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pete_a

favorite, least favorite items brought to Denali?

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i am really suprised no one has listed "hot chick" never a moment or event where a hot chick pays off some how....

 

amatuers, you are all amatuers! yellaf.gif

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landed on the pika glacier last year, there were seven women and three men. beautiful sunny weather. and we were the only ones who bothered to bring any alcohol grin.gif

made you want to go visit the other campsites a bit more often!

so yeah, i second Erik, take a "hot chick" along

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Lots of good suggestions here. I would like to add/reiterate:

 

Music! (MP3 player or Minidisc) One of my partners last year brought a minidisc player and a little set of speakers that plugged into the headphone jack.

 

Disco Tent!

rockband.gif

 

Booties! You will spend a LOT of time putzing around, walking around camp to socialize, piss, etc. You don't want to have to put yer big old boots on every time. These don't need to be humungous ultra-warm things that come up to your thighs, smaller/lighter is fine.

 

Chair! Sitting in a tent all day is very preferable to laying in a tent all day. I brought a crazy creek, but I think the thermarest kits are lighter.

 

Book! Bring one and trade it. I read five!

 

Food: HCL.gif Try out your planned meals before the trip. Variety is good. Hot Chocolate, Cheese (cut up in chunks), Butter, Hot Sauce, Tuna (in those foil envelopes), "Sucking Candies" like peppermint disks. BOOZE! (leave some buried in your cache at the airstrip). We ate lots of pasta with cheese and butter. That was our standard meal and I didn't get very tired of it, but variety is good. We had a variety of mix-ins like dehydrated veggies (buy your own dehydrator!), tuna, etc. Dried fruit is good, especially whole dried bananas (not banana chips) and dried mango (not the really sugary stuff). I strongly urge you to buy a food dehydrator and prepare all this stuff yourself. It will taste better and be much cheaper and LIGHTER.

 

We had instant grits with butter and hot sauce for breakfast several times. I prefer this over oatmeal which never seems to give me any energy. I used a Ziploc plastic bowl WITH LID and cut my spoon handle a bit so the spoon would fit inside. This was very handy and kept my dinnerware organized. Stove board (you can make one with an old license plate) is key.

 

Advice: You will PROBABLY be able to get food and fuel from climbers heading down, especially at 17K & 14K, so be conservative with what you bring. Don't hump extra crap up there that you aren't going to need! Check out the free food bins at the air taxi places. Climbers dump lots of servicable food/gear there. Don't bring a lot of technical gear. The Butt is an easy route and the only technically hard part has fixed lines. Axe (w/ foam insulated head), lightweight crampons (aluminum are fine for the Butt), thin rope, Z-pulley stuff (a tibloc is a great addition), one picket each, prusik rig, a bit of stretchy bungees for shock-absorbers on sled (try to get a sled with the cord already on it).

 

Keep in mind that there are hundreds of people on the West Buttress. You will be able to borrow/barter lots of stuff. Granted you should strive for self-sufficiency, but if you forget something, you will probably be able to get it. For example, my team of three carried two shovels, a snowsaw and a small spade (heavy but very useful for hardpacked snow/ice) and we loaned it out numerous times. We probably could have just borrowed shovels and the saw in the camps and could have left them all at home, except for the spade. We didn't bring a cell phone, but other teams let us use their cell/satelite phones once or twice. Remember, weight is the enemy.

 

Digital cameras are nice. Canon Digital Elph is small and takes nice pictures. Performed fine in cold temps. Small film cameras are fine too.

 

Zinc oxide for your nosey & lips. Sunhat of some sort (baseball cap with bandana works). Nose guard for sunglasses. Light colored lightweight longsleeve underwear top. The sun can be brutal, be prepared.

 

Baby wipes are nice for cleanliness/comfort. SMALL bottle of hand sanitizer is probably a good idea.

