Entries By pete van deventer
May 18, 2017
May 17, 2017
We’re done with the Kahiltna for now! It’s been snowing lightly all day and for most of the day it was hard to tell where the ground ended and the sky began, but we had a good gps track to follow and we plugged our way along. The wind was moving snow around as we got close to Kahiltna Pass, making for some tough trail breaking. With all of that the team did great, hanging tough through a hard day and then rallying and buffing out a nice new abode at 11,000’ Camp once we arrived.
We’ve been going hard for three days now, and it’s time to spend some time recovering from our big loads, sleds, blisters, etc, while we acclimate and get strong here. Our plan is to make the short jaunt back to our cache tomorrow to retrieve it. Some time in the tents chilling is in order too.
RMI Guides Pete, Jess, Jenny and team
On The Map
Stay strong, be safe, enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Love you much Jenny. Your momma ❤️
Posted by: Melinda widmer on 5/18/2017 at 7:52 pm
May 17, 2017
We woke in the shadow of Denali, but the skies were clear and promised sun. Bagels and lox got everything started, and since the sun was shining we made hay. We grabbed 34 bags of food, 17 days worth, and a bunch of gas and moved it all uphill to 10,600 or so, just below 11,000’ Camp. The loads were heavy and Ski Hill made us work for it, but compared to yesterday, the loads didn’t even compare. Today’s work set us up well to move to our 11,000’ Camp with reasonable loads and establish our new home! 7,600’ Camp has been fun, but we are ready to move on. Loaded quesadillas for dinner have us feeling the oncoming food coma, so for now, over and out from the Kahiltna glacier.
RMI Guides Pete, Jess, Jenny, and the team
On The Map
G’day from Sydney Australia,It’s 20degC and we feel cold !Well on schedule so far- hard work but hopefully enjoying the experience in particular such surroundings.In retirement we feel part of the adventure but without the pain thanks to the regular messages from Mark and Rachel and the great RMI updates - especially the photos - keep safe - we are with you all in spirit.
Posted by: Philip and Yvonne Calvert on 5/19/2017 at 12:14 am
Pete Bilodeaus sis here… Just wanted to say hi! Looks like beautiful weather and unbelievable scenery! Love the blog updates…you all are bad ass!!!
Have fun and be safe! Thinking of you all..
Posted by: Carol Goetz on 5/18/2017 at 7:08 pm
May 16, 2017
May 15, 2017
This morning, the team arose bright and early with the sun to enjoy a nice, hot breakfast before packing up camp for the move to Camp two, at roughly 7,600 feet. After rigging our sleds and burying our cache, we started our long walk up the Kahiltna Glacier. The team did great and after only five short hours, we pulled into camp, tired but excited. Another hour or so later and camp was built. The team took a well deserved rest before joining the guides in the cook tent for dinner and dessert. Everyone’s all tucked into their tents for the night now, resting up for tomorrow’s carry to cache supplies up higher on the mountain. Hopefully we’ll get to enjoy more sunshine tomorrow!
Thanks for following along,
RMI Guides Jenny, Jess, Pete and the team
On The Map
Cannot wait to hear about your adventure. Note from Linda at the gym (in Sue’s class). Stay safe!
Posted by: Linda Luth on 5/17/2017 at 10:10 pm
A lot of best wishes from all of us in Pinnacle, Denver.
We are following your daily updates.
Enjoy every moment and take a lot of pictures.
TEAM JORDAN !!
Posted by: Danellys Perez on 5/16/2017 at 7:37 am
May 15, 2017
May 14, 2017
It took some patience, but we made it onto the glacier! The clouds hung low this morning and took their time lifting. In the meantime the webcam at Kahiltna Base Camp showed bluebird skies and a beautiful day. It’s hard to wait patiently to start something that we’ve been building towards for so long, but it paid off. At 3:00 pm or so we got the green light to fly and we were off. The pilots at K2 Aviation are the best and we had a smooth ride into Base Camp with our noses pressed to the windows ogling the steep spires and knife ridges of the Alaska Range. With the late departure we decided to spend the night at Base Camp and get things sorted for the walk to Ski Hill tomorrow. So we’re headed to bed, excited to finally start moving towards our objective tomorrow.
We send our best from the land of the midnight sun,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, Jenny Konway, and team
On The Map
May 14, 2017
May 14, 2017 - 9:35 am PT
The May 12th Denali Team is loaded and ready to climb. We spent yesterday in town packing, repacking, sorting food, and enjoying the Talkeetna restaurant scene. Our bags are weighed, sorted, and now we just need weather to fly. Rain moved in overnight, but the news this morning is that weather in the range is good, so once things clear out here, we should be ready to launch for base camp. Hopefully that’s sooner than later. We’ll give another shout this evening and let everyone know how it went.
Hi everyone… (Lax, Raghu’s wife)
Really awesome feeling to see all the progress guys :) Keep going and be safe…
Raghu- Mauna is doing great… :) can’t wait to hear the stories of the journey and of course to see all those beautiful pictures ;)
-Thanks for the updates !! and we are waiting everyday for the new post..
Posted by: Lakshmi gompa on 5/19/2017 at 12:51 pm
Hey there Jt!
I know you are having the time of your life now and I am so happy for you! You’re on my mind and in my heart daily. I know you will do great! I can’t wait to see all the beautiful pictures and hear the amazing stories when you get back. I love you bunches!
(To the whole team, prayers and best of luck! You got this!)
Posted by: Crystal Kingsbury on 5/16/2017 at 5:22 am
September 3, 2016
The Mt. Rainier Summit Climb, led Pete Van Deventer and Mike King, is back at Camp Muir after turning on the upper mountain due to route and avalanche conditions. They encountered snow up to waist deep, providing poor footing on exposed slopes. The weather reported from Camp Muir is clear, calm, and cold. The teams will depart for Paradise soon.
