Денали, 2017

2017 Denali Expedition

This expedition is organized by Aleksey Dokukin in honor of Zulfiya Dokukina who tragically died in May 2016.

Denali 2017 facebook group

Denali 2017 Group Logistic


Meeting happened on 1/25. Attended: AlekseyVadimLarisaAnutaGregAlex and Liudmila
* There are 11 people in the expedition, which is enough for a single group. Today’s attendees + 4 more (PavelAlenaSergey, +1).
** The Max allowed is 12 people, so we have a buffer for one more.
** The ideal breakdown is in three tents: 4/4/3 people. Possibly each tent will be representing its own “связку”

Some logistics:
* Flights: Seattle -(3hours)-> Anchorage -(30min)-> Talkeetna
* Alexey (+1 more) will leave one day earlier to buy food/gas/other for the whole group.
Aleksey estimated 600g/person/day of solid food, which was always more than enough in his experience.
* In Anchorage: Stay in Motel6. In the morning a shuttle picks us up, brings us to the air taxi that flies off to Talkeetna.

  These air taxis are very frequent, since there are ~6 of them.
* 11K: Camp. Will leave some stuff here
* 14K: Camp. Will leave some stuff here
* 17K till the summit: last push. Typically, if the first time the ascend is unsuccessful, no one gives it another try the day after.

  Last time the weather was really cold, so the group didn’t make it to the top and turned back. Aleksey stayed in the tents to keep tents ready to receive the group on their way back.

* Burners: reactor and jet boil
* Sleeping bag. Had quite a bit of discussion with no conclusion. Aleksey has a 20 year old -30C for a comparison. Greg also suggested a synthetic one.
* Metal flask: Aleksey suggested a trick to keep warm at night – to warm up a metal flask of water and throw it into the sleeping bag to keep your legs/feet warm.
* Also, can use a jacket to keep feet warm. This means the sleeping bag should fit both your jacket and your feet in it.
* Tents: Alexey has one, and is proposing that the Gorizont Club would buy two more. Need to
* Sleds (санки) can be picked up at the base of the mountain, so no need to purchase and bring them along.
* Aleksey suggested to have 1) warm pair of gloves, 2) fleece pair of gloves, and 3) very warm mittens for the last stretch of the mountain. We should all be prepared to burn through one pair of gloves when coming down.
* 5-6 pairs of socks. Rotate them on daily basis, trying them on one’s body during the night. Aleksey also proposed to use three types of socks – thin, normal and thick (for the last stretch).
* Two Duffle bags (walmart has them for $10-$20: https://www.walmart.com/…/travel-duffel-…/4044_444253_651266 ) – one to leave your “post hike” clothes at the base, and the other to take with you on the sleighs.
* Electronics discussed:
** Radio (per tent) + replaceable batteries. Need to confirm approx hours the radios need to be operational to know how many batteries to take along. Also, need to somehow account for the batteries’ degraded output during very low temperatures.
** Satelite phone. We’ll use it very sporadically, so the battery should last the trip.
** Cameras/Mobile Phones: If you’re bringing these, do bring extra batteries or solar battery chargers.
** GPS: There was a bit of debate on how much value a GPS tracker adds. If someone has one of these, we should consider bringing it along. Will need to find out how long does the battery lasts with this solution.

Next steps:
* [1/25] Alexey will register the group (naming it “Горизонт – Денали 2017”) to start the ascend from Anchorage on 5/27. If that date is not available, then he’ll move it forwards accordingly. As part of this registration, he’ll book the meeting with the rangers and will announce in the .
* [1/26] After the registration, Aleksey will forward the link to the group so that each member can individually register for a permit.
* [1/27-1/28] Greg an Liudmila are organizing the hike up Rainier. Aleksey will try to join on 1/28
* [Next week] Aleksey will reach out to one more Denali conqueror for the group to get a second opinions on gear. He’ll then set up a meeting with the group next week to go over these details.

