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2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

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2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby wargowsky » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:39 pm

Since no one has started one for this year, here you go!

For this year's climbers: Who's going? When? What route? Good deals on gear, flights, etc?
For those who've been before: Tips? Gear advice? Best practices?

I'm heading up the end of April. Planning on the Butt or Rib Cuttoff, then possibly taking a crack at Saltana Ridge, if we're motivated enough.

TAT and K2 are having early bird specials. $100 off per person!
http://www.flyk2.com/specials/index.html
http://www.talkeetnaair.com/specials

We're planning on TAT.....unless someone has a better idea. See you up there!
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby Vitaliy M. » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:47 pm

Tip: Do sultana ridge first. It is supposed to be in better condition earlier in the year. Cooler route. Also would be good acclimation before buttress/rib cutoff plan. If you do that, you can pretty much go straight to 14K camp, or maybe take a day at one of the lower camps.

TAT is very good. They can fly you out when others are not flying. Happened to us (we got flown out, and a lot of others spent extra days on the glacier due to deteriorating weather).
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:16 am

TAT is my favorite, plus you can crash at their place at the airport or their place in town (showers/kitchen/bunks). Plus they will fly places some others won't.
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby ScottyP » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:23 am

Be there May 13.

Rumor is that TAT has the only IFR plane. Although, there is no IFR nav on the Kahiltna! When we left the strip it was NOT "lower 48" VFR weather :-)
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby wargowsky » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:02 pm

TAT sounds like the way to go. We'll be book with them.

Vitaliy, I was thinking of doing Denali first, so we could acclimatize on a little easier terrain (pulling sleds instead of heavy packs), then head over to Foraker. We'd be starting Saltana around May 12-15th. Is that early enough? Other than getting on it earlier in the season, any reason that we should do Saltana first?
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby Marmaduke » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:56 pm

Just curious, I finished a book on Don Sheldon recently. I know he passed away back in 1975 but he was "The Man" for flying to Denali, is TAT now kinda' that service or does SAS still have the reputation they had under Sheldon?
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:49 pm

TAT is owned Paul Roderick, a pilot legendary for his support of climbers. His sister Lisa, is 'Basecamp Lisa' who does a great job running KIA. For frequent Alaska Range climbers, TAT is their choide, although by volume K2 may do as much or more business, but that is just a guess.
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:57 pm

Vitaliy, I was thinking of doing Denali first, so we could acclimatize on a little easier terrain (pulling sleds instead of heavy packs), then head over to Foraker. We'd be starting Saltana around May 12-15th. Is that early enough?


I would not know, have not climbed Sultana. You should contact rangers for advice. Chances are that you will be tired from long buttress climb, to commit another week or more to staying up there. Doesn't sound too late to climb it though.

Tip: Go to west rib pub, and eat Seward's Folly (from Man vs Food) burger, with ice axe ale. I don't drink beer, and usually do not eat burgers. But before/after a significant trip it goes well! I got the 1/2 version, and was barely able to finish it. nom nom nom I want to come back there again and eat more of those.
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby wargowsky » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:53 pm

Anyone have thoughts on taking a BD Mega Light for a cook tent? we're already taking 2 tents for 3 people. Would the Mega be worth the extra weight?
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:56 pm

wargowsky wrote:Anyone have thoughts on taking a BD Mega Light for a cook tent? we're already taking 2 tents for 3 people. Would the Mega be worth the extra weight?


Megamids are a staple among guided groups on the West Butt. They use them up to the highest camp at 17k. You can excavate benches from the snow, leaving a center table. This configuration is great for cooking and hanging out in out poor weather. If the tent I took did not have a large, useable vestibule, I would insist on a separate took tent. I have never however, seen a SilNylon tarp like the Mega Light used. I have a hunch they would not stand up to high winds as well as their heavier cousins.
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby wargowsky » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:59 pm

Unfortunately it looks like BD doesn't make the Megamid anymore, just the Megalight. I've read a couple reviews that said the Megalight held up perfectly, but I'd like to hear more if anyone has experience with one up there.

So just 2 people going to Denali from Summitpost this year? I guess me Scotty and I will have the place to ourselves!
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:15 pm

wargowsky wrote:Unfortunately it looks like BD doesn't make the Megamid anymore, just the Megalight. I've read a couple reviews that said the Megalight held up perfectly, but I'd like to hear more if anyone has experience with one up there. So just 2 people going to Denali from Summitpost this year? I guess me Scotty and I will have the place to ourselves!

I don't know whether or not the Megalite would be workable but the fellow I climbed Denali with had a Megalight shredded by high winds on Mt Hood. You could email Jason Martin, Program Director at American Alpine Institute. He knows what they send up the West Butt.
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Postby Alan Arnette » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:13 pm

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Last edited by Alan Arnette on Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby Fletch » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:10 am

Bring scotch. Trust me. You'll know when you'll need it.
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Re: 2012 Denali Climbers Thread!

Postby elichten » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:04 pm

I'll be there May 19 (my birthday). I'm going with Alpine Ascents.
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