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Entries By mike haugen

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Carry to 17,000’ Camp

June 25, 2016 - 10:33 pm PT

We walked away from camp around 6 A.M. bound for 17 Camp.  Unlike the sweltering afternoons when we watched lines of ants move up and down the fixed lines from camp, the chilly mornings tend to keep people in their tents. This morning’s early departure made us the only team around.  We cruised up the fixed lines, past Washburn’s Thumb, along a stunning ridge line all the way to our cache at 17,000’ Camp.  Our crew of rock stars crushed it!  Many members of our team said that today was the best day of mountain climbing they’ve ever had- fun movement, epic views, great company.  We returned to 14,000’ Camp around 5 P.M. in high spirits but plumb tuckered.  After a hearty meal everyone retreated to their tents quickly. We all look forward to sleeping in tomorrow- not only is it a rest day, but it’s the day that Pepper Dee was brought into this world.  Things have never been the same since. 

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Happy Birthday Pepper! Enjoy!

Posted by: David B Clemmons on 6/27/2016 at 7:17 pm

this is Hannah’s mom, Lisa. Happy birthday Pepper! What an exciting place to celebrate another year!
My love to y’all from sweaty hot Memphis, TN where the heat index has been 105 for 5 days. Looking at your blog photos of snow and ice help to cool me down.
Good luck with your summitting and watch yer top notch.

Posted by: Lisa Nezwazky on 6/27/2016 at 5:20 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Rest at 14,000’ Camp

June 24, 2016 - 10:45 pm PT

The team had a fun filled rest day today at 14 camp. We kicked off the day with a lox and bagels brunch, and then rallied out to the “edge of the world,” a dramatic rock outcropping outside of camp that affords breathtaking views of the West Rib of Denali, Mount Hunter, Mount Foraker, and much of the Alaska range. We took turns posing with ice axe in hand- sometimes using it to play air guitar, to point to the summit, or just to accentuate the American flag scarf that was being worn instead of a shirt.  Whatever style each of us went with, fun was had by all and morale was tip top.  We rounded out the afternoon by practicing fixed line travel and running belays, as well as organizing our food and gear for our carry to 17K camp tomorrow.  Oh yeah, and we also did a little trauma shear salon session, which left Pepper Dee looking extra stylish.  It’s gently snowing at the moment, and we feel poised to push up even higher in the morning. 

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

I’m sure my brother Phil is having a great time! The pictures are amazing! I’m keeping everyone updated on Facebook with Mike’s daily blog and photos, and everyone wishes the whole team success in your amazing efforts! Stay safe from all of us, and for my brother Phil, I love you and am so proud and happy for you to reach one of your dreams! Mary says Hi as well! Ed

Posted by: Ed Goss on 6/26/2016 at 5:27 am

It’s fun following your blog every day, love the pictures! Can’t wait to see more. Thoughts and prayers for good weather and safe climbing. Enjoy the adventure!!! (Love you Jon! Hope you make it to the summit for your Birthday!! ....Mom)

Posted by: Elizabeth Beckett on 6/25/2016 at 7:23 pm

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Settle In at 14,200’

June 23, 2016 - 10:07 P.M. PDT

At 3 A.M. Mount Foraker was bathed in streaks of pink light and not a breath of wind moved through 11 Camp as we packed our packs to move up the mountain. We climbed efficiently up Motorcycle Hill and Squirrel Hill, around a not so Windy Corner, and pulled into 14 Camp just as the heat of the day began.  We found an empty fortress of expertly chopped snow blocks and after a few hours of renovation, moved into our new home. Our whole team ate and hydrated like champions. In high spirits we’re snuggling up for the night under benign skies. Tomorrow will be a rest day - haircuts, Game of Thrones, Uno, and lots of sunscreen await us. 

Love from El Siete

On The Map

How exciting

Posted by: Sybil Smith on 6/26/2016 at 11:25 am

Good luck…great adventure!

Posted by: Ruth on 6/26/2016 at 7:29 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team - 14K on the Way!

June 22, 2016 - 9:29 pm PT

We took advantage of beautiful weather and moved some supplies up to the camp at 14,000 feet. We left camp around 4:30 a.m. so we could take advantage of firm snow and cool traveling conditions. Although we are on a cold mountain, the solar radiation can be stifling later in the day. Our 3,000-foot climb up to 14k took us up several big hills with names like Motorcycle Hill, Squirrel Hill, and Windy Corner. Once we got to 14k, we dug a giant hole and then buried our super cold weather gear, food, and some fuel under 1.5 meters of snow. The team did an amazing job all day and we were back in camp in around nine hours round-trip.
The plan for tomorrow is to take advantage of the good forecast and move our camp up to 14k where we will be knocking on the door of the upper mountain.

That’s all for now! We’ll be in touch from 14 camp.

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Happy Birthday Jon!!  Hope you are having a wonderful time and your climb is all you hoped for.  God Bless!

Posted by: Marilyn and Jerry on 6/29/2016 at 12:21 pm

Venga team El Siete!!
Glad to read that the UNO cards are being used =)
Have a good climb tomorrow!


Posted by: Tom on 6/24/2016 at 2:41 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Rest at 11,000’ Camp

June 21, 2016 - 9:27 pm PT

Rest days are the best days!

