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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition - Van Deventer & Team Fly onto Denali Basecamp

May 16, 2021 - 12:41 am PT

We hit the ground running today. At 8 am the weather looked good to fly, so we hustled to the hanger, changed into mountain clothes, and loaded gear on the two K2 otters that would ferry us to Basecamp. The flight in is always a highlight, as the tundra gives way to foothills, and then to the craggy peaks and ridges of the Alaska range, with cracked up glaciers carving channels between.

We took an hour or two to get our gear sorted, sleds loaded, and ropes setup, and then struck out from Basecamp to make our way up the lower Kahiltna to the base of ski hill. Often the first hour of moving with sleds has some hiccups, but not for us today. The group moved well, enjoying firm enough trail conditions that we could eschew the snowshoes.

We're settled into camp, feed, and tucking into sleeping bags for our first night in the mountain. We'll be in touch tomorrow!

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer & Team

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Denali Expedtion - Mike Walter and Team Move to 11,200’

May 15, 2021 - 7:26 pm PT

Our team had another big day today, moving camp from 7,800' to 11,200'. The weather was beautiful; the morning was nice and cool and the afternoon was hot and we couldn't buy a breeze. It took us 6 1/2 hours to make the move today, and another few hours of work to establish camp. We got our camp established with enough time for an afternoon nap for everyone while the guides melted snow to replenish water bottles.

Tomorrow we'll have a leisurely morning and head back down hill to retrieve the cache that we left at 10,000' yesterday. Weather permitting it should be a light workload tomorrow and we will able to get some good rest.

RMI Guide Mike Walter & Team

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Praying for safety, health, strength and ideal weather. Enjoy the boundless beauty and have FUN!

Posted by: Julie Morris on 5/16/2021 at 8:09 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Carry Loads to Base of Ski Hill

Thursday, May 13, 2021  - 9:57 pm PT

We had warm and sunny weather today and we took advantage of it to single carry all of our loads to the Base of Ski Hill. It took us 5 hours to get here, traveling on the Kahiltna Glacier with heavy packs and pulling heavy sleds.

The plan for tomorrow is to bump a load of supplies up Ski Hill to around 9800' and create a cache. Then we will return to our current camp for the night. The weather is looking good and everyone is doing well.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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I am thinking about and praying for all of you! Focus on the spectacular beauty!

Posted by: Julie Morris on 5/14/2021 at 8:15 pm

We are all watching. Hang in there and have a good time. Love you.

Posted by: Eve Stern on 5/14/2021 at 5:33 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Fly to Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier

Wednesday, May, 12, 2021 - 10:04 pm PT

We got a break in the weather this afternoon and were able to fly in to Basecamp on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. Camp is all set up and we have starting sorting out equipment for (hopefully) moving up glacier to the base of Ski Hill tomorrow. It was warm and sunny here today, although a cloud has settled in now and it's snowing lightly. We'll touch base again tomorrow as we start our long adventure of living on a glacier.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Good luck everyone!  I wish I could do this!

Posted by: Richard Zeppieri on 5/14/2021 at 3:47 am

Go get it and Godspeed, Pete & the Team!

Posted by: Kendra Madrid on 5/14/2021 at 12:25 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & May 10th Expedition Team Ready to Fly if Weather permits

We spent yesterday packing and going through all of our equipment for our Denali Expedition. Our gear is all packed and ready to be loaded onto the glacier planes, two DeHavilland Otters flown by our amazing pilots at K2 Aviation. We’ll meet at 8am and get an update on the current weather and flying conditions. The forecast is for snow today, so it is still uncertain if we will be able to fly in to Base Camp today. We’ll keep you posted as we prepare to live on a glacier for the next few weeks. Fingers are crossed…

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Our son, Alex, is on the trip. Stay safe everyone and have an amazing adventure!
Jackie Woolley

Posted by: Jackie Woolley on 5/13/2021 at 7:10 pm

An endurance climb, expedition style, good luck to all, you will be so proud!

Posted by: Bill Bussey on 5/13/2021 at 6:47 am

Denali Expedition: May 10th Expedition Arrives in Talkeetna

RMI's Denali climbing season is officially underway. Our May 10th Denali Expedition team met yesterday at the Anchorage airport and travelled north to the town of Talkeetna. We will spend today packing our gear and preparing for our expedition, as well as attending an expedition orientation meeting with the National Park Service. The plan is to have all of the T’s crossed and the I’s dotted by this evening so that we’re ready to fly into Kahiltna Base Camp tomorrow, weather permitting. We’ll keep you posted…

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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I am excited to be able to follow the progress of your expedition!  Go Hank and all!  Safe, exciting adventure to everyone.

Posted by: Beth on 5/14/2021 at 6:01 pm

Prayers and fingers crossed for good weather and success…Go Hank and the entire team!

