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Gearheads - a little help?

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I've lurked on CC occasionally for years, but never posted (you'll hear why in 3, 2, 1...). I'm going through a nasty divorce and feeling the need to get back to my roots in the hills. One of my life's goals since I was 18 was Denali, which of course was put on hold for "her", until now that is. I've got my training plans in play, and I'm in the best shape of my life currently.

Unfortunately, I lost virtually all of my gear in this process - with no real prospect of getting it back (so just write it off as an option - it's never coming back). I snuck out a few ice axes, my AFS boots, my old Mountainsmith pack, but everything else is gone.


I've got options in mind, and as soon as I sell the house, the sky's the limit with respect to cash inflow. There's so many great things out there now - I've been reading the reviews, but I'm a little leery of reviews.


So, with the knowledge the fact that I intend to attempt McKinley in 2011 (the service is irrelevant at this point), I need the following list (cost is not an issue within reason):


To start


big ol' pack.

mummy bag

parkas, shell, puffy, etc.

um, stove...? (miss my whisperlite)

maybe some really good double boots (better than my Asolos).


So, what are you guys using/absolutely love/absolutely hate/wish you had?





(P.S. - anyone need a climbing partner? :cool: )




Edited by gkdmaths

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sorry to hear about the bad marriage. Good to hear you are getting out of it and on to what makes you happy.


for denali my faves:

tent- classic NF ve 25 with a megamid cook tent

sleeping bag and parka- I would say go to the feathered friends store and talk to the people there. (since price is not on option, go big)

boots- I had good results with koflach arctis with overboots. But boot fit is most important so unfortunately you gotta spend some time trying boots and then probably buying a couple pairs till you get it right. Koflach fit wide feet fairly well.


I used a sierra design nylon anorak more than a goretex jacket out there. Seemed like we needed a windshell and light flurry protection more than miserable condition wear.

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Here is what is in my quiver:


tent - Bibler Eldo

pack - WIld Things Andinista

mummy bag - Feathered Friends Ptarmigan

parka - Feather Friends Frontpoint Jacket

stove - MSR XGK

boots - last trip Scarpa 8000m anything something similar with the integral gaiter.


One comment on boots - the above boots are hard to use for anything else in the lower 48 so may not be practical. But if think about spending $80 on each toe the cost is cheap.

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Most of what I used has already been covered, so FWIW, here it is:


Tent: old standby VE-25

Pack: Dana Terraplane, don't know off the top of my head the equivilent Mystery Ranch one is.

Down: Feathered Friends Icefall parka and Peregine bag, the wider cut one. I had them add 4 oz of down to the bottom (knee down, more or less). Plenty warm even for a May trip.

Shell: had a ltwt Marmot Activent shell that I cached at 11k, most of the trip relied on my Driclime for wind protection, didn't bother with a puffy or any other shells other than one of those old Marmot 1-piece suits with the fleece upper and Gore-Tex lower. Loved it for up there.

Stove: X-GK--it sounds like your going with a guide service, I believe they generally provide the stoves (somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

Boots: Asolo 8000, fit me the best of what was available at the time. Like has been said, anything warm enough for Denali is going to be way overkill for "normal" use in the Lower 48.




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Go to a couple shops, try a couple packs on, and find the one that really fits. When you have 100lbs in it, you'll be thankful.


That said

I realize you're not concerned about cost, but my Gregory Denali Pro is currently for sale and is a pretty stellar large pack. It's still in great shape, and seeing as how you are likely not to use a pack that big for most anything else, getting a deal on one might be nice... let me know if you are interested and have an 18-19.5" torso.

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Thanks everyone. Most of the gear you've mentioned I've been looking at, especially the FF mummies and TNF tents. Though I'm starting to gear-up for Denali now, I also am out every weekend presently, and since I teach college I get two months off in the summer that I need gear for too. Luckily I still have Rainier and the NCNP to play in. I'll have a few gear dupes, but most of it I hope to be x-compatible.


Thanks again for all your thoughtful recs and kind words.


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Just a follow up I know lots of people love the NF VE-25 but IMHO the the floor plan sucks. It is fine for two people but for three forget it unless you like sleeping side ways. The floor of tents like the Sierra Design Stretch Done 3 are better for three people. Just my experience on using both for extended periods of time.

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