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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Hanging On for Better Weather

May 20, 2017

We spent today building more snow walls for our camp, and trying to stay warm. Temps stayed cold today as our camp in Genet Basin was in the clouds and snow most of the day. The morning dawned clear though, save for another lenticular cloud on Denali’s summit, a not-so-subtle hint of the strong winds above.
Our team is hanging in there, but we sure would like to see a change in this weather. We’ll keep you in the loop.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hope you caught a break and are moving up to 17 camp today.  Robby, congrats on your new nephew.  Good luck all. Art Muir.

Posted by: Art Muir on 5/21/2017 at 10:57 am

From my zen calendar - Your mind is the mountain before you.

Hang in there for better weather!

Love you Papi


Posted by: Giulia on 5/21/2017 at 7:50 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Enjoy Time at 11 Camp

May 19, 2017

Light snow overnight made everything quiet and still this morning. Camp was sleepy, as it seems everyone took the opportunity to sleep in. We munched our way through a big brunch of hash browns and eggs, and then trotted back downhill under empty packs to grab our cache. That short trip left plenty of time for naps and some chilling time this afternoon before a quick climbing skills refresher to get ready for tomorrow. We intend to trade sleds and snowshoes for crampons tomorrow and get our cache up to Windy Corner. We’ll see if the weather let’s us.

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go Jenny!! How exciting!  We miss you and hope you are loving it up there.  The pictures are beautiful.  Can’t wait to see more.  Sending love you’re way.

Big Sis & Fam ❤️

Posted by: Jessica on 5/20/2017 at 9:10 am

The views are amazing! You guys are doing great!

Jan- Delta found your backpack! It never left JFK, they delivered it to Lucja’s apartment yesterday.  We miss you! Stay safe!


Posted by: Joanna on 5/20/2017 at 8:23 am

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Waiting on Weather at 14K Camp

Well, we woke early once again with optimism that we would be moving up to our high camp today. As we bundled up and crawled out of the tent, we were greeted by big, nasty lenticular clouds (UFO-looking, disk-like clouds that are indicative of high winds aloft) over the big three peaks in the Alaska Range: Hunter, Foraker, and our objective, Denali.
We continued with our plan and fired up the stoves and made breakfast. Then we returned to our tents to stay warm as we kept an eye on the winds above. In the end, they didn’t dissipate and we weren’t able to move camp today.
Although we are anxious to move up and have a shot at the summit, the flip side of taking another day at 14k is that we continue to acclimate and get stronger for our eventual summit push. Hopefully we will have that opportunity soon. We’ll keep you up to date with our progress.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi Mike, David, Thom and Todd, Just have a good rest. Such a thing wouldn’t happen twice. You guys definitely know how to enjoy the time:) I will keep tracking the progress. Good luck! Lei

Posted by: Lei W on 5/19/2017 at 5:47 am

Robby…..Congrats….you’re an uncle again!!!!!  Isaac Robert born Thurs 5/18. See you soon.

Posted by: Mom on 5/19/2017 at 4:45 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Move to 11,000’ Camp

May 17, 2017

We’re done with the Kahiltna for now! It’s been snowing lightly all day and for most of the day it was hard to tell where the ground ended and the sky began, but we had a good gps track to follow and we plugged our way along. The wind was moving snow around as we got close to Kahiltna Pass, making for some tough trail breaking. With all of that the team did great, hanging tough through a hard day and then rallying and buffing out a nice new abode at 11,000’ Camp once we arrived.

We’ve been going hard for three days now, and it’s time to spend some time recovering from our big loads, sleds, blisters, etc, while we acclimate and get strong here. Our plan is to make the short jaunt back to our cache tomorrow to retrieve it. Some time in the tents chilling is in order too.

RMI Guides Pete, Jess, Jenny and team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Stay strong, be safe, enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Love you much Jenny. Your momma ❤️

Posted by: Melinda widmer on 5/18/2017 at 7:52 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Pump the Breaks on Moving to High Camp

We arose early this morning and fired up the stoves with the intention of packing up camp and moving up to 17,200’. At breakfast we kept an eye on the conditions on the upper mountain. The wind was blowing plumes of snow off of the upper mountain and the Buttress and we decided to pump the breaks. With a good forecast ahead of us, and plenty of food and fuel, we decided not to push it by moving up into stormy weather. We decided to wait it out down here at 14k where we are comfortable and are getting stronger.
Our team will remain on standby and hopefully tomorrow’s weather will allow us to move up to high camp. Currently it is snowing lightly here at camp and we are resting, hydrating, and eating. We’ll be ready when the opportunity presents itself.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Hi Guys, Great progress! Waiting for the photo on the top.