Posted by: Nancy Thoenes on 5/14/2021 at 6:50 am

Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Return to Talkeetna, Celebrate Great Climb

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 1:11 AM PT The longest day. The weather remained stable and perfect... to a scary extent. Some of us lay awake last night at 14,000 just listening to the violent detonations of rock hitting ice and snow at terminal velocity. The high temps were to blame and those high temperatures were part and parcel of the prolonged good weather that allowed us to summit. For those monitoring the rockfall, it was a relief that wake-up time was at 11 PM. Best to be up and busy eating and packing then to be hearing rock and imagining worst case scenarios for a team passing Windy Corner ridiculously close up under the cliffs. We were walking at 12:30 AM and soon got to see the battlefields where car-sized chunks of granite had left deep tracks and impact craters on either side of the “trail”. Sure enough, in the zone where rockfall danger demanded our fullest attention, the track began to go over crevasse after crevasse and crappy bridge after crappy bridge. We struggled (as every one does) the then, surprisingly, the route got better. We were pleased to find things frozen up and easy travel far below the point where we’d been told to expect freezing. Once at 11,000' the nature of travel changed. We traded crampons for snowshoes and ice axes for ski poles. The morning/evening light was brilliant on Denali. Conditions on the lower glacier were way better than we expected. We just kept trudging as the light changed and found ourselves walking up Heartbreak Hill starting at 9:30 AM. It was 11:30 before we were at the “upper strip” on the SE Fork with all of our Basecamp caches relocated from the lower strip. Our pickup arrived just after 3 PM. We loaded and lifted off and flew into smoke as the pilots pointed their Otters toward Talkeetna. We got out of the planes in down jackets... immediately appreciating that the ambient temp at TKA was over 90 degrees F. Afternoon was then spent drying gear and reconnecting to the world. We met for a celebratory dinner at the West Rib and discussed our good fortune. Day 19 was a long one, but also a very good one. Best Regards RMI Guide Dave Hahn
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Sounds like a scary end to your trip! Glad everyone is safe.  Hope you all are enjoying a Great dinner, hot shower,  and comfy bed!

Posted by: Shannon Smith on 7/9/2019 at 7:11 pm

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team’s Adventure Complete

Monday, July 8, 2019 - 7:36 PM PT We woke up yesterday to a fabulous day to fly back to Talkeetna. Our monumental effort to get back to basecamp and the airstrip paid off as we barely had time to make coffee in the morning before the Otter ski planes came to pick us up. We returned to shocking 90 degree temperatures. Having been on an icy mountain for the better part of the month, our sweat glands definitely got a workout. The crew exploded their packs and duffel bags, dried out and sorted gear, and then repacked for our travels home. After a dinner to celebrate our amazing adventure together, everyone needed the sleep we were deprived of for the last few days. Thank you RMI Siete for the great adventure and the amazing efforts and attitude that lead to a very successful expedition. RMI Guide Mike Haugen
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Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Descend to 14,000’ Camp

Sunday, July 7, 2019 - 8:47 PM PT The fine weather continued, except there was an irritating wind blowing at 17,000 this morning when we got stirring at 7:30 AM. The wind wasn’t particularly strong or cold, but it wouldn’t go away either, so it made breakfast and packing slightly less fun. We were out of 17,000' Camp by 10:30 and walking carefully down the crest of the West Buttress. The wind wasn’t strong enough to make anybody miss a step, but it made communication tricky. Even so, we made good time down the ridge and then down the fixed ropes. Traffic is nonexistent now as the very last three or four teams of the season were all above us and going for the top in the breeze. We reached 14,000 by 1 PM and decided to build camp. Tempting as it would have been to continue on down the mountain, we have to deal now with the downside to all the fabulous weather. The warm temperatures have caused the West Buttress to shed a lot more rock than usual. We’ll try to let it cool a little before venturing around Windy Corner. An Alpine Start is called for, so we’ll keep resting in preparation for a midnight departure. We’ll try to go all the way to the airstrip from here in order to get the lower glacier in cool conditions as well. It MIGHT be our final night on the mountain. Stay tuned. Best Regards RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Arrive Back at Airstrip

We left 14,000' Camp this morning on a mission. We were going to make it to Kathiltna Basecamp. We packed up our heavy packs and sleds and headed downhill. The weather was just right for our long haul. We had a nice breeze all day that kept us from cooking on the sometimes brutally hot lower glacier. We worked our way well over 10 miles of glacier and finally found our way to a deserted Basecamp and airstrip. Since it was too late for the ski planes to come and pick us up, we hunkered down, set up camp, and ate a nice dinner. We even found a couple of beers in our cache. I wonder how those got there? RMI Guide Mike Haugen and Team Siete

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Welcome Home…almost.

Love Mom and Zeppelin

Posted by: Kristi Kennelly on 7/7/2019 at 9:46 am

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