Gearing up for Denali
What a modern Denali climber looks like...
If you are wondering how much gear a climber needs for Denali, then look no further.
Denali is very much a self-service mountain - everyone must carry their own pile of junk up the hill using their own horsepower. There are no porters, no helpful sherpas keeping you safe and carrying the large loads up the hill. Just you, a scary-big backpack, generally known as an 'Expedition Pack', and on the lower glacier, a sled that is perhaps one of the more loved/hated bits of mountaineering kit. It would be easy to dismiss the stories until your gear is heaped together including all of the food, ropes, technical climbing gear, ice axe, walking poles, snowshoes, crampons, tents that cost more than my first car, 5 layers of warm weather gear to keep you un-frozen and looking like the Michelin man, two sleeping mats, hideously expensive lightweight clothing, insulated water bottles, giant hard shell gumboots (mountaineering double boots), a sleeping bag so thick, my four year old can get lost in it for days; balaclavas x2, beanie/toque x2, socks x4, electronic gear (just because we can), glacier glasses, three sets of winter gloves that Rocky would be proud of, overboots ('cause the gumboots need more insulation), a collapsible water bottle for tent bathroom breaks when the outside temperature is hazardous to exposed skin (which is always - yikes), helmet, ......... and curiously, only one set of base layer pants and two under shirts for three weeks. Yes - tent-mates takes on a whole new sense of closeness after a week of working hard and no clothing changes. Fortunately, those modern miracles called 'wet wipes' are a mandatory inclusion in your expedition kit bag - they are amazing!
"North to Alaska, come on the rush is on......."
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