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Entries By mike walter

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Take a Rest Day

May 17, 2016 - 10:49 p.m. PDT

We slept in until the sun hit our tents this morning as we enjoyed a well deserved rest day. After a hearty brunch, we lounged around camp all day doing a lot of nothing. The weather was sunny in the morning, with strong winds up high on the West Buttress above us. This afternoon a squall came through with a little snow and windy conditions at camp.

The forecast is for see strong winds up high the next few days. We’ll pay close attention to the changing conditions as we get ready for our final push to high camp and a chance at a summit bid.
We’ll touch base again tomorrow to let you know the latest.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

On The Map


I spotted you in one of the blog post photos! You are the one with the thumb up!

The final push - wow! I hope the winds die down and weather conditions are optimal. You are doing something mind-blowing. I’m scared for you and proud at the same time.



Posted by: Leanne Fosbre on 5/18/2016 at 5:21 pm

Go Rogan and crew. Watching the blogs and photos in awe!
God Speed!

Posted by: Sean O'Keeffe (and son Cianan) on 5/18/2016 at 12:18 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Cache Supplies above Fixed Lines

May 17, 2016 - 12:29 a.m. PDT

I woke up at the chilly hour of 5:00 a.m. to start the stoves. It was a perfectly clear morning with barely a breath of wind. After a hearty breakfast we packed our backpacks with supplies to cache up above the fixed ropes. We started climbing in the shade, as the sun still had not poked out around the West Rib. The cold temps were perfect for climbing and we warmed up quickly. After an hour and a thousand feet of vertical gain, the sun welcomed us at our first break.

We continued climbing and employed our mechanical ascenders to aid us up the fixed ropes. A couple hours later we were on top of the West Buttress proper. The team climbed hard today and we accomplished our goals, with one team putting a cache in below Washburn’s Thumb (16,700’), and the other team pushing on to high camp (17,200’) to establish a cache. We’re all back at camp and in our sleeping bags now after a long day of climbing. A much deserved rest day awaits us tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

This is for all of you…......

” In a sense everything that is exists to climb.  All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form.
  Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit.  We have always
  honored the high places because we sense them to be homes of gods.  In the mountains there
  is the promise of… something unexplainable.  A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars.
  So we climb… and in climbing there is more than a metaphor;  there is a means of discovery.”


(Love you Blake!)

Posted by: Maria Votilla on 5/18/2016 at 8:01 am

Hello Rob.. Unbelievable accomplishment! So excited and proud for you and the team! You all have accomplished so much and looking forward to pictures from the summit!! Enjoy the much deserved rest.  Continue to be strong! We are all cheering you and the team on to the summit! Take care! Be safe, Love, Mom, Dad and Katie

Posted by: Robert & Toni Caldwell on 5/18/2016 at 4:36 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Receive a Foot of Snow at 14,000 ft Camp

May 15, 2016 - 10:35 pm PT

The day started with our camp above the clouds deck and good views of Mt. Hunter and Foraker. After breakfast we headed downhill with empty packs to retrieve our cache at 13,700’. After a fifteen minute walk downhill and an hour back to camp, we are all set with all of our gear at 14k.
After we returned to camp, the clouds lifted and it began to snow. It snowed all afternoon, with about a foot of accumulation. As I write this dispatch from my sleeping bag tonight, there is blue sky above us. Hopefully the snow is done and tomorrow we can climb. We’re hoping to carry a cache of supplies up above the fixed ropes tomorrow, up above 16,00’.
We’ll touch base again tomorrow to let you know how it goes, thanks for following our trip.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Absolutely beautiful pictures.  Glad for all information.  Cheers to the team.

Posted by: Donna on 5/16/2016 at 4:57 pm

Hi Rogan and team, well done, it’s been marvellous following your trip. Congrats so far!

Rogue your beautiful wife is fine, the op looks as if it was really successful and by the time I fetched her she had already walked and climbed stairs with the crutches. In fact she could probably climb Denali with a bit more practise!

You are well past the halfway mark, according to the map, one more stop and then the summit. Never give up! Ever! I didn’t with Wfm and that was also really difficult.

You trained so hard,  you are quite capable of reaching the summit, your Angels are with you!
I’m so looking forward to seeing all your photos.

I suppose you know that 4 guys reached the top of Everest, the first in two full years!

I wish the blue skies remain, you must be sick of snow by now?  Focus on the wonderful scenery, not seen by many, it’s such a privilege you are experiencing.

