• MT. McKinley

    Go Trek guides Gary Talcott and Tim O’Brien and fellow guide Shaun Sears will lead a group of climbers up the West Buttress Route of Mt. McKinley, Alaska. At 20,320 feet, Mt. McKinley is the highest point in North America and one of the famed “Seven Summits” of the world. This trip is being run through Rainier Mountaineering Inc. The group will assemble in Alaska on June 22, 2004, and if the weather cooperates, will fly on to the Kahiltna Glacier on June 24. Once the group is at base camp, the climb of 14 miles to the summit will begin! The group will have 22 days worth of food and fuel … check back here to keep track of the summit progress! We expect frequent calls about the group’s progress and the first call should come in on Friday June 25, 2004. Wish them the best of luck and check back often for updates!
  • Guides

    Gary Talcott
    Tim O’Brien
    Shaun Sears

  • Climbers

    David Russell
    Pat Leach
    Alex Roberts
    Elizabeth Munro
    Dan Brotherton
    Greg Paul
    Rick Salter
    Jeff Eberle
    Chris Parker

  • Expedition News

    Due to continued high winds at 14,000 feet we were unable to move to the 17,000 foot camp after 5 1/2 days of waiting. With a forcast of even more fierce weather to come, we’ve been forced to make a very tough decision and abandon our summit attempt and get off of the mountain. We are disappointed, but everyone undertands that the summit was optional and that safety was our primary goal. The entire team has now been flown off of the mountain and is safely in Talkeetna awaiting our return flights later today.
  • Friday, July 9, 2004 2:05 PM PDT

    Update to Friday’s earlier dispatch:
    We’ve attempted our move to 17,000 feet but the winds are still far too strong to make camp. We’ve decided to stay another day at Camp 3, 14,000 feet and attempt our move on Saturday.

    Now it looks like Monday could be our earliest summit day. We’ll update you then.

    Thanks!

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 3(14,000 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Friday, July 9, 2004 10:35 AM PDT

    Good news! The weather has broken and the winds are dying down. Today we plan to make our way up to Camp 4 at 17,000 and prepare for our push to the Summit.

    Everyone is in excellent spirits and very excited at the prospect of going for the Summit. Saturday will definitely be a rest day and depending on how everyone feels, we may rest on Sunday as well. The long-term weather forecast is good so it looks like we’ll have our choice of days to make the final ascent. Right now it looks like Sunday or Monday will be our Summit Day.

    Next Update will be on Monday the 12th.

    Check back then, we may have some more good news.

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 3(14,000 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Thursday, July 8, 2004 11:00 AM PDT

    Well we’re still “stuck” at 14,000 waiting out the weather that has continued. There’s a rather large cloud cap over the summit of McKinley and very strong winds at the upper elevations.

    We felt it much better to wait this out in the relative comfort of our camp at 14,000 feet than to move up to our more exposed high camp at 17,000 where gusts are blowing over 50 mph.

    The forecast calls for diminishing winds over the next couple days, so we’re hoping to move up to Camp 4 on Friday or Saturday with a possible summit day on Sunday or Monday. We could be making our decision within the next 24 to 36 hours.

    We’ll update everyone again on Friday the 9th.

    Thanks for following along with us!

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 3(14,000 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Wednesday, July 7, 2004 12:00 NOON

    This day finds us resting in a holding pattern, awaiting better weather. The forecast is for increasing clouds, gusty winds and a chance of snow today. Beginning tomorrow, the clouds are supposed to decrease and create partly cloudy conditions through Sunday.

    Tomorrow if the winds are manageable, we’ll try to sneak up to Camp 4 at 17,000. Friday would be a rest day and it looks like Saturday may be our best day for the summit.

    We’ll update everyone tomorrow or Friday the 9th.

    Thanks for following along with us!

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 3(14,000 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Tuesday, July 6, 2004 11:00 AM PDT

    Today finds all 9 climbers of our party in very good spirits. We are all happy, healthy, feeling strong and enjoying this great climb.

    Yesterday we carried our equipment and laid up our cache at the 16,200 foot level of the mountain in preparation for moving to Camp 4 at 17,000 feet. Today is a rest day back at 14,000. Currently the skies are crystal clear but the winds have picked up and are gusting at speeds up to 50 mph.

