Entries from Denali
June 20, 2018
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 3:09 AM PT
Today we woke to more winter with the wind blowing in our faces as we crawled from our tents. We did an Alaska leisure start. This is when you wake up and wish the weather was better but… will pack slowly. So we crept through the white, snow blowing all around us, and trail blazed through the deep snow. After many hours we arrived in Base Camp in dashing style. The evening was caped with more quesadillas than we could eat and a celebratory beverage. As we nestle in our sleeping bags for what we hope is the last night, we dream of burgers and beverages on the other side….. it’s snowing now, of course. Don’t fret we have had a blast on this adventure though we are bitter with the weather. We will out chill Denali. You can count on it.
RMI Guides Tyler Jones, Bryan Mazaika and Nick Scott
On The Map
We turned in last night expecting another pulse of wind and snow from the large storm stalled out in Bristol Bay. Instead we slept well through a calm night with little in the way of wind and only minimal snow drift. The West Buttress was windy as noted by the plumes of snow being blown into the atmosphere. We decided to stay in camp should the storm send more weather our way. After a leisurely breakfast of pancakes there was a swell of climbers headed up to 17. Some to pull caches for a descent to Basecamp and some just to stretch the legs and lungs after sitting for several days. Choosing not to get in a traffic jam we decided to stay put. Tomorrow if we are fortunate we’ll head up the fixed lines and hopefully to 17 so we can get some climbing in. Unfortunately we still need a larger window of improving weather to move camp to 17. The forecasts are improving when compared to what we actually experience in camp. Fingers crossed we get 3-4 days of low winds above for a summi t bid. Thanks for following along.
RMI Guide Mike King
On The Map
June 20, 2018
If you were wondering what kind of scenery you can see while climbing Denali, don’t ask us because we haven’t seen anything in days! We are living in a giant ping pong ball where white snow meets white clouds.
We high fived Tyler Jones’s RMI team as they made their way down through the muck headed towards Basecamp.
All we need is a short break in the weather and a small assurance that the next camp will not be any worse than here. We are hoping that tomorrow morning gives us what we need.
The team really is in good spirits considering the amount of tent time that has been logged during this storm and we are not even really on the mountain yet! There has been nothing but positivity and hard work from our Super Crew. So proud!
On The Map
June 19, 2018
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 12:29 AM PT
Victory!! Eight climbers and four guides made their way -with heaps of luggage- from various far away places in the “lower 48” to Talkeetna, Alaska. We met this afternoon down in the Anchorage airport and boarded the venerable Denali Overland van for a three hour commute to Talkeetna. Of course we broke things up a bit with a last stop for provisions in Wasilla. Not much in the way of spectacular views today as the Alaska Range was cloaked in cloud, but there was plenty of pretty scenery a little lower down and closer in to the highway. We’ll dial down on lots of details tomorrow as we get oriented, prepped and packed for Denali.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
Sending BIG LOVE from the Alzheimer’s Association of South Central Wisconsin to Margaret and all climbers!
Posted by: Kate Mayefske on 6/20/2018 at 8:23 am
Margaret ‘n Jon. Good luck wit’ yer adventure. Storm that hill ‘n brin’ th’ loot galleon safe ‘n sound. Th’ Pirates are pullin’ get ye.
Lanser th’ bulge lad.
Posted by: John Lanser on 6/20/2018 at 5:41 am
June 19, 2018
Monday, June 18, 2018 - 9:50 PM PT
Hi all -
We spent a very blustery and snowy day at 11,000 ft Camp. We had wind gusts in the upper forty’s and nearly two feet of snow on top of the more than three feet we walked through yesterday. The team spent most of the day hiding from Denali’s cold breath of winter. We’re hanging in there and crossing our fingers for a break to go to the airstrip.
RMI Guide Tyler Jones and Team
Praying for safe passage for the team ❤️
Elisa, Dayton and Elliotte.
We miss you Nicholas!
Posted by: Elisa on 6/19/2018 at 6:26 pm
Lei and the team,
Sorry that you did not go all the way due to mood swings of the Mother Nature. But don’t for one second think that you failed. You all spent months even years training and preparing for this adventure. You survived weeks of snowy, icy, windy wilderness, which only a few can endure. You went to “ the edge of the world” and back. You are all stronger both physically and mentally. You have achieved a lot. Be proud of yourself and safe trip home!
Posted by: Hao on 6/19/2018 at 6:15 pm
June 18, 2018
Monday, June 18, 2018 - 1:27 PM PT
Listening to the wind run down the West Buttress sounds like a never ending wave crashing against a rocky shore. The snow is drifting 3-4 feet in places thanks to the 30 mph wind gusts. This is an actual weather day, the previous four have just been a warm up. The forecast is for more of the same. We continue to hang out in our tents and later today there is going to be a food swap so the team can get some different snack food choices.
On The Map
Praying the weather eases up.. I can only try to imagine what its like… You guys are amazing! Hang in there! Sending special love to JT.
Posted by: Wendy Emmer on 6/20/2018 at 6:43 am
Doing our clear skies weather dance for y’all!
We are rooting for you and keeping tabs everyday!! A big thank you to Mike for the updates.
