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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Beren & Team Take a Weather Day

We woke up in the wee hours of this morning, hopeful to see our summit window open up. The weather, however, had a different idea. As the skies became cloudier and the snow began to come down, we decided that another slow morning was in order. We gorged ourselves on bagels and plenty of bacon while we sipped our coffee. The afternoon was filled with lots of rest. We are steeling ourselves for a move up to 17k tomorrow, if the weather forecast holds true. Everyone is doing well and looking forward to the chance to move closer to our summit goal. Thanks for keeping up with the team!

We will check in tomorrow, hopefully from our new camp at 17k!

RMI Guide Jake Beren & Team


Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Che-che I miss you!

Please post pictures of you sipping whiskey at 17,000 feet.


Posted by: erin on 6/14/2017 at 9:31 am

You can do it
Many prayers and a lotsof guardian angels ( especially grandma and grandma/ my grandson the Dr) are with you
Do me a favor no more escapes for awhile
I need to recoup
So proud of what you accomplished

Posted by: Mom and Dad zabinski on 6/14/2017 at 6:48 am

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team See Sunshine in the Forecast

June 11, 2017
Today has been a good one. We have been treated to some sun here at 14,000’ Camp. This has allowed us to prep and dry all our gear. There are sunny days on the horizon, we are just waiting to see how strong the winds will be. We are drinking and eating well in hopes of moving up tomorrow or on Tuesday. Fingers crossed! That’s all for now!

RMI Guide Tyler Jones

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Tym, Tyler, and Team,

Looks like some well-deserved sun will end your wait and hopefully allow you to safely reach your goal. Best wishes as you move ahead for this highly anticipated day.  I think I am as excited as you are!  Anxious for your success and for your return to sea level. Thanks for the great pictures and daily updates.

Warriors took the championship tonight with a win over the Cavs. And Satoshi says, $2664.00. 

Love Mom and Zeppelin

Posted by: Kristi Kennelly on 6/12/2017 at 9:03 pm


Great news that the sun is out!  Hope that means you will be able to move forward.  Keeping my fingers and my toes crossed for you and the team!!!  Miss you and love you so much!!! 


Posted by: Amanda Gunn on 6/12/2017 at 9:41 am

Denali Expedition: Beren & Team Explore the Edge of the World

June 11, 2017
Today was another rest day here at 14,000’ Camp. After a long brunch and some wall renovations, our team settled in for a little rest.  By the afternoon, some visibility presented itself and our team geared up for a stroll to the “Edge of the World,” a vantage point where you can peer nearly 7,000 feet down to the lower Kahiltna Glacier. It is a truly stunning view and a treat to see a little bit of this amazing Range after living in a snow globe for a few days. With any luck this week will offer us a few days of decent weather to venture higher. The team is ready and when it is safe to climb, we will be happy to do so.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Reach Base Camp

June 10, 2017

The sleep of the dead finally hit me this morning just after my last post. An hour later JT asks, “Should we get up? It’s 1:04 am and the alarm on my phone hasn’t gone off!”

The night hadn’t brought the hoped for cooling, but it was time to leave and make that trip to Base Camp. Breakfast and hots were served in the remains of our old Posh site, sans the actual Posh, then we were off. As we turned the corner at 10,000’ heading down the Kahiltna we were treated to the amazing view down glacier of the jewels ad the Alaska Range. Hunter, Foraker, Crosson and other peaks were starkly defined in shades of black and white, along with some other hue that seemed hard to place. Unusually dark clouds prevented the pinks and reds we often see at 3:30-4:00 am, but this view I’ve never seen before, and may have been even more spectacular. 6+ hours of hard walking finally brought us back to Base Camp. Reflective of the poor snow year in the Alaskan mountains this year, there were a number of sketchy crevasse crossing to be negotiated. Then white out conditions kept us from seeing the landmarks that would otherwise tell us exactly where we were, but the track in the snow of others gave us something to follow. Then, low and behold, the tents of Base Camp popped into view and we knew we were done. Unfortunately, these same clouds have prevented planes from flying and landing here, so we are again captive of the weather gods and just waiting to be released from Denali to return to civilization where we might wash the twenty one days of toil off us and sit in chairs at a table and eat food that requires more than just a spoon.

I just hope that, when we do get to that restaurant, some social graces return to folks and we don’t see them licking their bowls clean in anticipation of the next course.
I’ll of course advise everyone to bring a pee bottle to their hotel room, and perhaps even a CMC (clean mountain can), because some habits might just be too difficult to break after these twenty one days.

Goodnight from 7200’ camp, where I hear the snow hitting the tent walls in increasing intensity. Oh well, at least we need walk no more, for now.

