Entries By mike walter
May 18, 2017
Well, we woke early once again with optimism that we would be moving up to our high camp today. As we bundled up and crawled out of the tent, we were greeted by big, nasty lenticular clouds (UFO-looking, disk-like clouds that are indicative of high winds aloft) over the big three peaks in the Alaska Range: Hunter, Foraker, and our objective, Denali.
We continued with our plan and fired up the stoves and made breakfast. Then we returned to our tents to stay warm as we kept an eye on the winds above. In the end, they didn’t dissipate and we weren’t able to move camp today.
Although we are anxious to move up and have a shot at the summit, the flip side of taking another day at 14k is that we continue to acclimate and get stronger for our eventual summit push. Hopefully we will have that opportunity soon. We’ll keep you up to date with our progress.
Hi Mike, David, Thom and Todd, Just have a good rest. Such a thing wouldn’t happen twice. You guys definitely know how to enjoy the time:) I will keep tracking the progress. Good luck! Lei
Posted by: Lei W on 5/19/2017 at 5:47 am
Robby…..Congrats….you’re an uncle again!!!!! Isaac Robert born Thurs 5/18. See you soon.
Posted by: Mom on 5/19/2017 at 4:45 am
May 17, 2017
We arose early this morning and fired up the stoves with the intention of packing up camp and moving up to 17,200’. At breakfast we kept an eye on the conditions on the upper mountain. The wind was blowing plumes of snow off of the upper mountain and the Buttress and we decided to pump the breaks. With a good forecast ahead of us, and plenty of food and fuel, we decided not to push it by moving up into stormy weather. We decided to wait it out down here at 14k where we are comfortable and are getting stronger.
Our team will remain on standby and hopefully tomorrow’s weather will allow us to move up to high camp. Currently it is snowing lightly here at camp and we are resting, hydrating, and eating. We’ll be ready when the opportunity presents itself.
On The Map
Hi Guys, Great progress! Waiting for the photo on the top.
Posted by: Lei W on 5/17/2017 at 7:50 pm
May 16, 2017
May 16, 2017
We had another productive day yesterday, as we put in a cache of food and fuel all the way up to our high camp at 17,200’.
We crawled out of the sleeping bags early and braved a bitterly cold morning (-20F) to get a head start of the day. We climbed in the shade for our first hour and enjoyed the first rays of sunlight at our first break. Everyone climbed smoothly up the fixed ropes up to 16,200’. The next 1,000’ was climbing the ridge top on the West Buttress with thousands of feet of relief on either side of us. We spent about an hour at 17,200’, digging a cache hole and breathing the rare air.
It was a long, hard day and everyone did well. Now, we are taking a much deserved rest day. We are now in position to move to high camp and take a shot at the summit. The weather will dictate the next move, but right now the forecast looks good for a summit bid in the next few days. We’ll keep you posted.
On The Map
May 15, 2017
May 14, 2017
Happy Mother’s Day!
We celebrated Mother’s Day by taking a rest/acclimatization day at 14k. The weather was beautiful and we were able to get some much needed rest and dry out all of our gear. We took a leisurely stroll out to the Edge of the World to take on the magnificent views of the Kahiltna Glacier nearly 7000’ below us.
We also took time for continued training with fixed rope travel and running belays, which we will likely employ tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, we plan to carry a load of supplies up high on the West Buttress so we will be ready to move to high camp soon. We’ll keep you posted.
Again, happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there. Especially: Jeanne, Liz, Mimi, Kelly, Cynthia, Diane, Jarah, Victoria, Lea, Judy, Gale, Roberta, Pam, Joanne, Martina, Meme, Ann, Nancy, Debbie, & Renee.
May 14, 2017
May 13, 2017 - 10:43 pm PT
Our team had another productive day today. After a well deserved rest this morning, we headed back downhill to our cache near Windy Corner. Fifteen minutes after leaving camp we found ourselves back at our cache. Upon digging up our supplies, we loaded up our packs and headed back to our camp in Genet Basin. In less than an hour we were back at camp.
We also spent some time today reviewing and practicing fixed line travel using ascenders. We will tackle the fixed lines on our next active day as we plan to make a carry of supplies up near high camp. We will likely take a rest day tomorrow and try to make a cache up high on Monday.
We’ll keep you posted.
So glad to hear all signs point to a summit later this week. Back on the home front, I had to call a plumber to replace our leaking water heater and running toilet, Pat D. to fix the pump in the pond, and I haven’t figured out who I could call to put in the air conditioners as we are looking at 90 degrees this weekend and house guests for two nights. Please summit soon!
Wishing all were quiet on the home front…Nancy
Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/17/2017 at 6:01 am
You are actually going to do it ... I’m a little jealous!! Well done guys and keep pushing hard. Wishing you calm winds, warm sunshine, good company, a fabulous experience and - soon - some cold beers at base camp. Be safe.