Posted by: Lei W on 5/17/2017 at 7:50 pm

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Make Carry

We woke in the shadow of Denali, but the skies were clear and promised sun. Bagels and lox got everything started, and since the sun was shining we made hay. We grabbed 34 bags of food, 17 days worth, and a bunch of gas and moved it all uphill to 10,600 or so, just below 11,000’ Camp. The loads were heavy and Ski Hill made us work for it, but compared to yesterday, the loads didn’t even compare. Today’s work set us up well to move to our 11,000’ Camp with reasonable loads and establish our new home! 7,600’ Camp has been fun, but we are ready to move on. Loaded quesadillas for dinner have us feeling the oncoming food coma, so for now, over and out from the Kahiltna glacier.

RMI Guides Pete, Jess, Jenny, and the team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

G’day from Sydney Australia,It’s 20degC and we feel cold !Well on schedule so far- hard work but hopefully enjoying the experience in particular such surroundings.In retirement we feel part of the adventure but without the pain thanks to the regular messages from Mark and Rachel and the great RMI updates - especially the photos - keep safe - we are with you all in spirit.

Posted by: Philip and Yvonne Calvert on 5/19/2017 at 12:14 am

Hi all!
Pete Bilodeaus sis here… Just wanted to say hi! Looks like beautiful weather and unbelievable scenery! Love the blog updates…you all are bad ass!!!

Have fun and be safe! Thinking of you all..

Posted by: Carol Goetz on 5/18/2017 at 7:08 pm

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Set Cache at 17K Camp

May 16, 2017

We had another productive day yesterday, as we put in a cache of food and fuel all the way up to our high camp at 17,200’.
We crawled out of the sleeping bags early and braved a bitterly cold morning (-20F) to get a head start of the day. We climbed in the shade for our first hour and enjoyed the first rays of sunlight at our first break. Everyone climbed smoothly up the fixed ropes up to 16,200’. The next 1,000’ was climbing the ridge top on the West Buttress with thousands of feet of relief on either side of us. We spent about an hour at 17,200’, digging a cache hole and breathing the rare air.
It was a long, hard day and everyone did well. Now, we are taking a much deserved rest day. We are now in position to move to high camp and take a shot at the summit. The weather will dictate the next move, but right now the forecast looks good for a summit bid in the next few days. We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Move to Camp 2

May 15, 2017
This morning, the team arose bright and early with the sun to enjoy a nice, hot breakfast before packing up camp for the move to Camp two, at roughly 7,600 feet. After rigging our sleds and burying our cache, we started our long walk up the Kahiltna Glacier. The team did great and after only five short hours, we pulled into camp, tired but excited. Another hour or so later and camp was built. The team took a well deserved rest before joining the guides in the cook tent for dinner and dessert. Everyone’s all tucked into their tents for the night now, resting up for tomorrow’s carry to cache supplies up higher on the mountain. Hopefully we’ll get to enjoy more sunshine tomorrow!

Thanks for following along,
RMI Guides Jenny, Jess, Pete and the team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Cannot wait to hear about your adventure. Note from Linda at the gym (in Sue’s class). Stay safe!

Posted by: Linda Luth on 5/17/2017 at 10:10 pm

A lot of best wishes from all of us in Pinnacle, Denver.
We are following your daily updates.
Enjoy every moment and take a lot of pictures.

Posted by: Danellys Perez on 5/16/2017 at 7:37 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team On Their Way

May 14, 2017

It took some patience, but we made it onto the glacier! The clouds hung low this morning and took their time lifting. In the meantime the webcam at Kahiltna Base Camp showed bluebird skies and a beautiful day. It’s hard to wait patiently to start something that we’ve been building towards for so long, but it paid off. At 3:00 pm or so we got the green light to fly and we were off. The pilots at K2 Aviation are the best and we had a smooth ride into Base Camp with our noses pressed to the windows ogling the steep spires and knife ridges of the Alaska Range. With the late departure we decided to spend the night at Base Camp and get things sorted for the walk to Ski Hill tomorrow. So we’re headed to bed, excited to finally start moving towards our objective tomorrow.

We send our best from the land of the midnight sun,
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Jess Matthews, Jenny Konway, and team

On The Map

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Visit the Edge of the World

May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day!
We celebrated Mother’s Day by taking a rest/acclimatization day at 14k. The weather was beautiful and we were able to get some much needed rest and dry out all of our gear. We took a leisurely stroll out to the Edge of the World to take on the magnificent views of the Kahiltna Glacier nearly 7000’ below us.
We also took time for continued training with fixed rope travel and running belays, which we will likely employ tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, we plan to carry a load of supplies up high on the West Buttress so we will be ready to move to high camp soon. We’ll keep you posted.
Again, happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there. Especially: Jeanne, Liz, Mimi, Kelly, Cynthia, Diane, Jarah, Victoria, Lea, Judy, Gale, Roberta, Pam, Joanne, Martina, Meme, Ann, Nancy, Debbie, & Renee.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Leave a Comment For the Team
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