The Four Day Summit Climb August 20 - 23, 2016 led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Pete Van Deventer were approaching the summit of Mt. Rainier just before 7 am. Pete reported that it is a gorgeous day with 10 mph winds and chilly temperatures. The teams will enjoy the views and take some photos before starting their descent.
Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!
August 19, 2016
Our Elbrus Northside trip concluded in one of my favorite towns to visit in Europe, St. Petersburg. Finally sleeping in to a leisurely hour, we met our tour guide and bus at 10 am and departed on a circuitous path through the history filled city to see the sites. St. Petersburg is home to some of the more stunning cathedrals in Russia, and those were a primary focus of the tour, passing by the Church of our Savior on the Spilled Blood, St. Nicholas’ Cathedral (a cathedral dedicated to the Saint of travel and maritime navigation, which is of huge significance in a city founded to be the maritime capitol of Russia, and the home of it’s navy), and St. Issac’s Cathedral. The massive scale of St. Issac’s is something to behold, and on one side, its huge columns still bare the scars left from mortar and artillery shells fired at the city during its 600-day siege in World War II. We also passed the warship that fired the symbolic first shot that began the Bolshevik takeover of Russia’s government, and found ourselves finally at the Hermitage.
The Hermitage is comprised of the former winter palace of the Romanov dynasty, as well as several buildings that were added on later by different emperors and empresses, and is home to an art collection in excess of 2.7 million pieces. Our guide spent an hour taking us through the buildings, pointing out some highlights, a Michelangelo, two paintings by DaVinci, and several by Rembrandt. After the hour, our tour guide released us to wander through the stunning rooms ourselves at our own pace. That evening we regrouped for a canal boat tour, beginning on the river Nevski, which runs through the heart of St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, the days of recent rain (many of which we had experienced!), had swollen the rivers and canals, so that the boat was unable to make its way through the usual circuit of canals that run through the heart of the city, as the passages under the bridges were too low, but we still were able to see the summer gardens and several more palaces from the unique perspective of the canal.
That led us to our final dinner as a group. The Jerome presented the perfect destination, and when the chef came out to show us the special — a beautifully marbled cut of local prime rib weighing almost a kg, everyone was sold. Delicious local beef, and several bottles of Spanish Rioja provided the perfect ending celebration to a really special trip that everyone enjoyed. We were sad to part ways the following morning, some of us very early, for flights back to the US. This was a special group of climbers to work with, and JM and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and incredible perseverance and positive attitudes. We look forward to running into everyone in the mountains again soon, and thanks to all who followed along on our adventure!
August 15, 2016
The last two days have flown by quickly, mostly involving automobiles, planes, airports, lots of bags, and a little walking. We had to wake early yesterday after our summit push to start the walk to Mt. Elbrus’ Base Camp, and the forecast called for rain, and our drivers were worried about getting the vans back across the river before the water levels rose. So we awoke at 5 to the sound of rain and quickly packed our bags, but pleasantly the rain subsided, and we had a nice, but very heavy walk back to the pastures where our adventure started. As we descended, the loose scree of the moraine have way to wide alluvial plains again, then the moss covered rocky hills and chasms of the lower mountain. We had only been at camp 1 for about a week, but the verdant green plant life, flowers, and birds of the lower elevations were still welcome sensory stimulation!
As we arrived at Base Camp, so did the vans, so we repacked hurriedly and climbed into another offroad sprinter van for the bouncy and at times thrilling drive back to Kislovodsk. Some took the afternoon to explore town, others supported and dried gear, and then we meet for our final Caucasian dinner, which we deemed Meat Fest. Three and a half 1 kilogram platters of delicious bbq lamb, beef, chicken, and pork had everyone holding their stomachs, gasping for air, but still trying to finish every morsel. Our national pride was on the line as Dave pointed out.
Today we once again did the great shuffle, catching an early shuttle to the airport, and then a flight to Moscow and on to St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is very cosmopolitan, and has the feel of old Europe, with cafes, bars, and restaurants at every turn. We found the Craft Brew Cafe and knew it would suit our needs. We just returned from another delicious meal, where different types of dried meats, chantrelles (which are in season!) and a delicious take on Bourchte were all featured heavily. Tomorrow we’ve got a busy day touring this beautiful city, and everybody is excited.
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, JM Gorum, and team
August 13, 2016
What a spectacular day of climbing here in Russia! We got up just as that big orange ball of fire was cresting the horizon, but distant, low clouds to the East turned it blood red, as it set the Caucasus on fire. The excitement of a summit morning was palpable as everyone moved about with a little extra pep putting the final preparations on their packing jobs, and them we were underway.
The skies were crystal clear for nearly all of our ascent, and a 10mph downhill breeze kept things pretty chilly, as well as filled in any trace of a trail, though there was a group of 12 just 30min ahead of us. Three stretches of climbing brought us to the saddle between the East and West summits. There, we joined the Southside route for the final push to the West Summit. Five and a half hours after leaving camp, we were standing on the top of Europe, snapping photos, sharing congratulations, and enjoying the achievement. The wind was still chilly, and cranking steadily, so after 20 min or so, we were ready to beat feet back down. Our timing couldn’t have been better; as we left clouds started to flow over the summit, and descended as we did. We got back to our high camp, packed things up, and kept rolling down to our camp 1 at 12,300, where we are now, enjoying kebab and mulled wine from our outfitter Yuri.
Tomorrow we’ll wake early to descend to base camp and meet our vans to return to Kislovodsk and civilization. From there, our Russian adventure will continue in St. Petersburg! For now, we’ll relish in our success and look forward to showers and beds tomorrow.
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, JM Gorum, and team