Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
AKClimber

Denali Tips and Tricks (Updated Thread)

Recommended Posts

Amen on the 1-piece base layer. Mine is an OR version. A little spendy, but well worth it. MEC makes one too, I think around $75 cdn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i made a really good stove board this spring by cutting a sheet of the 1/2" x 1/2" plastic grid (made for ceiling light fixtures) into a round sheet sized to fit into the pot. I cut a slightly smaller circle out of a sheet of metal flashing (i do a lot of shopping for the outdoors at home depot) and attached it to the grid with baling wire, leaving about 4 inches of wire loose past the connection. finally, i put 3 short sheet metal screws through the flashing in a triangle sized to catch the base of the xgk. the loose wire wraps around the stove base as well for a bomber connection. this gizmo insulated well enough to use the xgk inside the tent without scorching/melting the foam pad and is very light.

 

i think by mid-may, you can probably leave the headlamp at home. certainly, by june 1, you can read inside your tent all night w/o a headlamp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not familiar with some of your gear but a few comments

 

Are your bottom layers (fleece, event and belay pants) full side zips? (especially the belay pant) They will need to be put on without taking boots and crampons off.

 

Definately bottle parka for both bottles. Can be home made though.

 

Ear plugs.. best damn things ever.

 

I am assuming that the .5 liter bottle is your hot drink bottle. good idea.

 

Does your down parka have a hood?

 

As of a couple years ago, the park service fixed the running belays to denali pass. hatremoves the need for lots of pickets. Not everyone on your crew has two pickets I hope. Might need a cordlette to make an snow anchor.

 

Just decadent but I have a stuff sack with a sewn in fleece section. Hmmm pillow. I think cascade design makes one too. Worth the weight (unnoticeable) for me.

 

Sounds like a good list you got. Enjoy the mountain and get good food in anchorage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gene: Boottom layers all have side zip. I chose not to get insulater for larger bottles because except for night, I will hardly be using them (I guzzle water at mealtime, but drink little while moving). Your right on the little bottle. Goretex, belay parka, and down parka all have a hood. Me and partner with each have 2 pickets. Fleece section on the stuff sac sounds like a good idea.

 

Everyone else: Thanks for the input, I spent a lot of time redying gear and putting things together. Any more info appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plunk down the money for the one piece suit - I lived in mine and loved it thumbs_up.gif You can now ditch the fleece pants (heavy and bulky), especially if you're bringing another pair of insulated ones - your boots come nearly up to your knees anyways. Consider leaving the belay jacket also. When you're moving it will be too warm, especially with a big pack on, and you already have the softshell and gtex. When you're stopped, just throw the big parka on (Nautica...?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree - toss either the zip fleece pants or insulated pants. I've always carried just fleece pants (nonzip as they're lighter) and no insulated pants and my legs have never gotten cold. Likewise drop the belay jacket.

 

I disagree on the one-piece suit - too hot for me. On most May / June days in the AK Range I wear a short sleeve shirt under a jacket - or my white capaline and no jacket. A one-piece dark suit will kill you on a sunny day! However - I tend to stay pretty warm.

 

It all comes down to comfort level. If you ice climbed all winter in only a capaline top and jacket - then you'll be hot on the mountain until you reach 17 where you'll finally be comfy. If you ice climbed in a fleece and belay jacket all winter you'll freeze your ass off everywhere.

Edited by wfinley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry guys, you have valid points on getting rid of 1 pair of pants and jacket. BUT, I can't get rid of them. I wiegh 135 and get cold quickly. I would be pissed if I was standing around shivering with nothing else to put on.

 

On a side note: I waterproofed sprayed all the stuff sacs, backpack, and camp chair.

 

I still have yet to get ahold of the second Primus pump and stove kit. Know where I can get one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seriosly looked for a half hour on fully body polypro. The only one I could find was OR Quadratic Suit. It was discontinued in the fall! There are 2 no name ones I found to put under a dry suit, but thats it! Where the frig do I get one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would reccomend that you keep the belay jacket. You will need it on summit day. Lots of people climb up with the biggest parka on while moving.

 

Marmot had a one piece thermal suit.

Mec had a sleeveless one piece suit too.

feathered friends had a 100 weight fleece suit which worked well for a guy I knew.

mtn hardware maybe?

 

All these are not lw thermal material but a bit thicker which is a good thing for AK.

 

You might want to reconsider your hydration practice of drinking lots at meals. It is best to stay hydrated all day. This will help with performance and acclimitization. If you want some honest advice on how dehydration affects the body and how it increases the chance of accidents, ask the rangers in talkeetna and you will find that most accidents are preceded by dehydration. Dehydration makes us weak, fogs the mind and ruins balance, a recipe for a fall. On summit day, you need everything going for you. Without insulators, they will freeze real fast on summit day. That is just my opinion but I strongly recommend you ask the rangers in talkeetna what they do with there bottles and how much they drink. (I am pretty sure they would agree)

 

getting excited? Coming up soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mountain hardwear has one...http://www.alaskamountaineering.com/Product.cfm?id=338

 

Actually I saw that in person, but its too heavy. I want a 1 piece lightwieght polypro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a useful thread. I have done all of my winter camping in the Cascades, and will be making my first trip to Denali (and to Alaska). Here are a couple of questions for those with cold weather experience:

1. I have a pair of Scarpa Alpha plastic boots and some Mt Hardware overboots (with thin closed cell foam insulation). Will this be sufficient? I climb hot and have not had any problems with cold feet in the past.

2. At what elevation will a Jetboil become a poor stove option? Does it make sense to use it at lower elevations, assuming the group has sufficient liquid fuel stove capacity for the highest elevations (and a backup)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MEC still has their one-piece undersuit, with the confusing name of "MEC mid-weight powerdry union suit". Product # 4017-482, $65 Cdn.

