Entries from Alaska Seminar
Alaska certainly had a theme for the team this year and it was snow. We did not awake to clear skies, but instead 4 inches of fresh snow and more coming down! Our hopes were dashed for a flight off the glacier first thing in the morning. The team spirits remained high as we spent the day talking about life and the fragility of horses all while devouring any and all bacon that was left. Eventually the skies got a little lighter, then a little blue even and before we knew it - it was a beautiful sunny afternoon in the Alaska Range. After another few hours of hurry up and wait, a big red Otter buzzed into our life to whisk us back to civilization. Out of mountain boots, into showers and one final meal at Denali Brewing and our trip is complete. It was a great trip, with far more fun and stories than fit in this blog, until next time...
RMI Guides Jack Delaney, Mike Bennett and The Team
May 11, 2023
Thursday, May 11, 2023 - 12:01 AM PT
Sorry for the delay of game blogoneers! Yesterday was so jammed packed and busy with doing nothing that I forgot to blog. We awoke at 6am with high hopes of starting our summit day but instead when we poked our heads outside it looked like we were inside of a marshmallow. The lighting was so flat that up was indistinguishable from down. Suffice it to say, those are not ideal conditions for going uphill and assessing unknown avalanche terrain from the bottom up. So we stayed put and waited, and waited, and waited… until around 1pm we got sunshine for a whole 20 minutes! Then back into the clouds.
The team had high spirits and we enjoyed our weather day as best we could with movies, podcasts, music and books. Today was a new day! The skies were clear and we had a long way to go ahead of us. We packed up camp and descended from 747 Pass in great time compared to what it took us to come up it. Clouds started to pour over from the next valley and soon we had an overcast sky above us. We made it back to our cache we had left behind two days prior and had a nice, leisurely lunch. Then we reshuffled all our gear to make use of the sleds again and started tromping up glacier. A vicious headwind and snow hampered our progress but only slightly as the team was strong and motived to make it back to the airstrip. After a grueling climb of the final glacial hill, we were back where we started. What seems like a life time was only a week ago. The team expertly and quickly assembled camp, downed a tasty meal of garlic siracha bacon Mac and cheese, and promptly fell asleep. A well deserved rest after a long and arduous day. Assuming the clouds clear by morning, we’ll be back in Talkeetna tomorrow!
May 9, 2023
The team started the day with a simple, quick breakfast before disassembling camp and loading packs for our climb. We stripped all excess gear and built a cache that was buried and marked. We departed the empty camp around 10am and began our slow march toward 747 Pass. The snowpack remained thick and made for a slow progression as Jack and Mike swapped leads breaking trail. We crested the ridge around 5 pm under partly cloudy skies accompanied by a strong breeze coming through the gap. Camp was rapidly assembled and the team took refuge in their tents, relaxing and waiting for better weather. Dinner was simple and quick and the team relaxed the rest of the evening, preparing for our morning summit push.
Wish us luck!
RMI Guides Mike, Jack and the team.
Stay safe summiting!
Posted by: Susan on 5/9/2023 at 9:43 pm
May 8, 2023
Sunday, May 7, 2023, 10:01 pm PT
Be very quiet…we’re hunting for crevasses!
Today we took our skills out into the wild, to test ourselves against the Ruth Glacier. No we didn’t walk around until someone fell in, we instead wandered through the maze of crevasses looking for the perfect one to safely lower someone into and haul them out of. The intricacies and difficulties of crevasse rescue don’t fully translate practicing on flat ground. Our biggest challenge was finding a crevasse that wasn’t drifted full of snow from the last storm and subsequent winds. After a lot of weaving and winding through the broken edge of the Ruth we finally found one that was a little more open than the rest. We sent RMI guide Mike Bennet in as our guinea pig to see if the snow floor could be collapsed and our crevasse deepened. Surprisingly the snow floor was deep and solid, so we made due with the 25 feet of snow wall we had available. The team performed admirably and even dialed in a second crevasse rescue system known as the “Drop C”. By midafternoon the sky was blue and the sun was hot and the team had completed training. We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging and organizing
for our move to high camp tomorrow!
RMI Guides Jack, Mike and the team
I’m trying again to post. Sunshine and crevasse rescue. What a day. Enjoy your trip!
Posted by: Susan on 5/8/2023 at 9:35 pm
May 7, 2023
Saturday, May 6, 2023 - 10:07 pm PT
The team awoke to find a cloud formation had snuck into the valley during the night, leaving wet, overcast, and flurry like conditions. We gathered for coffee and some morning pancakes, then retreated to our tents to read and watch movies for the afternoon while we waited out the weather. The sky slowly broke and the precip let up enough for the team to work some skills training into the afternoon. We knocked out a quick refresher on arrest techniques and then a comprehensive crevasse rescue. The team took to it quick, running some drills around camp and dialing in their systems. We wrapped up the day with a nice dinner and some relaxing talk. Morale remains high and the team is stoked for the upcoming days of the expedition!
