Denali tips

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Archm

 
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Denali tips

by Archm » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:31 pm

Hey All ,

I'm 8 weeks out from a west buttress attempt , I don't know anyone who
Has climbed it . So Im asking you guys, for any tips , on gear and equipment , advice on what to really focus on training wise for the last few weeks....

Cheers

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splattski

 
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by splattski » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:45 pm

Archm-
Here's my TR of our Denali WB trip (no summit) last year:
http://www.splattski.com/2009/denali/index.html

Gear suggestions:
I didn't believe the advice to carry a steel shovel. Believe it. Also, LifeLink snow saw is too wimpy. You need an ICE saw. Unless you are lucky, you'll spend about 2 hours at each camp building a snow wall, so these are useful tools.

Make sure your boots are broken in and fit properly.

Ummm... feel free to email me with any questions. Happy to help. My direct email is on the linked webpage.

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kevin trieu

 
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by kevin trieu » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:12 pm

bring good food.

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96avs01

 
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by 96avs01 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:48 pm

Best piece of advice we received prior to departure was the following:

"If you wait for good weather to climb Denali you never will"

Agree on the Life-link snow saw. Opt for the Voile shovel/saw instead.

Be sure to hit the Roadhouse for a standard breakfast.

Hope you have a great trip and the weather cooperates.

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roadhouse

by VndlClmbr » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:28 pm

i agree on the roadhouse standard breakfast, also take time to just enjoy it all :)

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Archm

 
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by Archm » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:04 pm

Hey ,

Thanks for the input guys , cool trip report splattski esp the photos of the route, the best I've seen .

One big question is the pack weight , I'm currently training with 22KG ( 48lbs. ) , and trying to push it up to 30kg ( 66 ) , but l tried 27kg this week and suffered.
I don't plan on bringing 30 kg but I'm trying to get it up to that here at sea level. Any thoughts ?

What gear can you get away without , helmet ? Two poles or will one do ?

Cheers

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Alpinist

 
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by Alpinist » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:31 pm

Anything you don't want to freeze needs to go into your sleeping bag at night; batteries, snacks, gloves, boot liners, socks, water bottle, etc. (It'll get pretty crowded in there.)

Walkie talkies are helpful for the daily weather forecast.

Stay hydrated and use a lot of sun screen.

The walk to the "Edge of the World" was worth it at 14K.

Have fun and good luck!

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splattski

 
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by splattski » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:43 pm

I trained with a huge pack. I only carried that much on the mountain on one afternoon, when one of the fellas was feeling poorly. But being fit is a good thing in any event. On the mountain, I think you're better off doing multiple carries and not wearing yourself out.
As someone said, enjoy the mountain. It might take a few extra days, but what the heck, eh?

We had lousy luck with cell phones and radios. If I go back, I'm going to spring for a sat phone. The folks back home want to hear from you- let them enjoy vicariously. Or at least a SPOT, although from recent experience that raises as many questions as it answers: "They're not moving! Did they fall in a crevasse?"

We took more clothing than we needed. And skis were not the ideal solution. But it all depends on the conditions you encounter- we had rock-hard snow, almost no precip (always dry), and it never got that cold (-25° min). YMMV

And as someone else pointed out- lots of things are different if you are with guides vs. on your own.

No helmet. Two poles. And here's a real snow saw:
http://snowsaw.com/
Last edited by splattski on Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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splattski

 
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by splattski » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:05 pm

I worked my way up to a 70# pack. On the mountain, my pack was almost always less than that. I didn't bother training with a sled, and my hips were talking to me a bit. But I was fit enough to deal with it.
Part of my TR includes our plan, our training, etc.:
http://www.splattski.com/2009/denali/plan.html

Of course, plans are, well, plans.

