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Entries from Denali

Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Remain at 14,000’ Camp

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 10:22 PM PT Yet another snowy, cloudy morning at 14,000' Camp. There was less wind today though, so it was easier to be outside. It wasn’t a day for moving up or down the mountain -everybody stayed put. We found diversions, like remodeling the walls of our bathroom and kitchen and generally just digging holes in the snow. There was a brief clearing around noon, but then things clouded up again and the wind appeared to ramp up on the South Peak. We did a mid-afternoon quesadilla session and then logged a little tent time. In the evening we attended a barbecue. The final National Park Service ranger patrol of the season is tasked with packing up the NPS camp at 14K and they decided they had too much meat. Not wanting it to go to waste, they invited all the remaining teams on the mountain to come over to socialize and get a cheeseburger, which we did. There were about fifty of us standing out in the snow, comparing home towns and countries and climbing goals. Up at 17,000 there may be another 25 climbers waiting for a weather break, but they are sadly out of cheeseburger range. Believe it or not, we STILL like the forecast. We’ll get moving again tomorrow or the next day. Best Regards RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Love you and miss you Tym!! Hang in there.

Posted by: Kristen on 7/4/2019 at 10:07 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Continue to Wait

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 8:26 PM PT Another early morning peek out of the tent provided all we needed to know about how today was going to go...not very far. With terrible visibility and the sound of high winds above, we knew that we would add another tally mark on our tent wall! Although all of us are more than ready to head to the summit and then get out of here, we are not exactly suffering. In fact, it turned out to be a relatively nice day in camp even though the summit was still angry. We had some Mountain Pho (ramen) on our rock terrace at the edge of camp that looks 3,000 feet down to 14,000' Camp. It was good to have the whole team eating together instead of holed up in tents because of weather. It feels like the weather is changing in our favor. Of course, we have felt that way for days! We are in negotiations with Denali for a summit tomorrow. Although we never have the upper hand in weather negotiations with big mountains, I think this team has put in enough hard work and patience to use as a bargaining chip. Put in a good word for us! RMI Guide Mike Haugen & Team Siete

On The Map

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Hi Megan, thinking of you and so proud of your accomplishments!! Glad u missed the earthquake. I hope Vicky is ok. Xo Gayle

Posted by: Gayle C on 7/5/2019 at 1:18 pm

Welllllllllllll. Lying in my comfy bed reading this and not wishing I was you guys, but then again you are all my hero’s so I guess I totally am wishing I was one of you. That’s exactly who you all are….the people the rest of us imagine to be or aspire to be. So for us….go get that mountain for all of us! You got time, tenacity and tons of people cheering you on….Mother Nature will give you her window soon. You got this, side salad!

Posted by: Shannon Henn on 7/4/2019 at 11:32 pm

Denali Custom Expedition: Hahn & Team Wait out the Weather

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 9:58 PM PT It started snowing around 4 this morning, which was contrary to predictions. The entire day ended up cloudy, snowy and windy... about the nearest thing to a genuine storm that we have had. Forecasts still call for high pressure and nice weather out there somewhere, but it hasn’t found us yet. We gathered for meals in the shelter of the dining tent, but spent most of the day in our own tents, listening to wind and passing time. We’ll chalk it up to an extra acclimatization day, which is hardly ever a bad thing. There were a couple of calm periods and a few minutes of sun here and there, but the clouds never pulled off the upper mountain. Walking around camp in the flat light was a challenge as we’d frequently stumble into old holes dug in the snow for kitchens or caches or tents. Still, it never got particularly cold and the wind never hit more than about 25 mph, so we won’t complain too much. Best Regards RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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I hope someone brought a flag so you can celebrate Independence Day on the top of the mountain.  Happy 4th to all of you.  Sandy

Posted by: Sandy Bemis on 7/4/2019 at 4:52 am

Happy 4th of July to those almost at the top of the world! Thanks for keeping us all updated on this amazing trip. Praying for good weather!