Cегодня, 02/17/17, наша экспедиция на Denali получила офицальную регистрацию и пермит на восхождение, экспедиция стартует 27 мая по 17 июня. Мы будем стараться держать вас всех в курсе событий, как во время подготовки так и во время восхождения.
Состав нашей группы:
Алексей Докукин, руководитель экспедиции
Вадим Савин
Лариса Бородина
Павел Каплин
Алена Рюрик
Сергей Рюрик
Алексей Нешмонин
Людмила Суданава
Михаил Нитько
Григорий Пеперин
Анна Сидельникова
First of all, it’s very worthwhile to check out and follow the clothing recommendations from guiding companies.
It would be a mistake to assume that these are exaggerated just because they are targeted to clients with limited experienceFor example, RMI’s list is very reasonable – https://www.whittakermountaineering.com/shop…/denali-sbs or https://www.joomag.com/…/rmi-and…/0535983001391029348

NOTE: This mainly applies to clothing\footwear\backpack\sleeping bag recommendations, not to technical gear (though those are reasonable too in general)

What we had is very very similar to that list.
The list below is representative of what we actually had. In some caes, we had different brands (either because we found some items on sale or because we already had a bunch of gear that was sufficient – and in my and Yulia’s cases some of it is so old that I don’t remember the exact model name any longer

Lower Body:
– Lightweight base layer – e.g. https://www.whittakermountaineering.com/…/capilene…
– Midweight or heavyweight base layer – e.g. https://www.rei.com/…/patagonia-capilene-thermal-weight…
– Climbing Pant (soft shell pant) – Yulia had 10 year old REI pants, I had North Face, there are many options and it doesn’t make that much difference
– Hard shell Pant – Arc’teryx Beta AR or Theta SV (or similar)
– Insulated Pant (this is somewhat optional in June) – Feathered Friends Helios Pants or Volant Pants, Mountain Hardware Compressor Pants, First Ascent Igniter Pants (if you can find them)

Upper Body:
– Lightweight base layer (i.e. thin synthetic t-shirt)
– Light insulating Layer – e.g. https://www.whittakermountaineering.com/…/mens-r1-hoody
– Soft shell – e.g. Arc’teryx Gamma LT, pretty much any soft shell will do. In fact, I used a North Face hoodedn fleece which isn’t technically a soft shell
– Heavy Insulating layer – e.g. Mountain Hardware Compressor Jacket
– Hard shell – e.g. Arc’teryx Beta SV or Beta AR or Theta AR
– Parka – Feathered Friends Frontpoint (what I have) or Feathered Friends Icefall, Marmot 8000M Parka (Yulia had this, it’s overkill but we got it at a 50% discount :))

– Thin glove liners – any, as long as they are thin and can be worn as a base layer, can probably live without it
– Lightweight gloves – e.g. https://www.rei.com/…/the-north-face-etip-gloves-mens. You will likely wear these almost exclusively on the lower mountain.
– Midweight gloves – e.g. https://www.rei.com/…/black-diamond-soloist-insulated…
– Heavy-weight gloves of mittens – e.g. Black Diamond Absolute Mitt, Marmot Expeditions or 8000 Mittens (8000s are a bit overkill), OR Alti Mittens

Some general comments based on observations during the meeting:
1) Avoid insulated hard shells for either upper or lower body (e.g. skiing pants and jackets). You may be wearing a hardshell at 7800 feet where it’s warm or at 17000 where it’s not so warm. Insulated hard shells make it difficult to layer properly.
2) If you want to try your luck, you can probably get away with lighter gear – e.g. lighter parka, no insulated pants, etc. But, honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it. You’re investing a lot of time into climbing Denali, might as well give yourself the best chance of success
3) If you’re planning on wearing plastic boots, make sure you understand what you’re getting into. Wearing them for 2 weeks on Denali is not the same as wearing them for 1.5 days on Rainier. If you can afford it, get Spantiks or a similar “modern” boot.
4) It’s better to have clothing that’s overkill\too warm then to be cold  Unless you completely go overboard, the weight will not make a difference considering all the other crap you will be carrying. It’s an expedition, you’re not going alpine style/”light and fast”

by Vlad Aleksandrov