Entries By sean collon

Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Ready to Fly to Talkeetna

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 17, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Good morning! We’re packing up as we speak, and are scheduled to fly back to Talkeetna in the next few hours. Unfortunately we can’t report another summit from yesterday. We continued to have more snow through the early afternoon and our fears for avalanche danger were confirmed when the temps climbed up later in the day. We settled for just the approach to the lower Pika, as we tested an incredibly reactive snowpack; while no climbing, that provided a super valuable safety learning opportunity for everyone.

That’s it for now, our next post will be from civilization with some pics.

Best,
Rmi Guide Elías deAndres Martos and Team

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Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Climb Big Arapiles

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 16, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 16th 2:06 am PT

Good morning from Little Switzerland. We had an awesome day yesterday!!! We woke up to marginal weather and spent the morning mastering lead climbing techniques and tricks at the belay. As things stabilized, we broke again into groups and climbers took the lead and responsibility to guide us to Big Arapiles, both up and down; It was an incredible outing and Vanessa, Tyler, Kyle, John and Paul made us proud.

Our plan today may change, as we are receiving a ton of snow. We’ll check back in later and let you know.

Standing by from the Pika Glacier,
RMI Guides Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand, and team

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos ascends Big Arapiles in Little Switzerland, Alaska. Photo: Bridget Schletty RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos looks across the Pika Glacier towards the Trolls, from the summit of Big Arapiles. Photo: Bridget Schletty

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Way to go V!!!
Enjoy every minute, be safe and I will see you soon!  80 degrees is waiting for you :)
Love you,
Brett

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Posted by: Brett on 5/16/2015 at 2:11 pm

Grandma and Grandpa say hi to Taylor and the group.  Looks like fun, next time we would love to go with you.  Stay safe.

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Posted by: Stan & Ruth Briggs on 5/16/2015 at 1:54 pm


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Plan for Next Climb Objective

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 15, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 15th 1:30 am PT

Good evening from Pika Glacier camp. We are writing from the relative comfort of our posh tent, after a day of on and off fog, wind and snow. We’re all in great spirits and hoping for the weather to clear to focus on our next objective. Enjoy a couple pictures of today’s view from home. That’s it for today!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

The Alaska Alpine Seminar Pika Glacier Camp. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos Pika Glacier Camp and surrounding Denali National Park peaks. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos

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V,
Hope those toes are still there when you get home :)
Love you,
Brett

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Posted by: Brett on 5/15/2015 at 3:51 pm


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Climb Lost Marsupial

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon | May 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 14, 2015, 1:45 am PT

Greetings from Little Swiss camp!

We’re “off rappel” for the day… and what a day! Full alpine experience. We climbed the route “Lost Marsupial” on The Throne, one of the MEGA CLASSICS in the area. We had A BLAST and everybody did a great job, but also had the opportunity to experience what alpine climbing is all about. Splitter granite on the crux pitches, snow over the upward traverses in between, and getting out of our comfort zones by climbing with a pack and mountaineering boots. Big dinner followed upon arrival to camp, following the eight full length rappels that took us off the wall, and allowed us to beat the storm that now we are under. We will keep you posted on our upcoming objectives. Best that’s from the promised land of climbing that is Alaska.

RMI Guides Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon and team

RMI Guides Elias and Sean getting ready to belay on Lost Marsupial.  Photo: Bridget Schletty

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Hi Naie & Team,
I bet the night sky up there is pretty incredible huh?
The Kurdish people have a saying, “No friends but the mountains”.
The… read more

Posted by: Jean on 5/15/2015 at 4:32 am

It sounds like a great adventure! Congrats to Kyle, Paul, and the whole team!

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Posted by: Christie on 5/14/2015 at 5:24 pm


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team on Belay!

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 13, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 12, 2015 10:15 pm PT

Team is ready for our first objective: tomorrow morning we will be switching to multi-pitch mode and conquer our first big route. We had a great day training on (and summiting) “the Munchkin.”  We spent the day on its south ridge and east face rehearsing for steep snow and technical rock. Everyone is doing great and we all look forward to checking in with more accounts from the outstanding routes we are about to tackle.

Good evening!
RMI Guides Elías, Sean, Andy and the team.

Looking toward Base Camp and the Munchkin.  Photo: Bridget Schletty

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Awesome job you guys! Paul you are amazing!!!

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Posted by: Merilee Jopson on 5/14/2015 at 8:58 am

Congratulations to everyone! Very exciting to get the updates. Wish I was there!!! Good luck!

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Posted by: Leo Wright on 5/13/2015 at 11:17 am


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team First Full Day on the Pika Glacier

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 5,600'

May 11, 2015 11:00 pm PT

Greetings!

Warm temperatures, clear skies and pristine snow is what we enjoyed today. Our first full day in the Pika entailed a thorough review of our different anchors, crevasse rescue systems and scenarios, and a tour of the glacier to check the approach to our upcoming routes. Keeping a close eye on the ravens, whom are after our kitchen and tents, we enjoyed a massive production of tortellini at dinner. This will fuel us for our first objective tomorrow, when we’ll try our first summit while mastering transitions, protection and descents on rock and snow.

Best regards,
RMI Guides Elias, Andy, and Sean

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V,

I’m so proud of your adventurous spirit.  Your trip looks amazing! I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get home.

Love you so much,
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Posted by: BC on 5/13/2015 at 7:44 am

Hope the good weather continues..enjoying your Blogs.

