Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. Making it one of the notorious ‘7 Summits’ around the world. At an altitude of 18,000 ft (5,500 m), the base-to-peak rise is the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level. With a topographic prominence of 20,156 feet (6,144 m) and a topographic isolation of 4,629 miles (7,450 km), Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U.S. state of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve. A extraordinary expedition that will bring in seasoned climbers from around the world.
We recommend that all of our Denali climbers make numerous ascents of other glaciated peaks in places like the Cascades of Washington, the European Alps, South America, or Asia in order to be thoroughly prepared for this climb. Because glacier travel is such a critical component of climbing Denali, it is imperative to your safety and survival that your team is skilled with proper glacier travel, route finding, and crevasse rescue procedures. Denali is close to a month long expedition which is very different than an overnight or even multi-day climbs on smaller glaciated peaks. All team members should have previous experience in the “expedition environment.” Denali is a very cold place and having multiple expeditions with winter camping in arctic type conditions is extremely important. Although we will acclimate on the mountain, Denali is a very high mountain, and having prior experience with altitude and acclimatization is very helpful to your success.
Day 1: 2:00 pm meet for the expedition orientation, lunch packing, gear check and issuing.
Day 2: 8:00 am meet for skills practice, and National Park Service orientation. 4:00 pm fly to Base Camp, 7,200′, distance: 60 miles, elevation gain: 6850′
Day 3: Base Camp: organize, acclimate, review glacier travel and crevasse rescue, take a deep breath and enjoy the view
Day 4: Single to Ski Hill, Camp 1, 7,800′, distance: 5.5 miles, elevation gain: 600′
Day 5: Carry to Kahiltna Pass, 9,700′, distance: 5 miles, elevation gain: 1900′
Day 6: Move to Kahiltna Pass, Camp 2, 9,700′, distance: 5 miles, elevation gain: 1900′, under the right conditions we may move all the way to 11,000′
Day 7: Single to 11,000′, Camp 3, distance: 1.5 miles, elevation gain: 1300′
Day 8: Rest day
Day 9: Carry to 13,500′ around Windy Corner, distance: 1.75 miles, elevation gain: 2500′
Day 10: Move to 14,200′, Camp IV, distance: 2.75 miles, elevation gain: 3200′
Day 11: Back carry 13,500′ cache, distance: 1 mile, elevation gain: 700′
Day 12: Carry to 16,200′ , distance: 1 mile, elevation gain: 2000′
Day 13: Rest at 14,200′
Day 14: Move to 16,200 feet or 17,200′, Camp V, distance: 1.75 miles, elevation gain: 3000′
Day 15: Rest day or move to 17,200 feet, Camp VI, distance: 1.75 miles, elevation gain: 3000′
Day 16-19: Summit days, distance: 4 miles, elevation gain: 3120′
Day 20: Return to 14,200 feet or 11,000′, distance: 2.25 miles
Day 21: Return to Base Camp, 7,200′, distance: 11.25 miles, fly back to Talkeetna
Day 22: Weather day
2020 Denali West Buttress Dates:
June 5 – June 26
Field food and fuel
Group camping and climbing equipment
Personal issue sleds
Base camp fee
Camping in Talkeenta
Transportation to and from Talkeetna
Lodging in Talkeetna
National Park Service mountaineering special use fee and entrance fee to be paid in Talkeetna during the first day of the expedition
Travelers’ cancellation insurance
Personal equipment and clothing
Ice Axe: General mountaineering tool (65cm)
Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
Climbing Helmet: Must be able to fit over your ski hat
Ascender: 1 right or left hand ascender (Petzel brand is best)
Alpine Climbing Harness: A mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock climbing “sport” harness.
Carabineers: 3 locking and 3 regular
Rappel device: ATC or figure 8
Mountaineering boots: Olympus Mons, Millet, ect.
Hiking shoes: comfortable boots or shoes for the trek to base camp.
Camp boots: comfortable boots for wearing in camp.
Booties: Optional, down is best.
Wool or synthetic socks: 6 pair
Liner socks: 3 pair
Synthetic Short underwear: A non cotton style underwear.
Lightweight Long Underwear: 2-3 pair longsleve shirt and long pants
Heavyweight long underwear: 1 pair
Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt: 1-2 pair
Lightweight Nylon Pants: 1-2 pair
Soft Shell jacket: With or without hood
Soft Shell Pants: With accessory side pockets
Hard Shell Jacket with hood: A waterproof and breathable shell jacket
Hard Shell Pants: Waterproof and breathable shell pants
Down Parka with hood: This “puffy” jacket we wear when taking breaks when climbing below Camp 3.
Insulated synthetic Pants: These are nice to have when climbing below Camp 3.
Down Suit: Feathered Friends, Sherpa, North Face, Mountain Hardwear, etc. We wear this above Camp 3.
Synthetic or wool hat (ski hat).
Balaclava: to protect your neck and face in high winds.
Baseball Cap or other sun hat: To shade your face / neck from the sun on a hot day.
Bandana or Buff: To protect your neck / face from the sun.
Glacier glasses: Full protection with side covers or wrap around.
Ski goggles: To be worn on summit day in the event of high winds.
Lightweight synthetic liner gloves: For wearing on a hot day.
Soft shell gloves: To wear for moderate cold / wind.
Shell glove with insulated liner: To wear for severe cold / strong wind.
Expedition Mitts: Large enough to fit a liner glove inside.
Expedition Backpack: 65L pack should be large enough.
Trekking Backpack: To carry on the trek to base camp. Simple and light.
Sleeping Bag (for high camps): Rated to at least -40°F. Goose down or synthetic.
Sleeping Bag (for base camp): rated to at least -20°F.
Compression stuff sacks: For reducing volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc., in your pack.
Self inflating sleeping pad (1 for base camp and 1 for high camps): Full length is preferred.
Closed cell foam pad: To be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping.
Trekking poles: Adjustable
Cup: A plastic 16 oz. minimum cup or mug
Bowl: A plastic bowl for eating dinner or breakfast out of
Spoon: Plastic spoon (lexan)
Headlamp: With 2 extra sets of new batteries
Sunscreen: SPF 50 or better
Lipscreen: SPF 30 or better (2 sticks).
Water bottles: 2 or 3 wide mouth bottles with 1 liter capacity.
Water bottle parkas (2): fully insulated with zip opening.
Thermos: 1 liter
Pee bottle: 1 liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent.
Toiletry bag: Include toilet paper and hand sanitizer and small towel
Hand warmers & toe warmers: 3 sets of each. Or use Hot Tronics for food warmer system.
Knife or multi tool (optional).
Trash compactor bags: to line back pack and stuff sacks in the event of rain or wet snow is falling on us.
Camera: bring extra batteries and memory cards.
Travel Clothes: For days in Kathmandu.
Duffel bags (2) with locks: To transport equipment.
Base Camp Items: Kindle, Ipad, smart phone, etc.
Snack food: Please bring a few days of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. A variety of salty and sweet is good.
Small personal first aid kit: Include athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, personal medications, etc.
Medications and Prescriptions: Bring antibiotics (Azithromycin, etc.), and altitude medicine such as Diamox and dexamethasone.