Entries By mike walter

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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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Take Another Rest Day Due to Winds

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 15th 2:30 pm PT

Overnight winds here at the 11k Camp were strong, but subsided a bit by morning. We woke early and fired stoves for a much anticipated cup of coffee…followed by a breakfast of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and bagels (it’s not all about suffering up here).
Our team was ready, but the winds up above Motorcycle Hill and around Windy Corner, where we intend to place our cache, never subsided to levels that we were comfortable with.
We ended up taking another rest day here at 11k, which is always a good thing. Hopefully we’ll be able to make our cache tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and the team

An RMI team's 11K Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Weather Day at 11K Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 14, 2015, 6:20 pm PT

Checking in here from 11,200 ft:  Today we awoke to less than desirable weather for a potential carry.  Gusty winds and snow prompted a welcomed rest day.  The team slept in and once awake began the process of fixing up camp and repairing the cook tent.  A multiple hour breakfast of eggs, meats, and hashbrowns gave way to some socializing around camp, and on and off napping.  The team is in good spirits and hoping to begin the eventual process of moving to 14,000 camp as soon as the weather improves.

RMI Guide Billy Haas and the team

11,200' on McKinley, Kahiltna Dome in the the distance. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter and Team Settle in at 11,200’ Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 13, 2015, 10:49 pm

The weather today was a bit squirrelly, but we were able to make it back down to our cached gear at 9,600’ and haul it back up to our camp at 11,200’. We’re all doing well out here and sitting pretty on the mountain. Our next mission will be to take a cache of food and fuel up around Windy Corner at around 13,600’. We plan on tackling that tomorrow if the weather allows us. Today would have been too windy for a foray to higher altitudes.
We’re all excited for the next stages of the climb, where we exchange snowshoes for crampons, and trekking poles for ice axes. We’re also psyched at climbing steeper terrain and enjoying the ever ever impressive views.
That’s the news from this end. We’ll keep you up to date with our progress.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team.

Enjoying the views from camp at 11,200 ft on Mt.McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Settling in at 11,200’ Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 13, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 12, 2015 11:00 pm PT

Hello everyone!
We tackled our third day of Mt. McKinley climbing today, which brought us to camp at 11,200’.
The team did exceptionally well and we made great time, rolling into camp before it became uncomfortably hot on the glacier.
Once here we had a big task ahead of us, constructing tent platforms and a kitchen and bathroom. Thankfully we were able to make use of some old walls and platforms that only required minor adjustment to make them workable for our tents, saving us at least an hour of hard labor. The bathroom and kitchen required the most effort, but the team rotated through the shoveling and we now have a luxurious Posh House dining area which we enjoyed over a filling dinner of mac and cheese with bacon and broccoli.
We are all tucked in now, enjoying the last few minutes of sunlight in camp in the comfort of our sleeping bags, looking forward to a nice rest and short day tomorrow. Our plan is to sleep in a bit later than the last few mornings, and then return to our last camp to retrieve our remaining food.
We’ll check in again tomorrow!
RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the team!

An RMI 11,200' Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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