Entries By sean collon

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Return Home

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | July 07, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Hi all!
Billy here checking in for the last time from this year’s Denali expedition. Our team showed tremendous poise after our butt kicking on our first summit attempt and rested through another marginal day on the way to our eventual summit day that was absolutely beautiful.  We encountered some moderate winds in the 30 mph range but generally enjoyed clear skies and decently warm temps. It took us just over 12 hours of solid work to make the round trip mission from our high camp at 17,000’ and the whole team was pretty worked by the end. The next morning we awoke at a leisurely hour, packed up camp and descended the West Buttress back to Camp 4 at 14,000’ where we were greeted by Dave Hahn’s expedition with cheesy bacon quesadillas! Quite the treat… After picking up our cache at 14 we continued down through extremely deep snow to 11,000’ where we ended up camping again because the team was pretty wasted yet again. Our final day on the mountain was surprisingly clear with only occasional sections of whiteout as we marched down the Kahiltna towards Basecamp. Except for a little excitement involving a crevasse fall the trip was mostly a slog. And as we arrived at the lower airstrip around 6 pm we could see the runway markers of the upper airstrip but were relieved to hear from Lisa that we wouldn’t need to travel any further. K2 was already on the way and going to land right next to us. And just like that we were in the land of the living slamming burgers and downing beers with all of the tourists in Talkeetna. Talk about a culture shock! Needless to say, the gang went big rocking the Fairview and ended up closing down the Teepee (and nearly getting kicked out!). A proper way to end a successful Denali expedition. Too much fun!

I’d like to thank both Mike King and Sean Collon for their hard work and the good times and the rest of the team members for persevering despite crummy weather forecasts and tough odds. It’s a trip I won’t forget for a while.

See ya next year!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent.

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4

Congratulations RMI and my ole buddy Doug. Glad to hear you guys had a great trip. One more notch in the belt.

Mother Goose

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Posted by: John Newland on 7/8/2015 at 4:51 am

Great going what a trip ! Congrats Kevin , sober up & come home to get ready for another party.
Irma

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Posted by: Irma on 7/8/2015 at 3:01 am


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Leave 11K Camp Headed for Base Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | July 05, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

Sunday July 5th 10:45 am PT

RMI Guide Billy Nugent just called the office to check in.  The team had a long, tough day yesterday breaking trail through the new snow that had fallen on the route. After sleeping in this morning, they are getting ready to depart Denali’s 11K Camp.  They are hoping to be at Kahiltna Base by late afternoon/early evening.

An RMI team leaving Denali's 11K Camp, descending to Base Camp. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Summit!

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | July 04, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 20,320'

Hey, it is Billy here just checking in after a safe and successful summit bid.  We got up, kind of stalled a little bit because it was a cold morning.  We left around 10 pm, it took us about 12 1/2 hours round trip.  We were super psyched. So we’re back in camp, and like I said before everyone is safe and sound. Now we’re just hoping for good weather to beat feet for the airport.  That’s all I have for now.  We are going to eat dinner and get some sleep.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Climbers on the summit ridge of Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Dave Hahn The view from the summit of Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls from High Camp on Denali after a successful summit bid.

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27

Congrats to All and especially my friend Jim Latorre! What an incredible achievement!

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Posted by: Matt McKittrick on 7/7/2015 at 4:36 am

Way to go Rhonda…you’re awesome! Can’t wait to hear about it - AFTER you thaw out:)
Sue

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Posted by: Sue Mamer on 7/6/2015 at 2:28 pm


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Take a Snow Day at High Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | July 02, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 3:15 pm PT

RMI Guide Mike King called the RMI Office from high camp at 17,200 ft on Mt. McKinley. The team spend a snowy and windy night at camp last night. Today they spent the day resting and drying their gear. The team has received the forecast for tomorrow and are hoping the weather will allow them to make a summit attempt. If the weather permits, they will be heading up hill.

We wish the team luck!

An RMI team building walls at high camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: RMI Collection

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3

Doug! We are following your journey. Love from us! Mom n Lar

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Posted by: Blythe on 7/3/2015 at 7:25 am

May the odds be ever in your favor team!

Doug - you know the drill…be safe, be great, move with grace.
~Belladonna

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Posted by: Belladonna on 7/3/2015 at 2:29 am


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Retreat from 18,500’

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | July 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

July 1, 2015 6:25 pm PST

Hey, it’s Billy here checking in from 17,200’ on Denali.  We are back in camp after our foray up the Autobahn and around the corner on Denali Pass but it was quite windy. The wind along with zero visibility and blowing snow and some wind slab instability conspired to shut down our summit attempt.  So we turned tail at just above 18,500 feet and everyone is back down in camp, in one piece safe and sound.  We’re trying to regroup and figure out what the future holds for us. We’ll check in tomorrow and let you know we’re up to you.

All for now.
RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Climber ascending the Autobahn on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: Lindsay Mann


RMI Guide Billy Nugent checks in from 17,200 ft on Mt. McKinley

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9

I’m rooting for good weather so you can attempt the summit again! Keep the spirits up, Rhonda! You’re a stud-ette:)
Sue

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Posted by: sue mamer on 7/2/2015 at 12:36 pm

Foiled by wind slab and zero vis!  I’m wishing for a blue bird day coming up for your next attempt.

