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Entries from Alaska

Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Rest Day at 11K Camp

Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 6:21 PM PT

The snow that started last night continued into the morning, necessitating a 3:00 am shoveling session to dig out our tents. We picked up a little over a foot of snow over night, with no wind.
We had a rest day planned for today anyway, so the snow was of little consequence. We simply ate a leisurely brunch and lounged around our tents, resting and acclimating.
Tomorrow, if the weather allows, we plan to move camp up to Genet Basin, at 14,200’. We will let you know how that plays out.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Denali: Walter & Team Partake in a Trial Run

The weather in Alaska is still unsettled, and our team remains on standby for clearing skies and a chance to fly into the Alaska Range. The weather improved for a bit this morning and we packed up the planes, two de Havilland Otters, donned our climbing clothes and boots, and loaded up the planes. But before we even got going, we received word that the weather shut down and snow had returned to Base Camp.
So now we are back to the Talkeetna hang as we wait for conditions to improve. We are all eager to start this expedition, but we realize that patience is imperative, as the weather is out of our control. This patience with the weather will be important to maintain throughout this entire trip; I’ll bet we see more of it over the next few weeks.
I’ll keep you posted if we get to fly this afternoon and, if not, then we’ll play the game again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

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Mike Walter & Team Kick Off the RMI Denali Season!

We are kicking off RMI’s 2018 Denali climbing season. Our team met in Anchorage on Monday afternoon and traveled north to the small town of Talkeetna. Yesterday was a busy day of packing gear and preparing for our expedition, including a trip to the National Park Service to register our group and have a pre-trip orientation.
With our bags packed and weighed for loading onto the glacier planes, we’re all set for our adventure. Currently there is some stormy weather that is not allowing airplanes to access the Alaska Range, so we’re in a holding pattern until we get a clearing. We will keep you up to speed with the team’s status.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

On The Map

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Wishing Dave, Shane, and the rest of the team a fun and safe trip!

Josh and Chance

Posted by: Josh and Chance on 5/19/2018 at 4:46 pm

David and Shane…We wish you all an amazing and safe venture!! Stay safe. We can’t wait to hear all about it!! Love you to pieces..        Ken and Dean

Posted by: Dean and Ken on 5/18/2018 at 7:30 pm

Alaska: Elias & Team Successfully Climb Moose’s Tooth

And we flew out!
We got in a day early, and flew out a day early too, as to secure our exit off the glacier with the great weather we had: the runway at the Root Canal Glacier is no major airport where to secure a flight under the action of the elements.

The trip ran very smoothly, and we’re happy to have tackled this ultra classic line, “Ham and Eggs” up the Moose’s Tooth, which is without a doubt, a haunting peak in the Alaska Range.

Vanessa and Taylor trained the necessary technical skills not only to overcome the difficulties of the route, but to shine for the hours on end that climbing 3,000ft of steep ice, snow and mixed terrain entails in the remoteness of this environment. Now the team has parted ways, and we feel proud and accomplished.

Regards from Anchorage!

RMI Guide Elías de Andrés Martos

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Alaska: Elias & Team Back Down to Camp

Good afternoon from the Root Canal Glacier! We just descended from a successful, safe and adventurous climb up the Ham & Eggs Route on Moose’s Tooth. We left yesterday at 6am, with great weather and enthusiasm. The route started very well, in great condition. The upper half, though, was bullet proof ice, which slowed our progress a bit. But we managed to maintain our calfs alive pitch after pitch of relentless intermediate angle blue alpine ice. After finishing, we stuck to our plan of spending the night at the col; perched at 10,000ft, on the exposed and corniced saddle that greets the few mortals who venture up this, one of the most impressive granite massifs of the Alaska Range. After a true alpine bivi, with our ropes as sleeping pads for the bottom half of our bodies, a two-person tent for three, and a belay to go to the bathroom, we woke up to questionable weather this morning, and so, we started our descent; some 16 rappels back down to the glacier. Now we’re back to our fresh vegetables, steak and beverages of choice at our camp. Our next report will be after we fly out from Talkeetna.

