Friday, July 13, 2012

Mt. McKinley Complete!!!!

 So I finally did it, woo-hoo!!! After my summit on June 13th, I became the youngest female to highpoint all 50 states by 12 years, 7 months, and 15 days! A bit shout out to all my sponsors, without their help it wouldn't have been possible! Thanks: Asolo, Smartwool, Stoic, Gregory, Julbo, Komperdell, Mountain Hardwear, Darn Tough Socks, AAA, Global Rescue, and the Norwich Lions Club! While we were climbing my team was able to blog every night and give updates on our progress. Here are the posts from oldest to newest (courtesy of

Posted by: Brent Okita | May 24, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 358'
What a day!
A team meeting over breakfast followed by our
 park service orientation was just the beginning. The real work started at the hanger of our flight service, K2 Aviation. It was here that the tedium of going thru our gear, both personal and group stuff will pay off hugely when we get to the mountain and are stuck with the equipment we’ve chosen. REI has yet to set up shop on the Kahiltna Glacier.
As we wind down the day a great meal sits in our bellies and we look forward to a final night luxuriating in a real bed where a hot shower and toilet lie but a few carpeted paces away. Tomorrow will be different!
With luck we’ll be flying onto the glacier at 9:00am to start our trip… One that we have all been working so hard and dreaming about for so long. And we start it as a group of individuals already well on our way to being a team of climbers and, more importantly, friends.
I know that we’re all excited to get under way.  I know too that I’m excited to climb with this very impressive group.
Well, all for now from the cozy little town of Talkeetna.


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | May 25, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 7,800'
What a day! Right from the start everything fell in place perfectly. Our last breakfast at the Roadhouse was savored before we made our way to our air service, K2 Aviation, who were great about getting us off the Tarmac ahead of schedule. This set us up to walk out of Basecamp at a reasonable hour, which allowed us to reach camp at 7,800’ by 5:30.
But the real highlight of the day was just how well everyone climbed and dealt with what is usually a pretty tough day. I’m impressed. I must say, though, that the weather cooperated today too. Warm temperatures, blue skies and calm winds might have had us perspiring just a tad, but I didn’t hear much complaining about it. Although some evening clouds formed while we were having dinner, I think we might have a good day tomorrow as we make our way up Ski Hill to 9,500’ camp.
Talk with you then.


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | May 26, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 9,500'
Today marked our last day pulling full loads, and I think we’re all pretty psyched about that! Our five hour climb began after waking up to three inches of snow and white-out conditions. But such conditions are certainly not unusual on the Kahiltna, and so after a hearty breakfast of fried bagels, cream cheese and bacon we tackled Ski Hill.
Pulling huge sleds and shouldering monstrous packs is a given when climbing Denali, but is no small measure of character and sheer physical tenacity of the climber who accepts that challenge. And it is by meeting that challenge today that this team has really demonstrated a strength of will that will serve them well on this trip.
Tomorrow begins the time in the trip when we start splitting up our loads and ferrying them up the mountain in stages. We’re looking forward to this, but I know that these first two days have only made us stronger, and in the end, better prepared for the demands that lie ahead. We’ll move camp up to 11,200’ camp tomorrow and finally enjoy setting up a camp where we’ll be for at least three days. I think the crew is going to welcome finally being able to build a ‘proper’ mountain home, replete with protective walls around the tents and enclosed commodes. What an energetic and motivated team. I’m a lucky guide.


