Entries By mike uchal

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

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

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”

A RMI McKinley Team Moving up the Fixed lines. RMI Photo Collection

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

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

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

Stormy weather at 14,200' Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Dave Hahn

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

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 19, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

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

An RMI team's 14K camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 18, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

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

Mt. McKinley's 14K Camp. Photo: RMI Collection

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

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 18, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

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

An RMI team carries supplies to 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

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”

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

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 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”

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Mt. McKinley: Haugen and Team Establish Camp 2

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,600'

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

Climbers ascending Skill Hill en route to Camp 2 at 9,600 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Chris Villar The view from Ski Hill, Mt. McKinley Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Well done, El Siete! Glad the weather is cooperating and love the literary posts.

read more

Posted by: Judi on 6/15/2015 at 9:31 am


Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Half Day Cache Day

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

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

View from Ski Hill, Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Reach Camp 1

Posted by: Mike Haugen, Mike Uchal, Pepper Dee | June 13, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

Friday June 12th 11:25 pm PT

Upon our late arrival at Base Camp the weather started turning nasty, so we set up tents and burrowed into our sleeping bags.  Lo and behold, upon awakening the skies had cleared and the mountain beckoned!  We broke camp and descended the Southeast Fork Kahiltna to the Main Fork, turned up-glacier and headed toward Camp 1.  The glacier route is in prime condition and we reached our camp in several hours taking in the spectacular mountain views around us.  Everyone in the team is doing great and looking forward to our next objective, Camp ll.  More later!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

Mt. Hunter and Mt. Francis from the Kahiltna Glacier, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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