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Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt on 12/08/2009 17:19:03 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt on 12/08/2009 20:37:49 MST Print View

This is so inspiring. It doesnt get much more awesome than that!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt on 12/08/2009 21:55:41 MST Print View

Awesome article. I wouldn't think a neoair short and blue pad would cut it on Denali, but I guess it does!

Sean Thompson
(Questtrek) - F

Locale: Michigan
Denali Light ... on 12/08/2009 22:15:02 MST Print View

WOW! ... Great report. Very inspiring. Wish I could do one day! Thank you ...

Juston Taul

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Amazing on 12/08/2009 22:48:22 MST Print View

Can't wait to do it myself! Congrats on your ascent.

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
Wow! on 12/09/2009 03:44:54 MST Print View

Amazing pictures! tremendous effort! Congratulations to both of you! Really inspiring stuff

Philip Werner
(earlylite) - F - MLife

Locale: New England
Great report on 12/09/2009 06:40:09 MST Print View

I was also surprised that the neoAir and a foam pad were adequate. Great weight savings. I'm going to try this at the base of Mt. Washington (NH) this weekend.

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
Cook setup on 12/09/2009 11:30:20 MST Print View

Hey quick question about your cook setup - looks like you used an XKG w/MSR base and a foam foot pad under that. How did that work out? Was it stable enough for cooking inside the tent on storm days?
Also did you use a heat exchanger with your stove or a PotParka? ( Any thoughts or experience regarding their efficiency?

Edited by nanookofthenorth on 12/09/2009 11:30:55 MST.

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt on 12/09/2009 14:26:39 MST Print View

very nice! congrats! thanks for posting. and thanks for including the gear list, very informative. i would love to do that mountain one day.

Charles Hill
(chuckster) - F

Locale: Georgia
Denali Light on 12/09/2009 20:19:26 MST Print View

Looks like an amazing adventure... thanks for the awesome photos!

Edited by chuckster on 12/09/2009 20:20:18 MST.

Matt Hage

Locale: Alaska
Re: Cook setup on 12/11/2009 09:30:20 MST Print View

Hey Robert

We did not use a foam pad under the stove for 2009. It will work if used with the MSR stand for the XGK. Just dont use with the wind screen if in the tent as the trapped heat will melt right down thru everything. A heat exchanger would be a good option if that is your plan. It traps the heat higher up, off the floor.

Since our tent was silnylon, we never planned to cook in the Stephenson. We cooked in the open or under our siltarp cover. Stove was attached to the MSR stand and then we use the wide backs of two snow pickets as a base. Works ok.

Never could get the math to justify the weight of a heat exchanger. Wold be best for a larger party, where you could have significant fueul savings and decrease the time melting snow for everyone.


Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt on 12/11/2009 10:44:49 MST Print View

Thanks to Matt and Agnes for a great trip report and superb photos (as always). Given the attention that such a large percentage of the serious community of alpinists gives to going in "alpine" style it surprises me that your attempt at a lightweight attempt was so rare on Denali.

I'd be curious what a survey of gear on parties attempting less-frequented lines around Denali at the same time as you looked like. Guys like Twight, House, Stumps, Backes, et al wouldn't be able to do (have done) what they do without bare-minimum base weights.

Edited by sharalds on 12/11/2009 10:45:28 MST.

Matt Hage

Locale: Alaska
Re: Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt on 12/11/2009 20:19:34 MST Print View

Thanks for the kudos Sam. Alpine style definitely has its place on Denali and routes such as the Cassin Ridge, Fathers and Sons Wall or even the West Rib are regularly climbed in that fashion. To spread out the absolute minimum provisions and equipment for the route, and loose a quarter of that. But for us, that's not the preferred style on an international winter camping trek like the West Buttress. We've done much alpine climbing in the Alaska Range and can say that the style is based on seeing how long you can tough it out. Our goal for Denali Light was to keep the experience fun. To establish a realistic base weight for this kind of expedition, with out getting into the Twight-like brutality. ie: We brought sleeping bags for BOTH climbers on the route.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt on 12/12/2009 12:00:31 MST Print View

Mega inspiring. Thanks again. When I started (seriously) getting into winter camping last year, I read your gear lists over and over. Thanks again.

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
Denali Light: The 2009 Attempt on 12/12/2009 14:32:18 MST Print View

Hi, another quick question - how did you find the amount of insulation that you brought along? Was it enough, too much, or not quite enough?
I noticed that you dropped the micropuff pullovers and was wondering how comfortable you were, also wondering if you thought that over-boots were necessary for you or just a nice accessory?

R B Rhinesmith
(rhinebr) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mts
Two Ropes? on 12/13/2009 17:25:52 MST Print View

I am planning an attempt of Denali this June and have been comparing pack lists from many of the guiding companies. After becoming a recent convert to ultralight backpacking on through trails (e.g. Colorado Trail), I wondered if anyone had taken a hard look at how to reduce pack weights on winter mountaineering trips like Denali. You have provided a thoughtful approach to this type of expedition that reduces the weight without compromising the experience. Thanks for sharing your insights.

I noticed that you both carried ropes and wonder if you felt this was necessary? Also, I am also interested in your thoughts on over-boots that was mentioned in a previous comment.

Thanks again.

R B Rhinesmith
(rhinebr) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mts
Meal Plan on 12/13/2009 17:45:41 MST Print View

I also meant to ask if you would do a follow-up article on the meal plan. I liked your overall approach and would enjoy learning about specific items that you enjoyed on the trip.

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Woo Hoo!! on 12/17/2009 07:34:19 MST Print View

Congratulations Matt and Agnes!
You make it seem almost easy :)

Matt Hage

Locale: Alaska
Re: Two Ropes? on 12/17/2009 17:31:38 MST Print View

Sorry for the confusion. We carried one 8mm rope. The gear list might reflect that it is coiled rescue style for two climbers.

Gerald Miller
(colnagospud) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Thank you... on 12/24/2009 10:26:21 MST Print View

...for sharing...wishing you a merry christmas and dreams of your next adventure......