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | May 27, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 11,200'
With packs lightened down after leaving a cache at 9500’, the team made easy work on the climb to 11,200’ camp today. Our three and a half hour jaunt was made all the nicer by bluebird skies and sunny warm temperatures. To top things off we moved into a nice campsite that required minimal work. Although its snowing lightly again, we are looking forward to another easier day tomorrow, where we will retrieve our cache from 9500’.
That’s all from 11,200 feet.
RMI Guides Lindsay Mann, Leon Davis and Brent Okita


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | May 29, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 11,200'
Awakening early this morning we were surprised at just how warm and windless it was. At first our views were obscured by thick clouds, but moments later we could recognize the faint outlines of the ridges above us and realized that in fact we were at the top edge of a thick cloud bank enveloping the Kahiltna below us. 
Everyone was excited, and perhaps just a bit anxious about the climbing ahead. After all, we were to face our steepest terrain yet. 
Now, in our tent after a wonderful meal of pasta followed by blueberry cheese cake, all I can say is how proud I am of how this team climbed today! Everyone handled the loads and the climbing really well. About as well as I’ve seen. This sure bodes well for later.
We really appreciated the early start being over an hour ahead of any other team. It felt like we had the mountain to ourselves, and we did. That is, until we descended and saw the throngs of humanity ascending the slopes we had passed long before. At dinner many in the group reflected on what they saw and asked, “Did we look like that?” referring to the hunched over postures of people battling altitude, steep terrain and a notable lack of technique and training. We were delighted to say, “no, you guys are climbers!”


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | May 30, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 14,000'
We awoke this morning early again, trying to take advantage of another windless day. With blue skies overhead we were optimistic of our chances of getting to camp at 14,100’
The crew had breakfast and struck camp as quickly and well as I’ve seen. Obviously they were some pretty motivated climbers. 
A slight breeze kept us wrapped up in most of our layers, and we even put on face protection climbing through Windy Corner. But the team climbed even better today than yesterday. However, leaving our high point of yesterday and ascending the final 700’ to camp reminded us all of the big jump in elevation we were making. Although everyone climbed really well, even the strongest of the team struggled a bit with the last bit of elevation gain. 
But all this is expected and a normal part of the acclimatization process. An easy day tomorrow will find the team feeling better as our bodies adjust to the altitude. We’re looking forward to it.
Getting into camp early today allowed us to establish a nice camp, dry out sleeping bags packed in haste this morning, and settle in to our new home before the sun disappeared behind the ridge. Our bags will be especially welcome tonight.
Talk with you again tomorrow.
RMI Guide Brent, Leon and Lindsay


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | May 30, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 14,200'
What does normal feel like at 14,200’? Certainly not what it feels like at home. At least not at first. The headaches and weariness that some felt last night evaporated by morning and it was nice to see smiles on everyone’s faces at breakfast. Yet still, we are not fully adjusted to the elevation. This becomes obvious when some normally easy things like shoveling snow or even walking to the ‘bathroom’ cause our respirations and pulse to surge a bit. But, it’s getting better.
Today we retrieved our cache from 13,500’ and did some training in preparation for the most challenging climbing yet. Becoming comfortable with the mechanical ascenders that we will use for protection while ascending the steeps of the fixed ropes leading to the West Buttress is critical for our safe and efficient ascent. Next, being proficient in dealing with running belays used for protection on our climb up the exposed and most beautiful ridge of the Buttress is essential. And I’m happy to say that everyone is well prepared for tomorrows climbing.
Good news from our friends, RMI 2, led by Billy Nugent, who are now at 17,200’ camp, is that there are plenty of supplies at camp there, so our packs will be fairly light on our first foray up to 16,000’ or 17,000’.
Our climbing tomorrow serves two purposes. We do need to get food and fuel up to our next camp. But more importantly, tomorrow will serve to heighten our acclimatization greatly, allowing our bodies to feel even more normal up here. And the more ‘normal’ we start feeling here at 14,200’, the more prepared we will be for our eventual move to high camp at 17,200’.
But that’s jumping ahead a little. For now we’ll just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other for a few hours and see if we can’t get a cache in somewhere above us.
Goodnight from 14,200’ camp where our expected low temp tonight will hover around 0 degrees.
RMI Guides Brent Okita, Leon Davis, and Lindsay Mann