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by jvarholak » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:35 pm

100-120# of gear per person is certainly not unusual to start out with (split between pack and sled) given food, fuel, CMC, kit, etc. for up to 3 weeks on mountain. Granted you won't be hauling it all at once (except to Camp one or two) because you'll be caching gear on carry days and retrieving it on back-carry days. You could certainly get by with less # but be certain that your gear is culled carefully.... no sense taking chances, it's a serious mountain as you know.
john

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by Snowslogger » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:40 am

Archm wrote:Hey ,

Thanks for the input guys , cool trip report splattski esp the photos of the route, the best I've seen .

One big question is the pack weight , I'm currently training with 22KG ( 48lbs. ) , and trying to push it up to 30kg ( 66 ) , but l tried 27kg this week and suffered.
I don't plan on bringing 30 kg but I'm trying to get it up to that here at sea level. Any thoughts ?

What gear can you get away without , helmet ? Two poles or will one do ?

Cheers


Two poles. Definitely get strong, try to up the pack weight for training (water is good as you can dump it at the top of a hill to not strain you knees going down). For the carry up to the high camp it will all be on your back. Good to practice with sleds to get a feel for how they handle (bungie cords make good easily removable brakes), but not that necessary to train with them regularly. Try to get your back strong (think snow shoveling motion with a short shovel - hard). Most people don't take helmets although guide services may be starting to recommend/require them. Take some sort of music player that uses batteries or is rechargable - invaluable for a break from your partners.

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by tigerlilly » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:51 am

Splattski, that is a very enjoyable Denali trip report you've got there. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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splattski

 
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by splattski » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:58 am

Glad you enjoyed it Tigerlilly. It was an awesome trip.

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Brad Marshall

 
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by Brad Marshall » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:12 am

At the start keep more weight in your sled than in your pack, maybe 65/35. As the angles increase place more weigh in your pack and less in the sled until the numbers are reversed on the steepest parts below 14k. Don't tie your pack to the sled too tightly or you'll deform the bottom allowing the whole set up to tip over easier than it should. :evil:

Two poles up to 14K then some opt for a single pole and their ax up to the summit. Intuition liners can shave a pound off your boots and don't freeze at night. I like my 3.4 oz. SMC 7075 aluminum snow saw.

Also, using Aqua Mira drops to treat cool water instead of boiling it every time allows you to drink it immediately and saves on fuel.

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edl

 
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by edl » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:01 am

Just a few minor details you might already know, but could be helpful.

Carry a thin pair of gloves just for bathroom use. Carry a small personal bottle of hand sanitizer with your TP, and a larger one with the kitichen supplies.

Bring a small bottle of lotion for your face and hands.

Replace the laces in your boots. Busting a shoe lace at 20,000 ft sucks.

Put some silicon spray on your jacket and tent zippers. Stuck zippers suck.

Bring ear plugs. Bring a small stick of underarm deoderant.

Make sure your feet dry out every night.

Be prepared for lots of tent time. Audio books on MP3 players weigh less than real books. I perfer the cheap MP3 players with spare AAA batteries, but a solar charger for an IPOD works. Bring a spare set of ear buds. Radio reception high on the mountain is really good, so bonus if your MP3 player has FM.

Don't bring a headlamp.

Second the suggestion for sat phone, or at least a cell phone. Calling home once in a while will go a long way towards ensuring that the next trip will happen.

Heat injuries maybe more common on Denali than cold injuries. It's surprising how hot the lower glacier can get. Bring a very light long sleeved shirt, and a bandanna or wide brimed hat.

Leave a set of clean clothes and some delicious junk food at a cache at the glacier airstrip. You might be stuck there a few days on your way home.

If you put your water bottles in insulated covers and stick them between sleeping bags, they will stay unfrozen on all but the coldest nights. That will save room in your sleeping bag and makes a nice boundary between you and your tent mate.

Carry a mesh bag for the stuff you want to stick in your sleeping bag. Makes it eaiser to organize everything, but still allows stuff to dry.

Don't get in such a hurry on the trip down you forget to apply sunscreen.

And like others said, eat, drink and sleep. It can be tough, because you first three things you lose at elevation are your appitite, thirst and ability to sleep. Force it if you have to.

Most of all, have fun, relax, and enjoy the experience!

The following user would like to thank edl for this post
ibekker

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