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Snow_Monkey

Denali Expedition Meal Planning

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I will be going to Denali in Late May. We have a group of 6 and are in the process now of making a lot of the arrangements etc. One issue that came up is to buy our food through Exposure Alaska. They provide expedition support and for $485/person will provide breakfast and dinner for 20 days plus a shuttle from Anchorage to Talkeetna. They plan the menu and food will be all labeled and packaged for us. It is a bit expensive but we are thinking it will save a lot of time and hassle in Anchorage. Any thoughts on this....anyone have any experience with this company??

 

http://www.exposurealaska.com/denali.htm

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I wouldn't pay someone to plan and organize your meals...too high a risk that something they provide might not agree with your stomach...and that sounds like a lot of money for what they provide.

You don't have to buy your food in Anchorage...buy it and package it weeks ahead of time and either take it with you or have it shipped up to Talkeetna.

My group managed to take all our climbing gear and 28 days of food in our checked baggage on the flight to Anchorage, though each of us had to pay for having one 'overweight' bag. The only things we bought in Anchorage was cheese and butter,

The NOLS Cookery book is a great place to start with meal planing...give you the breakdown of how many calories and what kind of food to eat. I actually really enjoyed figuring out all the meal planning stuff.

If you want some dinner ideas send me a PM...we had some good meals and some not so good meals up there.

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Agree, sounds kind of silly and pricey.

 

Google for Talkeetna Shuttle Service or Denali Overland Transportation...they will pick you up at your hotel and take you to/from talkeenta. Pretty cheap, I think $60 each way? I forget now. We got a motel near a grocery store and walked down with our packs and loaded up. Plus I brought gu and other things on the plane too. I'd plan my own meals but I keep it super simple at altitude ...oatmeal, liptons chicken noodle soup, gu, more gu, cliff bars, lipton noodles and sauce packages, snickers bars,more gu... and repeat next day. keep it simple... the higher you get(and colder) the less you will want to fuck around with elaborate meal prep. eat what you can keep down.

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oh, I missed you are a group of six, keep in mind a grocery store won't have 150 packages of something most likely...pay the extra bagage fees or ship to whoever is flying you in(tell them it's food so they don't stick it in a shed outside for the mice)

 

bring lots gatorade mix to hide that manky ass melted snow and all the shit floating in it too

Edited by griz

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i agree on flying your pre-packed food on in...one of the highlights of my trip was packing the food the weekend 'fore i left. the excess packaging alone filled two trash bags. a truly awesome site to see it all laid out and ready to go. i even managed to not have to pay any more to fly it all by stretchign the carry-on policy.

 

as a side note, if you fly out of pdx, you can watch 'em go through all your shit right there in the x-ray booth. i saw a truly monsterous 300 pound tsa chick salivate over a bag of 30 candy bars see pulled out to inspect smile.gif

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On my second Denali trip my partner remarked that in each life there is a finite number of freeze dried meals a person can consume. He was right- I hit my limit and make all my meals now. They go well in seal-a-meal bags and reconstitute with hot water. Would be glad to provide my secret recipies to whomever may be interested- was quite tastey most of the time.

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If you want to save money on shipping, have your stuff air cargoed up there. If you are flying Alaska airlines, this is easy, as the air cargo pick up facility is just down the road from the terminal. If Alaska Airlines doesn't fly to your departure airport, and Continental or American does, call up their cargo offices and ask about rates. They are partners with Alaska.

I paid 89 cents a pound, and it gets cheaper the more you ship. It saves significant money over checking a 3rd bag, or shipping UPS or FEDEX, and is often faster. When you fly up to AK, schedule a stop into the cargo facility at your airport, drop off your stuff, and you don't have to see it again til you arrive in AK. No lugging heavy stuff around airports.

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That is a huge waste of money! Definately pack your own meals. If you cannot take the time to prepare for something as simple as meals, then how will you do with everything else? Break up into cooking teams and have at it for dinners. Let everyone do their own thing for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Use the NOLS cookbook for beta or ask me or Pete_A for an excel sheet prepared for 28 days on Denali with meal ideas, lbs. of this and that and what is needed. Also has fuel calculations on it. Good luck!

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i know this goes against the light-is-right ethic a bit, but the best thing we brought up denali last june was a lightweight teflon-coated 14" griddle and a bottle of olive oil. nothing tastes better when you're cold than fried food! some favorites:

 

tuna melts - tuna from envelope (not can) on bagel with cheese, use pot lid over the top to ensure even melting

burrito - dehydrated beans + instant rice + raindeer sausage + cheese, fried crispy, mmmmmm

gyro - dehydrated hummus (!!!!!) + cheese + chicken from envelope (not can)

 

it's not just that it tastes better than glop, it's a change of tastes and textures. olive oil is very high in calories, also. the weight of the griddle among six would be insignificant. we just brought the bottle, but i have a friend who saves weight by filling a platypus with olive oil for expeditions.

 

as for buying food, i'd say it's foolish to bring much stuff with you. anchorage is a modern city, y'all! i brought a few cases of gu with me, and bought everything else there. the fred meyer on northern lights (?) is probably the best all-around grocery store, they have bulk foods and also energy bars by the case. denali overland and their competitors will drive you there and wait while you shop!

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