Posted by: Adelle on 5/17/2017 at 1:32 am
May 13, 2017
May 12, 2017 - 10:49 pm PT
We rose early this morning to bitter cold temperatures and clear skies, with just a light breeze blowing through camp. Reluctantly we left the comfort of our sleeping bags and fired up the stoves. After a few hours we were fed, hydrated, and had camp broken down, and we were off climbing up Motorcycle Hill. We were the first group out of camp by a long shot, so we had the mountain to ourselves.
After cresting Motorcycle Hill, we tackled our next challenge, Squirrel Hill. After Squirrel Hill, we had a little reprieve on the relatively flat Polo Fields. We climbed up and around Windy Corner, passed our cache site from yesterday, and continued into Genet Basin, the 14,200’ camp.
It was a hard day with heavy packs, but everyone climbed hard. We arrived in camp with plenty of time to build camp in the sunshine and get some rest before dinner.
Tomorrow’s plan will involve sleeping in before breakfast to let the sun warm our chilly tents. Then we will head back downhill to Windy Corner to retrieve our cache.
We’ll check in again tomorrow.
On The Map
Go go Mike + crew ~ Wish you great / safe climb…Best and Bless Waltero…Just back from Peru ~ Summit Rainbow Mtn / Vinicunca
Posted by: Waltero Glover on 5/14/2017 at 6:34 am
Well done - Thom Todd David and team. Following you all like a real stalker. Wishing you all the best.
Sunny South Africa
Posted by: Adelle on 5/14/2017 at 5:17 am
May 12, 2017
May 11, 2017 - 11:07 pm PT
The weather was perfect and we took advantage of it by carrying heavy backpacks loaded with supplies to our cache at 13,700’, on the far side of Windy Corner. Climbing conditions were great and everyone did well. After burying our cache, we returned back to our camp at 11,200’. Hopefully tomorrow’s weather will cooperate and we can bump camp up to 14,200’. We’ll keep you posted.
On The Map
So glad you were able to make such good progress today, and that you had such good weather. Sam arrived safely last night and got his vaccinations this afternoon. Tomorrow we are having lunch with the Bashyals to talk about Nepal and India. Sunday it is brunch with Auntie Anne, and then he heads back to Montana.
Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/12/2017 at 8:29 pm
May 10, 2017
The snow has stopped and the storm has passed. We ended up getting 3-4 feet of snow. Today was beautiful with plenty of sunshine and light winds here at 11,200’ Camp. We decided to take another rest day today to let the snow settle and reduce the avalanche hazard. We spent the day drying our gear and getting ready for our cache tomorrow. Tomorrow (weather permitting) we will carry supplies up around Windy Corner and make a cache at around 13,700’. Or at least that’s the plan. We’ll keep you posted.
RMI Guide Mike Walter
On The Map
Hi Rue and Mike,
Following along and wishing you a safe and amazing climb!
Posted by: George Nimmo on 5/11/2017 at 10:25 am
Hi Todd, Thom, Dave & Mike,
Watching your progress and hoping for good weather and safe conditions.
All the best
Posted by: Rogan Davies on 5/10/2017 at 10:14 pm
May 9, 2017
May 9, 2017 - 6:26 pm PT
Yesterday’s light snow increased in intensity over night and turned into a full on powder day today. We woke to dig out the tents around 4:30 am an they were nearly buried again by 10 am. We have received over three feet of snow overnight and it is continuing as I write this.
So, we spent the day resting and enjoying one of our favorite rest day activities: digging out camp.
We actually needed this rest day, so the snow comes at an opportune time. We would like it to stop though, so we can make our carry to Windy Corner tomorrow. Right now that doesn’t seem to be the case, but better weather is forecast for later in the week.
Everyone is doing well and enjoying some down time. We’ll let you know what tomorrow brings.
On The Map
Given the down time at 11K, hope you found a cribbage partner. Looking forward to seeing your pics when you get back. Good luck to you and the team.
Elevation 644’ !!
Posted by: Art Muir on 5/10/2017 at 10:00 am
Hi Mike, Thom, Todd and David, I am so regret I missed this time. Best wishes for you guys with a good weather window. Dr. David, don’t bend your phone again and shoot some great pictures. I have been thinking what you guy’s schedule this year. I am so jealous!!
Be safe and good luck!!!
Lei from Albany, NY
Posted by: LEI WU on 5/10/2017 at 7:35 am
May 8, 2017
We slept in this morning and then enjoyed a breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon. Then we headed back down glacier to retrieve the cache we left there two days ago. It was a warm day with light snow and no wind. Now that we have all of our supplies with us at 11k, we’ll start to strategize our move to the upper mountain. The next move for us is to carry supplies up around Windy Corner and establish a cache at around 13,700’. We’re still not sure if that will happen tomorrow or if we will take our first full rest day. Weather will certainly play a role in that decision. We will let you know what we decide and touch base tomorrow.
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...don’t sleep in too long DWH! love you and am so proud of you! - mom sends her love as well! Prayers for a safe summit AKS
Posted by: Ann Kathryn Hines-Scott on 5/10/2017 at 3:37 am
Beautiful sky! Hope the rest of you got out of your tents to see that glorious sight!
Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/9/2017 at 6:29 pm