Entries By mike walter

Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Still Hoping for Better Weather

Posted by: Billy Haas, Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall | May 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 25, 2015 - 7:16 pm PT

Hello Everyone!
This morning, hopeful to move to high camp, we awoke early and had breakfast and coffee in the chilly pre-solar hours, watching through dissipating clouds, as the wind whipped along the top of the West Buttress leaving streaks of sublimated snow in its wake.
And so resumed another day of reading, sport eating, and exploring the tangled and winding pathways between the walls of surrounding camps.
We are all crossing our fingers today is our final rest and acclimatization day here at fabulous 14 camp. We are looking forward to getting some exercise of the physical kind…we have been taxing the mental reserves nightly by developing a now customary team activity of Riddles over Dinner, made possible by the greatest boredom banishing App ever, Brain Twister by Will Shortz. Tonight we’ll be starting with puzzle number 47 if you’d like to follow along…but trust us, they’re exponentially harder at 14,200’!
We are packed, prepped, and looking forward to making our move tomorrow morning, if the weather cooperates.
Hopefully instead of practicing patience and unscrambling anagrams, we’ll be establishing camp at 17,200’ and enjoying the ever impressive views from higher on the mountain.
Thanks for following along!
RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the team

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team in a Holding Pattern at 14,200’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 24, 2015 - 3:35 pm PT

Well, there is not much new to report today. We’re still waiting out the weather here at 14,200 ft on Denali. Last night was windy and snowy, with gusts up to 52 mph here in camp. There is lots of deep drifted snow around camp, so even just walking around is an exercise in trail breaking. The winds have let up this afternoon and it is still snowing lightly. Moderate snowfall is expected tonight and tomorrow, and with any luck it will let up by midweek.

We’re all safe and comfortable, waiting for the weather to improve. When (if) it does, we’ll have our work cut out for us; as a result of the new snow and wind loading, we’ll be faced with trail breaking and evaluating the avalanche hazard of the steeper slopes above us. In the mean time, we’re passing the time by reading books, chewing the fat, and the continual work of maintaining our camp’s condition throughout the storm.

We’ll keep you up to date with any changes in our current holding pattern.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Wait Out the Weather

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 23, 2015 - 2:37pm PST

We’re still comfortably camped in Genet Basin waiting for better weather in order to move up to high camp. Today it is snowing and windy here in camp, and you can hear the winds howling thousands of feet above us on the West Buttress. We’re still living quite comfortably in our tent compound at 14,200’. We’re hopeful that the weather pattern will change after this weekend and we will have a shot to move to high camp and try for the summit. We’ll check back tomorrow to keep everyone up to date.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

Tent at 14,000' Camp on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Remain at 14,200’ Camp Waiting for Better Weather

Posted by: Billy Haas, Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 22, 2015 - 5:01 pm PT

Once again we find ourselves resting at the 14,200’ camp on Denali’s West Buttress. This is our second rest/acclimatization day at this camp, and we are feeling stronger each day. The weather is quite pleasant here in camp, with partly sunny skies and barely a breath of wind. The story is a bit different up higher on the mountain, where strong winds are streaming snow off of the West Buttress. Winds are forecast to increase and there is a high wind advisory for tomorrow and tomorrow night. That means we’re planning to stay put in our comfortable and secure camp for the next couple of days while we wait for more reasonable weather in which to climb.  We’ll keep you updated…

RMI Guide Mike Walter & team

An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, Mt. Foraker in the background.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Rest at 14,000’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 21, 2015 - 10:26 pm PT

Hello from 14k on Denali!

We took a planned rest day today, which was a good thing because the weather was a bit inhospitable this morning in camp. Winds were swirling and blowing snow around, with very little visibility. We took advantage of the situation and had a three hour brunch in the comfort and relative luxury of our cook tent. The weather improved a bit in the afternoon, and we did some work around camp fortifying our snow walls. By this evening, the skies were nearly clear and the wind was light at camp. Strong winds were still obvious up higher on the route. The weather forecast for the next few days is still calling for high winds? So our plan is to sit tight and wait for a better weather window in which to climb higher. In the mean time, we’re resting, acclimating, and telling lies in the cook tent. We’ll keep you posted as we continue to watch the weather.
Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

An RMI team fortifies snow walls for protection from the wind at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter and Team Carry to 16,200’

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Wednesday, May 20th 3:19 pm PDT

We took advantage of a beautiful morning today and bumped a cache of food and fuel up to 16,200 ft on the West Buttress, above the fixed ropes of the head wall outside of 14k camp. We made efficient work of the head wall and, as we neared the top, clouds and wind moved in around us. The weather was manageable, just not very pleasant. So once our cache hole was dug and our food and fuel was buried, we retreated back down the fixed ropes to the comfort of camp.

