Entries By thomas greene
August 9, 2013
The Four Day Summit climb led by Thomas Greene and Billy Nugent reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. Thomas’ team was starting their descent from the crater rim at 7:45 am. They reported high clouds building, cold temperatures and calm winds.
The teams will continue their descent. We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.
Congratulations to today’s summit climb teams!
Congratulations to everyone on the Team!
Aeron, we are so proud of your commitment and success !!
Posted by: Mom &Dad; on 8/9/2013 at 6:05 pm
We’re all so proud of you, Ian. How was the view from the top? :-D
Posted by: Roland on 8/9/2013 at 10:56 am
August 4, 2013
Waiting out a rain delay was a good decision at the start of our program. A 6 1/2-hour hike yesterday brought us to camp in warm and dry weather. This morning 100% of our team reached the summit of Mt. Shuksan via the southeast ridge of the summit pyramid! After a short rest at camp, our crew climbed down through the Fisher Chimneys, back to the Lake Ann Trail and to the trailhead.
Congratulations to the Mt. Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys team!
July 12, 2013
Hello everybody. This is Jake calling in from Boston Basin up in the North Cascades checking in after a great day of mountain adventure. Eric Frank wanted to let everybody know that they are working well on Torment-Forbidden Traverse and they were on the top of Torment, I think around noon today. Nice work fellas. Thomas Greene and I are out with James, James and Steve up out on Sharkfin Tower today and heading for the West Ridge tomorrow. So cross your fingers for good weather and we will be checking in tomorrow afternoon. That’s it from the Basin.
Jake Beren calls in from the Boston Basin Camp.
July 11, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Last night’s snow shower turned into the “heavy fall of snow” that we’ve been promised on a daily basis by our forecasts these last ten days. It snowed, it snowed and then it snowed some more here at 14,200 ft. We estimated that it was coming down at a rate of 3 inches per hour. Zeb got out at three to rally a shovel brigade in retaking the camp from the tent-bending powder deluge. We could hear great avalanches roaring repeatedly down the steep and icy flanks of the West Buttress. It didn’t ease until around nine in the morning, by which point we figured about 24 inches had fallen overnight. Needless to say, today was not a climbing day for us. The wind was still pulling huge streamers of snow off the route we’d hoped to trace along the crest of the Buttress. And the slopes leading to the ridge were now all suspect in terms of snow stability. So much snow falling so quickly doesn’t give the stuff a chance to settle. One of the ways it settles on a mountainside is to avalanche. There was plenty of visual evidence (when the clouds parted for a minute here and there) that a number of avalanches had already occurred on the route to the fixed ropes, but there were also still vast stretches of undisturbed deep new snow. We needed a hot and sunny day to glue things in place and to make it all safe again. But you can’t always get what you need. Our day was mostly cloudy with light snow showers. Zebulon gave a great lesson in basic snow science, demonstrating how to identify weak layers in the snow pack, how to compare the hardness of those layers, and in how to conduct a “compression test” on an isolated column of snow in a study pit. Our climbers then dug their own pits and made their own observations as a way of understanding our challenge in these next few days. We need to figure out the level of hazard that exists on the slopes above us without exposing ourselves to that very hazard. And we don’t have much time to do it in. We only have a couple more days of food available. Our greater cache of food is now the one sitting above the suspect slopes… In perfect position for our summit bid, but out of our reach until we determine that the avalanche hazard has diminished. Lots to figure out on Denali. We aren’t alone though. The other teams, mostly at 17 camp have similar dilemmas What we all need, first and foremost, is a break from continued bad weather. As is normal, we need a little good luck. Despite the challenges, the team is still in good spirits. Today, we went over the blog comments together. We can’t surf the web with our setup, but the RMI office was kind enough to cut and paste the comments into an email for us. Thanks, from the entire team, for keeping us in your thoughts.
On The Map
nice pic! brrrrrr!
Posted by: michelle on 7/12/2013 at 3:10 pm
Happy Birthday Mike! Here with Abby at the bakery wanting to make you a cake! Stay safe…enjoy the summit cuz ya know its up there!
Posted by: Wendy on 7/12/2013 at 8:03 am
July 10, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Not too much to report on our scheduled rest day at 14,200’ on Mt. McKinley. It was calm and sunny, despite the persistent storm forecasts, but it did seem to be getting progressively more cloudy as the day went on and it started snowing at a good clip while we ate dinner in our cozy POSH tent. The team did an excellent job of taking it easy today. We caught up on hydration and sleep, rested sore muscles and dried out boots and socks. We pared down the personal gadgetry and entertainment systems for the hard move up to 17,200’ and tried to figure out any clothing or gear that would not be useful up above.
