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Denali gear advice?

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I've had people tell me you need the full down suit setup for Denali as well, which is not cheap. Does it really get that bad up there in the summer? Or can one get away with say, a winter cascade system in the warmer months?

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For those of you who advocate taking skis: do you wear ski boots or ski in your mountaineering boots? I camped next to a couple of guys who brought both.

I skied in my Invernos. But that was before AT boots were light and comfy. If I were to do a route like the West Butt again I'd take my AT boots and Dynafits.

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I've had people tell me you need the full down suit setup for Denali as well, which is not cheap. Does it really get that bad up there in the summer? Or can one get away with say, a winter cascade system in the warmer months?
Would be nice to have but not mandatory. You can always supplement by adding more layers. You certainly want a nice puffy down coat of some sort though.

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For those of you who advocate taking skis: do you wear ski boots or ski in your mountaineering boots? I camped next to a couple of guys who brought both.

 

Took snow shoes once. Next half dozen trips I took touring skis with lwt weigh touring boots not atc gear, carried my dbl climbing boots. Always left skis at 11K on the west but and no regrets. So much easier to move quickly in lwt gear it makes carrying your mtn boots no big deal.

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Take skiis.

 

This is excellent advice! I am hoping to climb Denali with the Hummels next year. The skis will most certainly be mandatory.

:)

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Take skis, way more fun, as for the down suit, I would skip it and bring a good down jacket and some insulated pants, it gives you much more flexibility, I would also add that some down booties inside overboots is nice around camp (you could probably get away with just the booties), my problem was that I had the high altitude liners in my invernos and my feet just cooked.

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How much do non-guided trips typically cost an individual, not including any new gear needing purchasing?

 

FWIW, spent an entire month in AK in June '06 for less than $1500 including airfare. Included West Butt ascent, backpacking in Denali SP, several nights hotel in Anchorage, rental car (after ascent), LOTS of post-climb beer, boat tour of Kenai Fjords.

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my problem was that I had the high altitude liners in my invernos and my feet just cooked.

Yeah, seems like most sources are really keen on moldable Intuition liners. I hate to buy new liners when the ones in my old Invernos seem fine. Anybody have a strong opinion about it. what about just bringin' a few toe warmers? I've got 40below overboots.

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I took my AT boots and a pair of plastics, but people on our team used the Dynafit TLT4s with Intuition Liners and were fine. My trip to climb Denali cost me around $1000 without gear. Most of this was flights/transportation. The climbing fee has gone up since then. Food and gas will be the rest. Get a shuttle from Anchorage to Talkeetna.........

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Hey all-

 

Going to try and revive this thread before posting a new one. Im leaving to try the West Buttress next weekend and I was wondering about wands. Aside from wands for marking caches and sites, are individual groups taking wands to mark the route or at this point do all the guided groups make route wands unnecessary. I have read reports that range all over from people taking 20 to 100. I'm generally not into relying on the services of other groups but I have been on routes that I definitely did not need to carry wands (e.g. Desolation Cleaver, Rainier).

 

Thanks.

 

Brad

adventuresforaction.org

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The route is usually a cattle trail. You will need wands for caching gear. TAT has a garbage can full of wands that departing climbers donated their used wands into - no need to lug your own from CA.

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If you use wands to mark your cache, make sure it's really buried well cause the ravens are nortorious for digging up food caches like a pack of St. Bernards on steroids.

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Thanks for the beta. Good to know about the donated wands bin. I figured that the route would be well wanded by the guide companies but I also know that leaving wands is prohibited so I did not know if people were carrying any for route marking. As for all the people, I figure this is going to be a climbing party and I am preparing myself for the cattle trail. Not exactly the route you go after for solitude.

 

I read somewhere that in addition to burying that the proper depth, it is best to not mark your cache directly because the ravens are such brilliant pilferers. Sneaky Petes'.

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Ravens, which are Corvids, are among the smartest birds, at least as smart as cats, look for wands which mark caches. If you don't mark you cache somehow, you might lose it. I guess have a system like three shovel lengths downhill from the wand is the cache or something.

 

I have a burly, inexpensive duffle bag which was one of my checked pieces of luggage and also my sled bag. It is made by Eagle Creek and it has locking zipper pulls. You can use zip ties to 'lock' the zipper pulls so the ravens won't be able to open the zipper. The fabric is pretty burly, maybe they could eventually peck through, but we never left a cache more than over night. We buried our caches at least 3 feet deep and marked each corner and the middle with a double length wand (two wands taped together) with our expedition name and date as per park regulations. Never had a problem with ravens. Not sure it would have made any difference, but we put goodies in the bottom, and fuel and stuff like that on the top. I'm pretty sure my Fish duffel, made of haul bag material, would be Raven proof with the pulls locked, but it was bigger than needed for a sled bag.

 

If you are just doing the West Butt, you can easily get away with two caches. Pull sleds to 11k, one double carry and cache to 14k, one double carry and cache to 17k.

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DPS-

 

Good tip on the zipper pulls. I think if you bury properly its not a problem.

 

I have seen a video of Ravens pulling up fixed fishing lines to rob them of the caught fish. Another of a Raven dropping nuts in a road so cars run them over and break them and when traffic clears they run out and get the nut. Pretty awesome.

 

Those are the caches we have planned as well (if we don't do a one night stop at 17 and "gun" for the summit), plus a base camp one for extra food/fuel and other gear we will need for routes out on the Ruth for after the West Buttress.

 

Did you carry any route wands up high just in case? Waste of a couple hundred grams? Good insurance in case the shit hits the fan? Just curious.

 

 

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We did carry wands a few wands for between Denali Pass and the summit ridge. Lots of guys on this site who can give you better info, I've only climbed the West Butt once. Gene, Jason Martin, Kurt Hicks and Chris have all guided it multiple times

Edited by DPS

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