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Entries By mike hinckley

July 3, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Mike Walter & Team at Basecamp

After summiting Denali on the 1st of July, our team has not stopped working. We descended from high camp yesterday morning, and continued to Camp 3 at 11,000’ for dinner and some shut-eye. The former was in full effect in the form of bacon-chicken quesadillas, and the latter was in short-order, as we woke up at midnight to start our descent to Basecamp. After taking advantage of the early morning frozen snow conditions on the lower Kahiltna glacier, we arrived at Basecamp at 8:30 am. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for better weather to allow planes to fly and take us back to Talkeetna. We are all napping in our tents while we anticipate sunny skies.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

On The Map

Hi Paul,
Did you learn any mountain climbing in the military?


Posted by: Mike on 9/13/2012 at 8:45 am


Posted by: BETTY JANE WOLK on 7/5/2012 at 9:38 am

July 2, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Descending to Basecamp

Hi, this is Mike Walter checking in from 14,000’.  We have descended the West Buttress and are back at the 14,000’ camp.  Everyone is doing swell.  Our plan is to continue the descent to 11,000’ and hunker down for a few hours.  There we’ll ‘brew up’ hot drinks, grab something to eat and nap for a few hours.  We’ll traverse the lower Kahiltna Glacier in the wee hours (when it’s coldest) headed for Base Camp.  We hope to arrive at BC tomorrow morning, unless the Weather Gods have other plans in store.  That’s all for now from our tired and happy crew.

On The Map


Posted by: Tony on 7/3/2012 at 8:21 am

Congratulations Longbonez and the team! We are all proud of you and can’t wait to hear about your trip. Be safe on the way down and we will see you soon!

Posted by: Xbonez on 7/3/2012 at 7:57 am

June 30, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Mike Walter & Team Waiting on Weather

This is Mike checking in from high camp on Denali.  The weather is playing games with us today, but the forecast remains excellent.  We had contemplated a summit bid upon awakening, but a lenticular cloud cap kept alternately forming then dissipating throughout the morning, and we decided to hold off.  It has been quite windy in camp, but high pressure is forecast to dominate the next several days.  Our well rested team hopes to go for it tomorrow.  All is well and we will be back in touch with an update tomorrow.

Wish us luck!

Hi David,

We’re awaiting the good news that you and the team have reached the summit.  Hoping for sunny skies and a safe and successful climb to the top and back down.

Lynda and Rick

Posted by: Lynda and Rick on 7/1/2012 at 8:15 pm

David, we are pulling for down here in rainy portland.  be safe and have fun. Sue D

Posted by: sue dimin on 6/30/2012 at 8:04 pm

June 30, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. Mckinley: Mike Walter and Team Prepare for Summit Bid

Mike Walter called and checked in on Friday night at about 9:50 p.m.  There were some clouds and winds on the upper mountain so the team decided to take a rest day at 17,000’ camp. They have had nice weather at camp and a good rest.  Mike reported an awesome forecast for today with sunny skies and light winds, so they plan to make their summit attempt.  The team is excited and ready to go.

Good Luck Team!

On The Map

DZ and Team hope weather holds and you have an excellent summit, be safe. Remember Raindeer Sausage the Road House and Summit Burgers/Beers at the West Rib when back down in Talkeetna.
John V.

Posted by: John on 6/30/2012 at 12:49 pm

Glad to read the weather is co-operating for a summit
attempt. I’ve been keeping everyone updated here at MMC. Dr.P sends his best wishes to #1. Be safe.

Posted by: Nancy on 6/30/2012 at 10:35 am

June 29, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Reach 17,000’ Camp

Mike Walter called at 12:00 a.m. Friday morning and reported that he and the team had reached 17,000’ Camp on Mt. McKinley.  They had a nice day of climbing with light snow and no wind.  They rolled into camp at about 5:00 p.m., and are now resting.  The team may take a rest day at 17,000 but if everyone is feeling good they might just go for the top.

Good Luck Team!

On The Map

May not sleep tonight, too excited!!!!

Posted by: sarah Zeps on 6/30/2012 at 1:39 am

Delighted you had the chance to move onward and upward, well done team! A promise of beer, the weather cleared…tricky, isn’t it??!
Continued success for all,

Posted by: liz weller on 6/29/2012 at 8:00 pm

June 27, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Staying Put at 14k Camp

We went to bed with clear skies and a forecast for 12-18” of snow overnight. The clear skies persisted overnight and we didn’t get any new snow. There is a lenticular cloud on top of Denali today, indicating strong winds. We’re also seeing snow blowing off of the West Buttress between the top of the fixed ropes and high camp. The current winds and the increased avalanche hazard from yesterday’s foot of snow are keeping us at 14k for another day. The sunny weather at camp today is welcome, and is helping to keep our spirits high. It looks like some better weather is approaching for the weekend, and we’re hoping we’ll be able to take a crack at the summit then. With any luck, we’ll be able to move to high camp tomorrow and be in position for the arrival of the more favorable weather. We’ll keep you posted!

