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AKClimber

Denali Tips and Tricks (Updated Thread)

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I read through the old thread, here is extra suggested items:

 

camp chair

book

mp3 player

 

Anything to add?

 

Have a trip planned for mid May on the West Buttress. Just looking for more info. cool.gif

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I was reading somewhere that mp3 players do not do well in really cold conditions.

Jedi

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Mini disc players work well up there. A disc can hold 6 cds worth of tunes. A bit heavier than a small mp3 though. But probably around the same weight as a mp3 than can play LOTS of music. Plus you can carry extra discs and have an immense music library. But then, don't you want to get away from that stuff?

 

I have seen a tiny mp3 (from good guys) that was worn around the neck, held 1 hour of music. I would get that and put the best of the best on it, for those times you really need a little.

 

14K and above, great fm and cell phone reception.

 

Small amount of baby wipes to clean up with a little. Make sure to thaw it out before using.

 

One piece clothings (thermal underwear, fleece suits, outerwear and such). Too much clothign bunching under the waist belt hurts. Make sure that it all works together for crapping.

 

For the girls, lady J or freshette. Get used to it.

 

pee bottle if you are a regular late nighter pisser. If not, use a ziploc for the occasional need.

 

Isn't there some kind of rad little hand held video games? A lighter version of the gameboy?

 

Killer food for the first three days. Go big and tasty. progressively lighter as you go higher. But have something tasty us high as it is real hard to eat anyway. Plan food well as it is becomes the biggest thing of the day. Pasta doesn't cook well at altitude. (mushy)

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I was reading somewhere that mp3 players do not do well in really cold conditions.

Jedi

 

i was reading somewhere that the iPod is not a sealed unit and that over around 4,000 meters, the drop in air pressure will result in the reader contacting the drive and permanently wreck it. I don't know if this is true or not but I'm sure you can Google it.

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I tried to carry my iPod once and it froze on the flight in. I always carry a cheap Sears FM/AM radio. It's the best $10 I ever spent -- it has a nice speaker that everyone in the tent can hear - and from my gear repair kit I always pull out a long coil of wire and thread it around the tent poles then wrap it around the antenna. You can pick up tunes from just about anywhere with this setup. I never carry a camp chair -- they're nice but every ounce adds up.

 

Other stuff: a big measuring cup (2 cups) to add snow to the pot and dump boiling water into nalgenes; black plastic trash bags (two per person). On days you have to carry you can fill these up with snow and leave them outside in the sun. By the time you come back they'll be slush and your snow melting time will be halved.

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probably already saw these recommendations in other threads, but if you're in a group of 4 or more, a megamid can be a great addition to your regular tent to use as a cook tent...we had lots of new friends dropping by our megamid to hang out and cook their dinners out of the wind and snow.

skip bringing any more than one change of your base layer..its too damn cold to change that layer so don't bother with bringing more than one extra lightweight polypro shirt or bottoms.

if you want to get creative with your dinners and cut down on cook time and fuel consumption, try monkeying around with a pressure cooker before you go. A small 3 or 4 quart pressure cooker isn't all that heavy and lets you boil up pasta in only about five to ten minutes even at 14,000ft. We didn't use this above 14k camp, but it was great to have at the lower camps.

If you're going to switch to a freeze dried meal diet at 17k, make sure to try eating those dinners at home weeks in advance to see how your body may react to it...one of my partners missed out on summit day because his freeze dried dinner at 17k severely disagreed with his stomach.

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No. Sounds like one of the worst ideas ever. Down being a completely useless insulator when compressed. It weights 2lbs and costs $150.

 

This thing won awards!?

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Down being a completely useless insulator when compressed.

 

The air pressure keeps the down from being compressed. It's basically just like a thermarest with the foam replaced with down.

 

BTW, I've never seen the thing in person, I'm just looking at it online.

 

Your other criticisms (weight + price) may be valid, though consider that a ridgerest weighs 14oz and most people take two of those to AK or a ridgerest plus a thermarest (even heavier).

 

Here is a THOUROUGH REVIEW of the item in question.

 

Manufacturer's website

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The down air mat is one of the highest R-value sleeping pads available. Its R-value to weight ratio is difficult to beat.

 

The disadvantages are as followes.

1 down sucks when moist, thus you must inflate it with the required inflation sac rather than your mouth. This represents another item to puncture or lose.

2 if you puncture it on a Denali trip and it is your only pad you are looking at a survival situation.

3 Cost

 

I am not a Denali veteran, but I would recommend bringing two pads. Our group is leaving for the West Buttress in May and I'm bringing an MEC foam pad (the thickest yellow foam) and a Big Agnes primaloft inflatable mat.