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 01, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 14,000'
Breakfast was early this morning as the night was fairly warm and if we were to make a carry we wanted to not be caught up in the sometimes crowded scene that happens on the fixed ropes later in the day. But a quick survey of how everyone was doing at breakfast confirmed our suspicion that the day would be better spent resting and fortifying our camp from windy, nasty weather that can happen at any time. After all, we’d been going strong for six days straight. So, we enjoyed a leisurely meal of western omelette, bacon and bagels, followed by some warm pop tarts. And the best part of the morning was when Roberto Pellegrino took over and started turning out some killer pancakes leftover from another days breakfast. The morning amounted to a relaxed time just enjoying each others company. But of course my mind is always spinning and after my third hot drink I thought it might be worthwhile to at least get some food up to our high camp, and perhaps even see our friends Billy, Geoff and Gilbert. So, off Lindsay and I went. It was her first time actually on the Buttressitself, and it made for a fun trip. And visiting with our other team at 17,200’ was great too.
Tomorrow we plan on all climbing up the fixed ropes and on to the Buttress. How far we just don’t know. But, we’ll be sporting nice light packs, a very welcome change for us all.
We’ll be in touch tomorrow night as long as we get back early enough.
Brent, Leon and Lindsay


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 02, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 14,200'
Today the team succeeded in getting our cache all the way up to 17,200’. What an achievement! Another early start had us beating the madding crowds up the fixed ropes and allowing us to enjoy our climb on the Buttresswith a peaceful solitude.
At Washburn’s Thumb everyone was climbing well, but we decided to send one team on up to high camp while the rest of us conserved our strength and descended back to camp from 16,600’. After all, we had reached the highest point many of us had ever climbed to and were doing well. Our team of go-getters who went on higher even carried some of our personal caches with them so that all our cache would be together at our next and final camp. I’m still so impressed by how this team pulls together and helps each other out in times like these. It should be noted that seldom do any teams make the effort or have the strength to carry all the way up to 17,200’ camp.
What we experience while climbing the terrain between the fixed ropes and 17,200’ is nothing short of awesome. And for most of us this is the most exciting climbing we have ever done. Steep, exposed and beautiful. What more could we want.
Back at camp now everyone is resting well and looking forward to a real rest day. We’ll sleep in and dine on smoked salmon, bagels and cream cheese. And maybe after that we’ll get into something else. It will be a well deserved day of rest!
Until next time…
RMI Guides Brent, Leon and Lindsay


Posted by: Brent Okita, Lindsay Mann, Leon Davis | June 02, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 14,000'
“Its a miracle, I lit the stoves!” Exclaimed Roberto as he woke up the team this morning. When we entered the cook tent Roberto and Brent had laid out a spread of bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon. Roberto was quite the Italian gentlemen this morning running the stoves and serving hot water, while insisting everyone enjoy their morning coffee and cider, and even giving us a short Italian lesson. A big grazie to Roberto, our favorite Italian chef at 14,000 feet!
After a leisurely breakfast we took a walk out to the edge of the world. The edge of the world got its name because it drops away 6,000 feet below you. Allowing us to see our previous camp at 7,800 feet and giving us fantastic views of the Alaskan range.
That was our big event of the day, and now we are resting and preparing for our move to 17,000 foot camp.
Other exciting news was that RMI Guide Gilbert Chase on the McKinley May 15th Expedition checked in this morning as RMI Guide Billy Nugent and team were making their summit bid. We expect to hear from them later on tonight.
Sitting strong at 14,
RMI Guides Lindsay, Brent and Leon and team


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 03, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,000'
Hi, this is Brent along with Leon and Lindsay calling from 17,000’ camp on the West Buttress here on Mt. McKinley.
We have just gotten up to our high camp here today after a grueling but a great climb in which everyone climbed super well.  Right now it’s about 10 o’clock and the guides are just getting into their sleeping bags after getting dinner and filling up water bottles and all that good stuff. 
Currently the conditions are pretty good, a little windy just 20 mph winds.  We are in a bit of a white out, a little snow blowing but not too bad.  
We are up here now, the forecast isn’t for horrible conditions but not bluebird, perfect conditions either.  And that’s ok for us because we wouldn’t mind a rest day after our big climb up from the 14,000’ camp this morning.
We’ll be waking up early to check the weather just in case we have a perfect day.  If that’s the case and there’s no wind then we are going to go for the summit tomorrow morning.  So wish us luck on that.  Otherwise we’ll be here and we have plenty of supplies to last us through any storm that might come our way. 
That is all from 17,000 foot camp.


