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Entries from Denali

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

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

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

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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

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

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

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

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

Denali Expedition: Haugen and Team Move to 17k Camp

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 9:29 PM PT We woke up to a beautiful morning with a tiny breeze and a clear sky. We spoke with RMI Guide Mike Walter's team over the radio and they let us know that the weather was also nice at 17k. We rallied the troops and made quick work of breakfast and tearing down our camp at 14k. Although 14k is a nice camp, we want to be in position when our summit opportunity arises. We made our way back up the fixed lines and climbed the beautiful ridge up to 17k Camp. This camp definitely does not have all of the charm that 14k does. In fact, it is quite a bit more harsh up here. Nevertheless, the group is all happy and healthy tucked into our safe little tents. The forecast does not look great for a summit for tomorrow, but we will wake up and get the "now cast" and see what our day will bring. We brought plenty of food and fuel in case we have to do some camping for a couple of days to get our perfect weather! RMI Guide Mike Haugen and Team Siete

On The Map

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Meghan and team,  wishing you all good vibes for a safe and memorable summit. Keep your spirits high and your wine glasses even higher! Cheers, love and hugs!!!! Love you!!!!!

Posted by: Kathy Pearson on 7/2/2019 at 7:15 pm

This one’s for you meg…

One day a blonde is hiking in the woods. She follows the trail until she comes upon a river. As she is thinking how she can get across the river; another blonde appears on the opposite side.
The blonde yells to the other blonde “How do I get to the other side?”
The other blonde looks up and then down the river and yells back:
“You are on the other side!”

Posted by: Shannon Henn on 6/30/2019 at 10:41 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Descend Back to 14K Camp

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 4:46 PM PT After a good night's sleep at high camp we woke up with the sun, had breakfast, and packed up camp. We descended the West Buttress and the fixed ropes on the Headwall and made it back to the 14k Camp by noon to beat the heat of the day. We've decided to spend the night here and rest. Our plan is to spend tomorrow here also and wait until colder weather at night to travel back to the airstrip at Kahiltna Basecamp. With any luck we will be flying back to Talkeetna on Monday. We'll keep you posted with our downhill progress. But for now we're enjoying some well-deserved rest in preparation for a long descent. RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations to Ethan and Mylan. You have lived your dream! We are so glad to hear that you are safe and on your desent. Mom and dad

Posted by: Shoshana Mark on 6/30/2019 at 11:38 am

What a strong emotion you must have experienced ! Congratulations for your wisdom and strength to all of you during this ascent. Have a very safe trip back.
Mylan, that is simply amazing :-) I hope to see you soon to hear about all this adventure !

Posted by: Cécile Boineau on 6/30/2019 at 2:02 am

Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Move Into 14K Camp

Friday, June 28, 2019 - 10:23 PM PT The heat wave is on. The highest temperatures of the season -so far- are hitting the mountain. The freezing level was up at 13,000 feet today and that is the expectation for tomorrow as well. (It might "normally" be down at 8,000 feet this time of year). We were up at 4:30 to take advantage of the cooler morning shadows. It took until about 7:10 to get on the move though after a good breakfast and some packing and gear sorting. We rolled up the now familiar series of hills -Motorcycle, Squirrel, Polo Field- but this day had much less cloud about than our carry two days back. There are layers of forest fire smoke in the air though -a big fire (56,000 acres) is burning down on the Kenai Peninsula, among others. Even so, we could see all the way down to the Tordrillos at the southern end of the Alaska Range. We moved quickly around Windy Corner and then lost any wind or breeze as we worked up into the giant reflector oven of Genet Basin. It was getting downright hot at 1PM as we pulled into camp at 14,200 ft. It was a fine thing to be greeted by Mike Haugen’s team taking their rest day. They helped us out with some water to get started and showed us a nice set of pre-built tent platforms not far from their own. We built our new home and then crawled in to take shelter from the blazing sun. Each time any of our climbers or guides came out -there’d be a few “wow’s” and some jaw-dropping or head-shaking as they tried to take in the views out over the mountains and glaciers to the South. And usually bigger WOW’S as they turned to look at Denali’s South Peak standing a mile in the sky straight up over us. We ate our dinner in a new snow dining room, told some stories and talked over plans for the next few days. First off, we plan to get a good night's sleep after a hard-working day. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Reach the Top of North America!

Friday, June 28, 2019 - 8:38 PM PT The wind last night was strong, but it tapered in the morning. And it was crystal clear. We left camp and tackled the Autobahn up to Denali Pass where we were finally greeted by sunlight. Then it was up past Zebra Rocks and into the Football Field. One last climb up Pig Hill and we were on the exposed, corniced summit ridge. Everyone from our team summited today. It was a beautiful and warm summit day with only a breath of wind. Ten hours round trip and we're back at camp getting ready to eat dinner. Tomorrow we'll bump down to 14K and play it by ear from there. RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congrats to Eric and the team on a job well done! Can’t wait for everyone to come down safely and warm up :)

Posted by: Savannah on 7/1/2019 at 10:59 am

Congratulations Eric and team!!! An amazing accomplishment!
With aloha,
The Schusters

Posted by: Annie on 6/30/2019 at 9:36 pm

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