 

The Big Agnes Primaloft mat does not require a special sack to inflate and it is a bit lighter than the various down air mats available. I has nearly the R value of a down mat.

Edited by Clivus

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Thanks for the input. I was planning on using the standard thermarest and a foam pad, but I saw it on thier web site and was itching to know. I will just stick with what I have.

 

How about this:

I have acenders, but I really don't feel like lugging them around, and just bringing prussics. What did you guys bring on Denali and any other longer trips?

 

If there was a graph, every pound decreases my speed exponentially. Very fast when light, slow as shit when loaded down.

 

Got any weight saving ideas?

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For the West Butt, you will want one ascender for the fixed lines on the headwall and around Washburn's Thumb. Trying to pass all those anchor points on prussicks, with gloves, sounds awfully time consuming. We all took one traditional ascender each, and one Ropeman. This year on Foraker (no fixed lines and much less crevasse hazard) I'll be taking Tiblocks.

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An MP3 cd player works great up there. You can store a ton of music in MP3 format on a couple of cd's. Bring small external speakers so you can annoy your climbing partners with the same annoying song every morning smile.gif

 

A full on ascender is great for the fixed lines, and after futzing around with a couple of different systems - using a Tibloc for the descent worked pretty good for me too.

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"very fast when light" will get you in trouble on denali. 2 reasons. (call me a old fart if you want)

1-very fast gets people up too fast and they get altitude sickness. You will see it in others. The young fast "kids" get sick and worse. The old farts plod along all day and get back home.

2-light and fast is fine in the good weather. But denali can be anything but good and nice. Once again people lose hands, feet and worse even when they are prepared.

 

Give all advice a second thought before you start dropping gear in the hopes of going faster. Theoretically one could leave behind your down jacket cause someone once did not use it. But you'd have to be a fool not to bring it. Same with ascenders. When it is ok weather, prussiks can work. But it the weather turns, good luck trying to get that cord on the rope, which could lead to a fall. Without experience on the mountain, it is best to bring all the standard gear that general consesus experience has said was required. After your trip, especially when you will have crappy weather, you can decide what was needed and not.

 

If you have a FAT wallet, buy everything new with regard to ounces. Talk to Jim Nelson and hand over your card for the hook up. Otherwise, get loaded up, be slow and have a good time anyway. You will be out there for weeks and might as well enjoy it. Bring a camp chair and a megamid. load up the sleds and drink beer.

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"very fast when light" will get you in trouble on denali. 2 reasons. (call me a old fart if you want)

1-very fast gets people up too fast and they get altitude sickness. You will see it in others. The young fast "kids" get sick and worse. The old farts plod along all day and get back home.

2-light and fast is fine in the good weather. But denali can be anything but good and nice. Once again people lose hands, feet and worse even when they are prepared.

 

Give all advice a second thought before you start dropping gear in the hopes of going faster. Theoretically one could leave behind your down jacket cause someone once did not use it. But you'd have to be a fool not to bring it. Same with ascenders. When it is ok weather, prussiks can work. But it the weather turns, good luck trying to get that cord on the rope, which could lead to a fall. Without experience on the mountain, it is best to bring all the standard gear that general consesus experience has said was required. After your trip, especially when you will have crappy weather, you can decide what was needed and not.

 

If you have a FAT wallet, buy everything new with regard to ounces. Talk to Jim Nelson and hand over your card for the hook up. Otherwise, get loaded up, be slow and have a good time anyway. You will be out there for weeks and might as well enjoy it. Bring a camp chair and a megamid. load up the sleds and drink beer.

 

Valid points. I will stick with ascenders then. And about the "fat" wallet...I have wanted to go for 3 years now, I worked hard for 7 months over the winter, and have spent thousands getting the best of everything. I would be tempted to put up a complete gear list to see if anything different reccomended. Should I?

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This year on Foraker (no fixed lines and much less crevasse hazard) I'll be taking Tiblocks.

 

If you're doing the Sultana Ridge everyone I have spoken to tells stories about the traverse across Crossan to the Sultana being riddled with crevasses. I can't personally speak for anything on Foraker proper - but I have climbed Crossan and thought the crevasse danger was horrible - and worse than Denali's West Butt. We found crevasses running in all directions: vertical, horizontal and everything in-between. I would definitly haul ascenders up there -- it will save you tons of time because someone is going to go in a hole.

Edited by wfinley

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No one has a fat wallet except for a select few. I was just jokin with that part.

 

Posting your gear list may be instructional and may gather some wise ass comments from some. But thoughtful comments may be helpful.