Posted by: Tracy Wilhelm on 7/4/2019 at 3:51 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Not Yet!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 7:49 PM PT We thought today would be our day... Until it wasn't. We woke up to blowing snow and zero visibility. It made our call easy once again. We thought that it would clear up later in the morning and give us a late try, but it has not cleared up all day. Oh well, we will wait! The team is doing well with all of the waiting at high camp, in spite of being in tents most of the day. The weather has not been terrible at high camp, just not good enough to climb. So, more waiting, sport eating, and good weather finger crossing for us! RMI Guide Mike Haugen & Team Siete

On The Map

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Press button…get summit!

Posted by: Joe Horiskey on 7/3/2019 at 3:28 pm

Don’t let the weather get you down! If you get cold, just think about me and I’m sure that will heat things up ;)!

- XOXO <3

Posted by: Mackinzie on 7/3/2019 at 12:42 pm

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Enjoy a Restful Day

Monday, July 1, 2019 - 10:34 PM PT Last night’s snowstorm was short-lived, we got perhaps one inch of new at 14 Camp. Afterward, the bulk of the night was calm and in the morning -with some of the smoke washed out of the sky- we were treated to long distance views of the Chugach Mountains to the SE and to volcanoes 150 miles or more to the South. Reports were that it was still windy high on Denali, but in our sheltered bowl at 14,000 ft it was a calm and easy day. We did a long and lazy breakfast of coffee and pancakes which took us pretty much up to lunch. Then it was time for napping, books, TV or movies on the phones, daydreaming, drinking and eating. An enormous cloud cap formed on the upper mountain and so it wasn’t nearly as hot today as it had been, but the mild temperatures have still made life at 14K considerably easier than usual. We are all for easy. With Mike Haugen’s team waiting up at 17,000 and looking to summit tomorrow, we’ll most likely wait another day at 14,000 so as not to crowd them. The forecast is calling for dry and stable weather, giving us the luxury of dragging feet for better acclimatization before we make the big jump up for our summit bid. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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So captivating.

Posted by: Vvkidd on 7/2/2019 at 4:30 pm

Go team!  Great work on the carry to high camp!

Posted by: Ken Porrello on 7/2/2019 at 8:57 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Waiting on Weather

Monday, July 1, 2019 - 9:24 PM PT Denali is a mountain that definitely tests a group's patience. We woke up around 6 to look at the weather and Denali was still a bit too testy up high for us to make our move. This is to be expected when climbing big mountains and our team has accepted this challenge of waiting like a cobra to strike at our good weather window.... which will hopefully be tomorrow. The team is in great spirits and spent the day resting up and sport eating so we have the energy to get to the summit. Although not as nice as 14k camp, 17k is treating us well. Keep your fingers crossed for us for tomorrow! RMI Guide Mike Haugen and Team Siete

On The Map

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Well let’s just say, “Buzzard Butthairs” to another day at 17,200, and good for you for patience and persistence. No Denali Demons allowed, and may you soon reach your goal. Keep up that strong spirit.


Love Mom and Zeppelin

Posted by: Kristi Kennelly on 7/2/2019 at 9:59 am

Wayne, Zach and Ian-how are those snacks tasting?  Hope you can summit today. Best wishes to the entire team. The summit awaits you!!!

Posted by: Aunt Kathy on 7/2/2019 at 8:49 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Carry to 17K Camp

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 10:26 PM PT Storms were forecasted for today... 90% chance of snow. But when we looked at the world at 4:30 this morning, things were just pretty, clear and calm. So we got up and ate breakfast. After breakfast it was still just fine in our neighborhood, so at 7 AM we set off to do a carry onto the West Buttress. The track was well packed and so we made great progress in the shadows, moving up a series of gradually steepening hills until we were at the "headwall" and the ropes fixed in place up it. The start was a little sporty since there was a small vertical wall to scale in order to get past the bergschrund (a particular kind of crevasse at the top margin of a glacier). But with the aid of the rope and some sharp crampons, we each clawed our way up and over the lip to begin the merely steep and never ending slope above. But it did end as we pulled onto the ridge crest at 16,200 ft which turned out to be the perfect place for a rest break at 10 AM. Then we began climbing the ridge itself with spectacular-and still largely clear- views and the cleanest pink and white granite to clamber around and over. One more short section of fixed line took us up the steep flanks of Washburn’s Thumb at 16,800 ft and then it was relatively easy -but exciting- ridge walking with the Peters Glacier far below on the left and Genet Basin 3000 ft down on the right. By this point there were starting to be a few clouds and some wind gusts, but with the mild temperatures the wind wasn’t much of a concern. We cruised into 17,200 Camp at 12:15 and had a brief reunion with Mike Haugen’s team encamped there and waiting for the weather up top to be workable (it wasn’t today... too windy). With the idea of getting lower down before the storm moved in, we cached our supplies and skedaddled down the ridge. We were almost back in camp at 3PM when the clouds formed fantastic waves and tendrils all around the upper mountain. It began to snow heavily just after our six o’clock dinner of tortellini and soup... fulfilling the 90% prophecy. But we got our carry in. Rest is in order for tomorrow. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Hanging at High Camp