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 05, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
We fared well on our first night at 17,200’. Any little headaches of the day before vanished come morning and everyone was in good spirits by the time I ‘woke’ them up at 10:30. Needless to say we didn’t go for the summit this morning. It was somewhat windy and cloudy all day with snow falling occasionally. Just another day at 17,200’ camp.
After rather prolonged brunch we got after building some respectable walls for our tents and Posh House. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to build a nice boudoir to house our CMC (clean mountain can). But, there’s always tomorrow should we not get a chance for the summit.
The weather forecast is not promising for the next couple of days, but considering that they are as often wrong as right up here, that doesn’t bother me. I’ll be getting up in the cold morning hours regardless to see for myself.
Everyone is feeling good and doing well up here in this rather inhospitable world of cold and high elevation. And when it came time to crank out the block cutting and wall building this team went after it. That said, we all sure appreciated getting out of the gusty winds and snow when the time came to finish for the day. Lunch in the Posh and some horizontal time in the tents never felt better.
Finally, we all want to shout out a big Happy Birthday to Phil. Phil. we miss you dearly and wish you were up here with us, cutting blocks and eating dehydrated meals. Now tell me, can you beat that down there? I didn’t think so.
Let’s hope for a change in the weather. It doesn’t seem quite so windy right now, so ...
Goodnight from 17,200’
RMI Guides Brent, Leon and Lindsay


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 06, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
No. I’m afraid there were no royal celebrations of summit success for us today as we began the morning getting up with guarded optimism that the clouds and wind above us would dissipate just enough to allow us to get in a summit bid. But that did not happen, and instead we retreated back to our tents after prolonging our time over breakfast in the Posh.
Unfortunately the clouds descended and eventually we were enveloped in wind and snow that just took some of the energy and motivation we needed to work on camp. So, instead we spent a restful morning in our tents, snug and warm from the elements just beyond the thin nylon fabric we rely so vitally on for our comfort and survival.
What do we actually do during these times while waiting for the weather to improve? Of course, reading, listening to music, playing games all come to mind, but simply catching up on sleep is huge. With winds buffeting our tents during the night, coupled with the excitement and anxiety that affects us all before a possible summit day, we can all use the downtime. In fact, it’s the climber that deals with this forced inactivity well that tends to be the better climber. A capacity for patience is a hallmark of good expedition climbers.
But, I never thought that spending an entire day in the old fart sack helped you out much in terms of adjusting to the altitude, so when we got a nice break in the weather we went out and built the nicest bathroom on the mountain, walled and roofed, and ready for whatever the mountain throws at us. At least we’ll take comfort knowing that, when that inevitable time comes, we’ll be able to answer that call without sheets of wind blown snow covering our clothes and all too vulnerably exposed parts of our anatomy.
As for tomorrow, though the forecast calls for high winds what I’m seeing right now makes me think we have a chance. The winds have calmed and it’s sunny and beautiful, with simply gorgeous views of the Alaska Rangefrom our perch here just below the summit of the tallest peak in North America. 
And now, some closing words from the poet laureate of the arctic, our own Lindsay Mann:
At 17 we stay
Wishing the wind away
Cutting blocks and sawing snow
People see out camp and say wow!
A ceiling for our bathroom was done
To give us privacy from everyone
Stories over dinner we share 
cause team morale is still there 
Hoping to get the summit 
As soon as these winds plummet 
But for now we sit tight 
And wish for a beautiful night
Good night from Brent Okita, Leon and Lindsay