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

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Alaska: Elias & Team Fly Onto the Root Canal Glacier

Greetings from The Root Canal Glacier! We were able to fly in yesterday, a day ahead of schedule thanks to our fantastic air taxi, K2, who had our logistics all planned upon our arrival in Talkeetna. We dug our camp right before the night fell, and enjoyed our first Alaskan dinner on the glacier. Today we dragged our feet and enjoyed the sunrise in our tent. After breakfast, we decided to go for a few pitches of the route, as to build team communications and to warm up for the big push. Now, we’ll just take the best day that the weather throws at us; the Moose’s Tooth awaits!

RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos

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Super stoked to read the blog. My wife is fearless. I’m so proud of your accomplishment Vanessa and your first bivi! Mick and I can’t wait for the photos and the story! Love Mickey and Brett.

Posted by: Brett Calta on 4/12/2018 at 10:57 am

Impressive journal entry detailing your activities. Thinking of you all. Stay safe and so proud of you all, challenging yourselves and living the life!

Posted by: Lori Briggs on 4/12/2018 at 5:59 am

Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias & Team Climb The Middle Troll

Good morning from little Swiss,

We came to an end, but not without reward…Yesterday we had, after a patient wait for blue skies, the most amazing of the climbing days we could hope for. the Middle Troll, reigning over the Pika, towered for hours above us, as its splitter granite cracks discerned a feasible access to its airy summit. The team climbed seamlessly, and all the training of the last week payed for an incredibly well oiled “uphilling” engine. We climbed into the evening, as the morning and early afternoon were still foggy; climbing into the evening light of Alaska’s summer was very special.

We’re now cooking our breakfast and soon we’ll fly back to civilization… wait to see our pictures! 

RMI Guide Elias deAndres Martos & Team

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Alaska Alpine Seminar: Elias and Team Take Shelter from the Rain

June 10, 2017

Good evening from Alaska. It shouldn’t be raining on the glaciers of this Range. But it is. We’ve been confined today to our tents and kitchen tarp to stay dry, as a wet cloud and on and off rain took over most of the day. No climbing or outside training we could do, but for the hour or so that we got a break, we moved camp, as our tent platforms became 1 foot tall pedestals due to the high temps. We’re all looking forward to an improvement on the forecast, and continue to climb on this sanctuary of alpine dreams that Little Swiss is!

Elias, Chase and team.

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Alaska Seminar: Learning Mountain Skills in the Great Outdoors

Today was off to an early start! After a quick breakfast, we stretched our legs heading up glacier to the base of Radio Tower and beyond to the cirque at the base of the East ridge of Frances, where we chatted about glaciology, route planning and navigation. Menacing seracs and at times nearly white-out conditions made the teachings come to life. After heading back to camp and a quick break, we learned and reviewed basic knots and hitches to get us ready for session 1 of basic crevasse rescue. We put to use our anchor building tactics from the previous day and spent the afternoon doing basic rescue drills. Cozying up to burritos was a great end to a long day.

RMI Guide Jessie Poquerusse & team

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Denali Expedition: Walter & Team Retrieve Cache Below 11K Camp

We slept in this morning and then enjoyed a breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon. Then we headed back down glacier to retrieve the cache we left there two days ago. It was a warm day with light snow and no wind. Now that we have all of our supplies with us at 11k, we’ll start to strategize our move to the upper mountain. The next move for us is to carry supplies up around Windy Corner and establish a cache at around 13,700’. We’re still not sure if that will happen tomorrow or if we will take our first full rest day. Weather will certainly play a role in that decision. We will let you know what we decide and touch base tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike Walter

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

...don’t sleep in too long DWH! love you and am so proud of you! - mom sends her love as well! Prayers for a safe summit AKS

Posted by: Ann Kathryn Hines-Scott on 5/10/2017 at 3:37 am

Beautiful sky! Hope the rest of you got out of your tents to see that glorious sight!

Posted by: Nancy Hines on 5/9/2017 at 6:29 pm

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