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Doing Denali Light: Post-Trip Report and Gearlist
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Doing Denali Light: Post-Trip Report and Gearlist on 08/28/2007 21:34:35 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Doing Denali Light: Post-Trip Report and Gearlist

Thai Wood
(Fenrir) - F
Editors? on 08/29/2007 02:50:22 MDT Print View

I don't mean to be overly critical, but I would expect a website with membership dues to have better editing. Especially in the first paragraph.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Editors? on 08/29/2007 05:45:19 MDT Print View

Hi Fenrir,

Thanks for pointing out the repeated phrase - it's been fixed.

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
Gearlist for timeframe on 08/29/2007 09:03:12 MDT Print View

First off, THANK YOU

But I would like to point out that's it's CRITICAL that it be clearly outlined that this gear was for a late May/ early June attempt. Someone using this list as a reference for an April/early May attempt should not assume their gear will be warm enough.

Edited following Matt's comments

Edited by mohid on 08/29/2007 13:40:36 MDT.

Matt Hage
(mattagnes)

Locale: Alaska
Denali Lite on 08/29/2007 12:42:28 MDT Print View

Ben: Thanks for getting this up on the web site. Hopefully my pack raft will be spared of any further death threats.

Just a couple quick clarifications. Our excursion was during the last two weeks of May. I've been high on the mountain in early May (brutally cold) and late February (beyond cold). My experience in the Alaska Range (10 years) is that you usually have a high chance of stable weather during the last two weeks of May and first two weeks of June. We tested our clothing system during a week-long winter traverse trip where the day time temps hovered in the 30-40 below range.

Regarding our choice of ltwt ice axes. We needed to be prepared to self arrest on a snow slope and the Camp axes are perfect for that. Secondly, they would also work in a crevasse fall situation where the victim needed to claw their way out of a slot. There is little to no need for hard ice work on the route.

Cheers
Matt Hage

Edited by mattagnes on 08/29/2007 12:51:14 MDT.

Thomas Tait
(Islandlite) - F

Locale: Colorado
Crampns on 08/29/2007 13:09:41 MDT Print View

Matt

I am curious about your choice in crampons. Why not some of the light aluminum type? Durability? Points dull quickly?

BTW great job on getting the weight of the gear down. Looks like you got it down to the essentials.

Edited by Islandlite on 08/29/2007 13:24:56 MDT.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Denali Light on 08/29/2007 14:35:39 MDT Print View

Please arrange your next Denali climb so that you get to enjoy a 10-day blizzard at the 17,200 high camp, so I can really feel confidant in your gear set-up.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
balaclava AND neck gaiter? on 08/29/2007 20:54:31 MDT Print View

Ordinarily I would only bring a balaclava. Many of them can be pulled down around the neck. Did you find you needed-needed the neck gaiter as well?

Edit: whoa I see the REI sub-kilos as +15 or +20, not -20 bags. But they are about 1lb 13oz, not 50 or 60 oz?? Where'd you find the heavy ones?
http://www.rei.com/search?vcat=REI_SEARCH&query=subkilo&x=0&y=0

Edited by Paul_Tree on 08/29/2007 21:10:07 MDT.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: balaclava AND neck gaiter? on 08/29/2007 22:12:37 MDT Print View

Well the other hat is hidden in the clothing worn, so if its not enough for full balaclava, you can put just the neck gaiter and hat on. Personally I think they could drop one. I am very interested in whether neck gaiter + hat is a good idea, because its not really that much of a difference between a neck gaiter hat vs a balaclava (full coverage OR versions aside)

Its a typo i think. There IS an REI bag called the Kilo expedition or something like that, that goes to -20. Also in the same vein as my other question, it seems as if (and having never lived in an area that has gone below about -5), has anyone been in weather that has been too cold for a -20 but not for a -40? smart answers aside. Because I do have my doubts of cold penetrating 8 inches of 800 fill down.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
Got it on 08/29/2007 23:06:58 MDT Print View

I see, yeah that is pretty decent of a price too: REI Kilo Expedition -20 Sleeping Bag - Regular $359

I would definitely think the balaclava is needed up there. High winds so you need a face mask and they stay on your head when you sleep.

Everitt Gordon
(Everitt) - MLife

Locale: North of San Francisco
extreme cold on 08/29/2007 23:33:48 MDT Print View

Actually it depends on how tired you are not how thick your bag is. Also the thin air of high altitude depletes your ability to create metabolic warmth. vapor bariers can help keep your precious heat from ozing away but ultimatly becoming exausted to the point you can't sleep warm can be real danger at high altitude.

Robert Mohid
(mohid) - F
Extreme cold on 08/30/2007 08:40:08 MDT Print View

Exactly,

The bag rating is secondary to your physical condition. I've overnighted in the open after a snow cave collapse. I spent the night in a -7C down bag out of the wind and a partner spent it outside in a -28c (-20f) bag. Ambient temp was about -18C with a 20mph winds.

