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Entries from Alaska

Alaska Alpine Climb: Elias and Team Summit Guard Tower

Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 12:56 AM PT Good evening from the Pika Glacier! Another great day for the team. We started the day shortly after midnight, and headed to the "Guard Tower" formation, about one hour north of camp. Summiting during the permanently lit Alaskan night was special, despite the lack of cold temps we were hoping for in order to have better snow conditions. Back at camp before mid day, we had a good lunch and nap, and the afternoon found us ice climbing out of a nearby crevasse. We didn't seem to be affected by the long hours of activity today, and the conversations prevailed at the dining tent for a while. It seems that the weather is changing, so we'll see what tomorrow brings. RMI Guide Elías de Andres Martos and team
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Alaska Alpine Climbing: Elias & Team Check in from the Pika Glacier

Good evening from the Pika Glacier, on the Alaska Range! We had a great first day of activity today. We had a late afternoon flight in yesterday, and the pertinent camp building marathon. Today, with blue skies, we ventured down Glacier to the "Hobbit's Footstool" rock formation for practice; besides some rock climbing-cragging, we reviewed a lot the rope systems that we'll be implementing in the upcoming days. Everyone enjoyed their time on the glacier and rocks, but the hit today was definitely the steak dinner. We're now headed to bed, waiting for a better day of fun on this incredible area of the Alaska Range! Regards RMI Guide Elias and the Alpine Climbing Team.
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Tell Hugh his mom says be careful

Posted by: Peggy on 6/9/2018 at 1:17 pm

Alaska: Elias & Team Climb the Southwest Ridge of Mt. Francis

The Alaska Range draws hundreds of climbers every year. Guarded by Foraker, a seldom climbed 17K ft peak, and by Mt. Hunter, the most difficult 14er in North America, Denali, "The Big One", is without a doubt (and for well-deserved reasons,) the main climbing goal of intrepid mountaineers from all over the globe. Dozens of other smaller, but no less beautiful peaks, are overseen by most of those whose dreams of the altitude are set on reaching the roof of the North America continent. Right at the start of their journey, across from the landing at the South East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, lies Mount Frances, a satellite at the very terminus of Denali's South Buttress. This year, climber Brian Phillips, came with his mind set on Alpine Climbing in the Range; a good plan to tackle fun, full body climbing involving the implementation of the techniques practiced over the year of ice, snow and rock climbing. With our current conditions and weather forecast last week, we decided to put our eyes on the South West Ridge of Frances. An objective that can be done in a long full day of climbing. After all, we had one week to climb (another of the beautiful things of Alpine Climbing in Alaska, is that one doesn't need to plan for an entire month, and 7-10 days allow for a great deal of fun!!!) Upon landing on the glacier, we started our decked-out camp. When you know you're constructing your home for a full week, it better be good! Beyond fortified walls around our flattened tent platforms, making a decent kitchen, with snow benches to sit, eat and socialize on is key. A good two hours of digging, and our crafted living space was ready to be enjoyed. We didn't get too comfortable that very first night, as the forecast, unlike what the predictions said, was too good to let go, and after early bed, we woke ready for action. The SW Ridge of Frances is a moderate route that involves steep snow climbing, only separated by pitches of fine, moderate rock climbing. While none of the steps are very difficult, it is very sustained, and for hours on end you are always "game on" mode. An early start granted frozen snow to move on on the lower part of the mountain, which made us gain progress fast. Soon enough we'd be climbing rocks, and without realizing, the alternation of both terrains, was the constant for the day. Plotting along, the early evening would come, and high on the route, we could keep an eye at the Denali Base Camp, and the many climbers that eventually circumnavigated us, at ground level, totally unaware other human beings were up there. We tackled the last rock pitches as the sun wanted to dip behind the horizon, but in the "Land of Midnight Sun" it never would. We continued the progress now towards the summit, on the frozen ridge that connects the false one to the true one, tip toeing around cornices, a couple crevasses and long ice cliffs beneath us. It was dinner time when we got to the top, and even though we knew that descending the East Ridge was a mere two hours back to the comfort of our Base Camp, we stuck to the plan of bivouac on top. How special could it be to see the alpenglow of both sunset and sunrise over Hunter, Foraker and Denali? It was almost cloudless, and we had carried a small bivi tent, sleeping bags and a stove anyways. So we stayed. Tired but accomplished and cold but warm inside, the night blended with the day, and sooner than we noticed, the bright sun was again over us and now, time to head back down before the snow softened further. The East Ridge, our descent route, had been climbed several times the previous week, even a ski descent, so with a good track, we were back at our camp in a mere two hours. We had gone up and down, in style, fully climbing up a peak and we were proud of it! Alpine Climbing in Alaska at its best. RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos
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Alaska Seminar: Dale & Team Practice Crevasse Rescue

