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2013 Denali Climbers Thread

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2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby bellows » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:15 pm

Hey all,
Any 2013 Denali climbers out there? My soon-to-be wife and I are heading up to Denali May 24 - June 16 for an independent attempt on the West Buttress. We’re excited about the social aspect of the route with lots of likeminded folks enjoying a challenging climb. I’ve done numerous Cascade volcanos multiple times and some of my favorite trips are up the trade routes (eg DC on Rainier) because of the social atmosphere in the camps and on the mountain. So speak up if you’ll be up there this spring/summer and let’s get the party started! :D

For those of you that have been up there, any good tips? Especially food recipes! We’re looking for some tasty options, what were your favorite meals up there? Also, any unusual gear secrets? My soon-to-be wife and I are pretty dialed with glacier travel, crevasse rescue, etc but always looking for new tips and advice as it applies to Denali vs lower 48 glacier climbs.

Cheers!
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:38 pm

You picked a great time frame. Can't ever predict the weather, but on average first half of June sees the most summits as I remember.

Bring a pee bottle. Flexible nalgene works well. (learn to use it before the trip) :)

Mountain House is great for high camps. I like Chicken a la king a lot. There is mashed potatoes with grilled chicken breast which is good too. In the morning I like granola with strawberries (by some other freeze dried food company).

Make moving to 14K your #1 priority. Even if weather sucks still do your best to move through it lower on the mountain (as long as avalance danger is low and it is reasonable). There is nothing worse than being stuck somewhere bellow 12k for several days. To summit you need to acclimate at 14k.

Pick good partners.

I think I will write an entry on my blog with many more tips about that climb. Some people might find it useful...
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby 96avs01 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:29 am

bellows wrote:For those of you that have been up there, any good tips?


Practice rigging/pulling a sled/ski pulk before you get there. Your legs will thank you.

Loved M&M's, lots of varieties, and salami and cheese. If you opt for dehydrated food, boost the calorie content by adding olive oil. Real food was great on the lower glacier (e.g., bacon and/or breakfast sausage with pancakes or egg beaters). Stash some alcohol in your base camp cache. If you can't get a flight out on your descent day, you will thank me (provided you are a drinker). Best advice we got before we went "If you wait for good weather, you will never climb Denali". We headed this advice and avoided a situation that VM alluded to...being stuck on the lower mountain for several days.
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby ScottyP » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:38 am

I trained dragging a tire uphill once a week, sled was a non event! Bacon, bacon and more bacon!
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby radson » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:03 am

Yeah that pre-cooked Bacon from Costco was awesome..yum
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby Vitaliy M. » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:58 pm

Ravioli, ramen, NUTELLA. I would take a bucket of nutella with me into my sleeping bag. Wake up some time in the middle of the night and have some sweet warm nutella to put me back to sleep. Great source of tasty calories. (I was not paid for this commercial)
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby ScottyP » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:37 am

Life is too short for ramen!!
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby AndyJB444 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:39 pm

Bacon. Lots, and lots of bacon!
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby chickentikka » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:44 am

I'm keen to give it a shot. Just did Aconcagua. Trying to find a buddy to do it with me. Really don't want to use a guide. Just doesn't feel right.
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:00 pm

Dunno.... I think June is too late. I like May better.
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby chickentikka » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:39 am

Anyone think if I show up on the West Buttress June 1st with all the equipment I should be able to find a partner then? This has worked well for me before on other mountains.
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby wargowsky » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:40 am

You've got to be on a permit. Permits are finalized way in advance. You might be able to get a solo permit and tag along with someone, but that's a lot of time and $ to risk.
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby chickentikka » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:41 am

Yes, that's what I was thinking. Apply for the solo permit and just show up. On other mountains I've done this and always made friends at base camp or along the way.

Point taken about time and $.

However, I just can't quite bring myself to book a guided trip. It just doesnt feel right.
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby pvnisher » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:40 pm

chickentikka wrote:However, I just can't quite bring myself to book a guided trip. It just doesnt feel right.


Why not?
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Re: 2013 Denali Climbers Thread

Postby chickentikka » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:52 am

Cause then you get some guy named Cody who leads groups 8 times per season, doesn't care about summit, and is jaded and pissed off. When bad weather sets in he says, "Nope, too dangerous. Sorry guys. I care about your safety. And your shot clock expires and he says. Welp, I gotta take care of the next group. Rince and repeat."

I've read all about this happening on Alan Arnettes blog and seen it first hand on aconcagua.

Nah, I'd rather go at my own pace and with my own risk tolerance. I love the feeling of independence on a mountain, and walking in a prison train having cody tell me when to sit and when to march isn't about that. If I wanted that I would have joined the army.
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