Entries By nick hunt

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

Posted by: Andy Hildebrand, Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt | May 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 28, 2015 - 9:39 am PT

In the big picture breakdown of Mt. McKinley’s climbing days, it would be said that historically the move day from 11,000 foot camp to 14,000 foot camp would prove to be one of the most difficult.  Today I would say that we beat the odds.  We broke camp at 7 am this morning in quick time and after a delicious breakfast of instant oatmeal and instant coffee we were ready to tackle the day’s first objective.  Directly out of 11 camp, a swell steep uphill called Motorcycle Hill greets you.  Next is Squirrel Hill and after that Windy Corner.  Now I’m not sure how we have gotten in such good graces with the often grumpy weather gods but today those gods, sitting around their big weather God dinner table, decide today should be the nicest day all month.  With clear skies, no wind and perfect walking temps we all zipped right through those hills and corners to a breathtaking camp here at 14,000 feet.  We were in no rush because the day was so amazing so we created our own camp out of scratch and are all feeling rewarded and strong.  Big move days rarely go this smooth.  We could not feel more psyched for what’s to come. 
I am thinking about you Liam.  I can’t wait to see you. 
Wishing all of our family and friends big hugs. 
RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Looking up toward Windy Corner en route to 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Colleciton

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Keeping tabs on your ascent Bob. Sounds like your team is killing it up there. Can’t wait to hear about the experience in more detail. Safe climbing and a successful… read more

Posted by: Eric Ubersax on 5/28/2015 at 6:27 pm

Great climbing, team. Let’s hope for a string of good weather days. Stay warm and enjoy the experiences!

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Posted by: Connie Whitley on 5/28/2015 at 5:06 pm

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Enjoy Rest Day at 11,200’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 26, 2015 - 7:24 pm PT

I gave the team a general idea of when we might start breakfast this morning at dinner last night.  I bet we get hot water started at around 8, then start pancakes and coffee shortly after that I said.  I didn’t even open my eyes until almost nine.  While in the middle of working your way up this mountain day after day none of us realized how much we could use a rest.  Today it became clear.  We sat in the cook tent making fresh Pete’s coffee and watching Andy flip flap jacks until almost noon.  Then we took naps and soaked up the sun we haven’t really seen clearly this entire trip.  Now we are cooking quesadillas and packing up for our potential move to 14 Camp tomorrow.  Everyone is happy to be caching dirty underwear, smelly socks and unneeded stuff for the upper mountain.  It has been a beautiful rest day here at 11 Camp but after getting a great view of the upper mountain yesterday, the team feels super psyched to push this climb higher and see what unfolds. 
Check in tomorrow for the outcome of our hopeful move. 
Team Knoff saying goodnight.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, with Kahiltna Dome in the cloudy distance.  Photo: RMI Collection

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So glad to hear you are all doing so well and that you took a day to rest! Can’t wait to see how the next move goes!
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Posted by: Angelica on 5/27/2015 at 9:36 pm

Shannon and team, hope you enjoyed your rest day. Pancakes always good to warm the belly.  Climb on.  Looking forward to the next post.

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Posted by: patty & mark on 5/27/2015 at 11:19 am

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Carry to 13,500’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 26, 2015 - 10:08 am PT

Today is Memorial Day.  With the simplicity of life on this mountain taking charge, many of us don’t even know what day it is.  The process of get up, get dressed in close quarters, make your way to the cook tent dug into the side of the mountain, eat breakfast, pack you bag and climb, come back to the tents, eat dinner and go to bed is a process where days don’t matter.  So if birthdays are missed, anniversaries are forgotten about, we are not to blame.  Despite having digital doohickeys with us,  looking at calendars and keeping track of days becomes arbitrary.  Today as it turns out wasn’t Memorial Day up here, it was Windy Corner day.  This legendary gateway to the upper mountain is famous for its heinous wind, scary rock fall and tricky crevasses.  We are happy to report our carry around the corner to 13,500 feet went as smooth as we could have asked for.  Again we lucked out with weather because as I wrote earlier our early morning wake up calls got us going into clear skies but as soon as we arrived back in camp seven hours later it was snowing as hard as it has all trip.  There is much to be said for walking into a camp that is waiting for you.  We will rest tomorrow and eat pancakes and drink fresh coffee until nap time.  We can’t wait. 
Hello to Mrs. Vradenburg’s class at Lamotte School   I hope Liam is behaving.  Stay tuned. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Climbers below Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Hi Greg… sooooo excited to hear the weather is cooperating this time around!  The HFI crew is wishing you and your group a safe summit & return.  We sort of… read more

Posted by: Shelly Davies on 5/27/2015 at 6:50 am

Sounds like weather and timing are working well for you climbers. wishing everyone a well deserved rest and careful climbing tomorrow.  Thinking of you often Greg.  Great to get the… read more

Posted by: Dawn on 5/26/2015 at 5:26 pm

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Retrieve Cashe and return to 11,200’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 24, 2015 - 11:48 pm PT

Hello again from 11,000ft!

