Entries By pete van deventer
May 25, 2016
May 25, 2016 - 1:04 am PT
For the first time in several days, the skies were clear above and below us this morning. With those clear skies came COLD temps. We let the sun warm the tents and us, and then set our sights on the fixed lines for a light carry of personal gear. The sun kept it warm while we moved, but the temps stayed cold and we kept the breaks short as they quickly turned chilly. Our group moved really well, and with no other traffic around, we were quickly at the top of the lines, sitting on the West Buttress proper. Our later departure, and light but cold winds convinced us to cache our loads there, and head back down. As has been the recent pattern, as we descended the winds above built, and soon evidence of strong winds was showing on the summit, and moving down to the Buttress as well. We were happy to be back in camp relaxing. The next weather system is forecasted to come in tonight and tomorrow, so we’ll enjoy the comfort of our tents. At this point, we are watching for our window and are perfectly set up to go for the summit when the opportunity presents. That might mean a touch more waiting, but we are ok with that.
Best from 14,
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and team
On The Map
Impressive feat to summit West Buttress during a break in the weather. Patrice tells me that Thursday through Sunday will bring favorable weather; so, maybe you’ll make good progress toward your goal of summiting. I am hoping and praying that you are successful because it’s occurred to me that another climb up Denali might be in your future if you don’t succeed this time. I couldn’t take the anxiety again.
Upwards and onwards!
Posted by: leanne on 5/25/2016 at 1:09 pm
Pete and Robby—I’ve been following you guys and your team and I wish you all the best of luck the rest of the way. I wish I was back with you again this year!
To your team—best of luck, the best part of the climb is next!
Posted by: Brian Palmer on 5/25/2016 at 12:05 pm
May 24, 2016
May, 23, 2016 - 10:05 p.m. PDT
Fully prepared for Denali Storm Daryl overnight, we were pleasantly surprised to enjoy a quiet night and an even more beautiful morning. While cold and calm here at 14 Camp this morning, the upper mountain continued to impress with strong winds and an impressive lenticular cloud covering the summit. Our sights turned from climbing and caching, to rest and rejuvenation. We said goodbye to our friends Mike Walter and crew as they began their long descent back to civilization, and headed out to the famous “Edge of the World,” a must see for any climber lucky enough to call 14 camp home. The views were ‘out of this world,’ as always, looking out over the cloud-filled lower Kahiltna Glacier, 7,000’ below. Quesadilla Supremes nourished our rested bodies this evening before the setting sun coaxed us back into the warmth of our tents. Tomorrow, our waiting game continues as we look toward a weather window that will allow us entrance to the upper slopes of the tallest mountain in North America.
Goodnight from RMI Guides Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, and Jess Matthews and team.
On The Map
Hi Lisa& team VanDemventer wow unbelievable picturesque breathtaking views, hope ur window of opportunity happens today to take u to the top, it’s been a good tough journey I’m sure be safe to all and climb on. Xo the BOLOMEY’S ⛷
Posted by: Joe&Patty; on 5/25/2016 at 3:14 am
Great break in the weather for all as you acclimatize and get those red blood cell numbers up there.
Hitesh. Thinking about you and all goes well at SCH
Posted by: Rod Duboid on 5/24/2016 at 9:06 pm
May 23, 2016
May 22, 2016 - 11:34 p.m. PDT
We climbed out of the tents this morning hopeful that we would head uphill to cache. Though there was a cap on the summit, the ridge of the West Buttress looked doable. As we fired the stoves though that situation began to change as the cap lowered and the winds over the Buttress picked up. By the end of breakfast we had changed our minds and decided to stay put. That was further reinforced when a climbing ranger stopped by to let us know that NOAA had called with a special weather advisory with high winds and snow. The rangers have taken to naming the storms; this one is Denali storm Daryl. We spent the day resting and hibernating in tents, though so far Daryl has been pretty gentle with us. Tomorrow sounds like it will be another rest day, but if we wake up to something unexpected, we’ll rally and get our cache in.
Fra Tomas: Gratulerer med dagen Sinnekka! Jeg elsker deg, din Tomas.
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, and Robby Young, and team
On The Map
Nobody messes with Daryl on TWD; so, I’m glad to hear that you are paying storm Daryl some respect.
Stay low and ride this out. Mother Nature is always in charge.
Posted by: leanne on 5/23/2016 at 3:48 pm
Stay safe .. No guts and glory stuff!!!