The afternoon was spent relaxing as winds swirled around camp. We will take a rest day tomorrow to recover and acclimate further. The weather forecast for the next couple of days indicates strong winds up high, so we’ll likely have a couple of days to rest here at 14,200’ while we wait for a reasonable weather window to move up to high camp and have a crack at the summit. Hopefully the weekend will bring more favorable climbing weather. We’ll keep you posted either way.

Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter and Team

An RMI team ascending the fixed lines outside of 14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Train at 14,200’ Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Billy Haas, Solveig Waterfall | May 20, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 19, 2015 - 11:40 pm PT

Our team had another great day today. We had leisurely breakfast and then headed back down to Windy Corner to retrieve our cached gear that we left there two days ago. The weather was cloudy with light snow, which made for a comfortable walking temperature.
After returning to camp, we reviewed fixed rope travel, in preparation for the next phase of our climb.
Once we felt polished on the fixed rope training, we spent a few hours building walls for our camp and erecting a cook tent. We’re quite comfortable now, here at the 14,200’ camp in Genet Basin.
We’ll play tomorrow by ear, based on the weather. If it is nice out, we’ll climb up above 16,000’ to establish a cache of supplies for our high camp. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll take advantage of a full rest day tomorrow to recover and acclimate. Either option will be a benefit to our team.
Everyone is doing well up here. We’ll keep you posted as to how tomorrow goes.
Cheers,

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Move to 14,000’ Camp

Posted by: Billy Haas, Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall | May 19, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,000'

May 18, 2015, 11:16 pm PT

Hello from beautiful 14 camp!
We arrived today under sunny skies and warm temps with light winds that gusted a bit higher as we rounded the aptly named Windy Corner.
The move took us just under 5.5 hours and everyone climbed strong and then worked extremely hard building a solid camp here in Genet Basin. Tomorrow our plan is to return to our cache at 13,600, retrieve the rest of our food and fuel, and fully set up shop here in our new location.
The views from camp are spectacular and we all enjoyed a delicious dinner of lentils and rice while familiarizing ourselves with the incredible scenery.
Our team wants to say thank you to everyone who left comments on our blog. We received them this morning and the boost in morale helped propel us into camp today!
Here are a few personal messages from the team members! Keep the positive energy coming our way!
Thanks for following along!
RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall


Hey, Christy, Phillip, gabe, Annie, things going well. Sure miss all of u. Can’t wait to see u. Hoping to summit next week or so. Love u all, Brian.

To all my family and friends, thanks for cheering us on! It’s quite the adventure, the views are incredible. We’re staying safe and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far. Can’t wait to go further!  Dan

Dear fam and friends, thanks for following this wild adventure. Getting chilly as we venture up higher. Looking to hit the summit within this next week.
Love you fam, go Rangers!!

To all friends and loved ones following our progress Thnk you for the posts allis well at 14 camp love you all! Kearney Sagehorn

Love hearing all the support! For my fellow Bison, I am flying the guidon at every camp and hope to take it to the summit. “Move out the Way!!” For the family, your in my thoughts constantly and look forward to getting back home safely. Brooke, give the boys a hug and kiss for me. I love you all!
- Chris

The RMI Posh tent set up at 14,000 ft Camp.  Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Carry to Windy Corner

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 18, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 17, 2015 - 11:05pm PST

Hello All,

We awoke this morning to decreasing winds and clear skies, which gave us the window we’ve been waiting for to carry equipment around Windy Corner and put in a cache at 13,600’. Our team climbed strong and did a great job managing the few wind gusts we sustained… staying balanced and efficient while moving to higher elevations.  We returned to camp in the late afternoon and feasted on quesadilla’s with peppers, onions, chicken, and plenty of cheese before turning in for some well deserved rest.

Our forecast is looking good and we hope to move to 14,000’ tomorrow. It’ll be a big day, so we’ll rise early and break camp in order to give us plenty of time to get settled in our new home up in Genet Basin.

Thanks for following along!

RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall & Team

Climbing Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Remain at 11,200’ Due to Wind

Posted by: Billy Haas, Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall | May 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 16, 2016, 5:26 pm PT

Winds overnight at our 11,200’ camp were quite formidable, but our camp survived well due to our team’s hard work in building walls in the previous days.
By this morning, the winds abated somewhat at camp, so we rose early and fired stoves. We were hoping that we would be able to climb to Windy Corner at 13,600’ to place a cache of supplies for up higher. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our day and the winds continued through most of the day.
Instead we spent the morning adding more snow blocks to our camp for further wind protection. Everyone is doing well and in good spirits. We’ll try again tomorrow to get our cache up high. That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

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