Posts for Mount McKinley

Mt. McKinley: Walter and Team Settle in at 11,200’ Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 14, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 13, 2015, 10:49 pm

The weather today was a bit squirrelly, but we were able to make it back down to our cached gear at 9,600’ and haul it back up to our camp at 11,200’. We’re all doing well out here and sitting pretty on the mountain. Our next mission will be to take a cache of food and fuel up around Windy Corner at around 13,600’. We plan on tackling that tomorrow if the weather allows us. Today would have been too windy for a foray to higher altitudes.
We’re all excited for the next stages of the climb, where we exchange snowshoes for crampons, and trekking poles for ice axes. We’re also psyched at climbing steeper terrain and enjoying the ever ever impressive views.
That’s the news from this end. We’ll keep you up to date with our progress.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and team.

Enjoying the views from camp at 11,200 ft on Mt.McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Settling in at 11,200’ Camp

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 13, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 11,200'

May 12, 2015 11:00 pm PT

Hello everyone!
We tackled our third day of Mt. McKinley climbing today, which brought us to camp at 11,200’.
The team did exceptionally well and we made great time, rolling into camp before it became uncomfortably hot on the glacier.
Once here we had a big task ahead of us, constructing tent platforms and a kitchen and bathroom. Thankfully we were able to make use of some old walls and platforms that only required minor adjustment to make them workable for our tents, saving us at least an hour of hard labor. The bathroom and kitchen required the most effort, but the team rotated through the shoveling and we now have a luxurious Posh House dining area which we enjoyed over a filling dinner of mac and cheese with bacon and broccoli.
We are all tucked in now, enjoying the last few minutes of sunlight in camp in the comfort of our sleeping bags, looking forward to a nice rest and short day tomorrow. Our plan is to sleep in a bit later than the last few mornings, and then return to our last camp to retrieve our remaining food.
We’ll check in again tomorrow!
RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the team!

An RMI 11,200' Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team on Belay!

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 13, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 12, 2015 10:15 pm PT

Team is ready for our first objective: tomorrow morning we will be switching to multi-pitch mode and conquer our first big route. We had a great day training on (and summiting) “the Munchkin.”  We spent the day on its south ridge and east face rehearsing for steep snow and technical rock. Everyone is doing great and we all look forward to checking in with more accounts from the outstanding routes we are about to tackle.

Good evening!
RMI Guides Elías, Sean, Andy and the team.

Looking toward Base Camp and the Munchkin.  Photo: Bridget Schletty

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Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team First Full Day on the Pika Glacier

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 5,600'

May 11, 2015 11:00 pm PT

Greetings!

Warm temperatures, clear skies and pristine snow is what we enjoyed today. Our first full day in the Pika entailed a thorough review of our different anchors, crevasse rescue systems and scenarios, and a tour of the glacier to check the approach to our upcoming routes. Keeping a close eye on the ravens, whom are after our kitchen and tents, we enjoyed a massive production of tortellini at dinner. This will fuel us for our first objective tomorrow, when we’ll try our first summit while mastering transitions, protection and descents on rock and snow.

Best regards,
RMI Guides Elias, Andy, and Sean

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Tackle Ski Hill

Posted by: Mike Walter, Solveig Waterfall, Billy Haas | May 12, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 9,600'

May 11, 2015 9:10 pm PT

Greetings from the Kahiltna Glacier! Our team is making steady progress, and we’re currently at our camp at 9,600’. The weather has been beautiful since we were able to land on the glacier on Sunday. The climbing is strenuous, as always, as we carry heavy backpacks and pull full sleds. This morning we tackled “Ski Hill”, our first real significant incline, followed by rolling glacial terrain until we reached camp. Camp is all set up and we are busy cooking dinner. We’ll try to rack out early tonight for some well-earned rest. Tomorrow we plan to make a cache of equipment here, at our current camp, in order to lighten our expedition loads. Then the plan is to then move up to the 11,200’ camp; we’ll come back for the cached gear the following day. That’s the plan at least. Our plans are always at the mercy of the weather in the mountains.
That’s it for now. Everyone is healthy and in good spirits. We’ll touch base again tomorrow, hopefully from 11k camp.

RMI Guide Mike Walter and the team

Pulling sleds up Ski Hill on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. McKinley: Walter & Team Fly on the Glacier

Posted by: Billy Haas, Solveig Waterfall, Mike Walter | May 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,800'

May 11, 2015 12:51 am PT

Hi everyone!
We finally had a break in the weather and were able to fly on to the glacier this morning. After days of waiting in Talkeetna, we were all eagerly anticipating our flight this morning.  We took off just after 9 am, and once on the glacier we packed and organized our gear quickly in order to make the most of the day. 
We are now snug in our tents at the base of Ski Hill (7800’) after a long but satisfying day covering the relatively flat lower glacier.
Our group climbed strong, and tomorrow we’re looking forward to moving camp farther uphill.
It’s nearly midnight and we’ve all had a big day, so we’re going to get some rest and we’ll check in again tomorrow!
RMI Guide Solveig Waterfall and the team

