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Entries from Denali

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Weather Day at 17,200’ Camp

Tuesday June 30th 6:00 pm PT

Hey there, this is Billy checking in from 17,000 feet on Denali. We woke up this morning and actually almost pull the trigger.  The weather was looking really good. But then things kind of soured a little bit. Thin clouds with intermittent snow, and so we eventually pulled the plug on our summit attempt before we really got it going. We’re having a weather day today. We are hoping for better weather tomorrow. That’s all for now. Bye.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from 17,200ft on Mount McKinley.

On The Map

Congrats on making it this far Rob, now is your time!  Safe travels for all….........Jeff

Posted by: Jeff Austin on 7/1/2015 at 6:54 pm

Pick your moment team, wait and be great!!

Doug - I bid you fair winds and a following sea. My thoughts are with you as you wait to make your summit attempt. And just in case you need reminding…don’t forget to be awesome!

Posted by: Belladonna on 7/1/2015 at 1:46 pm

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Enjoy Fresh Snow and a Rest Day

June 30, 2015 5:46pm PST

Today’s wake-up call was a quiet and windless fall of about six inches of light powder snow. It was our planned rest day, after five busy days getting on and up the approaches to Denali, so there wasn’t any early morning angst as to whether the snow would keep us from our goals for the day.  Today, those goals included a breakfast of bagels and smoked salmon in the POSH tent and a session of digging out camp as the snow continued to fall. We eventually climbed back in the tents for naps and reading.  A few teams came down the mountain today, resting near our camp as they prepared to march on toward the airstrip in the snowstorm. We’ll hope to move uphill tomorrow and we’ll be ready for that, but of course we’ll pay attention to the weather and see what it allows. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn and Team

doing a great job HAHN team, pulling for all of you. glad you reached 14,000. I want to say Hello to my grandson Jm

Posted by: Floyd Tirey on 7/7/2015 at 10:51 am

Finally I am learning to use this computer.  We are praying every inch of the way for you and your team mates and guide.  Remember the story, Foot Prints in the Sand.  Well, It’s Foot Prints in the Snow, for each one of you. We are sending our hugs and lots of love to you, our son, GLR.

Posted by: Dad & Mom Ross on 7/2/2015 at 2:47 pm

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Cache Gear at 13,500’

Monday June 29th 10:20 pm PT

We had a short break from the cloud and snow this morning.  When we got out of the tents, there were actually views to be had in most directions and blue skies above.  Being at 11,000 ft, it was slightly colder than what we’ve experienced so far, but a hot breakfast took care of the chills and got us ready for our carry.  We set out for “Motorcycle Hill” at 9:30.  It was good to be in crampons and carrying ice axes after days of snowshoes and ski poles. An hour put us in the middle of “Squirrel Hill” with great views of Denali’s Northwest Buttress and the Peter’s Glacier.  It began to cloud up as we reached the “Polo Field” off the end of the giant granite towers of the West Buttress.  By Windy Corner we were in light snow, but close to our destination. We dug a deep and raven-proof pit in the snow at 13,500 ft in which to cache the food and fuel we were carrying.  It was an easy climb down with light packs and we walked out of the snow showers and into sunny and warm camp at 11K again by 4:30 PM.  We’ll hope for a comfortable night of sleep tonight as we’ve followed the “climb high, sleep low” rule of acclimatization to altitude.  Tomorrow will be a rest day, as part of that same plan. 

Kryz wishes his dad a happy birthday from Mount McKinley

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Go Rhonda!!! Looks like fun. keep up the good work, you and the team are truly an inspiration.
Sue Mamer

Posted by: Sue Mamer on 6/30/2015 at 10:39 am

All is well in CT! Enjoy the rest day!

