tomorrow afternoon.

RMI 7 “El Siete”

On The Map

Hi Dad (Parky)! We’re closely following your progress and eager to see you safely summit and safely return. Enjoy! We’ll be thinking of you as we enjoy the summer sun and teaching Jane how to swim! Love, Meggie-Moo & Anna-Banana

Posted by: Margaret on 6/18/2015 at 8:19 am

Hi! Thinking of you, Doug, and hoping you are feeling wonderful in all that sunshine. We see only rain, rain, rain here in Texas. We miss you… and the sun very much. Enjoy the climb and stay strong. All the best to you and the team.

Posted by: Chris on 6/17/2015 at 8:41 pm

June 16, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen and Team Establish Camp at 11,200’

June 15, 2015 10:20 pm PT
We woke up early to beautiful weather. After a quick breakfast and packing session, we were headed up glacier towards our next camp at 11,200 ft. We made great time with our strong crew and found a partially dug out camp. We proceeded to make it an RMI quality camp. Since we arrived into camp early and had most of the day to work, we decided to go big. Instead of stairs leading down into our cook tent, we decided to make a large tunnel through the side of the hill as our entry way. It turns out you have to move a bunch of snow to make a six foot entry tunnel.

RMI 7 “El Siete”

On The Map

Here’s some poetry for today—your icy, snowy environs led me to read Robert Service (I know, wrong location). Two lines from his poem “Comfort”,about things always looking up:
“Earth so smiling ‘way out yonder,
Sun so bright it dazzles you”
Hope the sun is dazzling you, Brian, and all of El Siete!

Posted by: Judi on 6/16/2015 at 2:26 pm

June 15, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen and Team Establish Camp 2

June 14, 2015 10:58 pm

Hi friends and family! Team Haugen continues to make strong moves up here. Today we got a bright and early start, broke camp, and made short work of Ski Hill en route to Camp 2 at 9,600 feet. Upon arrival, the boys of “El Siete” enthusiastically dug what may be the burliest camp ever to grace the slopes of Denali, then harvested the fruits of their labor by way of a long half day of relaxing, napping, and eating truly preposterous quantities of Mac and cheese. We’re all excited for a move up to 11 camp tomorrow. And now, for the more literary inclined followers, please enjoy a summary of the day’s exploits in haiku:

Bright and early start,
Solid work on frozen slopes,
Camp 2 chilling, FUN!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Doug, glad to hear things are going well up there. Hope the weather holds up.  Take lots of pics, b/c we can’t wait to see the views you are seeing.

Posted by: Greg on 6/18/2015 at 3:51 pm

Good to see the daily progress.  How cold is it?
Stay warm and safe
Mom and Dad

Posted by: MaryAnn and Arthur on 6/18/2015 at 1:27 pm

June 14, 2015

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Half Day Cache Day

Saturday June 13th 11:15 pm PT

In days of yore when men where men and battles raged across the lands and glory rose in the mountains, there came upon the mountaineering stage a great climbing team called “el siete”. This fellowship of dynamic professionals hailed from all corners of the great U.S. of A. and even called on brethren from distant Norwegian lands to converge here below “Ski Hill” at Camp One on Denali (which is French for “The Nali”). The determined team worked to achieve the glory of their pursuit by trudging upward to 10,000 feet to strategically deposit in their mountain bank expedition supplies for safe keeping.
Nestled in their beds the great team awaits a strong move in the wee hours of the morning to 9,600 feet.

Stay tuned for more adventures of the soon to be mountaineering legends know as “el siete.”

Stay classy lower 48 - and Norway!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Mike, can’t help but follow your teams adventures with prose like that! Climb strong.

Posted by: Bob on 6/15/2015 at 6:11 am

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