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 8:44 PM PT We woke up to a sunny and relatively calm high camp. When we stuck our heads out to see what it looked like above, it was apparent that Denali wasn't a happy mountain. As guides, it is sometimes nice when the mountain makes the decisions for us and doesn't lead us on thinking we might climb. We spent the day eating and resting up for when the mountain decides that it is our time. The forecast is trending for better winds up high, so right now we will do some high altitude camping. We are so glad to have such a strong team of climbers with great attitudes. Let's hope Denali appreciates it as well! RMI Guide Mike Haugen and Team Siete

On The Map

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I miss us baby! Please come back in one piece!

Posted by: Mackinzie on 7/2/2019 at 12:45 pm

I’m sending you all wishes for a safe and comfortable ascent ....go team go!!

Ask Meghan if she brought a celebratory bottle of red wine in her camelback!!

xoxo Lisa

Posted by: Lisa Miller on 7/1/2019 at 3:59 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Continue Wait for better Weather

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 5:16 PM PT We're enjoying the thick air at Camp 4, at 14,200' in Genet Basin. We got a good night's sleep last night, slept in this morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and bacon. An ample coffee. Today we are resting and waiting for colder temps by which to travel. There is a weather front affecting Denali right now, bringing winds up high and clouds and precipitation down low. We're sitting in between in the sun and happy at 14k. Our hope is that we can travel through the night down the Kahiltna Glacier to the Basecamp Airstrip and that cloud and precip will dissipate tomorrow so that we can fly back to Talkeetna. We'll let you know how it goes. RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Talk about dining with a view!! I always love hearing about the food :-P
Have a safe trip down!

Posted by: Savannah on 7/1/2019 at 11:02 am

I’m sure they’d rather celebrate with their new friends at Club 14 than rush home.

Posted by: Keith and Regine on 7/1/2019 at 9:08 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn and Team Retrieve Cache

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 10:10 PM PT To deal with the heat, we got up a little earlier than we might ordinarily have for an easy day at 14 Camp. At 7:00 AM it is still shadowy and cool in camp but not so cool that we rushed our breakfast of bagels and salmon with cream cheese. The main task for the day was our back carry dropping down from 14,200 ft to retrieve the cached food and fuel at 13,500 ft. We were out of camp at 9:20 and down to the cache just 15 or 20 minutes later. The ravens showed no interest whatsoever in our buried treasure although we’d seen where they raided a nearby poorly done cache a few days back. After a bit of hard digging, we distributed the load and began trudging back up at 10:00. The route happens to be quite direct this season -- just a factor of a few crevasses either being bridged well or not in a given year -- and so it only took 45 minutes to get home. On the spooky side of things we witnessed the normally stable and well-frozen West Buttress shedding rock down its steep flanks due to the heat. Back at camp, the easy part of our day began. We took shelter and drank water. The forest fire smoke grew thick enough that we couldn’t see down onto the Kahiltna Glacier and all but the top 3000 ft of Mt Foraker was obscured. We were pleased to connect with RMI Guide Mike Walter’s victorious team when they came down and became our neighbors. In the afternoon we reviewed the techniques we’ll employ to safely ascend the fixed lines between 15,000 and 16,000 ft. Tomorrow the forecast calls for a weather change, but if that is slow in arriving, we’d like to carry up onto the West Buttress. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn
Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thanks for the pictures and updates! The warmth is a fooler at those altitudes?! Hope you are having a great day in thinner air - does the smoke keep rising with you?

Posted by: Rich Green on 6/30/2019 at 10:14 am

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