We woke up this morning to a fresh dumping of snow at camp, covering our tents and cook tent. First order of business this morning was getting everything dug out and reinforcing our snow walls.

The weather was still looking a little squirrelly afterwards, so we opted for a bit of a relaxed breakfast while we continued to watch what was going on outside. After a couple hours, our patience was rewarded and things cleared up enough for us to get organized and take off downhill to retrieve our cache at 9800’.  We made down, grabbed our cached goods, and jammed back uphill in good time. This is a strong team! Everyone just keeps going and is having fun!

Once back at 11,000’ with all our gear, the weather made a turn for the better. The skies cleared out, the winds died down, and the sun warmed us as we relaxed for the rest of the evening. If all goes well, we’ll push up to 13,500’ tomorrow to cache our gear around Windy Corner in preparation for our move to 14k.

Goodnight for now!
RMI Guide Nick Hunt and the rest of the team

An RM Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley with new snow.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map


Much respect for you all and your endeavor on Denali. This is your year Will. Godspeed….

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Posted by: John on 5/26/2015 at 7:10 am

Shannon—sorry we missed your calls Sunday night.  Thought of you through the weekend and missed your smiling face and sarcastic jabs at Shakamak.  Wishing you and the entire team better… read more

Posted by: Mark on 5/26/2015 at 6:34 am

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Move to 11,200 ft Camp

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 23, 2015 - 11:00 pm PT

In the real world the saying goes"the early bird gets the worm”.  This season on Denali, the early bird gets the weather window.  Now I’ve never been a bird before so I’m not gonna judge on how good a worm must taste, but I have been here before and I can tell you that moving camp in clear weather is much tastier than moving in a storm.  So, with a clear but windy morning we scarfed down a warm granola breakfast cached some unneeded gear and quickly broke camp.  Our team is getting very proficient at this skill so we were rolling by 9:15.  Nick led the team out and in 2.5 hours of sustained up hill travel had us all sitting at 11,200 feet.  It wasn’t long after we began building a fresh camp that the weather had enough of being nice and took a quick turn for the worst.  It held out just long enough to get camp built and then really started snowing and blowing.  The forecast is calling for up to a foot of snow by the end of tomorrow so we feel blessed to be in a good spot to wait things out.  Everyone sends big hugs to those following the blog and little hugs to those who aren’t. 
From from Camp three. 
RMI Guide Adam Knoff and team saying goodnight. 

An RM Team climbing towards 11,200 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Way to go Joe and team! Matt, Suzy, and Lucille are very excited for you and following your adventure. Alice is just thirsty and tired.

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Posted by: Suzy on 5/26/2015 at 10:23 am

Way to go, Uncle Joe!  We are excited to follow your climb.  Good luck.

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Posted by: Jedrek & Guthrie on 5/26/2015 at 8:26 am

Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Move Up to 9,800’

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,800'

Saturday, May 23rd 12:44 am PDT

I would like to dedicate this dispatch (one of many I’m sure) to my six year old son, Liam, who’s kindergarten class will be following the blog as our adventure unfolds. Hi kiddo! Daddy misses you a lot!

Up here on the mountain, day two was again a well executed day. We packed up camp at 7,800 feet and made a single carry of all of our things up to 9,800 feet were we are camped for night. We each moved well over one hundred pounds divided between our sleds and packs. From here on up we begin to split the loads, taking some up the mountain in one carry and then returning the next day to retrieve the rest. The weather here is well below freezing at night and we have strong gusty winds that are blowing snow around. We got lucky to move into a camp that already had big snow block walls built to protect us a bit from the heavy gusts. Tomorrow we will decide what the plan is after we have breakfast and check the weather. So far so good.

RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, and Andy Hildebrand

An RMI team ascending Ski Hill towards 9,800 Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: RMI Collection

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Thanks for the great update—everyone in STL wants to know how you all are doing! George and Margaret have been telling everyone they see that Daddy is in Alaska climbing… read more

Posted by: Heather on 5/24/2015 at 5:45 am

Enjoying your newsy blog.  What a team,  Sending an abundance of well wishes for continued success and cooperative weather. Stay warm and enjoy your adventure.