All the best,
RMI Guides Mike, Jack and the team.
Crummy weather day. But, great for relaxing, reading, and working on skills. Hoping you have an exciting and adventurous day tomorrow. Party on!
Posted by: Susan on 5/7/2023 at 10:46 pm
It was a wee bit chilly overnight as the clear skies allowed all the heat to escape into outer space. So, we did what any responsible mountaineer would and we waited until the sun was directly upon us before leaving our tents. After a tasty breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and salmon lox, we ourselves got locked and loaded, ready for glacier travel! After 6ish hours of a slightly less heinous trail breaking through deep snow we arrived at our new campsite.
Our camp is in the middle of two mountain saddles, perfectly situated to catch maximum early morning and late evening sunshine. The rest of the day was consumed by building camp and consuming burritos. We got to bed under overcast skies and were excited to see what tomorrow will bring!
RMI Guides Jack, Mike and the Ruth Team
Looks to beautiful! Have fun and enjoy those burritos :)
Posted by: Erin on 5/6/2023 at 3:28 pm
May 5, 2023
Hello all –
The team awoke to find improving weather and a newfound hopefulness to escape the ever-shrinking Talkeetna. After a walk to the local coffee shop the team began their standby at K2 Aviation where they waited for the green light for clear enough cloud cover to depart. At around 3pm, the signal was given and in a mad flurry the plane was loaded, and the expedition was a go! The team enjoyed a scenic flight into the freshly snow coated Alaska range with nearly clear and sunny skies. Once on the glacier, the team was quickly left alone to divide gear, load sleds, and embark down the valley. Deep snow made for slow travel as the team broke the trail through a few feet of fresh Alaskan powder. After a few hours, the team broke down for camp, probing a safe spot on the glacier and settling in. Tents were quickly pitched, and dinner was thrown together. The team enjoyed a clear and scenic backdrop before heading to bed.
All the best,
RMI Guides Mike Bennett, Jack Delaney and the Ruth crew!
I saw clear skies in w app. How exciting! Just look at that snow! Gorgeous view. Early to bed. Stay warm and safe y’all. Enjoy
Posted by: Susan on 5/5/2023 at 9:45 pm
May 4, 2023
Thursday, May 3, 2023 - 1:49 AM PT
We awoke this morning to big fat snowflakes slowly meandering down from gray skies. To say the least, we were not optimistic for our chances to fly into the Ruth Glacier. That was not an issue for us though because we had plenty to do today. We did a full gear check, organized group supplies, wandered around town, and got weighed in for our (eventual) flight. We were completely ready to roll by noon. Sadly the snow fall increased in intensity as the day went on. After lunch we went dived into refreshing and learning all the various knots that are important for climbing and mountaineering. This training session took us right up till dinner where we enjoyed pizza at Mountain High Pizza Pie. The team then decided to meander over to the one and only Fairview Bar for Open Mic Night. It was a splendid evening that did not disappoint (see photo). Spirit remain high for our chances to fly out tomorrow!
Wish us luck?
RMI Guides Jack, Mike and the Team
Hi everyone! Another night with the spirits. Darn—lol. It was only 2 degrees warmer here in Portland OR today. Electric blanket weather
Posted by: Susan on 5/4/2023 at 10:10 pm
the people want to see this attached photo!!!
hope the weather lets up soon!
Posted by: Corey on 5/4/2023 at 7:50 am
May 3, 2023
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Hello friends, family and avid fans of the RMI blog,
It's the Ruth Glacier Seminar and we've just landed in Alaska. After surviving the most dangerous part of the trip, the drive to Talkeetna, the team has gotten settled into town. The team bonding began immediately over a delicious meal at Denali Brewing Company. We finished up the evening with a lovely stroll to the river and early bedtime after a long travel day.
Goodnight from the land of the midnight sun,
RMI Guides Jack Delaney, Mike Bennett and the team
Hi all, your seminar at Ruth Glacier sounds like a fantastic beginning of a new love. I’m guessing y’all have climbed Rainier. Impressive! Enjoy the spectacular views, and learning all those necessary skills so you can really enjoy future climbs.
Posted by: Susan on 5/3/2023 at 10:31 pm
May 29, 2022
Posted by: Alex Halliday
Sunday, May 29, 2022 - 4:12 pm PT
We woke up with plans to pack up camp early and move towards the airstrip, but the heat beat us to our plans. We trained this morning and are now hiding from the sun once again we will pack up or camp this afternoon or evening and move towards the airstrip when the heat is not so blinding.