An RMI Team camped at 7,800 on the Kahiltna Glacier.  Photo: Brent Okita

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Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Fly to the Pika Glacier

Posted by: Andy Hildebrand, Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon | May 11, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 10, 2015, 9:28 pm PT

We woke today in Talkeetna to beautiful weather and were able to fly on to the Pika Glacier before noon. We spent the day building the camp that we’ll be calling home for the next week, and also had time for some avalanche education and training. For now, we are in and out of light clouds and snow, but things are relatively calm, temperatures are mild and all of us are excited to be in Little Switzerland after a weather day in Talkeetna. Fingers crossed for blue skies in the coming days!

RMI Guides Sean Collon, Elias de Andres Martos and Andy Hildebrand

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Alaska Update: Improved Weather - Teams Fly To & From Talkeenta

Posted by: | May 10, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

May 10, 2015 11:50 am PT

RMI Guide Leon Davis checked in from Talkeetna.  The weather improved this morning allowing RMI Mt. McKinley May 5th Team led by Mike Walter to fly to Kahiltna.  This same plane then loaded Leon and Team to fly from Kahiltna Base Camp to Talkeetna. 

The Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Alpine led by Elias de Andres Martos was also able to fly from Talkeetna today and have been flown to the Pika Glacier to start their expedition.

Flying toward Kahiltna Base.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team - Day 1 Training in Talkeetna

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Sean Collon, Andy Hildebrand | May 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

Greetings from Talkeetna, Alaska!

We are wrapping up our first day of the Alpine Skills Seminar. Everybody arrived on schedule to Anchorage yesterday, and a rainy drive took us to the gateway of the Alaska Range. As planned, we spent the morning getting ready with the pertinent logistics prior to loading the bush plane equipped with skies to take us to the glacier. As our appetite climbed for what we hoped to be the last served meal of the week, the thick clouds brought the rain (snow in the range) that would keep us grounded.

We took advantage of the delay, and practiced some skills at the K2 Hangar. We got familiar with our tents, reviewed knots and hitches and mastered crevasse self extrication to make the most of a wet afternoon. Our hopes are to fly tomorrow morning straight onto the Pika Glacier. We´ll keep you posted!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

The Alaska Alpine Mountaineering Seminar looking over their tents. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos The AMS-Alpine team practice some knot tying in Talkeetna. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos The Alaska Alpine Mountaineering Seminar training at the K2 Hangar. Photo: Elias de Andres Martos

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Alaska Seminar: Davis & Team Long Walks and Long Clouds

Posted by: Leon Davis, Garrett Stevens, Bridget Belliveau | May 09, 2015
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

Good evening warm comfortable people!

The team here at base camp continues to thrive midst the constant storm. We needed to stick our heads in it so we packed our sleds and made our way to the main flow of the Kahiltna and started walking upstream. Although the visibility was only a few hundred meters and the snow fell wet, we managed to make a seven-mile round trip journey up the expansive long frozen river. Everyone performed well and lessons in self care were earned. With the weather outlook looking bleak, we may have to take the first flight out tomorrow morning. Hopefully in time to call our mothers on Mother’s Day!

RMI Guide Leon Davis

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Recent Images From Mount McKinley

  • An RMI Team camped at 14,200 ft on Mt. McKinley, Mt. Foraker in the background.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team taking a weather day at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team pulling sled from from Base Camp en route to Camp 1 on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Chris Villar
  • An RMI team fortifies snow walls for protection from the wind at 14,000 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI team ascending Motorcycle Hill with 11k Camp of Mt. McKinley, AK in the background. Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI team ascending the fixed lines outside of 14k Camp on Mt. McKinley, AK. Photo: Brent Okita
  • The May 19th McKinley team preparing for the climb in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff
  • The May 19th McKinley team ready to fly in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff
  • An RMI Team camped at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: Rob Lindner
  • An RMI Alaska Seminar Team navigating the glacier.  Photo: Kel Rossiter
  • Camp at 11,200 ft on Mt. McKinley.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The view from Kahiltna Base Camp.  Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • The RMI Posh tent set up at 14,000 ft Camp.  Photo: Lindsay Mann
  • Climbing Windy Corner on Mt. McKinley. RMI Photo Collection
  • The Summit Ridge of Radio Tower. RMI Photo Collection
  • View from Ski Hill on Mt. McKinley.  RMI Photo Collection
  • An RMI Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier. RMI Photo Collection
  • RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos ascends Big Arapiles in Little Switzerland, Alaska. Photo: Bridget Schletty
  • RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos looks across the Pika Glacier towards the Trolls, from the summit of Big Arapiles. Photo: Bridget Schletty
  • An RMI team's 11K Camp on Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The May 14th Alaska Seminar team poses for a photo while taking a break from packing. Photo: Leon Davis