Hope you all have a great climb tomorrow, it will be different by the looks of things. Good luck and vasbyt!
Love you so much, mom xx

Posted by: Daphne Carew on 5/16/2016 at 1:36 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Move to 14,200’

Saturday, May 14th - 2:57pm PST

Hey Guys,

This is RMI Guide Billy Haas checking in for the May 3rd, Mike Walter, Denali, West Buttress expedition.  We are currently comfortably camped at 14,200 ft after making the move up today from our previous camp at 11,000 ft. We experienced hot, but ideal conditions on the mountain today for our move. Calm winds and blue skies made for a pleasant climb around Windy Corner, allowing us ample time to establish our new camp here in Genet Basin.  Tomorrow we hope to reclaim our cache of food and supplies at 13,500 ft, and look forward to positioning ourselves for our eventual move to High Camp.

The team is in great spirits and excited to be in a new camp, and we are all looking forward to the light back carry day tomorrow.



Die fotos is indrukwekkend. Bly koel. En druk die gidse vas teen ‘n sneeuman as hulle woer-woer speel.

Kyk nie na die spits nie. “one step at a time”. Maar, wie sal dan beter weet as jy my ou Duifie. Mooi dinge.

Posted by: Ken on 5/17/2016 at 10:29 am

Hey Rogz - keep climbing - been thinking about you a lot since our last chat.
It was a long day but home safe and sound. Don’t give up - keep going and Go Large - never give us - love you and miss you xxx

Posted by: Melanie on 5/16/2016 at 9:22 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Resting at 11,000 ft Camp

May 13, 2016 - 3:11 pm PT

We’re here at 11,000’ resting and acclimating for our move to 14,000’, which will hopefully happen tomorrow. The weather is great right now, and we expect that to persist through at least tomorrow.
Hopefully our next correspondence will come from 14,000’. Conditions and weather are good, and we are well rested, acclimated, and eager. We’re ready to make the move!

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Hi Rogan, you must be well acclimatised by now so hopefully you can start your climbing tomorrow once again. That’s what you trained for isn’t it?  I wish you good luck with the weather and the climb.
We are having late drizzly rain today, we are gratefull for this rain as I think it will be our last till next summer, temps have dropped to 18 but will rise again when the wet front moves on.
I hope you are well and enjoying your snacks, thinking of you every day, am so proud of you,  always have been. Love you stukkend, mom xx

Posted by: Daphne Carew on 5/14/2016 at 2:34 am

Hi there kid Adelle..still resting i see. Move the butt and get up the mountain. Onwards and upwards i always said when i last climbed Everest..                  Kids are fine and chubby.  Dean is playing guitar like a dream.  There is a lot of talent in that little soul.  Kaela is studying a lot and has tests coming up so we shall see.  Very much like her mamma in that you cant tell her anything.  And i have so much to tell!!!          Anyways we look forward to the blog everyday.  Please thank the bloggers for the families left on Mother Earth.  Enjoy your time and bring me a Yeti back.  There should be one around the next corner.  Bring Jaco a Unicorn….you just never know.  Actually just bring yourself back. Love you SOOO much!  ME.

Posted by: Maureen on 5/14/2016 at 2:03 am

Denali Expedition: Weather Keeps Walter & Team at 11,000 ft Camp

May 12, 2016 - 5:35 pm PT

We woke early to blue skies and light wind at our 11,000’ camp. But soon cloud cover increased and the winds picked up as well. Currently it is snowing with gusty winds as we enjoy another rest day at 11,000’. We are poised to make the move to 14,000’ Camp, but it wasn’t in the cards for today. Instead, we took advantage of down time to practice cutting snow blocks and building snow walls to fortify camp. The main accomplishment of the day was the creation of the Ig-loo, our snowblock enclosed bathroom.
We are in good spirits and are resting and acclimating for our forays up higher on the mountain. All is well and we’ll touch base again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

hey my love - Rogan - its your better half - all is good at home and rather cold.  Hosting a boy from Westville and his name is Dean he is double the size of Robin and Andrew - big boy and yet he is U14C like Andrew - had a good supper and all relaxed and ready for bed - early start to the morning as the boys have to be at Pretoria before 8h00 - only going to get home around 16h30 Saturday…  I have made arrangments for Jenna to say with Daphne for the day tomorrow as I do not see her wanting to stay at the rugby all day.  Will hopefully get a call from you sometime Saturday - Robin will be with Shan so you will only be able to chat to Andrew and Jenna - I hope you guys are all doing well and heading up that mountain.  Hopefully the weather is good for your guys—Keep going and be strong.  Love you xxxx

Posted by: melanie on 5/13/2016 at 10:53 am

Hey Rogz, all is well at home and rather cool this side of the world but nothing compares to what you are all experiencing.  Going to fetch the boys this afternoon - Friday and then we have rugby the whole day Saturday - yippee for me and you know how I love RUGBY xxx Off to hospital Monday morning before 6 - wish me luck - all will be fine and I have sorted everything out for lifts too school and home again.  Maybe I will get a chance to actually do some reading whilst I rest and get my knee sorted…  Thinking of you. Love you and miss you lots - Take it easy and be careful please xxxx Wishing for blue skies for the rest of the trip so you guys can keep climbing xxx