Posted by: Sharon on 6/30/2015 at 9:58 am

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Move to 17,000’

June 29, 2015 5:20 pm PST

Hey there, it’s Billy checking in from Camp 5 on Denali at over 17,000 ft.  Our crew made the move today.  We got up super early this morning and made great time moving up the West Buttress. We’re settled in now at High Camp.  We spent some time, improving one of the campsites and building some walls.  And now everybody’s snug up in their sleeping bag hanging out in their tents. We’re sort of chilling and filling with food and water. We are hoping for a good patch of weather in the next few days so we can maybe take a crack at the summit. Yeah, that’s all for now. Everyone is psyched and doing extremely well.  We will check in again tomorrow and let you know what happens.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

RMI Guide Billy Nugent calls in from Camp 5 on Denali.

On The Map

Hope you summited today. You’ve been in my thoughts all day

Posted by: Stacey on 6/30/2015 at 12:39 pm

Incredible progress - keep it up!!!  Hopefully the “Jim jokes” (ask him to tell you the joke about the bell ringer) aren’t ruining everyone’s time up there.  Looking forward to updates from the summit…

Posted by: Jessica LaTorre on 6/30/2015 at 12:10 pm

Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team Settled into 11K Camp for an Extended Stay

Sunday June 28th 10:22 pm PT

Once again, the weather was a little sloppy in the early hours, so we didn’t get out of the tents until the civilized hour of 7AM.  It was still pretty well socked in at 9,500 ft as we ate breakfast, but things seemed workable for moving up.  We were on the go by 10:00 and in our new camp at 11,000 ft by 1PM.  The clouds cleared from time to time, giving us some great views of the end of the West Buttress.  Luckily, clouds hung in there enough to keep the sun off the final steeper hills into camp.  We dug in and got settled in our new home.  It is a relief, after building four camps in four days, to know that we’ll get to stay in this one for a few days.  The afternoon and evening were spent resting and sorting food and gear.  If possible, we’ll do a carry to 13,500 ft tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

It sure is refreshing to think of snow in the heat and humidity of DC.  If you get chilly along the way just think of us to warm up.  What do you folks do for fun while chilling at 11,000 after the day’s work is done? Peter, if you forget to plant that Swiss flag at the top and take a picture of it, plant it in an olive in a martini when you’re down safe.  Cheers to all, Charlie

Posted by: Charlie Thomas on 6/30/2015 at 7:14 am

Kenny Cornett-  good luck!  Get to the top and be safe!  Love ya- Rhonda, John, Meriden, and Morgan

Posted by: Rhonda roberts on 6/29/2015 at 8:31 pm

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Take a Rest Day

June 28, 2015 5:18pm PST

Resting here at 14 after a big day yesterday. Clouds and sunshine are in and out along with the occasional bout of flurries. Nothing major to report. Now that we are poised and ready we are just playing a chess match against the weather. Hoping to get that window that will take us to the summit...

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

I love you! You got this, Uncle Yeti. :)

Posted by: Morgan Deanenne on 6/29/2015 at 7:11 pm

Thoughts are with you as you push for High Camp…go team.

Doug - “A world without dragons is a world not worth living in.”  ― R.A. Salvatore, Streams of Silver

Stay safe - move with grace.

Posted by: Belladonna on 6/29/2015 at 2:04 pm

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Back In Talkeetna

Sunday, June 28, 2015 - 10:15 am PT

It was touch and go at base camp. We woke up to clouds and some very wet snow. As expected, as soon as we started to fire up the stoves to make breakfast and hot drinks, the skies started to open just a bit. I still didn’t think that the weather was flight worthy, but I was glad that the pilots did. We were told that we had 20 minutes to be packed and ready because the planes were already approaching. We were ready in 10! We got the first half of our team onto a plane and off the glacier before the weather started to sock back in. We had to wait for the first plane to go back to Talkeetna, drop off our first group of climbers, and then return. Luckily the weather cleared back up a bit and we squeaked out the rest of the climbers for the amazing flight back to the world of great food and pillows. After a couple of great meals and a series of showers, the now legendary “El Siete” crew is fresh, semi-recovered, and ready to be reintroduced into society. 

Thank you to the group for being such a great team and for all of the families and friends that have supported us.

