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Entries By taylor bickford


Denali Expedition: Champion and Team Wait for Weather Window on Airstrip

Saturday June 11th, 2022 – 9:04pm PT

After making our way from 17 camp to 14 camp, we crawled back into our tents and took a nap. Around 10pm, we woke up for either a late dinner or early breakfast of Ramen noodles and began packing up camp for what we thought would be the very last time. While we had walked into 14 camp in a whiteout, during our nap the clouds had settled below us and it had become a beautiful brisk night.

With camp packed up, we headed towards Basecamp and the airstrip. While we arrived in decent weather, we got word that clouds kept the planes from flying all day. We've now crawled back into our tents and await a weather window that allows us to fly back to Talkeetna.

Think good weather thoughts!

RMI Guide Nikki Champion and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Sorry to hear about the bad weather at the end of the trip. The good news is that the mountain has been conquered and that you are all at base camp. Hoping a weather window opens soon. Well done everyone.

Posted by: Robert Edge on 6/12/2022 at 10:25 am


Denali Expedition: Champion and Team Break Down Camp and Head Downhill

Saturday June 11 - 11:59am PT

The last few days have been a blur.

Yesterday we had a hard but a rewarding summit day. The autobahn was mild, but the summit ridge greeted us with high winds, and blowing snow. Despite the mountains best efforts, our entire team made it to the summit and safely back to 17k camp for a late dinner.

Even though we all wanted to sleep in following the summit - we woke up around 9:30am, had a quick hot breakfast, and tore down camp to begin the long process of descending back to the airstrip.

RMI Guide Nikki Champion and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team

Denali Expedition: Champion and Team Summit!

Thursday, June 9, 2022 9:42pm PT

RMI Guide Nikki Champion let us know that their Denali Team was 100% on the summit! They are back at camp resting and will give us full details of their climb soon! 

Congratulations Team! 

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Jeff-Rob! What a tremendous accomplishment to be proud of! Wishing you and all your team a safe descent.
Lynn

Posted by: Lynn on 6/11/2022 at 7:04 pm

Congratulations Erik! Awesome job, now come back to work!

Posted by: Marc Taylor on 6/10/2022 at 4:39 pm


Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Prepare for Summit Day

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 - 8:33 pm PT

With favorable weather for the next few days, we took the opportunity to rest without missing our weather window. We woke up to the sun, and ate a mellow breakfast of oatmeal and poptarts. The rest of the day was spent napping, and adjusting to our new High Camp. With good weather our plan is to climb tomorrow. The rest of the evening will be spent eating an early dinner, filling water bottles, and getting our beauty rest in.

Wish us luck, tomorrow should be the big day!

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Woohoo! Good luck guys!

Posted by: Jerey Wilson on 6/9/2022 at 12:08 pm

Best of luck as you prepare to summit!!  Hoping for weather and elements to be in your favor :-) it’s been so fun following along on your journey

Posted by: M on 6/9/2022 at 11:49 am


Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Move to 17,000 Camp to celebrate Nikkis Birthday

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 11:39 pm PT

Today we had our second birthday of the trip, mine! We celebrated by loading up the heavy packs and making the move to 17,000' Camp. We headed out this morning with clear skies, but low clouds slowly overtook 14,000' Camp and the fixed lines. We remained in and out of the clouds for the entire climb of the West Buttress, with occasional bouts of sunshine and snow. Overall, a beautiful, tough day on the Buttress. Right before dinner time we rolled into 17,000' Camp, where we set up camp and started making water and hots for a late dinner. The next few days of weather look favorable, so I think we'll squeeze the summit in within the next two days. Check back in tomorrow either post summit, or post rest day!

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Happy Birthday Nikki!  We’re so happy things seem to be going well for the team.  Hope Taylor and Emma fixed you dinner last night and let you sleep in a bit:). May the weather gods continue to treat you all well.  Go Team!  Love, the Wilhelms

Posted by: Tracy on 6/8/2022 at 5:39 pm

Happy Birthday, Nikki!  Videos are breathtaking!  I can feel the wind and snow from my easy chair!  Way to go!  Cheers, Jerry, your 3rd level uncle, twice removed!!?

Posted by: Jerry Worden on 6/8/2022 at 4:04 pm


Denali Expedition: Champion and Team enjoy Rest Day, Hope for Move to High Camp

June 6 - 4:50 PT

Another beautiful morning for a rest day. Woke up with the sun to a filling meal of breakfast burritos. Weather is looking more optimistic, so we are taking today to rest, prep and pack with the hopes of moving to high camp tomorrow. Otherwise, a generally quiet day at 14 camp.