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Posted by: Matt McKittrick on 7/2/2015 at 10:40 am


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Weather Day at 17,200’ Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | July 01, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

Tuesday June 30th 6:00 pm PT

Hey there, this is Billy checking in from 17,000 feet on Denali. We woke up this morning and actually almost pull the trigger.  The weather was looking really good. But then things kind of soured a little bit. Thin clouds with intermittent snow, and so we eventually pulled the plug on our summit attempt before we really got it going. We’re having a weather day today. We are hoping for better weather tomorrow. That’s all for now. Bye.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

RMI Camp at 17,200' on Mount McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Lindsay Mann


RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from 17,200ft on Mount McKinley.

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Congrats on making it this far Rob, now is your time!  Safe travels for all….........Jeff

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Posted by: Jeff Austin on 7/1/2015 at 5:54 pm

Pick your moment team, wait and be great!!

Doug - I bid you fair winds and a following sea. My thoughts are with you as you wait to make your… read more

Posted by: Belladonna on 7/1/2015 at 12:46 pm


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Move to 17,000’

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | June 29, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 17,200'

June 29, 2015 5:20 pm PST

Hey there, it’s Billy checking in from Camp 5 on Denali at over 17,000 ft.  Our crew made the move today.  We got up super early this morning and made great time moving up the West Buttress. We’re settled in now at High Camp.  We spent some time, improving one of the campsites and building some walls.  And now everybody’s snug up in their sleeping bag hanging out in their tents. We’re sort of chilling and filling with food and water. We are hoping for a good patch of weather in the next few days so we can maybe take a crack at the summit. Yeah, that’s all for now. Everyone is psyched and doing extremely well.  We will check in again tomorrow and let you know what happens.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Climbers on the ridge en route to Camp 5 at 17,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.


RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from Camp 5 on Denali.

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Hope you summited today. You’ve been in my thoughts all day

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Posted by: Stacey on 6/30/2015 at 11:39 am

Incredible progress - keep it up!!!  Hopefully the “Jim jokes” (ask him to tell you the joke about the bell ringer) aren’t ruining everyone’s time up there.  Looking forward to… read more

Posted by: Jessica LaTorre on 6/30/2015 at 11:10 am


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Take a Rest Day

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | June 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 28, 2015 5:18pm PST

Resting here at 14 after a big day yesterday. Clouds and sunshine are in and out along with the occasional bout of flurries. Nothing major to report. Now that we are poised and ready we are just playing a chess match against the weather. Hoping to get that window that will take us to the summit...

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

The RMI Dining tent at 14,200' on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection

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4

I love you! You got this, Uncle Yeti. :)

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Posted by: Morgan Deanenne on 6/29/2015 at 6:11 pm

Thoughts are with you as you push for High Camp…go team.

Doug - “A world without dragons is a world not worth living in.”  ― R.A. Salvatore, Streams of Silver

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Posted by: Belladonna on 6/29/2015 at 1:04 pm


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Carry to High Camp

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | June 28, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

June 28, 2015 12:20 am PST

Big day today… In spite of the forecast for 6-12” of new snow to fall today we awoke to partly cloudy skies, sun breaks, and only occasional flurries. Our long-shot plan to carry was a reality. We got rolling and packed up loads of supplies for High Camp and after a quick breakfast we made moves for the headwall and the fixed lines. After a few growing pains the team hit their stride and were able to put a cache in all the way up at high camp. The need for a back-carry could have hamstrung us on our move but since we cached at camp we are sitting pretty, waiting for our summit attempt weather window to open up. We’re planning on a rest day tomorrow and then it’s game on. We’re a tired bunch but we know that today’s hard work will pay off.

All for now!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Climbers ascending the fixed lines on Mt. McKinley en route to High Camp.  Photo: Brent Okita

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4

beard looks good on you !

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Posted by: MARK AND HELEN WALSH on 6/29/2015 at 5:14 am

Hard work paying off indeed team - rest and be ready!

Doug - “If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons”
-Llona Andrews, Fate’s Edge

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Posted by: Belladonna on 6/28/2015 at 10:28 am


Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Take A Snow Day

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Mike King, Sean Collon | June 26, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 14,200'

Friday, June 26, 2015 - 2:47 pm PT

It is a snowy day here at Camp 4…The gang is currently chilling in the tents and posh on our first scheduled rest day that just happened to coincide with a change in the weather. Spirits are high and we are keeping our fingers crossed for marginally better weather tomorrow and a hopeful carry up to high camp.

Quotes of the day:

“Don’t tell me how to eat my Oreos!” - Sean

“How are geriatrics and RMI guides alike? It depends…” - Art and Doug

“The wise man chooses nachos.” - Mike

“I gotta save Canada from those gosh darn moose…” - Marc

“I love pico de gallo!” - Billy

RMI Guide Billy Nugent and Team

A stormy day at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, AK for an RMI Team. Photo: Dave Hahn

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5

I love Pico de Gallo! With fresh shredded cheese.

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Posted by: Michael McDonald on 6/27/2015 at 5:14 pm

enjoy your rest day !

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Posted by: MARK AND HELEN WALSH on 6/27/2015 at 3:42 am


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