RMI 7 “El Siete”

  I want to say, once again, to Mike Haugen about these daily posts and pictures: it has meant so much to the families of these fine climbers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted by: Chris on 6/28/2015 at 6:06 pm

  Whoopee! So glad to have you off the mountain safe and secure at last. Doug is that you standing to the left? I can see everyone is proud and delighted to have had this grand adventure.

Posted by: Chris on 6/28/2015 at 6:03 pm

Mt. McKinley: Nugent & Team Carry to High Camp

June 28, 2015 12:20 am PST

Big day today… In spite of the forecast for 6-12” of new snow to fall today we awoke to partly cloudy skies, sun breaks, and only occasional flurries. Our long-shot plan to carry was a reality. We got rolling and packed up loads of supplies for High Camp and after a quick breakfast we made moves for the headwall and the fixed lines. After a few growing pains the team hit their stride and were able to put a cache in all the way up at high camp. The need for a back-carry could have hamstrung us on our move but since we cached at camp we are sitting pretty, waiting for our summit attempt weather window to open up. We’re planning on a rest day tomorrow and then it’s game on. We’re a tired bunch but we know that today’s hard work will pay off.

All for now!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

On The Map

beard looks good on you !

Posted by: MARK AND HELEN WALSH on 6/29/2015 at 6:14 am

Hard work paying off indeed team - rest and be ready!

Doug - “If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons”
-Llona Andrews, Fate’s Edge

Stay safe on the dragon’s back. ~Belladonna

Posted by: Belladonna on 6/28/2015 at 11:28 am

Mt. McKinley: Hahn and Team Move to 9,500’

June 27, 2015 10:32 pm PST

We intended to get stirring by about 2:30 this morning, but to no one’s disappointment, that didn’t happen.  It was socked-in and cloudy then with wettish snow in the air.  Likewise at 3 AM, not so good, and not at 3:30 either.  But then things started looking up.  We got up just after five and were climbing by 8:45.  Conditions were once again great for climbing.  With snowshoes on, we stayed right on the snow surface, as did our sleds.  Without too much trouble, we got up “Ski Hill” and hit our intended camp at 9,500 ft around noon.  By then we were in the clouds again and light snow was falling, but we’d gotten high enough to make things cold and so wetness was no longer a problem.  The team all pitched in admirably to build a new camp and then retreated for afternoon naps.  It was burrito night in the POSH tent where we were comfortably seated on snow benches out of the weather. 
We’ll see about moving up to 11,000’ tomorrow if folks are feeling good and the weather gives a break. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

not enuff blog not enuff pics! the suspense of the venture is killin us

Posted by: kathie grengs on 6/29/2015 at 10:31 am

For Gary Ross/Team 4 (Hahn Team):

Gary - Take the “Top of the Line” to the Top of Denali.

Rangers Lead The Way!!!!!!!

Chip Sniffin / Executive Director, Sherpa Support Team

Posted by: Chip Sniffin on 6/29/2015 at 8:24 am

Mt. McKinley: Haugen & Team Hoping for Clear Skies at Base Camp

Friday, June 26, 2015 - 11:40 pm PT

We made it… almost. We left our camp at 11,200 feet around 4 am this morning.  The group was traveling quickly in spite of heavy packs and sleds. All was well until we encountered a wet, snowy drizzle around 7,800 feet. We trudged on knowing the end was just a few hours away. When we finally reached base camp, the snow stopped, but the clouds did not permit planes to come and pick us up. The rest of the day consisted of napping, to compensate for the lack of sleep over the past few days, and hoping for clear skies tomorrow. RMI Guides Pepper and Uchal are working on their clear skies interpretive dance in the event that we wake up to clouds tomorrow.

RMI 7 “El Siete”

On The Map

We can’t wait to hear from you, Dadio!!!! Love, Margaret

Posted by: Margaret on 6/27/2015 at 5:19 pm

  Go Pepper and Uchal! We want you guys home so dance-away, dance-away, dance-away all and get those planes in : ). Miss you, Doug, stay safe.

Posted by: Chris on 6/27/2015 at 3:34 pm

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