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Entries By mike king

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams on Summit!

RMI Guides Mike King & JT Schmitt led their summit climb teams to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  Mike reported cold temps and wind at the summit.  The team descended from the crater rim at 8:00 am.  They will continue their descent to Paradise today.  We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!

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Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar continue training at Camp Muir

The storm hitting us at Camp Muir originated in the tropics and we wouldn’t have been surprised to see palm fronds waving in the breeze given how unseasonably warm it is up here. Yes, it’s still snowing, but just.  And for being at 10,000’ that’s warm!
We started our day discussing numerous topics in the Bunkhouse,  but ventured out by mid morning.  Equipped though we were with full on Gortex storm gear it took less than an hour for the moisture in the cloud enveloping our world to permeate the vaunted membrane of our rain gear.
But we persevered and got some great training in,  developing our expertise in handling running belays and evaluating snow stability through studying snow pits. Lunchtime found us back inside, thankful for the plywood protection of our bunkhouse and trying to dry out our external layers through our bodies natural internal combustion.  It does work, but slowly.
There was plenty to talk about through the afternoon,  and when queried whether anyone wanted more outdoor training a decided no was the response. A smart group!
The evening culminated with war stories of Everest and beyond.
Now that we’re back in our old sleeping bags the weather gods are unleashing a tempest like no other.  All we can hope is that this big bad storm is blowing itself out. Dreams of a pleasant descent tomorrow morning might allow some well deserved sleep tonight.

Goodnight from Camp Muir.
RMI Guide Brent Okita

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Mt. Rainier: Winter Seminar Team Training at Camp Muir

Everyone is doing great on day four of our seminar.  A hard day up to Muir was followed by a full day of training on Tuesday in increasingly challenging weather conditions.
Today dawned sunny but quite windy.  As forecasted, the winds stayed strong throughout the day.  Not being one to let a little wind get in the way of some great training, we did have to moderate our plans to cope with the 40-45 mph sheets of blowing snow that swept thru Muir all day.
Sticking close to camp allowed us to bail back to the bunkhouse for the occasional break.  There were no complaints about not getting out on the glacier for the day.  An earlier exploration by Mike and me proved the winds were just as strong out there as at camp.
Anchors, crevasse rescue, fixed rope work and rappelling filled the day completely.  And for the evening: mountain medicine and mountain weather is on the docket.
We’re looking forward to another good day of training tomorrow, though we might have to deal with another little storm to keep us honest.
Alas, I’m afraid a summit bid has been shelved due to the increasing avalanche hazard up high.  We’re safe here at camp, and that’s how we’d like to keep it.
All for now.
The crew at Muir

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Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar led by Okita and King

RMI Guides Brent Okita and Mike King are back on Mt. Rainier along with climbers on the Expedition Skills Seminar - Winter. The team gathered at Rainier BaseCamp on Sunday for a day of technical training, gear checks and packing.  With clear roads on Monday morning they headed for Paradise and made the push all the way to Camp Muir.  Today the team trained near Camp Muir with cramponing, rope travel and ice axe arrest practice while Brent and RMI Guide Dominic Cifelli kicked in the route above Camp Muir and investigated the current conditions.  The team will continue training this week with the hope of making a summit attempt before their return on Friday.

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Wow such beautiful pictures. Thank you for the update!

Posted by: Lisa Macchione on 4/16/2019 at 5:43 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Are Safely Down from Orizaba

We are back at Senior Reyes’ historic soap factory turned climbers hostel. The Mexican music and loud fireworks are going off like we had some remote control. The roosters and dogs are going berserk. But all the local acoustic entertainment is just part of climbing and traveling in Mexico. We are wrapping up a great 10 days with a fun group of guys. We climbed and stood on top of three volcanoes, ate amazing food, sampled many of the local libations and enjoyed some of the clearest views of this area anyone in recent past has ever seen. This trip isn’t so much of an expedition as it’s a fun Mexican vacation where we climb high altitude volcanoes instead of sitting on the beach. If you need to test your mind, body and spirit at altitude this is a good choice. We will be getting an early start towards the airport tomorrow. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Thanks for the updates and fantastic pictures. Looks like everyone had a good and safe

Posted by: Karen Knight on 2/24/2019 at 9:14 am

Awesome Mike!! Thank you for your posts. I am super torked up for next week with Eric and Jenny.

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/24/2019 at 2:17 am

Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team Summit El Pico de Orizaba!

Couldn’t have asked for a nicer day to climb the 3rd highest peak in North America! The entire Team is here, feeling a little worked but with smiles on their faces. Warm, clear night to start and a slight breeze once up in the glacier. We have a lot of smoke obscuring the views to the East and clear skies our to the West with Ixta, Popo and La Malinche. We have a long descent ahead of us and we will check in once back at Sr. Reye’s hostel. Drew, we missed you up here, hope the flight went well!

RMI Guide Mike King

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Wow! Amazing pictures!  Glad you all made it safe and sound.

Posted by: Jean Wittmier on 2/24/2019 at 6:49 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Enjoy Rest Day, Head toward Orizaba

The last two days have been a whirlwind. We had a long drive to Puebla after climbing Ixta. The team rallied out that night for a much needed meal and then hit the racks for some well deserved sleep. The Hotel Colonial in Puebla was built in 1865 and is located on the historic square among several massive cathedrals.

We spent the day off exploring historic Puebla. Some of the group got massages while others wandered the various markets and narrow streets lined with colorful buildings. We are recharged and ready to head towards Orizaba this morning. The ride to Senior Reye’s climbing hostel takes us hours hours East towards the Gulf of Mexico. From there we will pack our mountain gear and head up in 4x4 trucks through the dry grassy slopes and dense pine forests that cover the lower flanks of Orizaba. Once at the Piedra Grande hut we’ll get a walk in to stretch our legs and get some rest for the main objective, Orizaba’s 18,400’ summit.

The group is doing well and surprised how fast the trip has gone.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Summit Ixtaccihuatl

This is Mike, we topped out on Ixtaccihuatl around 7:50 am with a stiff wind for the entire climb. The air temperature was warm and we had a beautiful full moon. The combination of moon light and wind made for a crystal clear climb and amazing sunrise. We are in our descent now and will check in once we are back down at the bus.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team at Ixtaccihuatl’s High Camp

This is Mike checking in from 15,300’ on Ixta. We got a casual start to the day with a big breakfast and final packing of our equipment. It’s always a bummer to have 40ish pounds of stuff for just one night out. The trail ascends a ridge with a series of weaknesses that allow for a moderate elevation gain. We enjoyed clear views of Orizaba and La Malinche. From camp you could even pick out the glimmer of glass on the high rise building of Mexico City.

The traditional high camp where the Refugio sits is currently occupied by a 50+ member unit of the Mexican Army. We opted for the camp that is slightly lower to have a quiet evening. The wind is currently shaking the tents and depositing grit on our teeth. We’ll have some dinner and get our packs ready for tomorrow’s summit bid. The weather looks good, so fingers crossed for clear skies and no electrics storms.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team Top Out on La Malinche

It took six attempts but finally the weather cooperated for a successful acclimatization hike to the top of La Malinche, 14,501’. A new high point for some of our Team. The ‘day hike’ is the equivalent of a Rainier summit day from Camp Muir in elevation gain. The Team did well despite having just arrived sea level more or less.

This morning we are in route to Ixta, a quick stop for breakfast and coffee then a travel day to the Altzomani Hut. There, we will pack for our hike to high camp and enjoy a nice dinner and spectacular sunset. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

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