 

Don't bring:

Ice screws, extra axes, most "extra"/"backup" shit in general, lots of extra clothes, air taxi radio (someone in camp will have one and share the weather forecast), big medical kit (bring ibuprofren, diamox and moleskin, that's it), your own sled, helmet, a "summit pack", bivy sack. Just my opinion on that stuff, make your own decision. And for Chrissake, DO NOT bring dehydrated chili! The human body does not digest that sort of protein well at altitude and HOLY SHIT does it stink for days and days!!!

 

Canabis is an EXCELLENT idea, if you are into that sort of thing.

 

Skis are far superior to snowshoes. Ski! I didn't, but I will next time.

 

If you call your significant other from 14K or 17K, you will get SERIOUS brownie points. My GF still talks about it.

 

Good Luck!

 

Check out my Denali TR:

http://www.tradgirl.com/climbing_faq/mountaineering/18days_on_denali.htm

 

 

 

 

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Hey Alpinfox, I just checked out your Denali TR, and in the second photo you guys packing your shit up. Was there a dirt bag guy passed out on the couch next to you there, so stinking drunk that the mosquitos didn't even bother with me that night. We had just gotten out of little switzerland that day and tried to hobo the train back to anchorage, i almost got caught, but my buddy made it to los anchorage, borrowed a car and was back in talkeetna in time for 10 am breakfast!

You guys weren't the ones cooking your breakfast on an msr were you, cause I told those guys to go buy a meal they were in for 3 weeks of cooking gruel on a crappy stove grin.gif

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Alpinfox-

 

Checked out your t.r. months ago...got lots of good info from it, and thanks for all the advice in your post...

We're trying to keep from bringin too much crap, we're all following the NOLS meal rationing system of about 2lbs of food a day, I know that we could plan to accept handouts from other folks to cut our food weight, but we want to try to stay self sufficient.

 

I'm bringing a thermarest chair kit, our group of five decided to bring a megamid to do our cooking in as we can't really squeeze 5 of us into any of our tents, and I think we've got a good variety of food, we're bringing pressure cookers so that we can actually cook 'normal' meals with reducing cook times up on the mountain. And I picked up a dehydrator a while ago and have been filling up a few ziplocs with bananas and strawberries, and been dehydrating peppers and onions to add to our dinners.

One of our team members is coming from Atlanta...he's cooking us up with instant cheese grits, bacon grits, and god knows what other flavors of grits.

 

 

Edited by pete_a

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bDubyaH said:

Was there a dirt bag guy passed out on the couch next to you there, so stinking drunk that the mosquitos didn't even bother with me that night?

_______________________________

Oh, that was you, I thought I smelled something.... blush.gif

 

No, I don't remember seeing you. There were a couple of Japanese guys cooking some god-awful stinky fishy shit, but I don't remember any drunk hobos. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed my TR.

 

I thought of another thing NOT to bring. Wands. Bring some to mark your caches, but its really not necessary to wand the route. The Butt is well wanded and if you are worried about getting lost, bring a GPS or just follow the ruts in the snow and the trail of pee-holes. blush.gif

The Butt is even less of a pristine wilderness experience than I expected. Thankfully there isn't a lot of visible trash (except for abandoned wands) along the route, I don't know if this is due to climbers being responsible or wind, snow, and ravens taking care of the mess.

 

Anyway, I think I have beat this topic to death. Best of luck and give us a TR when you get back.

 

Cheers,

bigdrink.gif

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oh yeah,

i believe that they are fixing ropes at denali pass this year (sight of most west butt accidents). should be interesting to see what the response is to that.

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Hey, perhaps we'll somehow see each other up there. My team is heading for the Kahiltna although I guess we'll miss each other since we are not heading for Denali, but I'd like us to somehow link up. We are planning on peak bagging in the area - Crosson, Francis, Kahiltna Dome, Peters Dome(?).

 

We havent decided a team name yet but we have considered Bushwhackers on Ice.