I was f'ing cold all night but made it till morning unhurt with no loss in my "combat effectiveness". We had to pull my partner out of his -20 bag because his hands couldn't operate his zipper. We had to warm his extremeites against our bare skin before we has functional enough to dress and feed himself.

Thomas Tait
(Islandlite) - F

Locale: Colorado
Extreme cold on 08/30/2007 09:14:14 MDT Print View

High altitude adds complication to the equation of keeping warm when it is cold. If you are not generating internal heat it is impossible to stay warm regardless of all the clothing you may have. After a few really bad experiences carrying everything but the kitchen sink "just in case" I finally realized that fast and light was the way to go for me. Since that Ah Ha momemt I have really enjoyed many adventures at alititude without freezing my butt off.

I am attacking my ice climbing gear rack this winter to shave off some weight. Unfortunatley physics rules and things can only get so light and still function. I liked Matts approach - knowing there were fixed lines only take the gear absolutely necessary. Wait - I could free solo everything! There's 30 lbs lost right there.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Extreme Cold on 08/30/2007 10:44:14 MDT Print View

I think the previous postings are pointing out a very important aspect of winter camping. That is, “Sleeping bags and thick clothing do not MAKE heat, they PRESERVE heat.” Only your body can MAKE heat.

It does this by minor flexing of the muscles or, in the case of the shivers, major flexing of the muscles. Anything that involves the use of muscles is work and work requires energy. Where does energy come from for the body? …. Food. So, it is critically important to take enough of (and the right kind of) food to provide the needed energy. I for one would love to read more articles at BPL about nutrition/energy foods for cold trips.

The second part of the equation is “energy used.” In the summer, we can hike until we are panting like a dog and then sleep like a baby all night. However, if we don’t plan our winter trips considering the amount of exertion required, there may not be enough energy left over for heat production at night!

So, it seems to me that gear list planning for winter excursions needs to consider the choice of food just as importantly as the choice of a sleeping bag and, trip planning needs to strive to keep enough energy reserves for a good night’s sleep.

Edited by mad777 on 08/30/2007 10:45:28 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Extreme Cold on 08/30/2007 16:32:38 MDT Print View

Michael wrote:

> I think the previous postings are pointing out a very important aspect of winter camping. That is, “Sleeping bags and thick clothing do not MAKE heat, they PRESERVE heat.” Only your body can MAKE heat.

> gear list planning for winter excursions needs to consider the choice of food just as importantly as the choice of a sleeping bag and, trip planning needs to strive to keep enough energy reserves for a good night’s sleep.

ABSOLUTELY, for BOTH.
You read about climbers getting into their tent so tired they can't melt water or eat any food. Then they get high altitude sickness, collapse and wonder why.

More articles on nutrition - hum, a good thought. The problem is that people prefer/eat such a huge range of foods, and what suits one person does not suit another. I've seen menus featuring turkey stuffing, gravy and mashed potato - frankly I couldn't!

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Denali Lite on 08/30/2007 18:42:15 MDT Print View

I have a question regarding all the base layers that you brought. Do you intend to use them as a change of clothes for a 2 week expedition, or as in the Light and Fast with Gary Scott article, as multiple layers instead of just one?

Henry Liu
(henryliu) - F
fixed lines and tiblocs on 08/30/2007 23:21:36 MDT Print View

I heard the fixed lines were too thick for the tiblocs to act like jumars which only handle up to 10mm rope. Is this true? Don't you need a full size ascender then? Thanks.

Neil Bender
(nebender) - F
Re: fixed lines and tiblocs on 08/31/2007 12:02:43 MDT Print View

Petzl shows on the side of a tibloc the diameter range they are designed for is 8,5mm to 11mm. They are reported not to work well on frozen ropes (no eprsonal experience). An iced up 11mm would have the problem of maybe getting too big to squeeze into the tibloc, and also ice plugging the gripper teeth. Full size ascenders are much easier to deal with when wearing gloves.

Matt Hage
(mattagnes)

Locale: Alaska
Re: crampons on 09/02/2007 17:35:19 MDT Print View

Crampons: Ltwt aluminum spikes could be a fine choice for the West Buttress, but since we made the choice to go very light on the ice axe, we wanted to make sure that we had excellent footing when presented with blue ice. There was a very exposed section of blue ice above Lunch Rocks this season. A one-foot wide trail of packed snow switched-backed up the slope, but we did crunch up a lot of bullet proof ice on that section. Four times actually with our carry of supplies to Windy Corner. On that type of ice, which is common on this route, a full strength ice axe is not going to help after you get sliding, but full strength crampons will bite perfectly as long as you don’t hedge or catch a gaiter.

Matt Hage
(mattagnes)

Locale: Alaska
Re: balaclava AND neck gaiter? on 09/02/2007 17:41:23 MDT Print View

Packing a balaclava, hat and neck gaiter may seem redundant, but this system covers three levels of cold on Denali’s West Buttress. You can wear just the hat on most days or combine with a cozy neck gaiter on colder/windier days. And then you wear the balaclava under the hat and neck gaiter before tucking back into your parka hood on those stretches of brutal cold/high winds. It’s layering for your head/neck.