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Entries from Denali

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Move Camp to 11,200’

June 20, 2016 - 11:11 P.M. PDT

Few things are as satisfying as watching a storm clear and being able to once again see the mountain you are trying to climb. Our stormy weather did just that, allowing us to do a rapid pack and move up to our 11,200 ft. camp.

We spent the afternoon digging in and letting our tents dry out, and everyone is looking forward to a well deserved day of rest and acclimatization tomorrow. It was a stunningly beautiful evening up here, watching the clouds roll over Kahiltna Dome and streaks of solstice sunlight streak Mount Foraker. Fingers crossed for good weather to come.

Love from,
RMI Guide Mike Haugen and Team El Siete

On The Map

11,200 - too easy. Go Team El Siete!

Posted by: E.L. on 6/21/2016 at 12:36 pm

Yay, Phil & team! Praying for continued good weather.

Posted by: Barbara on 6/21/2016 at 9:54 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Send Father’s Day Wishes

June 19, 2016 - 8:33 pm PT

Happy Father’s Day!! We love all our dads, and hope they’re having a great day wherever they may be- enjoying breakfast in bed, playing golf, sunbathing on Ping Island, or beekeeping.
The weather went from bad to worse over night. We took turns every hour tightening guy lines and shoveling snow from around the tents to prevent any wind incidents or tent buryings. The crew was in great spirits as we ate our way through the day staying comfy in the tents. We had a great Ramen and veggies meal to which we added sriracha sauce and called it Mountain Pho.
The weather seems to be improving a tiny bit and we are hopeful that tomorrow will bring sunshine, rainbows, and the ability to move up to our next camp!

Send us your best weather vibes,

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

Jon Buchburger is that as cold as putting up snow fence. Hope the weather holds. Gpa

Posted by: Tom and Sue Beckett on 6/21/2016 at 5:58 am

Happy belated Farher’s Day all. Sending good climbing mojo your way Senator.
Reach for the sun and settle for the summit

Posted by: Paul on 6/20/2016 at 8:22 pm

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Move to 9,600’ Camp

June 18, 2016 - 8:58 pm PT

Remember how yesterday we told ya’ll that despite the high clouds and other warning signs of low pressure that the weather was holding? Well, it sure isn’t anymore.  We delayed our departure from Camp 1 by a few hours and caught a lull that lasted long enough for us to travel to 9,600 Camp comfortably. We established camp and chilled the afternoon away as the winds and snow built.  We are well fed, warm, and snuggled in for the night, hoping that the weather allows us to travel to 11,000 Camp in the morning.  Only time will tell, but for now the psyche is high.

Love to everybody,
RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Returns to Talkeetna to Celebrate

June 18, 2016 - 7:51 pm PT

We woke up this morning at 3:00 AM to a wet snow fall on the lower Kahiltna Glacier. I personally stayed up all morning waiting for it to taper off. Finally at 6 we decided to push to the runway and see if we could get a flight out today. After a couple hours of walking we turned the corner and started up the Southeast Fork, aka Heartbreak Hill. At this point we heard some planes began landing and with the shear excitement of beer and burgers we made our way up to the landing strip. The weather was in and out so we didn’t all get flights out immediately but throughout the early afternoon we all got off the glacier and flew back to Talkeetna. We are currently having dinner at the West Rib and preparing for a big night of celebration.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens

Denali Expedition: Beren & Team Wrap Up Their Expedition

June 18, 2016 - 7:18 pm PT

It was anyone’s guess how today would turn out based on the snow piling up on our tents this morning. We dragged our feet a little before downing a cup of coffee and packing up our camp. We pushed down the glacier in a near whiteout, unsure if any planes would venture into the Alaska Range today. After a great trip the team was ready to head home, but we had to still wait and see what Denali had in store for us. As we descended, the visibility improved and it began to look like some fancy flying might just get us to a shower after all. The weather continued to cooperate and it wasn’t long before the awesome pilots at K2 had us back in the land of green forests, running water and options for food. And like that we left the Range after a few great weeks with our teammates.

It was an exceptional adventure, made great by the team who shared the effort to make it happen. Thanks to all involved for making it happen and we will all be home soon!

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Thanks to the great guides who did such a wonderful job getting this team up to the summit and safely back down again.  Your knowledge of the mountain, the weather patterns, and your decisions about when to advance or when to stay put make all the difference.  Thanks a million to all of you.  You’re the best!!!

