06 januari 2012

Denali: gear that worked & gear that didnt, before I totally forget

True to the name of the blog; on my trip to Denali I took a fairly big pile of gear.
A lot of it worked great, with some, I had some issues. All items are important, but some more then others. I would say the most important items are:

Sleepingbag: PHD Xero 1000

Down Parka: PHD Rondoy

A quick report of how some of the gear functioned in the field, to help aspiring Denali climbers:
  • Packpack - GoLite Terrono 90: see my review (bring a spare hipbelt-buckle though!)
  • Boots - La Sportiva Spantik: I need a euro size 47 to fit these, and with that size boot you need extra long linking bars for your crampons. Also, these were difficult to get on at high camp. This can be due to feet swelling a bit at high altitude, but do take this into account when trying & buying! I'd say at least a half size up.
  • Crampons - Petzl Vasak (lever-lock): because you're wearing overboots at higher altitudes, you really want a basket at the toes. A lever usually works on the heel, but can be a bit of a pain. For easy on-off, I'd recommend baskets for the front and back.
  • Overboots - Forty Below K2 Superlight: these help in keeping your toes warm at higher altitudes, but can make fitting crampons a challenge. Don't expect they'll look as nice at the end of the trip as when you get them. These double as outer camp-booties.
  • Gloves - Hestra Army Leather Heli Ski: used at 14k camp and above (lighter gloves are usually enough until that camp), very durable because of the army leather palms - but treat the leather before you leave, so it's more snow/water-resitant! For the coldest temps - switch to mitts.
  • Mittens - PHD Xero Down Mitts: Mitts are used when gloves can't produce enough warmth, which is usually the case when it's either very very cold, or very windy. Or both. You will be in these conditions on Denali, so bring quality mitts.
A complete kit-list can be found online here.

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