Entries By tyler jones
June 8, 2016
June 8, 2016 - 2:25 p.m. PDT
Hi from High Camp on Denali! We were in a holding pattern this morning as we had high winds and very cold temperatures. Now the day has warmed up and winds have died a bit, but we are sitting in a very thick cloud. The tents are warm as always with the sun’s intense radiation shining through. So we sit and wait, snoozing, mixed with conversation, laughter and anticipation. When our window arrives we are in crouching tiger position, ready to launch on our summit push.
RMI Guide Tyler Jones and Team
On The Map
Sorry to hear you are stuck at camp. Eric is keeping me informed about what that must be like. I imagine it’s more fun than the Builder, and less miserable than attending a rainy losing ND game.
Today I drove to North Lame (or some town nearby that looked exactly the same). It was 95° and smelled strongly of cows. I sat in a windowless conference room for 6 hours and then drove back. My coworkers made a big deal out of eating Rocky Mountain Oysters, which I think sounds like a good name for a local minor league team.
Remember, if you can’t climb because of the cold, use your artistic eye to find an ice cave ballroom.
Posted by: Mary on 6/9/2016 at 6:28 am
PULLING FOR YOU GUYS EVERY DAY. THE RMI POSTS ARE GREAT.
SENDING BEST WISHES TO ENTIRE TEAM AND ESPECIALLY MY FAMILY DAN AND ERIC.
Posted by: Karen Stewart on 6/8/2016 at 8:22 pm
June 7, 2016
June 7, 2016 - 8:30 pm PT
We got up this morning to blue skies and a promising forecast. The minute the Big Orange Ball (aka Bob number 2) shined on camp we were outta there, moving uphill. However, we were forced to heavily slow our roll as huge swirling snow plumes were blowing off the 16 ridge and the upper mountain was completely sheeted in wind blown snow.
So we picnicked in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. The visibility was almost endless as we could see much of the range in sharp detail. We rested and snacked for over an hour before the winds started looking more and more friendly. Before we knew it, picnicking was over and as we were hopping onto the fixed lines.
After the practice a few days before the team zipped to the top and met up with our buried stashes! Then it was on! Climbing the 16 ridge is absolutely breathtaking, and we earned it today. The stiff wind never really let up, but it did nothing to dampen spirits as we looked down 2,500 feet to 14K camp and beyond.
Now that the ridge has been walked, and the tents pitched, the team looks to try and recover enough to make a stab at the summit in the morning! Let’s just hope this wind blows itself out…
Wow congrats guys!! Sounds like such an exciting day! Stay safe on this last push to the top. I can only imagine the gorgeous views from where you are. Im so impressed with you all—what an adventure! Enjoy it!
Ongun I’m sending you all my hugs!Xoxo
Posted by: Karina on 6/8/2016 at 5:45 am
Summit dogs for everyone!
Posted by: Dad on 6/7/2016 at 9:48 pm
June 6, 2016
June 6, 2016 - 7:01 pm PT
Today we woke to another gray cold morning! And we’re well rested now after another 24 hours at 14 Camp. The forecast has been fickle but we forge on with a few laps around camp for the guys. There was a lot of packing, drying, and fidgeting with our equipment. We’re preparing for a summit push . The team is excited and well prepared. With some weather on our side we will try to move to high camp at 17,200’! Now we eat, drink and sleep. Will be in touch tomorrow.
On The Map
Psalm 121 -A Song of Ascents-
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord . Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved. “
The team remains in our thoughts and prayers. We know you are looking at the top of the “high one”.
Waiting patiently as you have in the cold and snow will make your ascent even more glorious.
Everyone is excited about your return!
“Success is the sum of small efforts day in and day out” Robert Collier
Mom and Dad
Posted by: Carter Adams on 6/7/2016 at 6:56 pm
“In a sense everything that is exists to climb. All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form.
Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit. We have always
honored the high places because we sense them to be the homes of gods. In the mountains there
is the promise of ..... something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars.