Posted by: Peter on 5/23/2016 at 9:45 am
May 22, 2016
May 21, 2016 - 11:43 pm PT
Though there was a cap on the upper mountain when we woke, that wasn’t the direction of our concern. The snow and winds had abated, and down towards Windy Corner, the sun was shining through thin clouds, setting everything to sparkling. After another great brunch, we grabbed our packs and feeling light as feathers, cruised downhill to our cache. We made quick work of retrieving it, and an hour later were back in camp with a small mountain of food. We spent a bit of time before dinner rigging our ascenders and reviewing fixed line techniques for what we hope to be our carry up onto the West Buttress tomorrow. If the weather cooperates we’ll make our first trip up the lines, and all the boxes will be checked for our summit bid.
All for now,
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and team
On The Map
Following your trail Lisa and it must be incredible. Must be so beautiful. You are awesome!
Posted by: Trix on 5/23/2016 at 6:14 pm
So close.. enjoy every step and the fabulous view, Lisa..! Go higher !! Look forward to seeing the flag !
Posted by: greg hurley on 5/23/2016 at 12:27 pm
May 21, 2016
May 21, 2016 - 1:18 am PT
For most of today it huffed and puffed and the snow fell heavily. We haven’t been able to see much, and the wind has been gusting pretty strongly. We made the easy choice to take today as a rest day and fortify our camp, which proved to be the right decision as the gusts grew stronger as the day went on. Instead, we ate a great brunch of smoked salmon and bagels, then set to work reinforcing our compounds with big walls (some wondered how much of a rest day it was carrying a couple hundred 20 pound blocks of snow). With our camp solid, we retired to the tents for naps and rest, before a delicious dinner of Mac and cheese with bacon. It’s still snowing hard, though the winds are starting to calm. We’re expecting to still wake up to some snow, but hopefully the winds abate, the visibility improves, and we take a quick walk back to retrieve our cache. If not, we still have plenty of delicious food up here and we’ll continue to acclimate and get strong in the thinner air of 14.
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Jess, and our stellar team of high altitude athletes
On The Map
Geez, you all seem to be eating well! Scott I hope you’re getting some good many ideas for our next climb—no more of those just-add-water instant dinner thingies! ;-)
Be safe y’all, and enjoy the journey.
Posted by: Chris Beaudette on 5/22/2016 at 1:02 pm
Mac and cheese Justin??? I feel bad for your tent mates!!!!!!! Hopefully the storm will relent soon enough. This past week, we finally had a nice stretch of sunny weather here in Colorado and I am missing you on my hikes. I almost stepped on a rattlesnake and realized I really need to review my WFR notes ...
Posted by: Patrice La Vigne on 5/21/2016 at 3:35 pm
May 20, 2016
May 20, 2016 - 12:24 am PT
Stupendous day here on Denali! We fought saucy winds through the aptly named Windy Corner, but the sky stayed pristinely azure, and the team ducked their heads into the chilly breeze and powered around the corner, where the winds promptly died. We rolled into 14 looking like a fresh pair of socks, and started building our own fortress next to that of Mike Walter’s crew. As the temps dropped, we ate a hearty dinner and retired to the tents. We have a light day on tap tomorrow, returning to our cache to retrieve food and fuel and fully move into 14.
Best from our new abode,
RMI Guides Pete, Jess, Robby, and team
On The Map
Well Lisa looks like u and team r making good progress to the top and avoiding the bad conditions that can pop up in a moment , incredible journey for u and team Van Demvender keep posting ur moves , be safe and strong Climb On,
Posted by: Joe& Patty on 5/21/2016 at 3:08 am
Seems like you’re all doing fine in the incredibly beautiful landscape. I understand you are maintaining a physically tough trip, but as long as your packing is under control, no need to worry! Wish you a nice go with the final passage up to the top. Inger says hello too. Love, Maria.
Posted by: Maria Hedlund on 5/20/2016 at 10:58 pm
May 19, 2016
May 19, 2016 - 12:07 a.m. PDT
Today was a beautiful day to go for a walk, so we grabbed our already packed packs from yesterday and headed up Motorcycle Hill. A thin layer of high clouds kept it from getting too hot, and we cruised across a smooth, and relatively crevasse free, Polo Field to Windy Corner, and then around to our cache site at 13,500.’ After folding a shovel in half trying to dig through a surprisingly thick ice layer, we found and abandoned cache hole that had blown in and excavated that instead. With food and fuel buried, we made short work of the return trip to 11,200’. Should the weather be fair in the morning, we plan to pack up camp and head up to 14,200’ to join Mike Walter’s crew. With luck we’ll be checking in tomorrow from our new camp!
