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. An 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.
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West Buttress Route

  • TBA
Cost USD 12,000
Deposit USD 2,500

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

Denali West Buttress Expedition

  • TBA
Cost: USD 12,000
Deposit: USD 2,500

Costs Include:

  • Guides
  • Glacier flights
  • Field food and fuel
  • Group camping and climbing equipment
  • Personal issue sleds
  • Base camp fee
  • Camping in Talkeenta

Costs Do Not Include:

  • 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
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance or the required medical evacuation insurance
  • Personal equipment and clothing
  • Rental items
  • Gratuities

Cancellation/Refund Policy

  • There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without reaching or making progress towards expedition objective(s) (for example, the summit) due to route conditions, weather, insufficient manpower, or any other factor outside the control of Madison Mountaineering.
  • Expedition leader has the final say on the expedition conclusion and will make all best efforts towards reaching expedition objective(s) within our margin of safety.
  • Participants that choose to leave an active expedition for any reason are not entitled to any refunds
  • Madison Mountaineering, LLC highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions
  • Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Madison Mountaineering must adhere to a stringent refund policy
  • Deposit due with registration materials
  • All balances are due 120 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified
  • Participants whose balances are not received by the 120-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their funds and their place on the expedition

Note: Madison Mountaineering, LLC reserves the right to waive any fees. As we offer personalized service, we will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible. Deposits paid by participants acknowledge the above cancellation terms.

Print Gear List

Base Layers

  • Synthetic Short Underwear (2-3 pair): non-cotton style underwear
  • Lightweight Long Underwear (1-2 pair): long sleeve shirt and long pants
  • Heavyweight Long Underwear (1 pair)
  • Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt (1-2)

Mid Layers

  • Soft Shell Jacket: to be worn over other layers
  • Soft Shell Pants: very breathable and water repellant
  • Mid-Layer Top: lightweight layer for use over base layers
  • Lightweight Nylon Pants (1-2 pair)

Windproof/Rain Layers

  • Hard Shell Jacket with hood: waterproof and breathable shell jacket
  • Hard Shell Pants: waterproof and breathable shell pants

Insulation Layers

  • Heavyweight Insulated Down Jacket with hood
  • Insulated Pants


  • Warm Hat: 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
  • Facemask: neoprene type
  • Nose Guard (optional): sun protection for nose


  • Glacier Glasses: full protection with side covers or wrap around
  • Ski Goggles: to be worn in the event of high winds – (2nd pair optional)


  • Lightweight Synthetic Base Layer Gloves (2 pair): for wearing on warm days
  • 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


  • Liner Socks (3 pairs)
  • Wool or Synthetic Socks (6 pairs)
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Snowshoes: ascent-style snowshoes with climbing bars
  • Camp Boots: warm comfortable boots for wearing in camp
  • Booties (optional)

Sleeping Equipment

  • Sleeping Bag: rated to at least -20°F
  • Self-inflating Sleeping Pad: full length is preferred
  • Closed-cell Foam Pad: to be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping
  • Earplugs

Mountaineering Gear

  • Expedition Backpack: approximately 105L
  • Compression Stuff Sacks: for reducing the volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc. in your pack
  • Stuff Sack for Cache: one 20L waterproof stuff sack for caching personal items on the lower mountain
  • Trash Compactor Bags: to line backpack and stuff sacks as well as for separating gear
  • Trekking Poles with Snow Baskets: adjustable
  • Ice Axe: general mountaineering tool (65cm)
  • Ice Axe Leash: harness style, not wrist style
  • Crampons: general mountaineering crampons
  • Climbing Helmet: must be able to fit over your warm hat
  • Ascender: 1 right or left-hand ascender
  • “Y” Rig for ascender and safety carabiner
  • Accessory Cord: 30 feet (9m) of 6mm accessory cord
  • Alpine Climbing Harness: mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock-climbing “sport” harness
  • Carabineers: 4 regular, 2 standard locking, 2 large locking for use with harness
  • Belay/Rappel Device
  • Headlamp: with 2 extra sets of new batteries
  • Sled Duffle Bag: 150L expedition duffel bag used to transport all gear on your sled; must be waterproof and durable

Travel Items

  • Small Duffel Bag with Lock: to store items in the hotel(s) while on the climb
  • Carry-on Backpack: approximately 18” x 16” x 10” (46cm x 41cm x 26cm)
  • Travel Clothes and Shoes: for days in cities and towns
  • Lightweight journal, sketchbook, pencils, pen
  • U.S. cash: for currency exchange to purchase SIM cards or merchandise in cities and towns

Additional Food Items

  • Snack Food: suggested: 42 bars (assortment of energy bars, candy bars, granola bars, and cookies), 6 energy gels of chews (Honey Stinger Ge, Gu, Clif Shot Bloks), 60 hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, Ricola Lozenges), 21-42 servings of energy drink mix (Nuun, Skratch Labs, Emergen-C, Gatorade)

Other Equipment

  • Cup: plastic 16 oz. minimum cup or mug
  • Bowl: large plastic bowl for eating dinner or breakfast
  • Spoon: plastic spoon (Lexan)
  • Water Bottles (2 or 3): wide mouth bottles with 1-liter capacity
  • Water Bottle Parkas (2): fully insulated with zip opening
  • Thermos: 1 liter
  • Hand and Toe Warmers
  • Sunscreen: SPF 50 or better
  • Lip Screen (2 sticks): SPF 30 or better
  • Toiletry Bag: include 2 rolls of toilet paper stored in ziplock bags, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and wet wipes
  • Pee Bottle: 1-liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent
  • Female Urination Device (FUD)
  • Knife or Multi-tool: keep it simple
  • Small Personal First-aid Kit: include pain killers, athletic tape, band-aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, cough drops, etc.
  • Medications and Prescriptions: bring antibiotics (Azithromycin, etc.), and altitude medicine such as Diamox and dexamethasone
  • Handkerchiefs/Bandanas (optional)

Optional Electronics

Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in leading high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. We have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun! Safety is always our number one priority.

Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.

Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are highly competent experts in our field and love what we do!

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