Posted by: Bud on 6/18/2016 at 8:48 pm

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Flies off Mountain

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and Team called at 2:25 pm PST to let us know they have flown off of the mountain and expect to land in Talkeetna shortly.

Congratulations Team!

Denali - West Buttress Expedition: Jake Beren & Team Fly Off Glacier

RMI Guide Jake Beren and Team called at 2:25 pm PST to let us know they have flown off of the mountain and expect to land in Talkeetna shortly.

Congratulations Team!

Denali Expedition: Upper West Rib Team Descends to 7,800’

June 18, 2016 - 12:40 am PT

Hi all, sorry there hasn’t been a dispatch since we summited, we’ve been busy and on the move a lot. The team did a fantastic job climbing the Upper Rib yesterday and we all made the summit just after 7:00 PM. After some hugs, photos, and congratulations we began our descent down to 17 Camp on the West Buttress. Thirteen hours after we started climbing we were crawling into our tents, exhausted but very satisfied with our accomplishment. This morning we woke up early to get low on the mountain before the 50 mph forecasted winds rolled in this afternoon. I am truly amazed at how strong this team is, even after a big summit day everyone climbed very well as we made our way down the Buttress and fixed lines to 14 Camp. Here we took about an hour to retrieve our cache and re pack before we hit the trail to 11 Camp. I thought for sure folks would be tired at 11 camp, but no. We dug up our cache here rigged for traveling with sleds and kept descending. We are currently at the base of Ski Hilll, 7800’, getting a little rest and waiting for the cold of the night before we walk the lower Kahiltna Glacier back to the landing strip. Weather permitting we will be on board an airplane first thing in the morning.
Thanks so much for following along throughout our expedition

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Upper West Rib Team

On The Map

WOW! I just finished reading all the posts and looking at the beautiful pics & I am in awe of all you (collectively) have accomplished! I guess to say u feel “on top of the world” would likely be an understatement! Safe journey to all on ur decent! Can’t wait to hear the stories!

Posted by: Sara & James on 6/18/2016 at 7:08 am

Denali Expedition: Beren & Team Descend to 7,800’

June 17, 2016 - 11:36 pm PT

What a big few days it’s been!  Forgive the radio silence, but our team has been busy getting some real climbing done. Since our glorious finale to our ascent, we descended back to 17 Camp and had a well deserved rest. We awoke early this morning with a motivating forecast to move and packed up our alpine home and began our descent. As we scooped up caches at 16,600, 14,200 and 11,000 our decision to beat feet downhill seemed well made. Winds and snow took over the upper camps and we made it to 7,800 camp where the air is thick and the temps are pleasant (by our new standards). We carved out a quick camp and are planning on an early morning to try and catch a flight tomorrow. Wish us one more day of decent weather and we’ll be back to tell all the details of one hell of an adventure! 

RMI Guide Jake Beren

On The Map

Holy buckets!  “Wings on your feet” and all that!  I’m so glad the weather is holding and that your descent is going well.  You all deserve a much needed rest so get K2 on the line in preparation of the first leg back home!  I can’t WAIT to hear all about this wonderful adventure!  Thank you again to God and to you three very accomplished and knowledgeable guides!  You’re the BEST!!!  Bird

Posted by: Bird on 6/18/2016 at 6:53 am

Denali Expedition: Haugen & Team Begin Their Climb

June 17, 2016 - 8:48 pm PT

We are climbing! We had a rather early departure from Basecamp this morning, leaving at 3 a.m. while the glacier was still nice and firm. The crew made quick work of the task at hand arriving into our new camp at the base of Ski Hill on the Kahiltna Glacier in 4 hours and 20 minutes. Rock Stars! We spent most of the day “sport eating” in preparation for the high calorie demand that this mountain will require. We had some clouds move in mid day, but the weather turned out to be great. We plan on another early morning rally up to 9,800 camp. We tried to count how many shells smothered in Velveeta we ate tonight to prep for tomorrow.  Unfortunately we’re not as top notch as Joe Horiskey.  Love to the fans! And the Fams!

RMI Guide Mike Haugen

On The Map

Love seeing those pics! Hope the weather continues to be favorable. I love the shell counting game :-) One step at a time!

Posted by: Kelly Tybor on 6/19/2016 at 6:32 am

Keep up the great work!!!
“...can’t believe how far I’ve climbed.”  Bruce, The Rising

Looking forward to hearing all the details and seeing the pics (over a cold one, that is)
My best,

Posted by: Tony Capaci on 6/19/2016 at 5:31 am

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