Entries By mike walter
July 18, 2018
Posted by: Mike Walter
We are standing on top of Mt. Baker after ascending the North Ridge. 100% of our team summited! The weather is beautiful with light winds and clear skies. We will begin our descent back to camp shortly.
July 10, 2018
Posted by: Mike Walter
The Four Day Summit Climb July 7 - 10 led by RMI Guide Mike Walter reached the summit today. Mike reported moderate winds with clear skies and a cloud deck below around 9,000’. The team enjoyed a bit of time on the summit. They started their descent from the crater rim around 8:30 AM PT heading for Camp Muir.
Congratulations to the Summit Climb team!
Posted by: Mindy on 7/10/2018 at 8:29 pm
July 6, 2018
The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Mike Walter and Chris Ebeling reached 13,400’ before high winds and a cloud cap forced the team to turn. The team is on their descent and will be returning to Rainier Basecamp early this afternoon.
Congratulations to Today’s Team!
You continue to amaze and inspire!!
Can’t wait to hear about it!
Posted by: David Decker on 7/6/2018 at 1:53 pm
We are all so proud of your hard work and awesome accomplishments. Can’t wait to have you home!
Barb, Michael, Noelle, Lauren, Abi, Conor and MacKenzie
Posted by: Barbara Hume on 7/6/2018 at 1:29 pm
Last night we enjoyed a delicious fresh, local trout dinner—served at the 16,000’ Cotopaxi Climbers’ Hut!...and then we went to bed early, in preparation for an alpine start wake-up for our summit bid on Cotopaxi. I woke before midnight to check the weather. It wasn’t perfect—we were in thick clouds, but there wasn’t any wind. We got the ball rolling at midnight, coffee-ed up and got ready to climb. As we prepared the weather kept fluctuating: a little snow here, a little wind there, clouds that we could see the moon through…
At just after one a.m. we headed out of the Jose Ribas Refugio on Cotopaxi. Winds increased during our first hour of climbing, which brought us to the glacier where we donned crampons and roped up. The winds continued above, coupled with Viento Blanco (White Wind, ~30 mph wind inside a 100% humidity cloud) that iced up everything—our clothes, our packs, our ice axes, and even our eyes—as we climbed. We persevered through the Viento Blanco as it increased in strength until we conceded to it due to safety; at less than 800 feet from the summit we turned around and headed back to the Climbers’ Hut. Even the descent was challenging; Viento Blanco was relentless, trying to blow us off of our feet, limit our visibility to near zero, and continue to dominate everything it could think its icy teeth into. Arriving safely back at the Climbers’ Hut we were a spectacle, pasted in white ice from head to toe.
It’s bittersweet to return from fierce weather unscathed but without a summit. We all know which one is more important. I am confident that had we had decent weather for our summit day 100% of our climbers would have made the top. Everyone performed well on our preparatory climbs, and everyone was acclimatizing to the extreme altitude well. But such is mountain climbing. Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.
On The Map
After a relaxing stay at the hacienda Chilcabamba, we are all packed up and heading for Cotopaxi, the stunning 19,347’ stratovolcano that is our main climbing objective. We will drive a dirt road that winds through Cotopaxi National Park to an altitude above 15,000’. A 45-minute hike will lead to the climbers’ hut, which sits near the toe of the glacier just shy of 16,000’. The goal of today is to arrive at such high altitude accommodations feeling good, resting, and adjusting to the altitude. Tomorrow we will hike to the Glacier and review the climbing techniques we will employ on the climb the following morning.
This morning we checked out of our hotel and left the urban confines of Quito, headed south toward Cotopaxi. Our first stop today was another acclimatization hike, this time to the climbers’ hut that sits in the saddle between Illinizas Norte and Sur. Our hike today took us up to ~15,400’ where we enjoyed a delicious cup of coffee in the climbers’ hut. The weather was pleasant for climbing today, although clouds up high obscured our views of the Illiniza peaks.