Sunday, May 27th - 11:00 pm PST What a day of rope work we had under the most amazing back drop of Mount Hunter. We went through different knots and how to build a variety of equalized snow anchors. Then we put it to practice and had everyone take turns going into a deep crevasse and the team would build a pulley system to bring them out. This was an Alaska style crevasse which means it appears bottomless and cold. We had so much fun exploring the glacier up close and personal. The team's rope skills are great but we hope to avoid using the rescue skills as we head out tomorrow to move camp up the Kahiltna Glacier. After such a big day of playing on and in the glaciers, we all treated ourselves to two hot chocolates after a delicious dinner of tortellini with sun-dried tomatoes. Goodnight from the glacier! RMI Guide Christina Dale
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Denali Expedition: Van Deventer and Team Find New Home at 11,000’

Monday, May 28th - 12:20 am PST It was a perfect day to cruise up to 11K Camp and find a new home. Where most of yesterday was dead calm and pretty warm with strong sun, we had a light but really cold breeze running through camp in the morning. It died right before we started walking and suddenly we were cooking in the solar oven. Just as we were about to explode into flames, the breeze came back, from straight ahead, and we went the direction of ice cubes. We dug quickly into our mountains of clothing and were back in comfort land. Having previewed the terrain yesterday, today was a breeze, and we cruised into camp like a hot egg salad. Now we are nicely installed in our new home for the next few days. It's snowing lightly, and beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everyone is healthy and psyched. Tomorrow, we chill, then we will keep looking upward. RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

On The Map

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Seriously took me a minute to find the right blog!

You guys are all smiling and climbing - I know you must be excited for the climb ahead.
Have fun and enjoy every minute!

Love you Rich

Posted by: Susie and the Kids on 5/31/2018 at 5:25 pm

Checking in again. So happy to see the progress. It’s time for Steve to come home… the bachelorette season has started and I know how much he loves the show !! ;)
I’m loving all of the pictures.
Sending my love and best wishes to everyone.
Stay safe,

Posted by: Misty on 5/28/2018 at 11:08 pm

Denali Expedition: Hailes and Team Fly Onto the Kahiltna Glacier

Monday, May 28th - 12:20 am PST Perfect is not common in the mountains, but we had it today. The skies were clear and calm for the flight into the Alaska range. The snow was firm which makes the climbing easier and we had warm sunshine with a cool breeze to keep us all just right, not too hot-not too cold. Everyone moved well with their heavy pack and full sleds into our first camp around 7800 ft and enjoyed our first mountain dinner before sliding into our sleeping bags. All in all a great first day on Denali. RMI Guide Walter Hailes

On The Map

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Where are you guys on Tuesday? So thrilled for you all. Looking due North and thinking of you

Posted by: Mumzie on 5/29/2018 at 9:01 pm

Life sometimes seems so short so “if you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space”

Posted by: Carolyn mills-meyer on 5/29/2018 at 7:19 am

Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Carry to 11K Camp

We had another great day on the lower Kahiltna. Our goal was to carry a load of food and fuel to around 10,200', just shy of 11K Camp. We had a sneaking hope that we might move well enough and everyone would feel good enough to carry the load all the way to 11,000', eliminating the need for a back carry. After 3 good stretches of walking, we were just below the usual cache site with plenty of time to spare and everyone in good spirits, so we decided to push on. It was a great effort by the whole group, and now most of our food is waiting for us at our next camp. Tomorrow we'll pack up camp at the bottom of Ski Hill and make the move to 11, where the cycle will continue. RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

On The Map

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Way to push through! Sounds like a strong team!
Love you and stay safe Rich

Posted by: Susie and the Kids on 5/31/2018 at 5:27 pm

Go Magnus! Awesome to read that you are on your way. Thinking of you every day. Can´t even imagine what you are doing.

Don´t forget…Safety first!

Sending you lots of strength, some Swedish “pannben” and hope you and the team will take you all the way up to the top.


Posted by: Anna-Carin on 5/30/2018 at 8:04 am

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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Awesome progress and so good to hear about the good weather!! -10 sure beats -70 that was showing on the weather reports a week ago! Wahoo! Be safe and know we are all thinking of you and following your progress each day! We hope the climb to the summit is spectacular and weather remains good!
Hugs from Larkspur!

Posted by: Susan on 5/25/2018 at 8:56 pm

Alex and Tom!

Keep up the great work and motivation! You all are truly amazing and such an inspiration to me!!


Posted by: Courtney on 5/25/2018 at 5:00 pm

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

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