So we climb… and in climbing there is more than a metaphor; there is a means of discovery.”
Thinking of you Blake….. I’m so excited for you !!!
Posted by: Maria Votilla on 6/7/2016 at 7:11 am
June 6, 2016
June 5, 2016 - 9:46 p.m. PDT
A clear night allowed the radiant heat from yesterday to escape, meaning quite the cool and crisp morning was upon us. When temperatures drop well below zero as they did this morning, it is another level of cold. There is a threshold where the mouths of our insulated Nalgene bottles freeze over, and our 12-liter aluminum water pots in the kitchen become lined with a thick layer of ice all around.
The clear morning lured some climbers and neighbors to break camp and begin a push up to high camp. Within a few hours though, the forecast proved accurate as Denali began to cap over and a storm develop. Light to moderate winds here at 14 camp, but still cold and no real warming yet with increasing snowfall intensity. The “nowcast” and short lived morning sun surely tricked those climbers as they were turned around just a thousand feet up by extreme cold and back in camp by noon.
Only becoming stronger with continued acclimatization, and tall snow-brick walls fortifying the windward sides of our homestead, we are content with staying put. Our camp now sits in a wind eddy as gusts strong enough to bend trees push into our walls and curl over as we lay in the tents and nap. Nice to have spent a few days dialing in our camp! The team is ready and excited to make a move once the mountain allows, but only with a high safety margin and good style. For now though we’ll keep kickin’ it at camp: remodeling, relaxing, pancake eating, and cold hard chilling until the weather changes.
Also worth noting was last nights impromptu trip to “The Edge of the World”. A short walk across Genet Basin brought us to an amazing vista overlooking the Kahiltna Glacier, Mount Hunter and Foraker, and a large portion of the route we traveled in the past week. Evening light and periodic clearing made for a special view. Snow crystals flickered and glittered through the gaps of misty clouds floating 5,000’ above the ominous cracks and towering walls of the NE fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. Learning how to stay busy during our first real “storm day” isn’t so bad!
On The Map
Waffles please! I know you just came for the waffles.
Good thing you’ve had Chicago training for extreme negative temperatures, powerful gusts of wind, and staying home and napping when you’re scheduled to work. I hope your beard is full enough now to keep you warm while giving you a nice sunglasses tan. The goggles do nothing!
Don’t stick your tongue to anything metal.
Posted by: Jacket on 6/6/2016 at 8:29 pm
to Bob: Amelia and Chet think your trip is awesome and that you are crazy. it sounds “so cool” and Uncle Bob is “the best” can’t wait to talk to you when you get back. dad is in boulder/denver and vail next week (you know why). we are puling for you uncle bob.
Posted by: mark mullen on 6/6/2016 at 7:58 pm
June 4, 2016
June 4, 2016 - 5:02 pm PT
After yesterday’s mission caching our summit kits at the top of the fixed lines, the crew is ready for a rest day. We went to bed last night to clear skies and low valley clouds rolling around Foraker and awoke to more perfect views above. Many of the slopes around camp are accruing ski tracks, and providing great entertainment!
Today’s breakfast was high class gourmet, with salmon and cream cheese bagels and a side of cheesy bacon hash browns. The fresh food has spirits high as we hope for the great weather to continue. Until then we’ll continue to chill and watch skiers enjoy the fresh snow.
On The Map
You guys are moving impressively fast. Keep listening to Tyler (especially about putting on your puffy pants before coming into the cook tent) and he will get you to the top!
- Devin Smith (Tyler Jones Denali University, class of ‘15)
Posted by: Devin Smith on 6/6/2016 at 8:10 am
Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
When’s your next coffee break? While you are resting, I am staying very productive, and going to church. Watching skiers sounds fun; typical powder hounds.
Remember, if we can do it, so can you! What I’m saying is, I’ll give you the money to keep going. It seems like they’re feeding you well, but if you’re still hungry when you get back, we can go to Arby’s.
