Entries By pete van deventer

Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Check out the Views from the Edge of the World

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 27, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 26, 2015 - 11:13 pm PT

We woke to a swirling cloud cap above, that left little doubt that it was unpleasant in the West Buttress. We decided to wait the day yet again and see what tomorrow brings. We did take advantage of a break in the clouds to walk to the “Edge of the World’, where Genet Basin drops almost 7,000 feet to the Northeast fork of the Kahiltna. The views from here are unsurpassed and everyone took turns being belayed out to the edge to snap photos. We’ll give another shot at caching on the buttress tomorrow. We’ll let you know how it goes.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard, and team

Looking out over the Edge of the World from 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Retrieve Cache, Ready for Carry

Posted by: Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard | May 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 26, 2015 - 12:17 am PT

Just like Johnny Cash said, “that train keeps a rollin’.” The winds were down, a cloud of sparkling ice crystals hung around, reflecting the sunlight and solar baking everything, and we returned to a dead calm Windy Corner to retrieve our cash. We are one step closer now with all of our food up here with us. The next step is to take a run at the fixed lines and cache some food in the West Buttress. To prepare, we spent the afternoon practicing with our ascenders and getting prepped for that potential carry tomorrow. Mac and cheese with bacon for dinner to fuel us tomorrow. We’ll hope to wake up with a green light to head up. For now, good night!

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

An RMI Team approaching 14,000 ft Camp on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Hoping for Better Weather

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer | May 25, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 24, 2015 - 9:30 pm PT

The wind and snow continued through the night and into today. We spent the night listening to the roar of a freight train of wind above us on the West Buttress. The max gust through camp, according to the NPS weather station was 52 mph. That wind and snow put a few holes in our posh tent, and knocked over a few walls, so we spent the morning stitching up holes and rebuilding walls. Otherwise we fared pretty well through the blizzard. This afternoon things started to subside, and by evening the sun was showing, sparkling off of the small snowflakes that are hanging in the air. Our hope is that that trend will carry through tomorrow, and we’ll have the visibility to head back down and retrieve our cache from Windy Corner. Fingers crossed. The change in weather has also caused a change in the general mood of camp, and we’re listening to laughing, joking, jovial voices all over camp. We’ll let you know how things go tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard, Robby Young, and team

An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley fortifies snow walls and clears tents after new snow.  Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Waiting at 14,200 ft Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 24, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

May 24, 2015 - 9:32 am PT

Winter has come to Denali. We spent the night listening to snowflakes pelt the tent walls, interspersed with frequent tent shaking blasts of wind. As we stretched breakfast into a long brunch, the story didn’t change, so we decided to focus our energy on building up our walls a bit more and solidifying camp rather than going to get our cache. The evening brought stronger snow, and a fresh forecast of more snow tomorrow and wind, so we’ll see how the plan for tomorrow shakes out. From the wintry white north,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard, and team

A snowy camp at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Set Up Camp at 14,200’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 23, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Friday, May 22nd 5:52 pm PDT

The day dawned (that is, the sun rose since it’s always some shade of dawn or dusk but never night) with blue skies and calm air in camp, so we hit the rally button, gobbled breakfast and set about breaking camp to head to 14,200 ft. As we climbed, clouds started to appear and stream over our heads and we knew that winds were building. Windy Corner lived up to its name, but it was really only unpleasant for a short while, with wind whipping snow and ice pellets into our face. As soon as we passed the Windy Corner, the winds died and the oven turned on. It’s a long move to 14k Camp, and once we arrived the work wasn’t over. We set about building walls, a new kitchen, and getting everything bomb proofed. Now we’re settled into our new digs, happy, warm, and content. 14k Camp really is the cat’s meow. Tomorrow we’ll retrieve our cache, and it will be great to be fully settled.