 

As far as ridge crevasses go, I have never seen as many wierd slots forming in ALL places on the mountain. Anyone going up foraker should not dismiss crevasses at any point on the mountain. I have not been on foraker but have been on several other peaks in the kahiltna area. Ridges, faces, covex, concave, glaciers, snowfields, summits, everywhere there are crevasses.

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Disclaimer: I may have completely forgotten to list items, list is not finalized!

 

 

Denali Gear list:

 

Head:

Softshell hat

2 balaclavas -1 fleece, 1 polyester

Glacier glasses with nose guard

Goggles

LED Petzl Headlamp

 

Body:

1 pair of polypro base layer

1 pair of silk base layer

AFRC Softshell Jacket

EMS Goretex XCR jacket

GoLite synthetic Belay jacket (has its own compression sac)

Nautica Down parka (sweet bright orange color) (has its own compression sac)

Lowe Goretex event pants

EMS Heavy fleece pants

Patgonia synthetic Belay pants (has its own compression sac)

 

Feet:

3 pairs of mid weight wool socks

Millet Everest boots

BD Sabertooth with anti-bot and crampon bag

Pair of (noname) snowshoes

 

Gloves:

2 pairs of Manzella glove liners

BD Ice gloves

OR Cordura 2 later goretex gloves

North Face Himilaya Down mitts

 

Technical gear:

Harness : BD Alpine Bod

4 Mammut wiregate biners with mammut slings

2 MSR snow pickets

4 BD wiregate oval biners

2 Petzl ascenders with BD Postron Locking biners

Harness and foot loops for ascenders

2 Petzl Prussic Minding pulleys with BD Positron Locking

2 prussic loops

Charlet Moser Ice axe with leash, insulated head (custom job)

 

Backpack:

North Face Renegade with add on side pouches

 

Sleeping Gear:

OR compression sac

North Face -40 DarkStar

Insul-mat 1.0 full

Thermarest Z-lite regular

 

 

Sled:

Customized kiddy sled with PVC to keep steady, and attachments for prussic in the back of the sled

32in x 14in waterproof duffel bag

21ft of 7mm for rigging

 

Stove:

Primus Himalaya Multifuel stove

2 Primus pumps

Primus service kit

2-22oz fuel bottles

1-33oz fuel bottle

Piece of styrofoam insulator

Aluminum pot

 

Food:

12 Deydrated packages

The rest comes from the grocery store

 

Water:

2 -1 liter Nalgene

.5 liter Nalgene with OR insulator

 

Other gear:

Komperdell Anti-shock trekking poles with snow basket

Tripod camp chair

Pee bottle

Himalaya snow shovel

Homemade snow saw

25 Bamboo wands

Down-booties

 

Tidbits:

Leatherman

Sunblock

Sewing kit

Medical Tape

Extra batteries

AM\FM radio

Digital Camera

Chapstic

Deck of cards

Bunch of BIC lighters

Extra twine

Toothbrush\paste

Garbage\Plastic Bags

 

 

 

(Tent and rope my partner has, I do not know specifics)

 

Edited by AKClimber

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FYI AkClimber - just for you to compare - here's one I put together for an April Chugach trip. This is for a team of 5 people and for the first 10 days of April... Food is not included. IMHO this is a little bit on the heavy side as it is a base camper trip. If we were moving I'd drop some cloths, the food bowl (eat out of mug or nalgene) and a few other misc stuff.

 

 

CAMPING GROUP GEAR PER EXPEDITION

 

Mega-mid

Stove #1 (+ repair kit)

Stove #2 (+ repair kit)

2+ quart sized pan for cooking #1 + gripper

1+ quart sized pan for cooking #2 + gripper

Cooking gear: Dipping Spoons, scrubbers etc.

3 gallons Fuel

Expedition Gear Repair Kit (sewing kit, rip-stop repair tape, duct tape, tent repair kit. Wire, cord)

Binding Repair Kit (drill, screws)

First Aid Kit

GPS

Sat. Phone

Latrine Equipment (plastic bags, rubber gloves)

 

CAMPING GROUP GEAR PER ROPE TEAM

 

lightweight climbing tent for team 1

lightweight climbing tent for team 2

8 mil rope for team 1

8 mil rope for team 2

Ice tool for team 1

Ice tool for team 2

Altimeter for team 1

Altimeter for team 2

Sled & Sled Bag for team 1

Sled & Sled Bag for team 2

 

INDIVIDUAL CLIMBING & SKI GEAR

 

Seat harness

Chest harness (or webbing for)

Personal carabineers

Personal runners

Personal Belay Device

Ascenders and/or Prusiks

Pulleys (x2)

Snow Pickets (x2)

Ice Screw (x2)

Mountain Axe

Crampons

Helmet

Shovel (metal)