The number of teams around or above us has been steadily diminishing and as is normal for this point in July, the National Park Service climbing rangers have been packing up their seasonal station at 14 and getting loads ready for helicoptering. It has been fun visiting with the other teams, but it is also quite enjoyable to have the mountain in its natural state -quiet and uncrowded.
If it doesn’t snow too much tonight and we get a decent shot tomorrow, we’ll move to high camp.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
Scott’s family - We have closely been following your climb. Praying all of you have a wonderful, successful, and safe climb and summit.
Posted by: Michelle Adaska on 7/11/2013 at 7:07 am
Tell macca (Sean) that we miss him, especially Archie. Go hard haradinko!
Posted by: Gem and Luke on 7/11/2013 at 5:05 am
July 9, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
One of our better weather days of the trip. That said, it is snowing good and hard now at our 14,200 ft camp, but that isn’t so important (yet). It was clear and calm this morning when we were interested in starting our carry up onto the West Buttress of Denali. By far, this was our coldest morning. We were guessing it was -10F or thereabouts. We started climbing at a quarter to 10 this morning in bright sunshine. The route goes uphill in a hurry out of 14 camp and we made steady progress toward the “fixed ropes”. This steep and intimidating section of the climb was tough, as expected. Hard ice, 45 degree angles, unrelentingly uphill and airy feeling… but it was also spectacular when one was able to look up from the hard work for a moment to see the lower Kahiltna Glacier or Foraker across the way or the clean granite of Denali all around us. We reached the ridge crest (16,200 ft) at 2 PM and took a welcome break, gazing down at the Peters Glacier and the Northwest Buttress on the “other” side of our perch. Thus we broke Max’s altitude record, which was momentous. But his was the only one to fall as our other climbers had previously topped mountains like Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua. All noted that 16,200 on Denali felt a little different than similar heights on other mountains. We cached our supplies and descended in gathering cloud and murk. We’d reached 14 camp by 4:30 and took a few hours to kick back and drink water before dinner. Tomorrow is a rest day, and a welcome one after four hard days of moving and acclimating to uncomfortable new altitudes.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
Way to go guys! Sounds like conquering the headwall is an accomplishment all in itself. Something to celebrate in the POSH with your melted ice cocktails!!
Enjoy your very much deserved rest day, saving some energy and positive mental fortitude for the next leg.
Thanks Dave for describing the day so vividly!
Posted by: judychristofferson on 7/9/2013 at 11:08 am
Wow, Max! We are so impressed. Take care, climb safely and we are praying for good weather. Love, Grandma & Grandpa
Posted by: Bill & Caryl Reese on 7/9/2013 at 9:18 am
July 8, 2013
This morning was the first in a while that we weren’t getting up early, desperate for conditions to be favorable. We got the stoves started around nine, which sounds late and lazy, except in these parts, the sun doesn’t get around the mountain until 9:30. It was socked in and cloudy for our breakfast, and then snowing again, but without any wind. We were set to do our “back carry” -dropping down to pick up our cache from the other day, but we’d also been in touch with Pete VanDeventer and knew his team was descending and would pop out of the clouds any minute. It made sense to greet his gang and to exchange notes at 14,200 before going to get our carry done. It was fun to see their team, flush with success and excited to nearly be done with their climb. In the early afternoon, although it was still snowing, we set off into the murk to find our 13,600 ft cache. The cache was undisturbed, which was a relief. Guess we’d buried it all too deeply for the Ravens. It took just over an hour to make it back up to camp with the cargo. People retreated to their tents for a snooze while a few of us built a new kitchen-dining complex. The clouds began to drop and the sun got shining brightly for dinner and the few remaining hours of the day -it ducks behind the West Buttress at 9 PM and the temperature seems to drop about fifty degrees in a few minutes at that point. But we were treated to great views of Mounts Foraker and Hunter sticking out from the solid base of clouds spread below us. The forecasts still call for snow, but luckily they aren’t always right in just how much snow we’ll get and at which elevation it will fall. A calm day tomorrow for our carry to 16,200 ft would be greatly appreciated.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
thank you for diligently posting on your team’s progress. best of luck on your summit bid, and hoping for your safe descent.
Posted by: michelle on 7/9/2013 at 11:10 am
Good luck. Great reading about your progress.
