Entries By mike walter

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

Posted by: Billy Haas, Solveig Waterfall, Mike Walter | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 27, 2015 - 10:38 pm PT

We woke early this morning, ate, took down our tents and packed our backpacks. We even had our harnesses on. The weather was perfect. But after checking multiple weather resources, our decision was clear. Weather models were in agreement, forecasting gale force winds in excess of 65mph tomorrow at high camp. It would not have been prudent to risk going up high today and deal with potential tent-crushing winds tomorrow. So we unpacked and set up our tents anew.
Throughout the emotional swings of this morning, our team has remained resolute. Safety is our number one priority up here in the mountains, and we will try for our summit push after tomorrow’s winds abate. In fact, the forecast looks quite good for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re optimistic that we’ll have good shot to move up to high camp on Friday.
In the mean time today, we’re enjoying the best weather day of our whole trip. It’s sunny, calm, and warm here at 14,200’.
Pete Van Deventer’s expedition is up high on the ridge today, caching supplies for their stint at high camp (which will likely coincide with ours). Adam Knoff’s expedition rolled into camp today also, and they’re busy setting up their camp. It’s good to see a lot of friendly RMI climber faces here at camp.
We’ll keep you posted any news from our end.

Cheers,
RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts


Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Wait at 14 Camp and Explore the Edge of the World

Posted by: Solveig Waterfall, Mike Walter, Billy Haas | May 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 26, 2015 - 10:33 pm PT

We woke early again today, hoping for good weather to move up to high camp. But it was not to be. A large lenticular cloud, indicating strong winds, had formed over the top of Denali, extending down beyond high camp. Winds were howling up high until a little afternoon today, when the cloud dissipated for a couple hours and then reformed in the afternoon. The winds were too strong for us to safely move camp to 17,200’, so we rested again at 14,200’.
We took advantage of clear skies on the lower mountain to take a walk out to the “Edge of the World”, a point south of our camp that looks down sheer cliffs about 5,000’ down the the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. The views from the Edge are surreal, and the scale is nearly incomprehensible.
We’re psyched to see what the weather brings tomorrow, and we’re ready to take advantage of good weather when it presents itself. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team

The view from the Edge of the World.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts

1

Glad to see you guys are doing well.  Hope to see these sites myself in the next couple of year or so.

Thanks

read more

Posted by: Kevin Stone on 5/28/2015 at 7:15 am


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

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts

3

Keeping my fingers crossed you all get a break in the weather and can continue to climb. Stay strong.

read more

Posted by: Magda Higggins on 5/27/2015 at 6:46 pm

Solveig, Your latest blog was very interesting, where you shared how you all preserve your sanity while waiting on the weather at 14,000 ft. Good luck on catching good weather… read more

Posted by: joe Griffith & Dianne Donovan on 5/26/2015 at 10:46 am


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

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts

2

Chris and team…thinking of you with the winds and snow…what a challenge your having.  Hope the weather eases soon so you can get to high camp.  Stay safe…so proud of… read more

Posted by: Dave and Melissa on 5/25/2015 at 7:31 am

Hang in there guys!!  I’ll be on the mountain next week, be super to see you guys on your way down from tagging the summit!

read more

Posted by: Pete on 5/25/2015 at 4:32 am


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

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts


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

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts


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

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts


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

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts

1

CPT Quantock and Team: Love seeing the pics and progress ya’all are making! Keep up the good work sir, the whole Bison team is rooting for you! Others in the… read more

Posted by: Mike D'Ippolito on 5/21/2015 at 12:42 pm


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

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts

1

Gods strength and care to each of you. May He strengthen you physically and mentally.

Love from Mom and Dad, Brian!

read more

Posted by: Duane Mycroft on 5/20/2015 at 1:45 pm


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

On The Map

Sign Up For Mount McKinley 2015 Email Alerts

7

Keep pushing Brian. You have been in my prayers. Take in the majesty that you are surrounded by and nail this climb. Amazed at your tenacity. Proud to be your… read more

Posted by: Bill Myers on 5/20/2015 at 6:20 am

You got this Brian and team! I sure hope you figured out your Go Pro so I can watch what you are experiencing.

read more

Posted by: Klay Maynard on 5/19/2015 at 4:40 pm


More Entries