Entries By mike uchal
June 26, 2015
Friday June 26th 12:30 am PT
We are on our way down!! After waking up when the sun hit our tents at 17,000, we packed up and headed downhill. Although sore and tired from a long summit day, we made good time down to 14,000 feet. We met up with Billy Nugent’s group and had a healthy round of hugs and high fives. We picked up some cached gear and partook in the time honored tradition of fitting twice as much gear into a pack than should be possible and carrying said pack down another 3,000 feet to 11k Camp and our awaiting sleds. We are currently in a holding/napping pattern at 11k. We are going to walk early in the morning towards base camp and the landing strip in hopes of an early flight to Talkeetna. That is weather dependent of course!
On The Map
Great news! Can’t wait to hear your stories and see your pictures. I am sure everyone on El Siete has wonderful stories
to share. I am looking forward to Doug’s!
Posted by: Chris on 6/26/2015 at 7:18 pm
Great news! Stay safe on your descent, El Siete.
Posted by: Judi on 6/26/2015 at 4:04 pm
June 24, 2015
Wednesday June 24th 11:45 pm PT
We woke up around seven this morning to one of the warmest mornings I have ever experienced at 17,000 feet camp. We got ready slowly and departed for the top just after nine. The weather was perfect for us pretty much the entire climb. There was a little bit of cold, a little bit of hot, but mostly perfect all day. The El Siete crew walked to the summit in style a little after five this afternoon and spent a good deal of time taking pictures from the top. We had a smooth descent and pulled into camp just after 9:00 p.m. Alaska time for a twelve-hour round trip. We are getting the boys fed and put to bed so we can get up early to start our way out to basecamp and eventually back to you!
Audio transcription - Wednesday June 24th 6:30 pm PT
Hi, it’s Mike Haugen. I am standing with the RMI el Siete on the summit of Denali. Beautiful weather. We topped out about 5:15 in the evening and are miles above the clouds. We are saying our congratulations to the team and head on back to high camp and send the blog from there. Hope all of our families are doing well. Thank you for your support.
RMI Guide Mike Haugen calls in from the Denali summit!
On The Map
Congratulations to the hole team! Can’t wait to hear all about the climb and to see pictures! Now come home safe, Fredrik!
Posted by: May-Linn on 6/25/2015 at 3:24 pm
Congratulations to all of you, and well done to my norwegian friends Erlend and Fredrik! I was very happy to receive the news today! :-)
Posted by: Viggo Finset on 6/25/2015 at 2:26 pm
June 24, 2015
June 23, 2015 9:51 pm PST
We had a successful move up to 17,000 foot camp on Mt. McKinley. The weather was perfect for traveling on the fixed lines and above. Climbing on the amazing ridge that crests the West Buttress of Denali is always one of my favorite parts of the climb because of the beautiful rock an the exposure. I think all of the El Siete boys had a good time weaving through the rocks and snow that provide the natural protection on the ridge. As of now, we are planning to try to summit tomorrow. The forecast looks good and the crew is ready. Wish us luck!
On The Map
Will be in Talkeetna to play at the Fairview Inn on Wednesday. Hope to see you then if you have not flown out already.
Posted by: Nick Kantar on 6/24/2015 at 3:59 pm
Proud of you Mr. Chowdry….to the top my friend
Posted by: Tony on 6/24/2015 at 3:51 pm
June 23, 2015
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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