Probe

Beacon (plus extra batteries)

Whippet

Ski Pole

Skis

Skins (plus tips repair kit)

Large Volume Pack

 

INDIVIDUAL CAMPING GEAR

 

Sleeping Bag

Bivouac Sack

Inflatable Foam Pad

Closed Cell Foam - Pad

 

INDIVIDUAL CLOTHING

 

OUTER LAYER - Heavy Down Jacket

OUTER LAYER - Down or Synthetic Pants

OUTER LAYER - Overboots or Supergaitors

SHELL LAYER - Gortex Jacket

SHELL LAYER - Gortex Bibs

INSULATION LAYER - Expedition Weight Top

INSULATION LAYER - Expedition Weight Bottoms

INSULATION LAYER - Tights or Pants

BASE LAYER - Mid weight Top x2

BASE LAYER - Mid weight Bottom

BASE LAYER - Briefs

MISC GEAR - Hat

MISC GEAR - Baclava

MISC GEAR - Mittens

MISC GEAR - Climbing Gloves

MISC GEAR - Liner Gloves

MISC GEAR - Wool Socks x2

MISC GEAR - Sun Hat

MISC GEAR - booties

MISC GEAR - lightweight shorts

Plastic Boots

 

INDIVIDUAL MISC GEAR

 

Book

Journal

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

TP & Handiwipes

Sunblock (Zinc and Regular)

Chapstick

Mug

Food Bowl

Water Bottles X 2

Water Bottle Insulators x 2

Pee Bottle

Spoon

Ear Plugs

Glacier goggles

Ski goggles

Foot Powder

Camera & Film

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List looks pretty complete, noticed a couple of pretty minor omissions. A stove board works great for the kitchen, mine is 14" x 24" (big enough for 2 XGK stoves); thin wood (actually a piece of old mahogony door skin) covered with very thin aluminum. Also, a "hero loop" length prussick loop for securing the back end of the sled to the rope

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For the W. Butt you probably only need one ascender. We didn't take them at all and did fine. The Washburn face is steep and icy, but not that steep and icy, and the fixed lines on it are for safety only - nobody is going to thank you for jugging them. Of course you may want to take two for getting out of crevasses but that's another story.

 

Chapstik - take a couple. You're bound to loose one.

 

Take a really good sunhat that covers your neck. The lower glacier is like a frying pan if it's sunny.

 

You probably don't need two belay/down parkas.

 

I would take a pair of mid-weight fleece gloves. These are warmer than liners but you can actually do stuff with them. Maybe in place of one of the pairs of GTX gloves.

 

You might consider one of those Marmot powerstretch farmer johns as a base layer. Less drafty than two peice thermals. I wore mine the whole time.

 

Get a collapsable pee bottle. Otherwise it takes up a lot of room in your pack.

 

Personally I'd ditch the chair. On a nice day you can sit outside on a seat dug in the snow. If you are going to take a chair take a Crazy Creek one that you can use in a tent.

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re: ascenders- if you're going to use them, get one that's quickly releasable (Petzl Ascension, not the Wild Country Ropeman)- otherwise you'll take forever hiking up the line.

 

Also, given a choice between a left vs. a right ascender, take a lefty: the Butt has lines of traffic, and you'll be hiking up (and down) with the fixed lines to your left.

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Mike: Stove board sounds like a good idea, will keep in mind.

 

Ade: Good point with the fleece gloves, I will probably get a pair. I will also take a look at the 1 piece polypro, sounds like less around the wasteline.

 

Squid: I am just going to bring 2 ascenders.

 

Thanks

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If you ditch the camp chair (crazy creek type is more flexible). A "camp chair" can be made in the snow and covered with your Z rest (on nice rest days). But that doesn't help when you are sitting ut a 3 days storm in your tent. Easier on the back if you have a chair.

 

I have a less durable hybrid cook board. It's made of poster board. I have a couple round pieces of 1/4" luon(sp?) board. They are 10" in diameter and act like "hot plates" so the stoves do not melt the posterboard. Hole in the middle for the mega mid tent pole.

 

A set of those rubber point cover thingies might be lighter than a crampon bag if you feel you need something like that.

 

One glove shell should do. Then some replacable liners(easier to dry). I like 3 pair with a good palm. Then use the mitts when it gets really cold.

 

One big warm belay jacket, one shell, warm fleece or synthetic fill mid layer.

 

I would have an bottle parka for at least on 32oz bottle and maybe not the 16oz bottle.

 

I 2nd the 48oz Nalgene cantene pee bottle.

 

Zip-ties are nice in your repair kit and a little bailing wire.

 

Wfinley has a nice list.

Jedi

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