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pete_a

favorite, least favorite items brought to Denali?

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Getting ready to head to the west buttress in three months for the first time. Picked up lots of great info from friends,books, etc. but I'm always looking for more info.

Just curious if there was any particular piece(s) of gear that you were really glad to have? anything you brought and never used? Favorite dinner that you made up there? least favorite? Thanks in advance!

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Most favourite item:

 

1 lb coffee, Starbucks, dark roast. Nothing beats coffee in the morning!

 

Favourite foods:

- peanut butter

- bagels

- cookies

- oatmeal

- assorted nuts

 

Least favourite foods:

- Powerbars, Cliff bars, anything resembling same.

 

Favourite gear:

- Randonee ski gear. Would've absolutely *hated* snowshoes.

- Handwarmers. I don't have the world's best circulation, and these kept me going above a windy Denali Pass.

 

Lease favourite gear:

- Sleds. You will come to loathe even the merest mention of a sled.

 

Best single thing to do:

- Press on through piss-poor weather to the 14k camp. Unless the avi conditions are horrible, you're better off getting there as quickly as you can to set yourself up for a good weather window.

 

Biggest thing I wish I had:

- Booze. Waiting at KIA for a ride out is the perfect time to warm up for the West Rib Pub, and not being able to is really boring. Thankfully there was a floating fifth of Maker's Mark in Lisa's (Roderick, sister of Paul, owner of Talkeetna Air Taxi, the best) tent, enjoyed by a grateful eight.

 

Best barter item:

- Tossup between coffee, booze, and cigarettes. If there are any Russians on the mountain you'd be hard pressed to find better trade than with a carton of Marlboro's. We had lots of Russians, no cigs, thus no vodka.

 

J

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Most valuable things you can bring:

 

- the "warmest" sleeping bag you can find.

 

- climbing buddies you can get along with and trust. Too many folks put together "teams" on this mountain based on their willingness and ability ($$$) to go, rather than compatibility and adequate experience or preparation.

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pete,

i second the walkman, actually a mini-disc player is even better. alcohol is always good and you will make friends real quick with it.

we usually go for a few bottles of whiskey, or single malt, plus some buried guiness at base camp makes for a great treat to return to. whatever you do, don't put the same power bar etc. in your lunch every day. get as much variety as possible. that being said i love Skor bars 220 calories, 120 from fat and they taste best when frozen! for food, dehydrate your own. find some recipes you like and dehydrate them. they taste so much better.

cheers and have a great trip.

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If you are looking to buy a new gizmo, I've loved the MP3 player I picked up last year for clmbing and skiing. I find it's a better weight for taking in the alpine and the no moving parts is less likely to get broken.

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Jerome hit the nail on the head with most of his recommendations. Ditto on Clif bars, everyone was trying to barter those off to some poor fool; toilet paper is a good barter, bring two rolls.

Go light, avoid the sled if at all possible, only bring two weeks worth of food and fuel. Some people managed to avoid the sled... a bit heavier pack but holy hell you'd be a fat cat if you brought skis too.

Tie the ice axe to your harness. I know there's a big reason why not to here, but lose your ice axe out there and you'll be in a world of hurt.

Cell phones work at 14 and above (Verizon has best reception), FM radio comes in good from Anchorage. Turn GPS on from landing strip to 11k so you can use backtrack function on exit, if need be.

Bring postcards with stamps and give them to climbers as they head down and out to Talkeetna to mail for you... the climbers "Pony Express".

XGK's seemed to be the stove of choice, a group used a hanging cartridge stove to heat the tent in the morning up to 14 and then regular stove for higher.

Hape sucks, avoid it.

 

Also, Julie from Mckinley Air Service saved everyone's ass big time by skillfully dipping down into the valley under clouds to catch clear air and start picking folks up to get the hell out. Nobody had gotten out for a week due to the weather and the other air services said we couldn't get out that day due to conditions. This chick plucked people off in two trips before convincing the other companies to start flying in. We had Geeting who, along with the others, eventually picked us up. But she lead the way. Heard from an Iranian climbing dude that she pulled a similar stunt a couple of days later. Nothing against the other air services, but f-ing A, that was impressive. Here's my shameless plug for a pilot I've never met.

 

 

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For the climb:

  • Music device is good for sloggin' up the W. Butt. K-whale comes in good. Nothing like the beasties when skinning up ski hill
  • Group of 3 or more, a Megamid is awesome for a kitchen where you can get out of the tent and socialize. You'll also reel in folks from other groups.
  • Variety in food, don't just repeat the same 3-4 menus over and over (like I did). Don't forget the ramen.
  • Foam cover taped around ice axe. Keeps your fingers from freezing
  • Sweet bag (sleeping, that is fruit.gif )
  • Chair for thermarest 100% mandatory for 2 hour melt sessions
  • Trash/Compactor bags for caches and hauling clean snow
  • Foot powder for the end of the day sock changeover. Aaahh.
  • XGK & some kind of stove board so you can cook IN the tent at 17k if necessary. If the wind is high you may not be able to in the vestibule.
  • For the Butt, forget all the technical gear. Take an axe and picket each, with adequate rescue gear for a Z. Take one ascender and just use a daisy or runner for security when swapping at the anchors on the fixed lines. Batman down for fun

For Basecamp

  • Booze (Tequila, snow, lemon-lime gatorade = instant margaritas & many friends)
  • Food - bring something great for when you get down. Some guy flew in with a hamburger, coke, and fries and sat down in front of 100+ climbers and started eating. He was living dangerously HCL.gif

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Heard from an Iranian climbing dude that she pulled a similar stunt a couple of days later. Nothing against the other air services, but f-ing A, that was impressive. Here's my shameless plug for a pilot I've never met.

