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Entries By pete van deventer

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer and Team Enjoy a Rest Day

Thursday, May 26, 2022 9:53 pm PST

As we suspected, it was blowing snow off the ridges above us this morning. There isn't much snow available to move, so when you see snow plumes you know the wind is ripping. It sounds like the pattern will change tomorrow so we weren't too bothered. We put some energy into organizing for our move to 17,000', took naps, and didn't mind staring up at the snow plumes above with like minded guides and climbers. Pretty standard activities whe you are at 14,000' Camp.

We'll wake up and hope Denali welcomes us higher tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Erika, Leif, and Team

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Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Repair Gear and Rest at 14,000 ft Camp

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 10:13 pm PT

As the forecast promised, we watched evidence of wind evolve above us across the Alaska range today, but our home at 14,000' Camp was calm, warm, and quite pleasant. We made the most of it, repairing gear that's malfunctioned, visiting with friends across camp, and napping. Tomorrow is most likely more of the same, so we'll spend time organizing so that when the weather switch flips, we're ready. Yesterday as we headed up, another team that was taking a rest break told us that we "were a Porsche 911 turbo engine". We'll hope to fire that up on Friday.

RMI Guides Pete, Leif, Erika, and team

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Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Climb Fixed Lines, Enjoy Views

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 - 11:32 pm PT

Things were pretty perfect this morning to take a burn on the fixed lines. When we move to 17,000' Camp, it will be with just the essentials. We'll leave luxury items, switch from burritos to freeze dried meals, and go with the plan to get the job done and get back down to thicker air. Thus, there really isn't much that we can cache between here and 17,000'. Instead of caching, our goal was to climb to to higher altitude to keep the acclimatization process progressing, and to get a chance to see the fixed lines without heavy packs.  Our packs were light, the sky was clear, and conditions generally calm. We had a wonderful climb up to 16,200', spent a few minutes enjoying the views, then headed back down.

The fixed lines often spark some anxiety: how hard are they, how steep, we can't stop and take a break?!? After a practice run on them those nerves were quelled. Everybody was happy to get a chance with light packs and feel ready to go again, when we move to 17,000' Camp for the summit push. Seems that there is a bit of wind up high the next couple of days so we'll likely wait that out, and then hit the go button when things calm down again. So rest day tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Erika, Leif, and team

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Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Have Weather Day Rest Day

Monday, May 24, 2022 - 10:39 pm PT

We woke up hopeful to take a jaunt up the fixed lines this morning. The sky was clear above and it was nice in camp. As we fired the stoves and the sun got nearer to rounding the ridge though, we started seeing large plumes of snow jetting of the summit plateau, then 17,000' Camp, then the whole ridge and the top of the fixed line. It was really nice in camp but we made the decision it wasn't a day to go up into the wind and pivoted instead to walking across the basin to The Edge of the World (our British friends call it The End of the World). From there the basin plummets to the Northeast fork of the Kahiltna, some 6000' feet below. We got glimpses of those views but a cliff was rising up from the Glacier obscuring the full magnitude of the place. We were back by early afternoon and took a siesta. Some built a card table out of snow blocks and played eucher until they couldn't feel their backsides. We'll look again in the morning hopeful to make the trip up the fixed lines if conditions allow.

RMI Guides Pete, Leif, Erika, and team

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We really appreciate your everyday news.
Here’s some advice I got from my granddaughter as she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro:

You climb and go for the summit for your ego.
You climb and take every step for your soul.

Much love, John and the team,  Mom

Posted by: Barbara J Corona on 5/25/2022 at 11:12 am

Hey guys, hope everyone is doing well on the mountain. Ask Carl if he packed his magic cards. Wish you all a great weather window on your ascent to 17 camp! Best of luck to all.    Ron

Posted by: Ron Jackson on 5/25/2022 at 7:41 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Enjoy Rest Day at 14,000ft Camp

Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 11:33 pm PT

After a solid bit of work yesterday, and due to the team going the extra mile on the carry day and going all the way to 14,000' Camp, today was a full blown rest day. We waited for the sun to hit the tents, brewed up coffee and made brunch burritos, and spent the day enjoying the fine weather. We spent a bit of time this evening refreshing our fixed line skills to prep for an initial trip up the headwall. That might be tomorrow, or we might wait, weather depending.

RMI Guides Pete, Erika, Leif, and team

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Thank you so much for the beautiful photo and news.  Hope the good weather holds out as well as
your bodies, minds, and spirits.  Can’t wait to hear all the stories.  You all are in our prayers.  Mom/Barbara

Posted by: Barbara J Corona on 5/24/2022 at 7:41 am

Any euchre tournements up there Stu?

Posted by: Jay Kessler on 5/23/2022 at 8:41 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer and Team Enjoy Rest Day and Make Plan to Move to 14k

Friday May 20 - 11:42pm

We made full value out of our rest day today. We woke late, had a brunch of blueberry pancakes and maple syrup, lounged for the better part of the day, and capped it with burritos for dinner. We have had no problem eating well.