Posted by: Brent Okita, Lindsay Mann, Leon Davis | June 07, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
This morning we woke up to clear skies and beautiful views. Unfortunately, as we sipped on our morning coffee the clouds began to grow and the wind picked up. Today was not our summit day, instead we got the team moving around and doing more home improvements. I can positively say that RMI Okita has the best looking camp at 17.
Today’s renovations included lowering the floor of the posh ( or cook tent) and revamping the kitchen scene. After these improvements were made everyone enjoyed some reading and napping before a delicious dinner of tortellini served with a cream garlic sauce and sun dried tomatoes. The conversation was flowing over dinner, with stories of bike racing, pets, hunting and books.
Again we are optimistic about tomorrow’s weather, which is calling for a high pressure system to move in.
Wishing the wind away,
RMI Guides Lindsay, Leon, Brent and team


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 07, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
Good things come to those who wait…
At least that is what we must remind ourselves of. Another day of marginal weather had us scratching our heads about the possibility of a summit bid while other teams have had enough and are headed down.  But with a fortified camp and a weeks worth of food and fuel, we plan to exercise patience and optimism. As storm days stack up, it is all too easy to let altitude and lethargy tear a person down.  Exercise is the best remedy, and so this afternoon we climbed the first hour of the autobahn to stretch the legs and open the lungs.  With new snow covering the route, we worked hard breaking new trail up to 17,700 feet, and the pickets that protect the steep slopes had to be dug out.  To be sure when our time comes to go for the top, our team will be the most acclimated and best conditioned team at high camp.
High and Mighty at 17K
RMI Guides Okita, Davis & Mann


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 09, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
Day 6 at camp 17! Woke up to a foot of fresh powder around noon. Had a late brunch of leftover cereal, oatmeal, and soup. After some posh time we hit the shovels and dug out our tents. The rest of the afternoon we’ll be reading and eating, two of our favorite pastimes in the comfort of our tents. We’re cautiously optimistic that tomorrow will bring a summit bid! We’re in good spirits and have plenty of resources to stick it out for another couple days!
-Kristen and Gary


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 10, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
Well, we’re still here at 17,200’, day 7 up here and no summit in sight. In my 22 years of doing this I’ve never stayed here over seven days. I guess there’s a first for everything. 
But the team is still strong and committed to tagging the summit despite our little weather delays. And it’s still only day 17 for us, so we’re still well within our time frame for these trip.
This morning was nasty, so we relaxed in our tents until 11:00am and had the brunch that has become all too familiar these days. At that time the wind and snow abated somewhat and I entertained for the first time doing an evening climb of sorts. With a bit of a cloud cap over the summit conditions were not ideal, but we had been having some rather consistent clearing in the afternoon and evenings, and with daylight throughout the evening, late starts are not unheard of.
So, we set out for the summit knowing full well that if we encountered worsening weather we’d simply turn back. The important thing for us was to get in some walking to maintain out strength, acclimatization, and mental health.
The route that we had punched in the day before was gone, so we had to plow through 1-2’ of snow to establish the route. Luckily the snow was quite stable and allowed us to reach almost 18,000’ before I made the tough call to turn back in the face of some increasing winds and certainly not improving conditions.
But, we had reestablished the route and gotten in a little exercise. And everyone had climbed well! We’ll be ready when the weather gods finally allow us to climb.
Back at camp over dinner we discussed just how long we might stay here at 17,200’ waiting for our opportunity. Wednesday seemed like a date that would be reasonable to make our last day here. We have food and fuel to go beyond then, but for those of you wondering when your loved one will be coming back, I would say a few days after that would be reasonable. That being said, we do have some on the team that are willing to stay on beyond then. And for them, I guess I’d have to say that I too would be willing to stick around.
But… Let’s not go there quite yet.
Kristen would like to wish Billy a happy birthday. And Gary would like to send Angela hugs and kisses from 17,200’ camp.
All for now. Thanks for reading our dispatches!
RMI Guides Brent, Leon , Lindsay and the rest of the team