Hope to check in from 17,000' feet tomorrow!

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Keep up the great work Aaron and Lori Stafford. We continue to read the updates as they come through, praying you have a successful and safe expedition.

The Penrose Family

Posted by: Will Penrose on 6/7/2022 at 9:50 am

So anxious for you to summit…and get home. Can’t believe your good weather. What are you doing while resting? Great weekend at TOC. Make your own pizza on the Boardwalk with 4 little pizza ovens going. Eat your heart out Little Caesar’s! Then, a Bocci tournament with Bellinis. It got chilly, so I provided the blankets. All is well with your house. Love you.

Posted by: Emigh Litch on 6/7/2022 at 5:38 am


Denali Expedition: Champion and Team Celebrate a Birthday and Travel up Fixed Lines

Saturday June 4, 2022 6:22pm PT

Today we have our first birthday of the trip! Happy Birthday Cris! To celebrate we woke up early to a speedy breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios. We planned to walk at 8:30 am, but with such cold temperatures this morning we pushed that back and hour and stayed warm in our tents. Once the sun finally hit 14,000’ camp around 9:30 am we began our journey towards the fixed lines. Running through all the gambit of temperatures we made it to the top of the fixed lines, at 16,200', where we decided to cache our personal and group food for the day. After taking a snack, and water break we made our way back downhill. We rolled back into 14,000’ camp, where it is now lightly snowing, and crawled into our tents.

Tonight, will be a mellow evening of Ramen, and prepping for a few much needed days of rest at 14 camp. The team did great, and we are set up well!

RMI Guides Nikki, Taylor, Emma, and Team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Following your every move on this big mountain. We are with you all in spirit. Be safe. Stay strong…and try to stay warm. You’ve got this! Happy Birthday, Cris.

Posted by: The Wilhelms on 6/6/2022 at 5:34 am


Denali Expedition: Champion and Team Prep for Carry up Fixed Lines

June 3, 2022 – 9:29pm PT

Quiet day over at 14 camp.

We woke up with the sun and had a long breakfast consisting of breakfast burritos and multiple rounds of hots. We spent the rest of the day resting and reviewing fixed line travel before our carry day tomorrow. We hope to wake up early and carry all the way to 17 if everything goes smoothly.

Another great day, with great weather. Check back in tomorrow!

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

What an inspiring journey! I look forward to being regaled by stories and taking in images of your mighty adventure. Thinking of you and hoping you are safe throughout each day.
So much love to you, Jeff-Rob!
Your sis, Lynn

Posted by: Lynn on 6/5/2022 at 8:23 pm

Keep
Climbing Rob!!
What a wonderful adventure!!
Can’t wait to have an evening with you and Patty having you walk us through this amazing experience!!

Posted by: John Shaw on 6/5/2022 at 5:04 pm


Denali Expedition: Champion & Team Establish Camp at 14,000’

Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 8:13 pm PT

Today we yet again woke up to, you guessed it, beautiful weather. We packed up camp and made our way up Motorcycle Hill and towards 14,000' Camp. It was a hot, heavy, and challenging day but everyone rolled into 14,000' Camp in good style and we were able to greet JT and the RMI team descending from 17,000' Camp. We spent the last few hours rehydrating, and recovering before rolling into a late dinner of broccoli cheddar rice. Tomorrow is another rest day, everyone is looking forward to a mellow day to recover and start preparing for the fixed lines. We will check back in tomorrow after coffee!

RMI Guide Nikki Champion

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

We have a new found admiration of you all. Hope you are enjoying this! Looking forward to some wonderful stories.

Posted by: Nick & Annette on 6/5/2022 at 8:59 am

You guys are making this look easy! Keep it up!!

Posted by: Katy Shaw on 6/4/2022 at 7:04 am


Denali Expedition: Champion and Team Enjoy a Rest Day

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 6:08 pm PT

First full rest day in the books! We spent the morning sleeping in, and having a leisurely breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and bacon. The rest of the day was filled with napping, reading, and recovering.

Tomorrow, we plan to make the move to 14,000’ camp. So we've got to tidy up, and cache any trash, extra gear, and dirty socks we don't want to bring higher up the mountain.

RMI Guide Nikki Champion and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

So glad to hear you all and your special cargo are making your way up that spectacular mountain.  Eat well, rest well and climb safely.
For the sports fans of the group, Celtics came back to beat the Warriors in game 1 last night; Nadal made it to the semis of the French Open, and the Avs are up 2-0 over the Oilers.

Posted by: T, B, H and G on 6/3/2022 at 5:36 am

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