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Posted by: JH on 5/12/2015 at 6:52 pm


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Fly to the Pika Glacier

Posted by: Andy Hildebrand, Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon | May 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 10, 2015, 9:28 pm PT

We woke today in Talkeetna to beautiful weather and were able to fly on to the Pika Glacier before noon. We spent the day building the camp that we’ll be calling home for the next week, and also had time for some avalanche education and training. For now, we are in and out of light clouds and snow, but things are relatively calm, temperatures are mild and all of us are excited to be in Little Switzerland after a weather day in Talkeetna. Fingers crossed for blue skies in the coming days!

RMI Guides Sean Collon, Elias de Andres Martos and Andy Hildebrand

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Praying for all!
Spoke with Phillip and Christy last evening. Phillip sent me a picture of he and his girlfriend.

Love You Brian

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Posted by: Duane Mycroft on 5/12/2015 at 5:18 pm

The trip looks beautiful!  We admire your courage.  Be safe and enjoy a trip of a lifetime!

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Posted by: Ken and Pam on 5/12/2015 at 7:56 am


Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team - Day 1 Training in Talkeetna

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Greetings from Talkeetna, Alaska!

We are wrapping up our first day of the Alpine Skills Seminar. Everybody arrived on schedule to Anchorage yesterday, and a rainy drive took us to the gateway of the Alaska Range. As planned, we spent the morning getting ready with the pertinent logistics prior to loading the bush plane equipped with skies to take us to the glacier. As our appetite climbed for what we hoped to be the last served meal of the week, the thick clouds brought the rain (snow in the range) that would keep us grounded.

We took advantage of the delay, and practiced some skills at the K2 Hangar. We got familiar with our tents, reviewed knots and hitches and mastered crevasse self extrication to make the most of a wet afternoon. Our hopes are to fly tomorrow morning straight onto the Pika Glacier. We´ll keep you posted!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

The Alaska Alpine Mountaineering Seminar looking over their tents. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos The AMS-Alpine team practice some knot tying in Talkeetna. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos The Alaska Alpine Mountaineering Seminar training at the K2 Hangar. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos

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Looking forward to updates.  Stay safe and have fun!  Thinking of you, Taylor—and Eagan is praying for your safe return.

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Posted by: Brad & Lori Briggs on 5/10/2015 at 3:55 pm


Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Powder Wading

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon | July 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

July 17, 2014 - 8:45 pm PT
In just under 24 hours, our climbing team went from the 17,200 ft high camp to the 7,200 ft basecamp.  It wasn’t remotely easy.  Luckily, we had a calm start to the day which allowed us to balance carefully down the exposed and spectacular crest of the West Buttress.  Things got tougher at the base of the fixed lines when we needed to virtually swim through bottomless powder snow.  We reached easier terrain upon which one could walk laboriously in knee deep new snow and this ground got us to 14 camp.  We did a fry-up of a few quesadillas while reorganizing gear and then set off in cloud toward Windy Corner.  Plenty of snow kept us walking funny and breathing hard as we negotiated the side hills and corners of Squirrel Hill and then Motorcycle.

At 11 camp we threw up tents and downed dinner.  The team wanted to just sleep for a few hours before resuming the march to BC at 2:30 AM.  The early start would give our best chance at catching the lower glacier in a frozen (rather than slushy) state.  We pushed on through the night gloom, a few thick fog banks and miles of glacier.  It was great to see -as expected from conditions on the way in- that the lower Kahiltna was well put together.  Very few crevasse crossings troubled us.  Finally we got working, trudging and sweating up Heartbreak Hill.  As we progressed, the weather improved to the point that with our arrival at the former site of Basecamp (nothing remains so late in the season) it was good enough to dial up K2 Aviation on the Sat Phone and seek a pickup.  The K2 pilots did their normal exceptional job in whisking us out of winter and into the Talkeetna summer.

Day 21 of our climb will end with a victory dinner in town.  True, we stopped a couple thousand feet short of the summit, but victory is still ours.  It feels that good to have endured Denali together.

Best Regards and thanks for following,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Flying into Kahiltna Base Camp on Mt. McKinley. Photo: Lindsay Mann The Talkeetna Airstrip in view. Photo: RMI Collection Sunset in Talkeetna. Photo: Linden Mallory

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An amazing 21 days for the team and for those of us who climbed vicariously with you all the way up and back down!  We do not regret missing the… read more

Posted by: Dennis and Georgia on 7/18/2014 at 9:30 am

Congrats on your safe return.  It is always a good day when you live to climb another day.  Now you can plan your next climb!!  :o)

Safe travels.

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Posted by: Mary on 7/18/2014 at 2:47 am


Mt. McKinley: Hahn and Team Descend to 11,000’

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Ben Liken, Sean Collon | July 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,000'

July 16, 2014 - 11:37 pm PT

Hey,  this is Dave Hahn with the last team on Denali.  We did make it out of 17,000’ today.  We woke up, the weather was stable and we started working our way down.  And sure enough, we found some deep snow, it was hard going, sometimes waist deep but we made it down to 14,000’ and then plowed through a bunch more new snow to get to 11,000’.  We are taking a rest here at 11,000’ and our hope, everybody is feeling pretty enthusiastic, about trying to get to the airstrip tomorrow morning.  We are just going to rest a few hours and get on the trail again.  We expect it to be a little bit easier now that we are down low and conditions will be a bit better than what we were dealing with.

All is well with us. 
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI Team camped at 11,000 ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls from 11,000ft on Mt. McKinley, Alaska.

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