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Stan - Hope you & Team have continued success today.  Talked with your Mom yesterday.  She is doing well.

Posted by: Jerry & Kay on 6/29/2012 at 7:11 am

Where at are you buttercup? Busch beer and mayonnaise sandwiches since you’ve been gone. My kids are starving!!

Posted by: Sunshine on 6/29/2012 at 5:06 am

June 26, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Cozy at 14K Camp

Hello again from 14,200’. It’s snowing right now, and it snowed all last night. There’s only about 6” of accumulation so far, bur more is expected today and tomorrow. The good news is that there isn’t any wind here at 14k, and we’re all comfortable and cozy in our camp. We’re still in a holding pattern, waiting for decent weather to move up to high camp and be in position for a summit bid when the current weather pushes out.

In the mean time, we’re getting plenty of rest here at camp. Everyone is patiently awaiting better weather, although we’re all a little antsy for some exercise and a chance to move higher. We’ll keep you posted…

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Hi John, Talked with Dee - happy times - Paul and I are spending our time picturing all of us having dinner together!!!  So glad to be able to feel in contact.  Many Blessings to all of you - take care and God Bless.  Jackie and Pal

Posted by: Jackie Winchell on 6/29/2012 at 8:38 am

Hope you don’t have too much snow removal to do from your camp and that the weather settles into perfect climbing weather very soon.  The kids say HI to their Daddy, Lee!

Posted by: Di on 6/27/2012 at 11:09 am

June 22, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Rest at 14,000’

Happy summer solstice from the land of the Midnight Sun!

Our team had a pretty relaxing day today; it started with a leisurely breakfast, then we went back to Windy Corner to retrieve our cache, and then we relaxed all afternoon. The two hour round trip to Windy Corner was a good leg stretcher. And the relaxing afternoon sure felt good also.

This afternoon we welcomed Jake Beren’s team back to 14k after their successful summit bid. It was good to see the whole team in good shape after their climb. And it was a pleasure to have water waiting for them and to make them bacon quesadillas as they repacked their backpacks and rested here. They continued their descent to 11k, and are planning to be at the airstrip tomorrow.

We are planning on taking a rest day here at 14k tomorrow, in order to be strong for our carry up high above 16k.

We’ll be in touch again tomorrow…

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Kristina and Mike,

So glad the trip is going well.  It is amazing to see all the snow and think of the cold while we hit 89 today and it is dry, dry , dry.  Enjoy your rest day and thanks for the updates.

Posted by: missy prudden on 6/22/2012 at 8:46 pm

For someone that lives in snow country, you guys have a lot of snow
It sure seems incredible,  hope every one is well and all continues to go well.
Matt, This has to be the high light of your life.  All Take care, climb safely
Thanks so much for the updates.  Don Pennington

Posted by: Don Pennington on 6/22/2012 at 5:44 pm

June 21, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Move to 14,200’

We had great weather today and the team climbed strong, moving our camp up to 14,200’. We are now well established on the upper mountain as we continue to acclimate. Tomorrow we will make a quick trip back to Windy Corner to retrieve the cache of supplies that we carried up there two days ago.
We recently spoke via radio with RMI Guide Jake Beren and their team as they were descending the summit ridge after a successful summit. Congratulations to the team! We look forward to seeing them tomorrow when they descend from high camp.

That’s it for now. Time for some shuteye.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map


All the best.  It is fantastic that you are now on the high part of the mountain.  We are looking at the magnificent pictures on the website. It must be an incredible experience to be at that altitude getting close to the top of the world.  We look forward to the stories. Keep safe.

Love Dad, Mom, Brooklyn and Spencer

Posted by: charles selby on 6/22/2012 at 7:22 am

Best wishes from Colorado.  Kobi is loving life here in Cdale with his buddy Bayou!

Posted by: Wesley Reynolds on 6/22/2012 at 5:46 am

June 19, 2012

Denali - West Buttress Expedition

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Rest Day at 11K Camp

Hi guys, this is Mike checking in from the 11k camp on Denali. All is well. We decided to spend another day here at 11,200’ instead of moving up to 14,200’ today. We are spending the day resting, eating, and getting more acclimated to the altitude before venturing higher. We are hoping to move up to 14k tomorrow, weather pending. Until then, we’re enjoying the sunny, hot weather and just lazing around. Hopefully our next dispatch will be from higher ground.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map


We are hanging on news of your great adventure.  Your aunt is loading the Blog at the Renoir so that you will have a vastly expanded fan club amongst the geriatric set.  We hope to see you in some pictures sent back from your team with a large smile on your face.  We are all thinking of you and wishing you all the best. 

Love Dad, Mom, Brooklyn Spencer and Daisy.

Posted by: charles selby on 6/20/2012 at 8:30 pm

Is that a cumulonimbus w/anvil I see?  Whoa!  Stakes will be handy!  Keep your eyes on the Summit!  Oh, longest day of the year is today—extra daylight! See you tomorrow, love me

Posted by: Betsy on 6/20/2012 at 7:43 pm

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