ABQ Uptown 985/NM/CO
Posted by: Rachael C. Lujan on 7/8/2013 at 2:47 pm
July 7, 2013
Saturday, July 6, 2013
14 K at last! But we had to fight our way up here, it didn’t come easy.
Back down at 11,000 ft in the early hours of the day, it looked as though we might get decent weather. At least, if one was looking up at the West Buttress, there was good visibility and not much sign of wind, if one turned and looked West, however, there was still a massive flow of cloud, as there had been all week, often overflowing and engulfing camp.
We ate breakfast and packed, it seemed especially difficult to get going after having become so deeply dug in for the best part of a week, but we managed. Naturally, as we roped up and and got ready to walk, the clouds swept in and the wind came up. We came full on into strong, steady winds as we topped motorcycle hill and it seemed we found even stronger winds at the crest of squirrel hill. All of this was while inside a big white freezing cloud, so we were getting rimed up and frosty as we leaned straight into the storm to climb higher. On the polo field, we still had wind but we were getting occasional sun breaks. Windy Corner lived up to its name today. Getting past it was the key battle of the day, but we knew if we could pass the corner we could leave the wind and cloud behind. Sure enough, as we reached our cache from yesterday, we’d found a calm and sunny glacier. It took another ninety minutes to get into “Genet Basin” which we reached at 3:30 PM. We were happy to rejoin the teams we’d shared 11 camp with. There were plenty of empty camp sites with good walls, so building our nest at 14,200 ft was made slightly easier. The team was a little weary after pushing through such harsh conditions, but all were excited to be back in the game, to have new and awesome views and to have beat the forecasted “next storm”. Yes, that is right, we are in for another one. The western sky was full of wind sculpted wave clouds, as if a fleet of flying saucers were attacking Mount Foraker. By the time we finished dinner, Denali was cloud capped as well and the snow was starting to fall at 14,200.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
Yea, ravens at 13,000 ft?!? Those must be some bad ass ravens
Posted by: Fred on 7/7/2013 at 5:54 pm
Erik Nelson’s uncle and aunt here, following the journey eagerly. Proud, Praying, Positive! The Mariners’ Cove crabbing operation has been fun and successful. Hoping the same for your adventure, Erik and team.
Posted by: Jay and Carol Sigafoos on 7/7/2013 at 2:31 pm
July 4, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
We hear that there was better weather in other places on Denali today, but not so much here at 11,000 ft. Different day, same weather. It was snow, blowing snow, cloud and blowing cloud. We made good use of an afternoon sun break to put on harnesses and crampons and go for a short walk on the lower half of “motorcycle hill” which is just above camp. It was a nice opportunity to stretch legs and review climbing techniques as well as a chance to see some cool blue crevasses. After a fine Mexican dinner, we chatted to pass the time and listened to radio traffic from around the mountain. It seems that we might have slightly better weather for a few days, at least according to our radio. We’ll be ready to take advantage. There are four other guided parties waiting things out with us at 11 K and I’m certain they are ready to get moving again as well.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
Glad you guys stopped lazing around in your tents and got out to get some exercise!! : ) The Christofferson family sends our love to Anders and Happy Fourth of July to you all from the Jersey Shore. Wish we could send up some of our burgers and corn on the cob!
Post Hurricane Sandy motto of the NJ Shore is “We are Stronger than the Storm” You guys are too!
Posted by: judy christofferson on 7/4/2013 at 12:00 pm
Happy 4th of July everyone!!! Hugs and kisses Will :)
Posted by: Amy Huson on 7/4/2013 at 9:51 am
July 1, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Another Denali day, another camp built. We slept in until three this morning and then sprang into action. It doesn’t get dark in this part of Alaska in late June, but it gets shadowy, which can be a beautiful thing, even with a storm moving in. It was pretty plain, as we ate breakfast and then knocked down our tents at 9500 ft, that the forecasts were correct and that it wouldn’t be long before weather deteriorated. But we felt we still had a little time. As we were getting ready, we enjoyed seeing Mike Haugen’s victorious climbing team passing through on their descent. We exchanged handshakes, hugs, route information and then wished each other well. We were out of the old camp and on the site of our new one at 11,000 ft in just over three hours, which meant that we were sitting pretty a few hours after that when things began to get nasty. It rained a bit through the afternoon, which is not so typical this high up Denali, but by evening it was the more typical onslaught of wind and snow. By then we were well dug in and ready for it.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
Hi Will! So glad things are going well for you so far! I’m really enjoying the detailed daily updates. Stay strong…and warm! Love you!
Posted by: Amy Huson on 7/1/2013 at 8:37 pm