 

Bummer about the OR quadratic suit. That's my favorite base layer for ice or cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought an MEC union suit in the quest for a one-piece base layer. The zippers are too large and they will grind your taint to a bloody mess. The suit is made of low quality materials. The metal zipper is in direct contact with your nether regions, where it conducts cold remarkably well. In short it is useless.

 

I bought a Gamma Salopette from Arcteryx and have given up finding a piece base layer to go under it. The Arceryx wool base layer bottoms are great, but no suit is available. The OR quadratic suit does not fit my body type. My torso is too long. If it fits you, some are available on the web. I think I sam some at Moose Jaw mountaineering. However, for the price you could have a custom garment made.

Edited by Clivus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I bought an MEC union suit in the quest for a one-piece base layer. The zippers are too large and they will grind your taint to a bloody mess. The suit is made of low quality materials. The metal zipper is in direct contact with your nether regions, where it conducts cold remarkably well. In short it is useless.

 

Ya. I have their zip crotch long johns. You have to be reeeal careful when zipping up or you'll get caught. hellno3d.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Clivus, my union suit has lasted a long time and not grind my crotch at all. But I suspect that I am a bit shorter than you. (5'10") Cloudviel seems to tailor their stuff to your specifications as none of their stuff fits me. (legs too long)

 

I like my mec union suit and think it would be just fine in AK but you do gotta check your nads n such when zipping up, much like any crotch zip.

 

Ovr40, I assume you will be on the west buttress. The vast majority of people on that route use a Msr or similar white gas stove. There are good reasons for this which I am too lazy to get into right now, (plus there will be a storm of butane believer remarks which might be better off ina seperate thread) Can your jet boil melt snow efficiently? (a function of how big your pot is) It always seemed like a camping on dirt, near a stream, kind of cooking system but i have never used it.

On your feet, there is a huge difference denali and cascades and experience here is of limited value in some regards. Experience with extreme weather is one unless you summited rainier in january in a monster storm at minus 40F. It gets COLD especially with the affects of altitude reducing metabolism and such. So with that, how snug is your alpha? Your feet may swell with the amount of sloggin so a initially snug boot will become constricting and then viola, frostbite. (even with overboots on) I also assume your mtn hardware overboot is really good something similar to forty below overboots. (40 below is a company name)

 

I don't mean to be all doom and gloom, I just don't want any of our homeboys to get messed up over there.

 

Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest getting a proper pair of plastic double boots rather than the Alphas for all the reasons Gene mentioned.

 

The Jet Boil is a great stove for what it was designed for, but it wasn't expedition climbing. If it's going to be used for a team, expect to have the thing going at least an hour each day to melt water. The cup on the Jet Boil is way too small to melt a lot of water - you'll be having to sit there tending it constantly. With an XGK and a big pot you'll just need to lift the lid every few minutes to keep track of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought on the sleeping bag. I took a Dark Star to Denarli a couple of years ago and froze from 11K up. Tried every combination of insulation including anything I could find to lift me off the snow under my two Ridgerest fatties. Mybe I sleep colder than I think but I had never had this problem before. I wouldn't go back to AK without the fattest down bag I cold find and I would seriously consider a VBL. There is no way for mere mortals to be "light" on the Butt so lovingly embrace your pig and take the creature comforts that will make the trip enjoyable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want to spend $50 on a polypro if there is so much debate. Also, I played with some fleece gloves, and they would take out too much dexterity. I have 2 pairs of those manzella windstopper liners, they do the job for me.

 

If I got another liner I would want it to be polypro, not like the sleevless ones that were pointed out. I would fry on sunny days.

 

bfiles, I know what your talking about on the bag, but too late in the game for me to change now. Valid point on the pig too, I plan on bringing a few extras.

 

Thanks guys, though after this it seems as though I didn't change the list much, I did change some. I wieghed everyones experiences and came to my own conclusions. I appreciate all the input, please add in anything else that comes to mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AK, just use regular lightweight polypro from REI for your top and bottom. You will be in this up to 11k or 14k depending on temps and time you will be there. Then adda medium weight layer on top of this. The union suit from Feathered Friends is the best I've seen and all AK vets swear by it.

 

As for boots, look into getting intuition liners to see if the added warmth will be enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AK, just use regular lightweight polypro from REI for your top and bottom. You will be in this up to 11k or 14k depending on temps and time you will be there. Then adda medium weight layer on top of this. The union suit from Feathered Friends is the best I've seen and all AK vets swear by it.

 

As for boots, look into getting intuition liners to see if the added warmth will be enough.

 

Will intuition liners fit the Millet Everest One boots?

 

Update: The team decided to add avalanche beacons to the gear.

 

Also, anyone here use a GPS on the mountain? Still pondering bringing one, figure it might help us wiggle out of a storm...

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i brought a gps...saved waypoint markers at all the caches in case the wand markers were broken or lost...also saved waypoints along the five miles on the kahiltna glacier, although that path gets travelled so much you can actually see a raised path above the surrounding surface it made me feel better on the return trip to basecamp that we'd have no navigation issues even if the weather crapped out...and as luck would have it the weather did crap out while we were in the middle of the kahiltna.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone here have a good guess as to how much you can strech the rating of a sleeping bag by puting on all of your clothes? I have a valandre shocking blue -13 and was wondering if anyone had an idea of how far below that i could go by putting on all of my clothes? We are headed to denali may 6th through the 29th. Any help would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Feathered Friends markets a -10 bag that they say is warm enough for any summit in the world if you wear down clothes with it. It is supposedly cut a bit large to accomodate the extra clothing without compacting the down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×