 

heard the same story i think fromthe same iranian dude (my friend aarash) he and his friend were the first all-iranian team to climb denali and were quite impressed w/ said lady-pilot

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I like most of the suggestions. Add one VERY important item. You should take a space blanket. Not one of those shitty $1.99 ones. You want to get one of the heavy duty $9.99 ones that have the durrablity of a garden tarp. On those nice weather aclimatization or rest days the only thing you will want to do is get out of the sun. Hang this over your tent or make a vesabule if the wind is not blowing too much. See this picture...

 

http://www.nwclimber.com/climbing/trips/hunter2002/Scan84.jpg FYI: that is wayne1112 in the picture.

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At least a quarter ounce of your favorite genera of cannabis for those storm days to ease the boredom and claustrophobia. Also helps you tolerate the incessant dehydrated food farts your tent mate unleashes every 5 seconds.

 

Second the walkman/mp3/radio suggestions. My partner brought and am/fm walkman and I was jealous.

 

A really good book. I took Delillo's Underworld and read it in less than a week. I don't recommend taking on that heavy though as I had major problems unloading it after finishing.

 

Forget the toilet paper and bring baby wipes instead. You'll thank me.

 

 

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Roid bullets. If you got em and you need em yur golden. Otherwise yur ass'l swing lower than your dick.

Pepto Bismal tabs. You'll go thru a couple dozen for one poorly washed fork.

Variety in candy. Don't short yourself on Snickers.

Luv gluv. Keep em warm. Keep em handy.

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mtn_mouse said:

Bug said:

Roid bullets. If you got em and you need em yur golden.

 

You're showing your age, Bug

yellaf.gif

Easy there Micky. yellaf.gif I was 19 when I first got shot with a roid bullet. It can hit you younguns too. Especially when you are humpin big loads.

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Cover for your eyes when sleeping in bright light.

Booties

Sled w/ poles and an integral zippered cover.

A goat to sacrifice to the weather gods.

A partner you can spend a month w/ in practicaly the same bed. One you get along w/ even when you *know* you're gonna die.

Brains.

Books

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1) Spice wheel

2) Variety of food

3) Tabasco sauce

4) Small deck of cards (2) - storm medican

5) small light weight book - storm medican,swap w/ partner (spare TP)

6) Baby wipes (the type that soaps up when you add water)

6) Booze

 

My partner brought a "Spice wheel" - this saved many a meal. It was a small thing with six different spices. He also brought a small amount of tabasco sauce.

For washing: pre-soaped baby wipes -light and smell good.

We stayed away from dehydrated meals unless needed, we brought just enought to get up the West Rib and back to our cache. Vary your diet.

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I went in 99 in a May that was colder than average. Peanut butter froze solid and was useless. Corn tortillas disintegrated into corn meal, but flour tortillas stayed soft in extreme cold and so did american cheese. I wouldn't bring any freeze dried stuff again because it was so unappetizing I never ate it. I ran short on sugar drink mix and would bring more. Agree with everyone else about the music (I brough a little am/fm radio. Its light, doesn't use much battery, and reception is good). Also bring some kind of soft lip balm because your lips will get hammered. The rangers use Bag Balm.

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excellent the speed record post has broken out of its locked bondage and has taken another thread captive! Please choose a different thread though, this one is high quality information that does not deserve to be sprayed upon.

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nothing is better for tent bound days than some hallucinogens mushsmile.gif

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the time to leave is growing very close indeed...any a you chalkies got anything else to add?

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yeah, don't forget your sunscreen, we are having a scorcher of a spring up here. The air services even remarked in the anchorage daily on how much easier it is to set up basecamp without the usual extra 15' o'snow. Take lots of 50 iso film for all of the sunny weather.

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So the mountain gods are providing some good weather so far this spring? Thats good to hear...

My group is just about ready I think, we've got all our food figured out, all the damn gear has been bought, and we've spent a fair amount of quality time learning a the tricks of what the hell to do when you're hanging from a rope with a sled above you, a pack strapped around your waist, and skis on your feet. We were up on rainier this weekend practicing the art of skiing with sleds while roped together...not easy, but still hopefully a better option than snowshoes smile.gif

Really grateful for all the input everyone has provided on this thread (and all the other threads I've posted).

Ivan- you leaving soon for AK? Ryland, myself, and the rest of the Rednecks on Ice expedition is Alaska bound Thursday May 15th at 10pm...can't wait to end the trip planning and start the suffering!

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