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Posted by: Carolyn Wallgren on 5/24/2015 at 4:37 am

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Arrive at Camp 1

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Andy Hildebrand, Nick Hunt | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

May 21, 2015 - 10:46 pm PT

The team has made it to Camp 1 in almost perfect style. I am on my seventh Denali climb as a guide and have never gone from Base Camp to Camp 1 with such seamlessness.  No one had a single sled issue or cursed my name for giving them so much gear.  No one got a blister or fell behind a single second.  Like I said earlier, I am very pleased with this team.  One day down, who knows how many more to go. 
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s report.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

An RMI Team pulling sled from from Base Camp en route to Camp 1 on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Chris Villar

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We sure hope the weather holds clear and bright the rest of your journey. Safe climbing to the whole team. Keep up the good work and good luck to you… read more

Posted by: Connie Whitley on 5/23/2015 at 3:14 am

Way to go team! Glad all is well. We sure are routing for y’all. Greetings from Texas! Yee,haw!!

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Posted by: Joyce Tocher on 5/22/2015 at 5:20 pm

Mt. McKinley: Knoff and Team Ready to Go

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, Andy Hildebrand | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

Thursday, May 21st 10:02 am PDT

We got the call this morning at breakfast that base camp is clear and the light is green. We are on the plane now ready for an adventure of a lifetime!  Wish us luck and send us love. 
Our next dispatch will be from Mt. McKinley
Rock and Roll!

Wednesday, May 20th 4:18 pm PDT

Our team is doing great up here in Talkeetna, AK.
We are swamped in gear, doing an inspection that would make the FAA proud. Nothing is going unseen and I am proud to announce that everyone is passing with flying colors. Overall I couldn’t be more happy with the first impressions of what should be a strong team. Let’s hope it stays that way. One never knows what can happen on Mt. McKinley.  Prayers for good morning weather for flying tomorrow.

Bye for now from Talkeetna.
RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Nick Hunt, and Andy Hildebrand and Crew

The May 19th McKinley team preparing for the climb in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff The May 19th McKinley team ready to fly in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff

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good luck to all the Denali climbers.  Hopefully you will summit this time Greg but always remember safety first. Love always mom and dad2

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Posted by: Dawn on 5/23/2015 at 7:00 am

Game-on Knoff & Team! Glad the wx was good and you got to fly out right away.
Enjoy the Kahiltna! G.Barber, enroute to AK! Made it to Cache Creek… read more

Posted by: Kerry on 5/22/2015 at 10:03 pm

Ecuador: Grom & Team Summit Cotopaxi

Posted by: Casey Grom, Nick Hunt | January 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador
Elevation: 19,348'

We made it today, despite the cold, wind, and snow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom & Team

The RMI Team on the Summit of Cotopaxi January 29, 2015 Photo: Casey Grom

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Congrats, Yoder and all the team.  Safe travels back to NY!  :) Morse Family

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Posted by: Jody on 1/30/2015 at 11:40 am

CONGRATULATIONS TO EACH OF YOU!!!! So very proud of you all.
We LOVE you, Paul!!!!
Xoxo, Beth, Mia & Zoe.

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Posted by: Beth on 1/29/2015 at 7:01 pm

Ecuador: Grom & Team Ready for Their Cotpaxi Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom, Nick Hunt | January 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

Hola Amigos!

Things are good here in Ecuador and the team is well rested after two nights at the wonderful Chilcabamba Lodge. Everyone is excited for tonight’s climb on Cotopaxi.

Today we bumped up to another Lodge that is nestled in right below Cotopaxi itself. Normally we stay at the Refugio on the mountain, but it is currently under renovation so we’ll be climbing from here. We have done this on the last few climbs and it has worked out well for the past teams and I expect the same for us.

Tonight our plan is to have dinner around 4:30 then head right to bed. We’ll wake at 10pm and have a sit down breakfast and then hit the road around 11pm. We’ll drive our bus to the base of the mountain and start our climb close to midnight. Based on how well everyone did on Cayambe, I’m guessing it’s going to take us somewhere around six to eight hours to reach the summit.

The weather has been improving each day and we have our fingers crossed it will continue for one more day. We’ll check back in tomorrow hopefully with good news.

Wish us luck!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

View of Cotopaxi, Ecuador 19,348'. Photo: Mike Walter

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