    Weather permitting we plan to move to Camp 4 tomorrow, rest there all day on Thursday, and on Friday, July 9th push for the summit.

    Next dispatch will be Wednesday, July 7th.

    Thanks for following our progress!

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 3(14,000 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Friday, July 2, 2004 12:00 NOON PDT

    Today is a rest day for us here at Camp 2 at the 11,000 foot level. Yesterday was spent carrying our loads up to 13,500 feet where we laid up our cache, 500 feet below where we’ll set up Camp 3 at 14,000. We plan to move to Camp 3 tomorrow and on Sunday, carry the rest of our gear up to 14,000 feet.

    Monday will be the day we carry loads up to 16,200. Right now, we have Tuesday scheduled for a day of rest.

    Sunday we’ll be celebrating Independence Day by raising the American Flag we’ve brought with us and on Monday, we’ll celebrate two birthdays. Expedition member Elizabeth Monroe will be turning a year older along with myself.

    If the weather continues to hold out, we plan to make a push for the summit on Friday, July 9th. Next dispatch will be Tuesday, July 6th.

    Thanks for following our progress!

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 2 (11,000 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Wednesday, June 30, 2004 3:20 PM PDT

    We’re all tucked in comfortably at our 11,000 foot Camp 2. Everyone is happy and healthy and aclimitizing well to the elevation.

    A cloudy overcast has moved in which is being compounded by very heavy smoke still blowing our way from the fires which persist in the Alaska Range. The smoke is heavy enough that it’s actually blowing up and over the summit of McKinley.

    Tomorrow July 1st, we plan to carry equipment up to our next camp at the 14,000 foot level. Then on Friday depending on how everyone feels, we’ll either move to Camp 3 at 14,000 ft. or spend an optional “rest” day here at 11,000. Look for my next dispatch this Friday, July 2nd. Thanks for following our progress!

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 2 (11,000 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2004 12:00 PM PDT

    Just a quick update to let you all know that everyone in our group is doing great and the weather continues to be wonderful.

    We do want to pass on that today, one of the other guided climbs on the mountain did suffer a tragic accident much higher on the mountain. A rock fall injured two members of the group and killed one of their climbing guides. The group was evacuated off the mountain by helicopter earlier today.

    We will continue to carry our loads up to the 11,000 foot level with plans to make our first camp there tomorrow. Look for my next dispatch tomorrow, June 30th. Thank you for checking in!

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 1 (9,500 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Monday, June 28, 2004 12:30 PM PDT

    Our climbing troupe has just completed the move to Camp 1 at the 9,500 foot level of the mountain and will be camped here for the next two nights. The weather continues to be wonderful with sunny skies and light warm breezes. There are a number of forest fires off in the Alaska Range putting smoke into the atmosphere and causing some very interesting lighting for us all.

    We are all healthy, very happy and looking forward to the next few days. Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be spent carrying our equipment up to the 11,000 foot level. We’ll spend the night here again on Tuesday night and move to Camp 2 at 11,000 Feet on Wednesday. Look for my next dispatch on Wednesday, June 30th. Thank you for checking in!

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from Camp 1 (9,500 feet) on Mt. McKinley

  • Saturday, June 26, 2004

    The group is camped on the Kahiltna Glacier at 7,800 and enjoying perfect weather with clear skies. Everyone is doing great and very eager to begin our first task of carrying our equipment up to the 9,500 foot level. We will begin to carry loads up to our next camp on Sunday, spend the night again at the Glacier and then move up to our 9,500 foot camp on Monday. The weather forecast is for clear skies and warm weather at least through Tuesday.

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from the Kahiltna Glacier, Mt. McKinley

  • Thursday, June 24, 2004 16:30 PDT

    All parties have arrived on the glacier via airplane where we will be spending the night. Friday we will begin to ferry our equipment up to the 9500-foot level with plans to spend our first night at that level with everyone on Saturday. Spirits are high and the weather is wonderful. Check back on Monday, June 28th for our next dispatch.

    Tim O’Brien
    Submitted via Satellite Phone from the Kahiltna Glacier, Mt. McKinley