RMI Guides Brent, Christina, JT & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

What an Awesome adventure, Summit or not…An Awesome Adventure! Congrats to everyone!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 6/12/2017 at 4:36 am

It sounds like quite an adventure to 17K.  From what Ive read everyone’s bailed off 17 Camp in the last few days.  Quite a year for crevasse falls too.  Glad you guys made it safely back to camp!  Now to chill out and sip some Alaskan brews until the ride shows up.  Have an Ice Axe for me when you get back to TK!

Posted by: Keith Gates on 6/12/2017 at 12:28 am

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Stretch Their Legs and Lungs

June 10, 2017

Hello from 14 Camp. We had a mix of bagels, cheese and Cheerios with a side of bacon for breakfast. Then we suited up for a walk in calmer and warmer weather than what we have be experiencing lately. Our team climbed to the base of the fixed ropes to clear our minds from tent time. We also were glad to stretch the legs and lungs! Our vibe is lifted for the future. The forecast for tomorrow is looking like new strong wind with snow. The weather could turn the corner early next week. The team is doing every well and poised to go higher soon. 

RMI Guide Tyler Jones & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Hello Tym, Tyler, and Team,

I am ever-hopeful that you get that well-deserved break in the weather, ASAP!!  This delay in your journey has to be difficult. Hang in there!!  Hugs to all.  And…Satoshi says $2998.34.

Love Mom and Zeppelin

Posted by: Kristi Kennelly on 6/11/2017 at 7:37 pm

Denali Expedition: Beren & Team Carry to 17K Camp

June 10, 2017 7:46 pm PST

Today we may very well have nailed it. Waking early for an extended weather viewing to establish any discernible trend, we left camp with reasonable visibility. The team did great as we broke trail up to the base of the fixed lines. We rested at the base of the lines as the weather slowly deteriorated and our friends from RMI 4 joined us in solidarity on a fitness walk. Once we were a big party and the cache was established, we descended back to 14 Camp for some rest before dinner. The winds and snow picked up nearly as soon as we got home and we are now poised to go to 17K once the weather allows. It has been pretty squirrelly in the weather department lately, but the team is hanging tough, waiting for our time to shine.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hope the weather cooperates for the safe completion of your climb. for poet William Blake"Great things are done when men (/women) and mountains meet.” Continued safety for the Team! from Darren D

Posted by: Darren D on 6/12/2017 at 1:27 pm

keep up the great work, kenny. i have faith that your team will make it. we are all rooting for you back at home. love, anne

Posted by: anne lawler on 6/11/2017 at 5:48 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team on Their Descent

June 10, 2017 12:07 am PST

It was a day of decisions. The team sadly broke apart today, with the main group heading down, and two strong and driven individuals opting to stay on the mountain to give ‘er another try. Caught in the middle I was torn between sticking with the two and going for the summit, or sticking with the main part of the team. After anguishing over the decision, I chose to finish off the expedition with the team, rather than lead our two erstwhile members to the top.
A sketchy forecast helped me in my decision, and I think my two climbers will have a better chance of summiting with the groups I left them with. They’ll be joining Tyler and Jake’s teams, who have a bit more time than I to wait for good weather.
So here we are, in our tents at 11,200’ camp waiting for the night to referee the glacier so we can travel over its frozen surface to minimize the risk of crevasse falls that have been occurring much more than normal lately.
It’s sad separating from our two teammates, and leaving the mountain without a summit under our belts. For me it’s been twenty five trips since I’ve not summited. But folks are in good spirits.
I think we all really appreciate the time we’ve spent here, the friendships developed, the hard times as well as the fun times.
In two hours we awaken for one last day on the glacier. That is, as long as the air service can pick us up in the morning.
With any luck, next time I chat with you I’ll have had a shower, eaten a big ol’ steak and perhaps consumed an adult beverage or two.
Good night from 11,200’.

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale and JT Schmitt

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

who are the two going for the summit?

Posted by: win smith sr on 6/12/2017 at 10:21 am

Team - Sorry that you did not summit but congratulations on such strong climbing and a great adventure. Many people have been rooting for you and continue to do so. Descend safely and enjoy your return to civilization.  Ken

Posted by: Ken Porrello on 6/11/2017 at 5:12 am

Denali Expedition: Jones & Team Storm Day at 14K Camp

June 9, 2017 11:40 pm PST

The team held at 14 Camp another day while it snowed most of the day. There wasn’t much action outside of the tents minus some shoveling around camp and playing some games under shelter in the kitchen or as we call it the “posh.” The team is still doing well and spirits are high as the weekend outlook is still calling for more snow and high winds. We’ve been keeping a close eye on our dwindling food bags but some easy rationing has us feeling that we still have enough time to wait for the next weather window. Thanks for some of the previous blog comments, we’ve shared them with the team. Send us some calm, sunny weather!