Until then,
RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team

14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK surrounded by fortified walls. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Take A Weather Day at 11,200’

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young | May 22, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 21, 2015 - 11:31 pm PT

Mt. McKinley made it abundantly clear today that we were welcome to stay in the tents, but were not welcome to move higher. Big snow plumes above us and swirling clouds, snow, and wind in camp made the decision to rest for the day easy. We passed the time with a long brunch, some tent time, and another long dinner session hanging out in the posh. This evening our visibility improved, the sun shone through, and the winds diminished, so we’re hopeful that we’ll take a take two tomorrow and head up to 14,000’. Keep your finger crossed for us.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard and team

An RMI Team taking a weather day at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Carry to Windy Corner

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 21, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Wednesday, May 20th 6:11 pm PDT

Our day was productive, if not easy. This morning the winds had abated, though not gone, and we seized our opportunity to make some headway. We swapped snowshoes for crampons, packed loads of food and fuel, and roped up for the climb to Windy Corner. The winds, not nearly as strong as yesterday, were nonetheless a bit blustery as we climbed and added a bit of extra challenge to the day, and everyone rose to that challenge. We made it to Windy Corner and cached our loads as the wind seemed to pick up a bit. We scooted back downhill to the comfort of our tents, and tucked in. By mid-afternoon, the winds returned to 11k Camp and brought snow with them. We’ll see how the current pattern progresses, and in the morning we’ll find out if the weather will allow us to move up, or whether we’ll extend out stay at 11,200’ for another day. For now we’re snug in our beds.


RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and Team

An RMI team ascending Motorcycle Hill with 11k Camp of Mt. McKinley, AK in the background. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Take a Rest Day at 11,200’

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Josh Maggard, Robby Young | May 20, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 20, 2015 - 12:07 am PT

We wanted to get up to 13,500’ to cache today, but the weather had other plans. Clouds and snow were moving quickly over the Polo Field and West Buttress above us, and gave us all the clues we needed to guess what would be going on at Windy Corner. After watching the trend for a couple of hours and not seeing any improvement, we decided to sit tight and take a tent day. Sure enough, around noon the wind direction shifted and brought strong, gusty winds to camp, along with a fair bit of snow. The team did the tent time triathlon, competing in three events: napping (best napping and longest), spades, and sport eating lunch food. By dinner, the clouds above us started to break and the sun peaked through. We’ve got 6 inches of nice new fluffy snow, and the view as we crawled into our sleeping bags was sparkly and beautiful. We’ll add some more sleep hours, and hope that we wake up to conducive conditions for getting our cache in tomorrow!

RMI Guides Pete, Josh, Robby, and team

An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Rob Lindner

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Rest at 11,000’ Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 19, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 19, 2015 - 12:39 am PT

We woke to the sound of the mob leaving 11,000’ Camp to move to 14,000’. Winds have prevented teams from moving up for several days, and so 11 has become a bit of a bottle neck. Happy to be tucked into warm sleeping bags and without a camp to move today, we kept dozing until the sun hit our tents. With the warmth, we smashed out a smoked salmon and bagel breakfast, and donned empty packs to retrieve the food and fuel that we cached yesterday. Back in time for an afternoon siesta, we spent some more time horizontal, and then did a quick review of our crampon and ice ax skills. A story filled dinner stretched into the night and now it’s time to get some shut eye. We got the blog comments that you all posted today and read them over dinner. Many thanks. Tomorrow we’ll hopefully boost some food and fuel up higher to windy corner to set us up for a move to 14,000’. Good night to all. We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard, and team

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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer and Team Make a Move

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 17, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,500'

We woke to sunny skies, and the forecasted winds didn’t arrive down low where we were. After bagel, cream cheese, and bacon filled breakfast sandwiches we crashed our camp, loaded our sleds (more and more team members are naming their sleds each day - the better to curse them by), and started the climb up Ski Hill. The steeper terrain with all of the weight of our gear was a big effort, different from yesterday’s long miles with little elevation change, but the team handled it really well, and pulled into a cozy camp at 9500’ this evening. A big meal of Mac and cheese fortified with bacon put everyone into food comas, and were crawling into the sacks for the night. Tomorrow, we plan to move to 11k to really start the process of acclimating. That’s all the news from here. We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

RMI Guides Pete, Robby, Josh, and team.

View from Ski Hill on Mt. McKinley.  RMI Photo Collection

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