Our main entertainment has been a very large team made up of members of the British military. We are all on a similar schedule, and subsets of their team have been filtering into camp the last couple days. As of today, our camp is encircled on three sides. The main constant in the wide variety of British accents constantly around us is the abundance of the F bomb. That word cuts through all accents and after our informal survey today shows up on average as every third word. There has been general hilarity listening to their banter through our tent walls and it was a main topic of discussion over dinner tonight.

We plan to move up to 14 tomorrow. Rested and refreshed after today, it should be done enjoyable climbing.

Pete, Erika, Leif, and team

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If anyone sees the “BRIT” soldiers can you tell a certain ADAM OCONNOR that his mum and dad are rooting for him and the rest of the group that fingers crossed they get to the top…

Posted by: David on 5/23/2022 at 2:21 pm

Is Roy Kent climbing with the British group? :) Hello to Chris, Steve and Stu! Good luck on the next stage! Be a goldfish!

Posted by: Kimmy Romine on 5/21/2022 at 12:03 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer and Team Cache Gear at 14,000’

Thursday, May 19, 2022 -  10:57pm PT

It was a perfect day to switch from lower glacier load hauling to actually climbing. The weather was clear and calm in the morning, so we pumped through a bagel breakfast, grabbed loads of food and fuel, and set our sights on motorcycle hill. Many teams cache at 13,5k just past windy corner, but we had our sights set on 14. The first several hours were pleasant. Sunny, but with just enough air moving to keep us comfortable. Rounding windy corner, there wasn't a breath of wind. The sauna turned on and we all had mild cases of heat panic. We cruised on into 14,000’ camp and got to say hi to Mike Walter and team, who were kind enough to top off some water bottles. With our goal secured, we turned and beat feet back to camp.

It was a solid day out and hard work, so we will reward ourselves with the first proper rest day of the trip tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Leif, Erika, and Team

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Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Retrieve Cache, Return to busy 11,000ft Camp

Thursday, May 18, 2022 - 12:46 am PT

We took our time over coffee and breakfast burritos this morning, enjoying the slow start and the warming sun that doesn't hit camp until 9 am. Satiated, we left camp and moved quickly downhill to our cache at 9600', relishing the opportunity to stride it out and cover ground. We passed a lot of teams headed towards 11,000' Camp, slowly trudging under the loads of big packs and full sleds. With our cache retrieved, we worked out way back uphill to our cozy camp. Overall, 11,000' Camp felt like it doubled in size today and lots of folks were strolling around, enjoying a warm afternoon. We'll look to continue our momentum tomorrow caching a load of fuel and food up high near Windy Corner.

RMI Guides Pete, Leif, Erika, and team

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Wonderful reading the news.  We are with you in spirit.  Enjoy. Love, Barbara

Posted by: Barbara Corona on 5/20/2022 at 6:11 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Use Weather Day Due to Winds

Monday, May 16, 2022 - 9:37 pm PT

At 4 am this morning the wolf tried his first huff. He then continued to huff and puff and try to blow down our house but we had built it strong. While we hunkered in our tents it was clear that it wasn't a day to try to walk anywhere. It blew for the morning but by early afternoon began to abate and have us a chance to get out of the tents and stretch our legs. This evening turned gorgeous as the wind went calm and the skies cleared. We should have smooth sailing for a move to 11,000' Camp tomorrow. We'll touch base.

RMI Guides Pete, Erika, Leif, and team

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Imagino que podràs rebre el nostre missatge. Pel que veig, de moment dies amb bones vistes i només un dia de fort vent. Espero que estiguis bé i en forma i que l’expedició estigui anant bé. Les fotos del blog es veuen espectaculars. Molts ànims des de Catalunya!!! Endavant amb l’expedició!!

Posted by: Marc on 5/22/2022 at 11:08 pm

My wife and I are in Alaska and have a flight planned on Sat, 5/21 at 13:30 to view Denali and land on a glacier - with K2. Stu - I hope to see ya somewhere around the 14K camp - from the air. Good luck Stu - and the entire team. Kyle

Posted by: Kyle Martin on 5/20/2022 at 11:54 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Land on the Kahiltna, Establish First Camp

Sunday, May 15, 2022 - 1:10 am PT

It was an auspicious start to our May 12 Denali Expedition today. When we called K2 in the morning to ask how things looked they replied "unlimited visibility and perfect". We rallied a hasty breakfast and headed for the hanger. We had gotten all of our bags set yesterday, so it didn't take much to get the planes loaded and launched. The pilots were taken with how clear and gorgeous the day was too, taking several detours to show us stunning corners of the Alaska Range on the way.

We landed and hit the ground running. Fully loaded sleds and packs were an indication of the magnitude of our undertaking, but the team cruised through the 5.5 miles of mellow glacier travel, and we rolled in to our first camp looking fresh. Everyone is fed and tucked into warm sleeping bags and as we write, a stunning full moon is rising over Mt. Hunter.

We plan to carry a load up towards Kahiltna pass tomorrow and then return to camp. We'll be in touch.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Leif Bergstrom, Erika Birkeland, and team

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