We’re now resting at the rustic and peaceful hacienda Chilcabamba, where we have great views of Cotopaxi as it dances in the clouds.
On The Map
Good luck Reshan Maami!
Posted by: Devan on 6/27/2018 at 8:21 pm
Good luck Kimberly - Hope they have the spa ready at the end of the trail.
Posted by: John D Trebbien on 6/26/2018 at 7:22 am
Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 7:34 PM PT
We had a great acclimatization climb today, tackling our first peak of the trip. It was a high altitude mark for many of our climbers, reaching the summit of Rucu Pichincha at ~16,300’. The day started off with a gondola ride where we left the city of Quito and traveled to ~13,500’. From there we continued on a well established trail for an hour or so before it gave way to a steeper single track trail. The climb culminated in a fun rock scramble to the top of the peak. The weather was great: in the morning we had clear views of Cotopaxi before clouds rolled in; the temps stayed perfect as we climbed into the clouds, and the wind up high made it feel very alpine but not too cold. Every climbed very well today, despite only being at altitude for about a day; this bodes well for our upcoming summit attempt on Cotopaxi. Tomorrow morning we will pack up and leave Quito, heading south into the countryside en route to our next acclimatization hike.
Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 5:14 AM PT
RMI’s 2018 Cotopaxi Express trip has officially started. All of the team members arrived safely to Quito, Ecuador. We started off the day with a trip to a cultural museum located on the equator, where we were able to straddle the line with one foot in each hemisphere. This was followed by a tour through “Old Town” Quito, visiting Independence Square where the Presidential Palace is located, as well as touring a historic church (Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus) and seeing some of the old, historic architecture. We also visited “El Panecillo”, which is a small hill where a statue of the Virgen of Quito over looks the city. After a long day of site seeing we relaxed with dinner at the well-known Magic Bean Restaurant. Tomorrow we’re off to Rucu Pichincha, a volcano outside of Quito, for our first acclimatization hike.
June 15, 2018
The Four Day Summit Climb teams led by RMI Guide Mike Walter and Ben Liken reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. Mike reported clear skies and calm winds. The team will spend some time on the summit celebrating and enjoying the views before starting their descent.
Congratulations to today’s Teams!
Great Work Son
Posted by: Dad on 6/25/2018 at 7:42 am
Congrats to the team!!!!! Amazing job
Posted by: Cheryl Barry on 6/16/2018 at 1:40 pm
June 6, 2018
Wednesday, June 7, 2018 - 10:59 am PT
Nothing is easy about Denali. After two hard days of climbing and finally reaching the summit yesterday, we are currently hunkered down in our tents, avoiding the wind and spindrift that the mountain is throwing at us this morning. It is currently too cold and windy to safely pack up and climb down the exposed West Buttress. So we’re on standby, chilling out in our tents waiting for the wind to abate. Hopefully we’ll be able to bump camp down to lower altitude and warmer temps soon.
Tuesday, June 6, 2018 - 10:50 pm PT
Despite a less than ideal weather forecast, we awoke to clear skies and no winds. We fired up the stoves and woke our team. Muscles were weary after climbing for seven hours yesterday, but we couldn’t pass up this opportunity.
The weather stayed good all day and the route was in great shape. It was a hard day of climbing but we got to stand on the top of North America! We were ten hours round trip (high camp-summit-high camp). And now that we’ve eaten dinner and crawled in our tents, the temperature has plummeted, winds have increased, and snow is falling. Timing couldn’t have been better.
We will start our descent tomorrow…
On The Map
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So proud of all of you! Please keep yourselves warm. Miss you guys, and can’t wait till you’re in Talkeetna. Shower Beer is everything. You’ll see.
Posted by: David Head on 6/7/2018 at 8:44 pm
Wow!!! How incredible!! Alex and Tom we are all super excited for your summit!! Must be incredible to see from the top!! Enjoy every moment and we miss you. Nicole
Posted by: nicole celona-jacobs on 6/7/2018 at 1:40 pm