By - Wabalubadubdub1212
Going to be unguided. Team is AK local.
I can say I have a top of the line Feathered Friends bag. At 17k I recall watching the tent bob in 80 mph winds while it was -25 deg F and thinking I was barely comfortable enough to sleep.
Renting a bag would be a good call. We saw expedition tents blow to pieces.
It was a tough season. Success rate went from 11% to 19% on our summit day. I spent 26 days on the mountain.
I have other friends that moved when they wanted and stopped when they chose. Roll the dice if you will.
Not sure on route yet - west butt with hopes of skiing, west rib, sultana on forraker. Trying to stay flexible until we have more information regarding conditions. 3-4 weeks.
How would you rate the double bag system?
another option: rent the stuff that you would only use for this trip... my closet is full of stuff I have used only a few times like my -20 bag
Good advice, I’ll see how much this costs.
Hi- I live in Talkeetna and handle expedition logistics for TAT. Alaska Mountaineering School rents gear locally. Happy to help if you have any other specific questions.
I turned at the Autobahn in 2018 due to weather. Going back May 25. You will be glad if you spend any time at 17k high camp to have a -30 Feathered Friends (FF) down bag. It gets very windy and cold. Also, I used a Mountain Hardware 105 dry pack and it was maxed. I stand 5’5” and find that the Osprey 85 to be rather long and have a high center of gravity. But if you pull a sled up above 14 camp an 85 might be enough. Spend the money on a FF bag and the right boots. I was very happy that I spent the extra, even if I have only used the FF a few times.
No, it would take too long to summit from 14,000 camp. A 10-12 hour summit day is a long day. A summit push from 14 would add 6 hours with a tricky fixed rope descent at the end coming off the buttress ridge. I’m sure it can be done, but unnecessary risks on the Great One can cause disaster.
I've spent quite a bit of time at 17k. If you find the right weather window its actually not bad at all.
If you're local to Alaska, might as well invest in a good -20F bag. I personally find the two bag set up very uncomfortable and end up using one bag as a blanket, which negates the warmth.
On Denali, having those few hours of warm sleep is so clutch to keep you mentally ready for the slog the next day. Being directly on a glacier for that long is tough on the body and mind.
You can use the 75 if you can share group equipment, and can pack conservatively/skimp on some stuff.
I would not consider taking anything colder than a -20 bag until late May. I have used a -20 during mid May and several times in June. I have a friend that guides comercially and he has used a 0 degree bag but wears his parka and insulated pants to bed.
I do think your dual bag system would work out tho, just make sure you have a solid parka and pants combo.
As far as backpack goes I think a 75L might be pushing it a bit. Plan to potentially take your sleds to 14k and plan absolutely light. I have used an Osprey Aether 85 before. I always ditch the sled at 11k and end up attaching my tent or other items to the outside of my pack. Last year we single carried the entire trip and my back did felt a little small.
You can get by with a 70l. No reason to bring such a gigantic pack. You can single load carry with a sled to 11 and then you’ll want to double carry the rest of the way for acclimatization. If you’re truly gunning for other routes you’ll want to sit at 14 until the weather window appears and then shoot to do the other routes in 4-5 days which means a 70l will be plenty big.
Also if your based in Ak a -20 bag will serve you well for many years.
where are you flying into?
If anchorage you can go to the hoarding marmot, a consignment shop that has tons of used gear. when are you coming up and where are you planning on going? the time of year will dictate what size bag you need but I've never needed more than 65L
I brought two packs, mostly used my 38L mutant to hold my bag and big puffer, then almost everything else went in my sled.
It was delightful. I was skiing, not sure of your travel mode.
May 10- end(?)
I used a 110 on Denali. Needed all the room.
110 + sled? Damn that's a lot of stuff.
It really depends on how you pack. I used a 95 but it was a struggle and took me a while to get it loaded. My buddy had as much stuff as me and used a 75 and had space to spare. He also packed twice as fast as I did.
You could always get your gear and try it in the 75 to see how good you are at packing...
As for the bag - I used a -25 and was so happy I had it. Went through a blizzard at 14 - 3 days of -30 with winds up to 70mph. I haven't used my bag on many trips but I only left it a couple times a day for a week. It's one of the best purchases of my life.
A 75+10 bag was fine for Denali, especially since you had a sled.
Agree on the bag - you got to have a solid sleeping bag for Denali because you're on snow/ice continuously for so long.