Posted by: Mrs. Oxygen on 6/6/2016 at 12:15 am
June 3, 2016
June 3, 2016 - 8:32 pm PT
Today was another cold morning with a quick breakfast. We shouldered our loads for the carry to above the fixed lines at 16,200ft. The team climbed well and efficiently. The weather was white, like walking in a milk jug, and the wind light until the last few moments when we pulled up on the ridge of the West Buttress the brisk wind and gray sky had us in our biggest warmest layers. We quickly dug a cache and dropped back onto the fixed lines where the wind calmed and we made our way back to camp for a relaxing afternoon and a trip meal highlight of quesadillas with fresh veggies and all the fixings. Tonight the team will sleep well and we are planning a rest day tomorrow with a short acclimatization hike to the Edge of the World, which is on of the nicest vistas in all of the Alaska range. The final kit of summit gear and food is stashed up high, and we’re ready to make the push once the weather allows. Thanks for following along.
On The Map
June the Fourth Be With You
Posted by: Han Duet on 6/5/2016 at 10:59 pm
Congrats guys on what sounds like a cold tough day! You’re almost there! I’m so inspired by all your hard work trekking this big mountain.
Ongun sending you all the warmth from NYC and all my hugs and kisses! I hope you’re doing well I can’t wait to see you!
I am keeping busy looking at buildings and neighborhoods around the city and think I may have found a great potential option for our next home! For now though I hope you are enjoying your mountain home. You’re living in a corner of this world very few have and will ever see! So exclusive and cool lol. I can’t wait to hear all about it:)
Keep it up team and stay warm and safe!
Posted by: karina on 6/4/2016 at 1:56 pm
June 2, 2016
June 2, 2016 - 9:41 p.m. PDT
Rest, relaxation, and ready! We have had a great first day at 14,200ft camp. We all enjoyed the great feeling of not having to be up early. The team rolled out of the sleeping bag only when the suns rays chased us to the cook house. A deluxe meal of breakfast burritos, coffee, and socializing. Full and happy most of us went back to our tent for relaxing. The afternoon was spent training for our travels up the headwall and on to the West Buttress proper. With a strong and healthy team, we are hoping to put a cache of food and fuel in above 16,000ft tomorrow, weather permitting. This will be one of the final stages of preparation before we try our summit push. Things are going well so far and we thank you all for your support, warm thought, and positive vibes. One day at a time!
Wow! First day at 14 and you already went up the fixed lines to get this photo from above camp! Go getters! ;)
You’re welcome to some warm air from Ashford—93 today and freezing levels are bumping up to 14k for a few days.
Schlax: Ask Tyler if he’ll let you climb Washburn’s Thumb. Word on the street is that it goes at something like v5.
Posted by: Eric Schafer on 6/3/2016 at 8:38 pm
Here are 3 quotes I found that I liked that relate to mountaineering. I’m hoping to give you some inspiration for the push ahead. Stay focused and safe.
Ongun sending you all my love and hugs :)
“Great things are done when men and mountains meet; ” William Blake
A few hours’ mountain climbing make of a rogue and a saint two fairly equal creatures. Tiredness is the shortest path to equality and fraternity — and sleep finally adds to them liberty.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human
“The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
― John Muir
Posted by: Karina on 6/3/2016 at 12:22 pm
June 2, 2016
June 1, 2016 - 10:36 p.m. PDT
Today was one of the more work intensive days of the trip thus far. Up at 6:00 a.m., the same time as yesterday’s move, we were tasked with a little more effort to break down camp and hit the trail. The slight overnight cloud deck a few thousand feet above us had kept some heat locked in and today’s wake up did not feel nearly as chilled as yesterday with the clear sky. One of the days highlights was seeing the shadow of Denali painted on the thin cloud deck above us, the cloud was thin enough to let a bit of light through but just thick enough to keep the heat in. So cool. The unique lighting didn’t end though, as we made our way up into the Polo Fields we chased the shadow all the way to our second break. Snowflake flurries continued as wispy clouds moved over the high ridge and the morning sunlight barely cresting over Denali made walking today especially enjoyable.
