Tips for climbing Denali

This is final post in series of blogs that i have written for my denali experience. main page can be found here.

Alpine Ascents has a great 6 month training program and if you want to follow that here is the link.

I don’t want to give out a training regimen or some generic guidelines in this blog post. Having gone through the slog myself, i feel i can share some things which are useful before and while being on the mountain.

1) Train with a sled, dragging a 60lb sled can be really challenging and it will helpful if you manage to train with it.

2) If you are not able to train with a sled then just do a lot of deadlifts or some similar exercise to strengthen your lower back.

3) Try to find a training partner or talk with someone close to you so that you are motivated and can keep on track with whatever training programme/regimen you choose. Take breaks, listen to your body as you deem fit.

4) Invest in really good sleeping bag, i had mountain hardware ghost -40 degree bag which is amazing. Chances are you will end up sleeping with your inner boot liners, water bottles and some more gear inside your bag so make sure it is roomy as well. Similarly buy quality gear and don’t go for cheap stuff which might not last or will freeze and not work anymore.

5) Pack a variety of different lunch snacks by that i mean something salty as well as sugary. I had carried mainly nuts and chocolate along with protein bars and at the end of the trip i was sick of them and craving something really salty which i hadn’t thought of.

6) Carry some reading material, i had kindle to save me from the boredom of the tents. you can only talk and interact with your tent mates so much when you are stuck in your tent for days.

7) If you pee as much as i do make sure you carry a pee bottle which won’t get completely filled up at night, my bottle almost over flowed couple of times and it wasn’t fun. Not to mention that during the storm days because of the same reason i didn’t hydrate as much as i should have. Some people empty the bottles inside vestibule but i not fan of that.

8) Whenever you establish camp make sure all your gear is accounted for and placed in such a way that if it snows then it won’t get buried/lost. I made mistake of leaving my crampons outside because i was being lazy and was worrying about them when it started snowing. Luckily, David moved them along with the pack.

9) Always cover your backpack if possible, i had my down stuff get wet on the first day and if i hadn’t got chance to dry it out, my life could have miserable.

10) Similarly cover your boots with gaiters so that snow doesn’t get inside the plastic shell and put the liners away inside your sleeping bag to keep them warm or put them inside the tent at the very least.

These things might seem trivial but trust me at altitude all the trivial problems appear to be huge. I suppose this is for now and i will keep in updating this page as i think about more things.

High Resolution pics from the entire climb can be viewed here. you can also prints from this site if you wish. Entire collection is posted on facebook, if you are interested in obtaining high resolution some picture then let me know.

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