By Grant Perdue Regardless of the abundance of expensive, top-notch ultralight equipment in your Denali kit, something is going to break on the mountain. From peeled-back boot soles to craters in your puffy jacket, a mindfully fortified repair kit can curb headaches and potential expedition-ending gear failures with the unzip of a small tote and…
Preparing for any climb requires a number of steps, some of which can be stressful and some that come at you so quickly that intuition is your only guide. One step along your journey to the summit of Denali will find you at a small airport with a large group of climbers that you hardly know, and an inconceivable amount of gear that needs to find its way to Base Camp. This is a moment when stress can be high as this is your last chance to remember anything you may have forgotten.
It’s snowing, it’s blowing, this definitely isn’t Kansas anymore, and in fact, you aren’t even sure you are on planet Earth! Where are those puffy pants and how the heck are you going to get them on? Let’s see… you are at 20,000 feet, wearing big boots with crampons, harness on your waist, bundled under a big Michelin Man jacket and you absolutely dread the thought of taking your hands out of your mittens. It suddenly hits you, you are not in your living room and that you really, really, REALLY should have practiced with this more!
Mountain guides really prefer (read – insist!) wide mouth bottles so they avoid pouring water on their hands when filling them, and wide mouths are less likely to be plugged up when partially frozen. Two are recommended, but a small percentage of climbers should have three, especially in late season when it gets hot on the lower glacier.
Keeping yourself thermo-regulated is important to conserving energy and you’re your general well being on and expedition. Technological advances in the textile industry have changed how we dress for the mountains and on Denali, we don’t need to follow the “old method” of piling insulated layers under a wind and waterproof shell.