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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Retrieve Cache, Enjoy Day at 14,000 Camp

What a day,

Clear skies greeted us this morning creating a very brisk morning. Once again camp was quiet with the cold. As the sun broke over the mountain and warmed camp it became alive. Teams started moving around going various directions whether it was heading toward 17,000' Camp or going down to the 13,500' cache. For us it was going down to our 13,500' cache. We made fast work grabing our gear and getting back to camp. After a lunch break we went for a walk to the Edge of the World. You can see all the way down to our first camp at 7,800'. Its a long fall over the edge but makes for great hero shots. Everyone got belayed onto the rock (much like the rock from lion king) and got great photos, ice axe in hand, big smiles and thousands of feet of relief below them. As for tomorrow we are in a holding pattern with weather and logistics. No matter what we end up doing tomorrow it will be a good day and is all apart of our journey to the top.

All the best,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Absolutely STUNNING! What an adventure for the memory bank this trip is! Thank you for sharing! Onward and upward!

Posted by: Judy and Dale collins on 6/19/2021 at 7:19 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Fly to Kahiltna Base Camp

Friday, June 18, 2021 - 8:43 am PT

Good morning from Kahiltna Base Camp. We were packed and ready to fly all day yesterday, but the weather wouldn't cooperate with our plans. After playing the waiting game for most of the day, we finally loaded up the two turbine Otters and launched towards the Alaska Range. We arrived at Basecamp at around 6pm and set up shop here. We'll spend the day here today and move to the Base of Ski Hill tonight when the snow freezes back up.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

YOU GO GUYS!!! So grateful to have a way to keep up with my big brother Aaron on his trip. Love, Emilee

Posted by: Emilee on 6/19/2021 at 2:43 am

Looking forward to photoes and updates as the adventure unravels, we are praying for safety and good health for Daryl and the whole team, good luck and God bless you all.

Posted by: Ken Swikula on 6/19/2021 at 2:09 am

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Snow Overnight Prompt Rest Day at 14,000 Camp

Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 10:02 pm PT

Howdy all,

The snow continued through the night and into the morning. A layer of frost coated the under side of the fly. Every time you hit the tent to knock the snow off, the frost fell down onto our sleeping bags. As the sun came out and warmed the tents, the ice melted and the frost turned into little water drops. Due to the snowfall and wet tents, we opted for a rest day to allow everything to get dry. Snow fell most of the day, sometimes while sunny others fully cloudy making for a very white scene. But later in the day the clouds cleared and the views were amazing. Having such great views makes being patient worth it. The temps bounced from chilly to very hot in the tents all day. One could swear it was 100 degrees inside. They say its freeze or fry out here and we can all feel why. Tomorrow's weather looks good, so we will be going to our cache at 13,500' to grab our stuff. Its exciting to be reunited with your snacks you parted ways with at 11,000' camp. Sleeping bags are calling our names.

Till tomorrow,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wishing you all the Best Hannah and Dustin!!!
Farmer Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/19/2021 at 3:32 am

These updates are the highlight of my day, you truly give us perspective on the tremendous feat you have all undertaken and prepared for.  Putting it out to the universe for great weather to make the summit happen. The pictures are amazing, keep them coming! I love my Lu, what a golden birthday this is!!!!

Posted by: Daysi on 6/18/2021 at 3:58 pm

Denali Expedition: Schmitt & Team Wait for Weather Window

Thursday, June 17, 2021 1:33 pm PT

This morning we woke up to a foot of new snow and the winds have been blowing 30 mph all day, which is slightly unpleasant but what we expected. There is a lot of strategy in expedition climbing, and this plan is part of that. We got up to 17,000' camp yesterday knowing it would not be possible today, and now we are in position to take advantage of tomorrow’s supposed high pressure.

Send good thoughts our way for good weather tomorrow!

RMI Guides JT, Alan, Kirra and the RMI team.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi Nicholas,

I’m reaching out because I feel that I’m not making a big enough impact in my current role and would like to discuss a potential career change.

Our mutual friend, Giannis, showed me your LinkedIn (very impressed) and suggested I reach out. Do you have 30 min over the next week to discuss?



Posted by: Jrue Holiday on 6/18/2021 at 10:11 pm

Vano, when you shotgun a beer at the summit, have you thought about the pressure change and how that beer may just buss everywhere? Please get back to me


Posted by: Heater on 6/18/2021 at 5:10 am

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Break Camp and Move to 14,000ft Camp

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 9:49 pm PT

Good evening,

We woke today to snowflakes dancing their way to our tent making a pitter patter noise. It was a calm morning with fluffy snow. The clouds rolled in and out throughout breakfast making it a touch and go if we were going to pack up. But then as we finished our cereal and hot drinks, the snow dissipated and blue sky was showing. We broke down camp and hit the snowy trail. Heavy packs and heavy sleds weighed us down but we pushed forward. It was a tough day but we rolled into camp as more snow began to fall. Seeing the tents at 14,000' Camp as we crested the last hill was a marvelous sight. It might as well had been a cheeseburger and beer. Once the camp was established we all crawled into our new home and dried our gear. Some good ole Annie's Mac filled our tummies before we all went back to our sleeping bags for what we all hope to be a great night sleep. As the weather remains squirrely, we will decide what our agenda for tomorrow will be. Could be a back carry or could be a rest day.


RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team

Denali Expedition: Schmitt & Team Reach 17,000ft Camp, Ready for Summit Bid

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 8:29 pm PT

We made it to High Camp, 17,200' on Denali. It’s a little blustery but other than that all is good here. Keeping our fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow!

RMI Guide JT Schmitt and the RMI team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Matt - Hopefully your next push will be the summit. Good luck and keep climbing. Best of weather and conditions so you can look down on Ross, Jason and Eli further down the glacier. Congratulations in advance! Gerard

Posted by: Gerard Crum on 6/17/2021 at 8:39 am

Denali Expedition: Hannah Smith & Team Prepare to Move Higher

Tuesday June 16,  2021 - 8:30 pm PT

Good evening,

Higher and higher we go! We continued moving gear uphill today. We left camp in the morning and made our way up motorcycle hill. It’s a rather steep hill, very much in your face. But with good cramponing and pressure breathing we made it to the top. Next, we cruised up squirrel hill, across the polo fields, around windy corner to our cache site. Some firm snow made digging our deep hole difficult but the effort is worth it so the ravens don't get at our food. The team is feeling good and looking great. We are all very excited to move to 14k camp tomorrow. There is a weather system possibly hitting the mountain Wednesday night so it will be nice to get out of 11k camp and up to 14k camp in case it produces a bunch of snow. Plus, a new scenery and home will be a fun change as well. It’s the little things that bring you joy on mountain.


RMI Guide Hannah Smith and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I’m so exited for the entire team and the tremendous progress you have already made. I wish I could have been there with you Julia and I think about it every day as the memories we shared together from Reiner are as vibrant as if it was yesterday. I love you to the end of the universe and back and the entire family are routing for a wonderful experience out there together with your team. Älskar dig för alltid!! Pappa.

Posted by: Stefan Johansson on 6/16/2021 at 12:40 pm

Happy Anniversary Hector! Lots of love from NY

Posted by: Anna Haring on 6/16/2021 at 11:35 am

Denali Expedition: Rest Day for JT Schmitt & Team

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 4:50 pm PT

We are enjoying a nice sunny rest day at 14,000’ camp today after our carry to 17,000’ yesterday. We are waiting to see what the weather has in store before we make our next move. All is well here at camp!

RMI Guides JT, Kiira, Alan and the RMI team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Go team go! Hoping for great weather and easy travels!

Posted by: Ellen on 6/16/2021 at 10:12 am

Denali Expedition: Smith & Team Enjoy Well Deserved Rest Day


A day of rest and preparation was what we needed. We started the day with a casual breakfast of breakfast burritos and coffee followed by a lot of down time. If we weren't napping, eating, or reading we were going through our gear and food separating it into piles, one that would stay with us and one that we would cache higher up. It is always a hard decision trying to decide what food to part ways with but it is always a fun moment when you are reunited in a couple days. Later in the afternoon we reviewed some cramponing techniques before heading to dinner. One of the highlights of the day was the evening entertainment, watching skiers manage their sled down motorcycle hill...lets just say there were some wipeouts but the skiers were all good sports as they skied into camp knowing they were the reality TV show of the night. As the sun started to hide behind some swirling clouds the temps dropped and it is time for bed. Tomorrow we will carry to 13,500' to off load some of our gear to make our move to 14,000' Camp lighter.

Till tomorrow,

RMI Guide Hannah Smith and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Sami/ Hector
Is nice to hear all is going well with the team. I hope you are enjoying all that beauty. I wish I could be there.. perhaps one day.
Devin and the kids went backpacking this weekend to the Adirondacks they were going to be thinking on you so they said.
Father’s Day is approaching so hopefully Sunday gets to be an awesome day for you up there. Stay strong and listen to your body.
Sending you a big hug of strength .
Your sister !
You know which one .
Love you !

Posted by: Priscila Hernandez on 6/18/2021 at 4:31 pm

Great work Team Smith! It’s so worth all of the suffering, keep your eye on the prize!

Best wishes for great weather!

Ron Richmeier

Posted by: Ron Richmeier on 6/18/2021 at 1:23 pm

Denali Expedition: Schmitt & Team Carry Gear to 17,000ft Camp

Monday, June 14, 2021 - 9:31 pm PT

Today we carried supplies and personal gear up to 17,000' Camp. The team performed amazingly for their first time on fixed lines and dealing with thousands of feet of exposure and running belays.

We floated past other teams, seemingly effortlessly as they cached lower on the West Buttress, but we were moving so efficiently and the day was perfectly clear and windless, so we decided to cache all the way at 17,000' Camp.

It’s now 8 o’clock in the evening and we are about to enjoy some dinner and a much deserved night of rest.

All the best from the team at 14,000' Camp.

RMI Guide JT Schmitt

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thinking of everyone as you prepare to summit! Stay safe and strong ! Enjoy the adventure !

Posted by: Ann VanO on 6/16/2021 at 8:44 am

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