Before we knew it we were at 14 Camp, making even better time than yesterday. Quite impressive considering it was our second big climb at altitude in a row! The real work just begins though as we still need to claim our homestead. A nice parcel with beachfront views of Hunter and Foraker will do! Tents stacked tight: 3 in a row, our cook tent, and finally guide tent at the edge of the hill. Plenty of old lots were available as most groups moved up yesterday to high camp. We chose to stake out our own - away from the crowds and with our own custom landscaping! We are settled in here at 14,200’, looking forward to tomorrow’s rest day and we’ll see what opportunities the weather brings us. Stay tuned!
RMI Guide Blake Votilla and team
On The Map
High places are only for those brave enough to follow their dreams! You guys will never be the same walking this close to the heavens. We hope the wind stands still and the snow is light on your summit day. Looking forward to a safe return and some well deserved beach time in the OBX! We can tell from the blog and pictures that achieving your goal is close. Be safe and stay focused.
Carter and Kay Adams
Posted by: Carter Adams on 6/2/2016 at 4:27 pm
haha very good question—has the chocolate supply run out?
Posted by: karina on 6/2/2016 at 1:30 pm
May 31, 2016
May 31, 2016 - 5:52 pm PT
Were back from our biggest day so far on this expedition. The train is very much on the track as we moved efficiently with perfect weather. The cold, crisp, and breathless air provided a flawless day. Not to mention the the rockstar crew we are climbing with - smooth operators.
The route conditions from 11,200 - 14,200 ft camp are groomer. The views of the surrounding ridges, peaks, glaciers and distant rivers are proof we came to one of the most inspiring corners of the world. Now that we’re back to camp, we will spend the afternoon chilling with our groceries and hydrating in hopes the splendid weather will continue. Tomorrow we look to move up to 14,200 ft camp and will keep you all in the loop as to our progress.
RMI Guide Tyler Jones
On The Map
Safe travels everyone! It looks so beautiful! Love to Michael and the rest of the team!
Posted by: Anne Tyler Adams on 6/2/2016 at 9:57 am
Thinking of my nephew Michael Adams and his team of adventure seekers. You are all being prayed for each day - for a wonderful and safe journey. Each day is new…make it great!
Posted by: Aunt Susan (Susan Lawrence) on 6/2/2016 at 7:06 am
May 31, 2016
May 30, 2016 - 7:39 pm PT
With just a day of active rest scheduled, the team was able to sleep in. Most all of us slept like rocks, with a pitter patter of fresh snow making the perfect background noise. Once we finally rolled out of bed, a lazy breakfast of bacon, cheese and hash-brown wraps with a half bagel on the side and a hot drink or two got us ready for our back carry. The whole group was excited to be reunited with our buried goods; as many of us were craving some snack hidden in the snow.
11 Camp remains a weather quandary with reports of clear skies at both fourteen and Base Camps. Yet the fresh six inches of snow is welcome as it has brought our camp back to its pristine status. For now we’ll continue to chill and listen to the snow fall!
On The Map
wow so much snow! Ongun I’m sending you my warmest hug!! I hope you can rest well and take care of yourself to reboot for more trekking. Miss you so much and hope you are having an amazing adventure!
Posted by: karina on 5/31/2016 at 10:06 am
I’m bragging to everyone I meet about your expedition. Be #fearless, #strong, and #raw because people are following along. No pressure.
As you know, you’re missing many important newsfeeds. Here’s a quick summary:
Your last post has over 40 likes (not bad) and some witty comments. Beach volleyball season started, and at least 20 people’s Memorial Day weekend involved boats (that sounds low?). Curry v Cavs has inspired poetry. Training and attendance continues for marathons, triathlons, weddings. Surprisingly low on selfies & baby pics.
Finally, you’ve missed 753 Inspirational Quotes. Some good ones:
“No matter where you are in your journey, you’re exactly where you need to be.” - Oprah
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” - T. Roosevelt
Posted by: Mary on 5/31/2016 at 9:49 am