Posted by: Elisabeth Yeager on 6/20/2018 at 4:51 am
June 18, 2018
Monday, June 18, 2018 - 2:15 AM PT
To all of our fans out there, we know you’ve enjoyed our stories, raps and poems for our blog to fulfill our energy during our long stay at 14,000’ Camp on Denali. This evening however, was the beginning of our retreat down the mountain and eventually back to the airstrip as the weather allows. Today, we had a lull in the never ending storm and the team seized the opportunity to make the descent back to 11,000’ Camp. This “lull” certainly wasn’t an easy escape but the conditions were the best we’ve had in days and better than what’s forecast for the next week. We quickly broke down camp and were walking just before 8pm. Walking into the white and knee deep post holing kept the pace down but the team was managing it well. Squirrel Hill was wind scoured and Motorcycle Hill into 11,000’ Camp provided some more deep post holing. Thankfully, the wind was calm at camp and with some help from some other guides we know, that have also been stuck in this storm, we managed to set up tents quickly and crawled into our sleeping bags by midnight. Way to go team! The next few days still call for some snowy and windy weather so we might not move too quickly but we’ll take every window of opportunity!
Happy Father’s Day!
Sory about the bad weather gollub. Rained in CT for 2 days strait so I kno how u feel.
Posted by: Mikey b on 6/19/2018 at 9:14 am
Really sorry about those PB cups. They will taste even sweeter when you return…
Glad to hear you all are breathing thicker air and moving strong in the storm. Thanks for letting us stay part of this journey. You are all an inspiration and I am proud that my kids get to hear these stories of their adventurous uncle.
Thinking of you Dave and team on the decent.
Posted by: Beth on 6/19/2018 at 8:40 am
June 17, 2018
Sunday, June 17th - 7:47 pm PT
Whelp, we’re still posted up at 9600’ camp, but fresh out of tequila and island wear. Every few hours last night we had to call for all hands on deck to keep the blowing snow from piling up and over our tents. The storm took a toll on our kitchen tent, but we still managed to rotate through in small groups for a pancake breakfast. Now we are still listening to the snow and wind tap tap tapping against the tent walls, but we are all snuggled up with dinner and tea in bed. With any luck Hurricane Horiskey will ease up over night, but until it does we’ll be keeping a close watch on the snow accumulation and poised to shovel as much as we need to keep our little camp in good shape. Thanks to the hard workin’ bunch of RMI Super Crew 6, we’re warm and the sounds of laughter from neighboring tents often overshadows sound of the wind.
Super Crew 6 would also like to add a shoutout to all the fathers out there! Happy Father’s Day! Much love From our windy, snow covered but Cozy tents to wherever you may find yourself today. Love you all!
On The Map
Laughter? Lindsay hasn’t started singing her Disney Songs yet, has she?
Ya’ll keep warm…wishing that clear skies come your way!
Posted by: Ellen M on 6/18/2018 at 4:54 pm
Stay warm Glo!
Posted by: Mary Ann Hickey on 6/18/2018 at 10:18 am
June 17, 2018
Sunday, June 17th - 5:53 pm PT
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads following along. The storm broke by mid day with views of the wind blown West Buttress. The Team spent some time walking around camp and getting to know some of the other groups at 14K Camp. We’ve been eating good, getting plenty of sleep and are all eagerly awaiting a window to climb to 17K Camp. The forecast is 5-6 mores days of high winds above and snow down here in Genet Basin. Books are being swapped and audio books Airdropped. That’s all from 14 for now.
On The Map
David: Hope you and team had a safe and warm(ish) Father’s Day, daddy! We’ll get ice cream as soon as you get back to celebrate O:) Love you! ~Theresa
Posted by: Theresa Smalley on 6/18/2018 at 9:50 am
Glad to hear you are comfortable and becoming well read. Know Scott’s mom is breathing easier as you aren’t climbing in the wind. Wishes for calm winds and blue skies…good climbing when the weather is right.
Posted by: Glenda Bemis on 6/18/2018 at 6:54 am
June 16, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 8:47 PM PT
We thought we’d take advantage of the 24 hour light to catch up on our sun tans today and decided to stay put. Between the umbrellas in our Espolón drinks and the Hawaiian shirts, it was well worth it! Alright, I guess that’s only half true- we did in fact stay put, but unfortunately it was hardly a choice- strong winds and precipitation continued through the night and all day. It seems Mother Nature is in a fighting mood! It’s a good thing we built such high walls! Even still, the snow is piling up and nearly spilling over. We’ve got a whole crew of superstars though and we’ve gone all hands on deck to reinforce our camp a couple times throughout the day. Between shoveling frenzies, we spent the day laughing in the kitchen tent, napping, sport eating, and marveling at how quickly our outhouse keeps filling in with snow. Spirits are high despite the hard work required to thrive in conditions like this, and the whole team is currently snuggled up in big sleeping bags and down booties. The storm is forcasted to begin clearing tomorrow, but unfortunately that could mean anything here in Alaska.
For now rest assured we’re hangin tough and taking care of each other.
RMI Guide Mike Haugen and the Super Crew
On The Map
Waiting is always hard but having a fun, supportive team around you makes it easier. Sounds like a lot of snow even for a Colorado transplant. All of us back home are cheering for you.
Posted by: Nancie Summerlin on 6/17/2018 at 5:32 pm
Stay strong. Enjoy each other’s company. Laugh. Work hard. Take in every moment no matter what. Be safe. Know that you are loved. Love you Shannon. Mom.
Posted by: Linda Walsh on 6/17/2018 at 4:32 pm