Background/Work: Professional photographer, member of the Benelux Mammut athlete team, fireman in The Netherlands for twelve years, paramedic student
Mountain Experience: I coincidentally participated in evacuations of wounded climbers in France, Switzerland, the Andes and high in the Pakistan Karakoram, and I started to grow interest for mountain rescue. I followed courses at the Alpine Rescue Center of Swiss Air Zermatt and the W.M.I. of N.O.L.S.
What have you learned on Denali/ What were some of the highlights? Coming to Denali was a huge honor for me and a big opportunity to see how rescue is being approached in a U.S. National Park.In the Alps it became pretty normal to call for a helicopter whenever you need air support. On Denali the life-or-limb policy asks way more capacity of climbers to provide self-help. It's not that one vision is good or bad; it's just great to see how rescue can have different approaches, based on the resources, politics, culture and environment.It would be interesting to see what happens if we combine the best of the two worlds.
Background/Work: Professional Ski Patroller, AIARE Instructor, Nurse Anesthetist
Mountain Experience: I have been a member of the Mt. Hood Meadows Professional Ski Patrol for 5 seasons. The quality training and experience I gained while ski patrolling along with my Avalanche coursework prepared me well for being a VIP on Denali.
What have you learned on Denali: Having a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard goes a long way while on a 25 day upper mountain patrol. Getting to spend time with the National Park employees, climbing rangers, and the folks of Talkeetna is an experience that is unmatched.
Highlights: High quality coffee during low quality weather, crevasse training outside at Basecamp, Toboggan rescues at 15k, ski traversing from Basecamp to Pika, Grizzly Gap, & Westman Forecasts.
Background/Work: Former park service biologist, EMT-I for 10+ years for Teton County Fire & EMS and Grand Teton National Park, Teton County Search & Rescue member for 10 years, currently working as a RN.
Mountain Experience: Being an EMT and a nurse prepared me for medical situations while on patrol. The training and experiences I gained as a local SAR member also taught me technical skills needed to be a VIP on Denali. My background working in the park service helped me to understand the park’s mission and how it applies to the Denali mountaineering program.
What you have learned on Denali: I learned to not go stir crazy waiting out week long storms. I learned that O2 tubing breaks when it gets too cold. I learned how a bunch of volunteers can work so hard despite not getting paid. I learned how amazing the West Buttress can be despite the crowd.
Highlights: The start of every patrol is a highlight. Watching a mean hack sack session as the sun sets while at 14K. Getting to 14K from 11K and being greeted with popcorn and curry. Helping a climber return home safely after an accident or medical emergency. Seeing the comraderie between the rangers, patrols, climbing teams, and Denali guides. Skiing from 14K to Basecamp at the end of a patrol in perfect corn conditions (roped, of course).
Background/Work: The first participant in the Sherpa exchange program (Denali, Mt. Rainer, and Tetons). I am the climbing leader for all Himalayan expeditions for International Mountain Guides (IMG) and the lead instructor for the Khumbu Climbing Center (KCC)
Mountain Experience: My first Everest summit I was 17 years old. Since then safely climbing mountains has been my focus. I have 10 Everest summits now, 17 Chooyu summits and the current world record, 5 Ama Dablam summits, Lohtse, Manaslu, Kilimanjaro, Denali, Mt Rainer and experienced leading successful climbs and climbing on most continents. I have been trained for high altitude short haul helicopter rescue since 2013. And I graduated the complete NOLS climbing course in 2009
What you have learned on Denali: A lot of my rigging for rescue techniques, methods of crevasse rescue, and how to keep mountains clean I've learned from the DRV program. Now I have the privilege at the KCC of annually sharing my training and teaching up to 200 Sherpa climbers and the Everest Icefall Doctors. My investment of time with the DRV program has been repaid with knowledge that helps me keep my Sherpa friends and family safe and the mountains we all climb clean.
Highlights: In 2009 we had two patients at 17 camp- one with HACE and the other was injured in a avalanche. We successfully lowered both to 14 camp and evacuated them safely from the Denali. I learned priceless lessons about the rigging system and teamwork that I took home to Mt. Everest and in 2013 we lowered a patient from 7,600m to 6,500m and saved a life by using the same technique taught by the Denali Rangers.
Background/Work: I own a company that specializes in the design and installation of custom hydronic heating systems for residential, commercial, military and industrial applications.
Experience: Many Mt Rainier climbs and Ski descents. Previously competed on the Freeskiing World TourField production and safety for 10 years of winter action sports films- focused primarily on trips into remote parts of BC and Alaska Volunteer technical mountain rescue for Mt Rainier and Denali National parks Instructor at Teton Gravity Research's International Pro Riders Workshop (IPRW), Wilderness EMT, Ama Dablam solo
A lot has helped me prepare for my time volunteering for Denali National Park. My experience building my heating company combined with my time skiing and climbing in the mountains is the cornerstone. My devotion of time practicing and continuing to learn about avalanche safety, rigging and rescue techniques, remote medical practices, helicopter and plane travel and evacuation, team dynamics, and the ability to humbly ask questions and learn from the Denali Climbing Rangers has all been important.
What I have learned on Denali: I have learned and retained more from the rangers while in the field than any other group of people I've had the pleasure of traveling the mountains with. Real life patient transport, Portable hyperbaric chamber use, altitude medications, advanced crevasse rescue techniques, helicopter long lining, teamwork. The list goes on and on.
In 2016 I climbed Ama Damblam alone and unsupported from camp one up. With my primary passion being skiing, the mountain terrified me. My time at altitude on Denali combined with my training time with the rangers and an invitation to Nepal from a friendship made on Denali during my last Patrol are the reasons climbing what I previously thought was not possible for me became possible. I'm excited to see what other doors will open from time spent with such a great group on such a special mountain.
Highlights: Unzipping a hyperbaric bag and watching a patient realize she was ok and trust us with her care while high on the mountain with weather that was too bad to evacuate her through. Pow skiing through the heat of summer (see pic) Seeing Denali from the air from the window of one of the nicest helicopters in the world.
Background/experience: I am an outdoor educator and entrepreneur from mid-west Nepal. I currently live in Kathmandu, where I run my guiding company Himalayan Quests and its sister organization, Himalayan Quests Foundation. While I started my career as a river and mountain guide in 1999, I soon developed a passion for outdoor education and leadership and taught international students in study abroad programs with outdoor and cultural exchange components. I am a certified instructor with the “National Outdoor Leadership School” (NOLS), through which I led trips in the American Rockies and Indian Himalayas. I also lead and program coordinate with the outdoor education program “Where There Be Dragons,” which provides 3-month experiential and cultural exchange programs in Nepal, India, and Tibet. I have also been instructing ice climbing to high altitude mountain guides and Sherpas in advance of the expedition season with the Khumbu Climbing Center for 7 years and have served as a lead instructor for 5 years. I am a wilderness first aid responder.
What have you learned on Denali: Tolerance for adversity under inhospitable conditions (80 MPH winds and - 40 degrees centigrade), Importance of team work Crevasse and different mountain rescue skills, Traveling and camping on a glacier, Knowledge of how Denali National Park works, Environmental ethics in the Denali National park, andI learned to poop in a bag!
Highlights: Rescuing the frost bitten Australian climbers from 17K camp to 14K camp, Summitting Denali, Working with an awesome team of like minded people and climbing rangers, Learning new skills and meeting new people