Our team made the most of this one with an extended pancake breakfast, followed by several hours of heated “uno” playing. By mid afternoon though, the team was all business as we sorted group gear and provisions in preparation for our carry to 14 Camp tomorrow. It actually takes a good amount of thought splitting up expedition loads; we want to be sure we won’t be carrying tons of weight on our move day, but also need to leave enough provisions at 11 Camp should we get caught in a storm cycle after the carry. But as of now, the packs are packed and we are excited to head up the mountain tomorrow! The solstice sun is shining brightly on us as we nestle in for the night. We’ll catch you on the flip side!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Great news! Pictures are stunningly gorgeous! We will all pray for good weather!

PS: be careful, Phil cheats at UNO

Posted by: TOM on 6/22/2016 at 12:12 pm

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Move Camp to 11,200’

June 20, 2016 - 11:11 P.M. PDT

Few things are as satisfying as watching a storm clear and being able to once again see the mountain you are trying to climb. Our stormy weather did just that, allowing us to do a rapid pack and move up to our 11,200 ft. camp.

We spent the afternoon digging in and letting our tents dry out, and everyone is looking forward to a well deserved day of rest and acclimatization tomorrow. It was a stunningly beautiful evening up here, watching the clouds roll over Kahiltna Dome and streaks of solstice sunlight streak Mount Foraker. Fingers crossed for good weather to come.

Love from,
RMI Guide Mike Haugen and Team El Siete

On The Map

11,200 - too easy. Go Team El Siete!

Posted by: E.L. on 6/21/2016 at 12:36 pm

Yay, Phil & team! Praying for continued good weather.

Posted by: Barbara on 6/21/2016 at 9:54 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Send Father’s Day Wishes

June 19, 2016 - 8:33 pm PT

Happy Father’s Day!! We love all our dads, and hope they’re having a great day wherever they may be- enjoying breakfast in bed, playing golf, sunbathing on Ping Island, or beekeeping.
The weather went from bad to worse over night. We took turns every hour tightening guy lines and shoveling snow from around the tents to prevent any wind incidents or tent buryings. The crew was in great spirits as we ate our way through the day staying comfy in the tents. We had a great Ramen and veggies meal to which we added sriracha sauce and called it Mountain Pho.
The weather seems to be improving a tiny bit and we are hopeful that tomorrow will bring sunshine, rainbows, and the ability to move up to our next camp!

Send us your best weather vibes,

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

Jon Buchburger is that as cold as putting up snow fence. Hope the weather holds. Gpa

Posted by: Tom and Sue Beckett on 6/21/2016 at 5:58 am

Happy belated Farher’s Day all. Sending good climbing mojo your way Senator.
Reach for the sun and settle for the summit

Posted by: Paul on 6/20/2016 at 8:22 pm

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Move to 9,600’ Camp

June 18, 2016 - 8:58 pm PT

Remember how yesterday we told ya’ll that despite the high clouds and other warning signs of low pressure that the weather was holding? Well, it sure isn’t anymore.  We delayed our departure from Camp 1 by a few hours and caught a lull that lasted long enough for us to travel to 9,600 Camp comfortably. We established camp and chilled the afternoon away as the winds and snow built.  We are well fed, warm, and snuggled in for the night, hoping that the weather allows us to travel to 11,000 Camp in the morning.  Only time will tell, but for now the psyche is high.

Love to everybody,
RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Begin Their Climb

June 17, 2016 - 8:48 pm PT

We are climbing! We had a rather early departure from Basecamp this morning, leaving at 3 a.m. while the glacier was still nice and firm. The crew made quick work of the task at hand arriving into our new camp at the base of Ski Hill on the Kahiltna Glacier in 4 hours and 20 minutes. Rock Stars! We spent most of the day “sport eating” in preparation for the high calorie demand that this mountain will require. We had some clouds move in mid day, but the weather turned out to be great. We plan on another early morning rally up to 9,800 camp. We tried to count how many shells smothered in Velveeta we ate tonight to prep for tomorrow.  Unfortunately we’re not as top notch as Joe Horiskey.  Love to the fans! And the Fams!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Love seeing those pics! Hope the weather continues to be favorable. I love the shell counting game :-) One step at a time!

Posted by: Kelly Tybor on 6/19/2016 at 6:32 am

Keep up the great work!!!
“...can’t believe how far I’ve climbed.”  Bruce, The Rising

Looking forward to hearing all the details and seeing the pics (over a cold one, that is)
My best,

Posted by: Tony Capaci on 6/19/2016 at 5:31 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team at Kahiltna Base

June 16, 2016 - 4:16 P.M. PDT

And we’re off! RMI Denali Expedition #7 (known in some circles as “el Siete”) landed on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier this morning around 10 o’clock to clear skies and breathtaking views of the Alaska Range. The team took advantage of the clear weather by leisurely setting up camp, and then brushing up on anchor building, crevasse rescue, and sled rigging skills. Our next move is to make some dinner and head to bed early in anticipation of our move to Ski Hill camp while the snow is at its most frozen state- is 3 A.M. early morning or late at night? We’ll let you know… For now, excitement is high, stress is low, views are stunning.

Love to all friends, family, and Joe Horiskey,

RMI Guide Mike Haugen & gang

What an experience! The pictures are breathtaking, but probably don’t even compare to the real view! Cheers to all of you on your amazing journey!

Have fun Phil and everyone on the climb.

Use your core ;)

Posted by: Laura Andrews on 6/25/2016 at 4:06 am

Jon, A&D is will be monitoring your progress and living vicariously through your amazing adventure!! 

Posted by: Lisa on 6/17/2016 at 6:10 pm

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