RMI Guide Tyler Jones

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Tym, Tyler, and Team,

There must be a break-down because I have been sending you calm, warm weather…it is obviously not arriving.  There must be a large, lost package at the post office. So sorry.  I will continue to try at this end and wish you all the best.  Stay strong and enthusiastic. 

The Cavs beat the Warriors 137-116 last night, so with the Warriors ahead at 3-1, it is back to Oakland for another game on Monday night.

And Tym, Satoshi says, $2921.00!!

Love Mom and Zeppelin

Posted by: Kristi Kennelly on 6/10/2017 at 8:04 pm

Matt and team,

Hanging in there. Sunny and hot in Michigan this weekend. Will send some your way. Praying weather clears up soon!! Stay safe.

Love, Mom

Posted by: Barb McAllister on 6/10/2017 at 9:18 am

Denali Expedition: Beren & Team Train at 14,000’ Camp

June 9, 2017
Today we enjoyed a little bit of sleeping in before a solid brunch. The weather has been persnickety of late, but our team is handling the storm well, fortifying camp at 14,000’ and swapping stories in our cook tent. Naps are a big part of the downtime as we wait for a chance to move higher.
Yesterday we went for a training mission to hone our skills for the fixed lines and everyone did a great job, passing their rope skills test with flying colors. Cross your fingers for some good weather for us!
RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Lindsay - hope you are having the time of your life! It seems like weather is not cooperating but I am sure it will turn around. Hang in there!

Posted by: Manish on 6/10/2017 at 4:08 pm

Steve, We are in awe watching you and your team embrace this journey.You are all truly amazing!!  Hang in there man…you are living the dream…We love you and can’t wait to see, hug , and have a very expensive bottle of wine and dinner with you!! Stay safe all. Ruth and Mike

Posted by: Mike and Ruth on 6/10/2017 at 2:51 pm

Denali Expedition: Okita & Team Retreat to 14K Camp

June 9, 2017 12:55 a.m. PT

Every fifteen minutes another gust would pummel the side of the tent. Of course, it would have to be on my side. The moisture inside our precious shelter, frozen to the walls of the tent would fall on us with each gust, forcing us deeper into our bed of down.
Day five at 17,200’ turned in to a real doozy. The forecasts have actually been fairly good lately, and no good news was to be had with the latest issued. In fact, a high wind alert was posted for the upcoming four days with winds into the sixties. This had camp on edge, including my wise assistants Christina and JT, upon whom I rely so heavily to help make our trip the best and safest, My initial optimism that the weather would surely improve with time was tempered by the latest info coming out. A decision to retreat to the relative safety, protection and comfort of 14,200’ camp was made by all in camp, even though the strong winds are cause for concern as we need to navigate the technical terrain of the West Buttress.
Taking down tents and packing up went well even in those conditions, a testament of the ability of our veteran and tested team. The climb down to camp went well, besides the inevitable traffic of perhaps fifty people leaving camp simultaneously.
To our delight, the RMI teams at 14,200’ got into our cache and had camp all set up for us when we pulled in, What incredible work, A huge THANKS to https://www.rmiguides.com/blog/expedition/denali_5_23_17/desc, Jake and their teams!!!
So now, at day 19 we have a number of folks feeling the pull of home and a life put on hold while we take part in this incredible experience. A couple of others are still excited to finish off the climb and willing to put in a few more days. An updated forecast in the morning might help us see if we actually have a realistic chance of getting a good enough break on the weather in a few days time. We’ll make some final decisions in the morning, but right now we might not even have good enough weather to leave camp.
Goodnight from 14,200’ camp (revisited),

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Christina Dale and JT Schmitt

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Dear Alex,
“Nevertheless, she persisted…”
Keep strong and safe, team.

Posted by: Jasmin on 6/10/2017 at 6:38 am

Hello Mountain Friends!  So sorry that I couldn’t join the climb at the last minute this year.  Everything has resolved itself with my family’s health issues, but it was necessary to stay here.  While I have been very disappointed that I can’t be climbing with you, I have been following the blog entries about your progress with enthusiasm, and am impressed with the tough resolve that you have all exhibited as you’ve faced the various challenges on the mountain.  I truly hope that the weather relents and gives you all a well-deserved shot at the summit in the next few days!  Best of luck and stay safe everyone.  I hope to climb with you all at some point on down the road.  -William

Posted by: William Kenyon on 6/9/2017 at 6:59 pm

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