 

Maybe we'll see ya up there. Good luck on your climb. And yeah, it is coming up quick, eh? hahaha.gif

 

Dox

 

 

 

 

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Actually what I have found useful to bring is a little sponge to mop up/scrape off all the frozen condensation on the inside of your tent. You scrape it all into a shove blade or pot lid when u wake up that way it isn't snowing in your tent when you are moving around inside getting ready to go.

Thats a geeky tip.... but i highly recommend it.

 

As for luxuries. Salsa and natcho chips in your base camp cache is killer..... Single malt scotch ain't too bad either tongue.gif

 

Have phun!

 

 

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just returned from denali, etc. least favorite thing brought were two of my climbing partners (a couple!!!) never again! they broke up FIVE times in FIVE weeks. dear god. luckily the favorite thing i brought was my third climbing partner. second least favorite thing brought was my sled. no more sleds for this girl. mark twight may have it right after all...

cheers!

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Just got back from D this week. Solio solar charger is my new toy and worked great.

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booties are my number one.

 

we did without music. to keep ourselves occupied we used 16oz nalgenes as piss containers, and acted shocked when the overflow slopped onto the other dudes sleeping back while tossing out the door. when that wore off, during one 3-day storm, we somehow noticed that with several days of bed-rest one's resting heart rate starts to drop. Mine got down to 44 before the storm let up.

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Favorite items:

-ipod (flash drive)

-Solio solar charger

-Zoroishi Thermos

-personal Sit pad for Posh/Megamid Tent

-foot powder

 

Least Favorite:

Rental 800 Down Parka with snap on hood (snaps came off ALL the time and had air gaps (bite the bullet and buy one).

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On two Denali trips back in the eighties, by far the "most favoritest" item I took was a pressure cooker. Yeah, its a bit heavier than a "mountainteering" kettle, but we found that we actually saved more than the weight difference in fuel, and it allowed us to cook "real" food on the approach ski, and we could get water hot enough to cook rice above 14000'. Peter Hackett's MD pals actually got more excited, at our potlucks, about my "scratch" split-pea soup at 14000' than they did about the steaks and salmon they had air-dropped for these occasions!

 

A good sled is the other must-have. With rigid handles clipped to a waist belt, and long skegs to keep it tracking behind you, we found it easier to drag 100lb loads on sleds than to carry 50lbs on our backs. Never made double carries.

 

A book or two that goes well for reading aloud makes the storm days bearable, or cribbage, or backgammon...

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3 things that haven't been mentioned so far:

 

1. Lotrimin - because 3 weeks in one pair of underwear breeds fungus.

2. Foot powder - because I know people who've gotten trench foot.

3. Eye Shades - because I can't sleep when it's light all the time.

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handkerchief

I ended up tying it around my head at night to lessen the damn mosquito bites. I sleep warm and just kept pulling off my knit hat at night and would wake up with bites all over my forehead and scalp. I ended up pulling it over my eyes to keep the light out as well and got great nights sleep after this discovery. My hanky saved me.

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Decide if you are going on an expedition or if you are climbing alpine style. Don't go in between. Moving slowly up the mountain with 2 people in a 2 man tent or 3 in a 3 man tent with rationed food, nothing to read and no megamid or kiva is a recipe for getting home sick. If you plan on carrying more then about 50 lbs, then just go big time and bring all the comforts. Favorite things were the 5 person Himalayan Hotel tent for just three people, the Kiva that fit 12 people even though our team was only five people (lots of people would stop by and hang out in order to get out of their little crappy tents). A must have are skis. On the way out we made it from 14,000 feet to 7,000 feet in less than three hours. Also, on rest days you can carve up the freshies above the 11,000 and 14,000 foot camps while the snowshoers sit uncomfortably in their tiny tents. Didn't have a least favorite thing with me. One more thing. There is no reason to take more than two days to get from basecamp to the 11,000 foot camp. It's an easy two day push and most people don't have problems with altitude that low.

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Black trash bags...fill them with snow and allow to consolidate/begin melting to speed all your water making.

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