Entries By pete van deventer

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

Camp at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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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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Mt. McKinley: Van Deventer & Team Fly on and Set Up Camp

Posted by: Josh Maggard, Robby Young, Pete Van Deventer | May 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,600'

May 16, 2015 1:09 am PT

Hi all,

While yesterday became a waiting game that ultimately left us sleeping in town for another night, this morning was sunny and blue, and immediately after breakfast, we loaded the planes and were off! The flight in was spectacular with great views of the range. After a couple hours of sorting loads, packing, and rigging, we walked out of base camp and on to the lower Kahiltna. We made great time, and now we are snugly tucked into camp after an eventful day. Time to catch some Zzzz. We’ll be in touch tomorrow.

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

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Mt. McKinley: Pete Van Deventer & Team Kahiltna Bound!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Robby Young, Josh Maggard | May 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Yesterday we spent the whole day on hold here in Talkeetna. Today is a new day. This morning’s skies are clear and we’re loading up to go! We are off to climb Mount McKinley!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

The May 12th McKinley Expedition boarding the plane bound for Kahiltna Base! Photo: Pete Van Deventer

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Mt. McKinley: Pete Van Deventer & Team are Rigged & Ready to Roll

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

Our team is assembled, or bags are packed, and we are ready to climb onboard the airplanes and take off! We spent today going through all of our gear, packing and repacking our bags, and sorting lunch food. With all of the details dialed in, we’re going to eat what is hopefully our last dinner in town for a few weeks, and catch some zzz’s. Tomorrow with any luck, we’ll board the planes first thing for one of the highlights of the trip: the stunning flight into Kahiltna Base Camp. We’ll be in touch!

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

The May 12th Denali Expedition at the NPS meeting. Photo: Josh Maggard The May 12th Denali team stroll through downtown Talkeetna, Alaska. Photo: Josh Maggard Pete Van Deventer and team checking gear prior to flying onto Mt. McKinley. Photo: Josh Maggard

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Celebrate in Mendoza

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua

As the expedition draws to a close, the days come flying by in a blur. After a big descent to Aconcagua Base Camp with heavy packs, we fell into our sleeping bags and got one of the best nights of sleep of the trip. The group chose to fore go setting up tents and laid out sleeping bags in the big dining tent, and for the first time in many nights, we didn’t spend the whole night listening to the wind slap at our tents.  We woke in the morning, caffeinated up, and did a hasty pack job of the our duffels for the mules. We grabbed our day packs, light once again, and started off down the mule trails, retracing the paths we had walked two weeks earlier (ironically, most of the group didn’t remember much of it and was convinced that we were exiting a different way). While our packs were light, and our hiking shoes a lot more comfortable than our boots, the nearly 15 miles of rocky trail walking took about ten hours, and by the end, everyone’s dogs were far beyond barking.

Fortunately, the amazing arryaros were waiting at Pampe de Lenas, with the fire already started and meat on the grill.  The team feasted on more carne than we could possibly eat, especially with the shrunken stomachs that result from two weeks of high altitude living.  Once again, we chose to fore go the tents, and everyone unrolled pads and bags on the ground and watched the Southern Cross trace its arc across the canyon rim.  We woke early, and though everyone was feeling the previous couple of days, the motivation to finally reach the park entrance and be done trumped all of the physical discomforts. Three and half more hours brought us to the tree-lined aqueduct that signals the final stretch to the end of the long trail. We grabbed our dust covered bags from the mules and loaded a shuttle to Mendoza. With a quick stop for another huge meal, we were in Mendoza by evening, showering off the weeks of dust. 

We wrapped up the trip with another great culinary experience at El Patio Azul de Jesus Maria. We feasted on a traditional Argentinian parilla (bbq) with boundless different cuts of meat cooked slowly over a wood fire. Malbec was plentiful for washing the meal down, and was the perfect way to refuel after weeks up the mountain. Most of the group will spend the next two days in Mendoza, planning to explore the shops, rest by the pool, and perhaps tour a few vineyards, before we return to winter time in the States.

We would like to thank the whole team for the incredible team work that they displayed throughout the entire trip, the camaraderie, and the effort that each and every one put out. This was a group that was a pleasure for the guides to work with. Finally, I’d like to thank Alex and Juan for kicking ass the entire trip. The whole trip was a pleasure all the way around, and we’re already looking forward to next year!

Thanks,
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Trekking through the Vacas Valley, Argentina. Photo: Ty Reid

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer & Team Back to Base Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 13,800'

After nearly two weeks of progress moving in fits and starts, as we move camps, carry gear, and take rest days to acclimatize, the last several days suddenly start to rush by. We had a great, though very difficult, summit day yesterday. The sun shone in a completely clear, brilliant, azur sky, but as has been the nature of the last several days, the wind continued to rush on. We prepared in gusty conditions that made it uninviting to leave the tent, and donned our packs. For much of the climb we received only gusts, protected from the main force of the wind, the constant noise of which we couldn’t ignore. This region has received very little precipitation for the last several years, and the results of that were the second major challenge of the climb. Where snow fields usually provide nice cramponing, only sand existed, and climbing sand hills at 22,000 feet is no small task. We persisted, and at 2:45, crested the summit of Aconcagua.

Time flies, and while that was only yesterday afternoon, it feels much further removed. We woke this morning to the ever present wind gusts plastering the tent to our face, and packed our bags to head to base camp. As we descended, we picked up the items that we had cached at our previous camps, so our packs grew heavier, even as the air grew thicker. We arrived at base camp to a delicious spread, which was followed up shortly with our first carne dinner in a while. We organized our bags for the mules, and tomorrow we will reverse our course, once again carrying light day packs as we descend the Relinchos and Vacas Valleys back towards Penitentes, and ultimately Mendoza. Everyone is excited at the prospect of more beef, wine, and warm temperatures that await us in the coming days. Thanks for following,

RMI Guides Pete, Alex, Juan and team

Aconcagua view near Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Aconcagua: Van Deventer and Team Summit!

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Alex Barber | February 03, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Aconcagua
Elevation: 22,841'

Pete Van Deventer and Team called into the RMI Expeditions Office to let us know they reached the summit of Aconcagua and are safely back at High Camp.  Pete will send a full report of their summit day after they rest and re-fuel.

Congratulations Team!

The Candeleta on Aconcaga. RMI Photo Collection

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