Posted by: Brent Okita | June 11, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
Last night we received another foot of snow, though it wasn’t nearly as windy as the previous night. Although it was a significant storm, come morning something about it felt different causing me to check the   weather regularly. Sure enough, by the time we got up at 9:30 the skies had cleared and it was beautiful. Except for the winds blowing the new snow around Denali Pass and the ridge above.
It was yet just a little too windy for us, plus all the trail breaking of the previous days was gone, so we hung out at camp and enjoyed our nicest day at 17,200’ yet. Another day for the snow to settle will help reduce any avalanche risk as well However, a report by another guide that poked his nose into the conditions affirms what we have been seeing already, and eases my mind considerably.
After a breakfast of grits, Leon, Lindsay and I went down to 16,200’ to help out our next group led by Tyler Jones by bringing their cache of food and fuel up to 17,200’. This eases their move day enormously, and gets some provisions up here in case our already less than stellar luck with the weather turns south even further.
And now, for the first time all trip, I’m very optimistic about our chances for the summit. Things seem like they are finally falling info place. Of course, tomorrow is another day ...
Right now it is warm and windless, and we are getting ready for dinner. Wish us luck!!!


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 12, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
Held hostage by the fickle nature of the weather for ten (or is it eleven now?) days at 17,200’ my brain is in hardly any shape to draw all the parallels to that epic saga and our own story here. But some stand out:
Ours has become a very long story of the challenges we face when not all elements in our world are in our control. And in our struggle to deal with these challenges, we face a bit of an emotional roller coaster as optimism fades when a new reality asserts itself.
This morning the hope of a nice summit day came crashing down as we received heavy snow and high winds starting in the wee hours of the morning.  Tyler Jones at 14,200’ camp reported over two feet of new snow and 50 mph winds.
So, once again we dug out camp with face protection, heavy gloves or mittens, and ski goggles on before breakfast. It was here that, given what we’ve been through up here, and the reality of just how long a human being can actually live at this altitude and harsh environment, we chose Thursday as our ‘up or down’ day.  But, this still gives us a chance to summit. Tomorrow might not be perfect, but, Thursday has been forecasted to offer ‘light and variable’ winds.
I’m generally an optimist, but at this point even I can succumb to a heaviness in my outlook after having so many of my summit plans thwarted.  But, as we discover in Tolstoy’s classic, sometimes what matters most is not some obvious achievement, but rather a deeper sense of accomplishment or understanding that comes with living life well, and to the fullest.
Let’s hope tomorrow our dispatch will be a bit more succinct. Like just one word.
Love, kisses and heavy thoughts from your team at 17,200’.


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 14, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 17,200'
Hi, this is Brent from 17,000’ on Mt. McKinley and I just wanted to report that we did summit here last night and we actually just going to bed right now, [it’s] about 3:30 in the morning. It was a bit of an epic night with some trail breaking and some cold winds but everyone did really well and we are all safe back at camp. So congratulations to the team here, we will be descending down to probably 11,000’ [camp] tomorrow. Alright, talk to you later. Bye bye.


Posted by: Brent Okita, Leon Davis, Lindsay Mann | June 17, 2012 
Categories: *
Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley 
Elevation: 358'
We all finally got off the glacier yesterday afternoon as our flight service, K2, did a wonderful job getting everyone out when conditions seemed like they might close in and shut down flights.
After a remarkable twelve days at 17,200’, we are all skinny and inhaled large portions of meat, fish, and beer last night. I write this last dispatch as we are riding to the airport to return home to loved ones, and put this remarkable trip behind us.
Huge kudos go out to a very strong and committed team of climbers, and to two incredible guides, Leon Davisand Lindsay Mann, who worked so hard to make this trip safe and enjoyable, and who were there at the end when the climbing got really tough and the mountain could not have been harsher.
That’s all for this year. I need to see my wife and play with the dog. And I’m sure the lawn needs mowing. Thanks for following us on this unprecedented trip. I’ll be back next year for a shorter, and less exciting expedition.

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