Posted by: melanie on 5/13/2016 at 2:31 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Check in from 11,000 ft Camp

May 11, 2016 - 1:25 pm PT

Well, the forecast was correct and we had snow and wind overnight. So we decided to stay at 11,000’ camp and enjoy a rest day after our carry to 13,700’ yesterday. Most of today is being spent lounging around in our tents.
Hopefully the forecast will continue to be correct and the rest of the week will see improving weather so that we can move up to 14,000’.
Spirits are good, and are embracing these rest/weather days as we know they are making us stronger and more acclimated to the altitude.
We’ll check in again tomorrow, hopefully from 14k on Denali.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Davis, don’t fret about that maintenance free pond, you just focus on that dern summit. We’ll worry about the pond. All the best young man.

Posted by: Patrick Gillis on 5/12/2016 at 8:51 pm

Dave G. Awesome! Great stuff ahead. Fun following your journey.
Good luck to you and the team.

Posted by: Al on 5/12/2016 at 7:51 pm

Denali: Walter and Team Carry to 13,700’

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 10:00 p.m. PDT

Our team had another productive day today, climbing up to 13,700 feet with a cache of supplies. It was great to be engaging some steeper terrain with crampons and ice axe. The constant 15 - 25 mile an hour wind (in our face as we ascended) increased the challenge.

With a six hour round trip, we were back in camp in time to re-hydrate and rest before dinner.

We are entertaining the notion of moving camp to 14,200 feet if we have good weather tomorrow. But, likely, we’ll remain here at 11,000’ as there is a high wind warning and near-blizzard conditions expected tonight and tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

On The Map

Looks like you are doing well. Hope the wind and snow didn’t hinder the climb. Alls well here. Stay warm.

Love from all your family.

Posted by: Lori pesta on 5/11/2016 at 1:39 pm

Great to hear everyone is doing well. Hoping the wind doesn’t effect your carries and you keep on schedule.

Stay safe, hydrate lots and eat plenty.

Good luck everyone especially the Saffers a long way from home, Adelle and Rogan.

Posted by: Mark on 5/11/2016 at 1:01 pm

Denali: Walter & Team Complete First Back Carry

Monday, May 9, 2016 - 11:35 p.m. PDT

Hello from 11,000’ on Denali! Our team had a great day today, as we were able to travel back down glacier to retrieve our cache. Now we’re back at 11,000’ and after a fulfilling dinner of quesadillas we are all set to make another carry up around Windy Corner (13,600’) tomorrow, weather permitting.
The weather forecast looks good for the next few days, and we’re psyched to take advantage of it. It will be nice to trade in our sleds and snowshoes for ice axes and crampons. The approach is over and the climb is beginning.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

On The Map


Thinking of you and can’t wait to hear all the stories when you return!!!

Posted by: Dada Bredell on 5/11/2016 at 2:47 am

Hi Adelle!!
Hope you are well and keeping strong.
Thinking of you and cheering for you all the way.
Lots of love

Posted by: Anelise on 5/11/2016 at 2:05 am

Denali: Walter & Team Opt for a Rest Day

Sunday, May 8, 2016 - 10:49 p.m. PDT

Hey guys! Not much news to report today. We rose early and had breakfast with the intent of going back down the Kahiltna to retrieve our cache of supplies that we buried two days ago. But, winds and visibility on the Kahiltna, coupled with the fact that we could use a rest day, made us change our minds. Instead we got some much deserved rest at camp today. All in all it was a good day. Now we are eager and with rested legs to get our cache tomorrow so that we can continue working our way up this mountain.

On another note, Happy Mother’s Day! To all mothers, but especially to these great mothers: Jeanne, Lizard, Kelly, Mimi, Judy, Lynn, Kelly, Melanie, Daphne, Michele, Hao, Nancy Kay, Ann Irwin, Maureen, Toni, Nana, Mama, Maria, and Buffy.

Goodnight and we’ll check back in again tomorrow.
RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

On The Map

Thanks for the Mothers Day wishes. Good luck with the weather and collecting your cache, I hope you can find it! Well done on the progress you have made so far dearest Rogan and the rest of the team. Wonderful photo posted on this blog. Lots of love, Mom xx

Posted by: Daphne Carew on 5/10/2016 at 2:01 pm

Hey congratulations on your climbing so far.  Keep up the good work and I look forward to climbing this mountain my self sometime in the future.

Posted by: Kevin on 5/10/2016 at 7:56 am

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