Do your favorite weather dance for us,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, and Robby Young, and Crew
On The Map
Any birthday cake today brother
Posted by: Mats Carlehog on 5/19/2016 at 2:57 pm
Yeah Tay!! We are all thinking about you (and in the groupchat) back in SB and how much fun you are having up there. Can’t wait to hear your stories and see your photos!
Les and DC groupchat
Posted by: Les Morales on 5/19/2016 at 1:44 pm
May 17, 2016
May 17, 2016 - 6:02 p.m. PDT
We declared a snow day today. We woke to what could be described as a heavy fall of snow, and our hopes of heading uphill diminished. An hour later as we ate breakfast, the sky cleared, the sun came out, and our hopes rose. Just as quickly, the clouds, snow, and blustery gusts returned, and convinced us that today was a day to remain indoors. And so we have, napping, snacking, reading, and watching movies. The weather hasn’t relented either, reinforcing our decision. The low pressure that seems to be moving over us is hinting at moving out over the next few days, so we hope that tomorrow gives us a better opportunity to head up to Windy Corner and cache. In the meantime, we’ll take the opportunity to rest up and get ready for another round of big days. All for now from snowy 11 Camp.
Thanks for following!
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, and Jess Matthes, and team
On The Map
Hipp hipp hurra, ha den äran idag käre Thomas!! Happy Birthday!!
Grattis från hela familjen här hemma.
Äppelträden blommar, små vackra blommor kommer upp i gräsmattan…sommaren är på väg efter några svalare dagar.
Önskar Dig en fin dag och fortsatt upplevelserik expedition! Mycket mod, kraft och kärlek, älskar Dig.
Posted by: Sinikka on 5/19/2016 at 6:50 am
It has been a miserable few days in the east, Weather 46-54 and drizzle, You guys surrounded by visual splendor are in the right zip code. Saying some prayers to pull your nasty weather away! Go git’em, when it’s right! Happy Trails Lisa! - Greg
Posted by: Greg Hurley on 5/19/2016 at 3:55 am
May 17, 2016
May 16, 2016 - 11:45 p.m. PDT
We woke this morning from a deep, deep night of sleep to sunny skies and a thin coat of snow over everything that sparkled brilliantly white. It was a gorgeous morning that energized everyone as they glanced up at Denali, down the Kahiltna, and across at Foraker. We had a leisurely breakfast of hash browns and eggs, listening to teams pack and walk out for carries to Windy Corner or moves to 14. We eventually made our own move, returning to our cache of food and fuel at 10, and hauling it back up the hill to camp. We reviewed some climbing techniques that we’ll need above here, then crawled into the tents as the clouds crept up glacier to rest and relax. Tomorrow we hope to make our own carry up to Windy Corner if conditions allow. Until then, we’ll eat more food, tell some tall tales, and catch several more hours of deep, deep sleep.
Best from 11,
I love it when you talk about holing up to sleep and eat. It means your out of danger’s way. Windy Corner sounds uninviting. Wish there was a way around it. A mother is a mother, no matter the age of the child.
Posted by: leanne fosbre on 5/17/2016 at 3:58 pm
We’ll keep sending those good weather vibes your way, especially for Windy Corner!!! Keep up the great work everyone!
Posted by: Patrice La Vigne on 5/17/2016 at 2:53 pm
May 16, 2016
May 16, 2016 - 1:31 am PT
Howdy to everybody from 11,200 feet! We had a great move up the Kahiltna, experiencing every type of weather along the way: smoking hot sun, thin clouds that turned on the microwave, thicker clouds that cooled us off, snow with wind, and finally snow without wind. Despite all of that, our travels were very smooth, and we walked into camp in the late afternoon. Move days are a lot of work; not just the climbing, but once at camp, we have to construct a whole new camp with platforms, walls, and kitchen. All told it’s a lot of digging and a lot of snow to move, but this crew’s teamwork was exemplary, and with a couple of hours of pounding away, we have a solid new place to call home for a few days. We’ll say hi tomorrow,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Jess Matthews and team
On The Map
Well done team ,looks like ur making good progress moving on up to ur next plattoe it looks awesome from up there the team looks like they r enjoying this venture be safe, keep us all posted, ur friends from “The Downs"xo
Posted by: Joe&Patty; on 5/17/2016 at 3:20 am
Good job! You’ve got a lot of people rooting for the team from Denver! That’s a lot of snow. I guess you better get used to it! Keep on trekking and good luck. I know the team can accomplish its goal!
Posted by: Jamie on 5/16/2016 at 7:57 pm