Clothing and Gear for Denali

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Veteran Denali guide and Uphill Athlete coach Mark Postle walks you through the clothing and personal gear he uses on Denali. Filled with details and tips, this video is a must-watch for anyone considering gearing up for North America’s highest mountain.

 

 

Mark Postle’s Recommended Denali Clothing and Gear List

  • Boots: La Sportiva Olympus Mons Boots
  • Camp Booties: Western Mountaineering Standard Down Booties
  • 3-4 Pairs socks (over the calf ski length)
  • Lenz heated socks for summit day (if your feet run cold)
  • 3-4 pairs underwear
  • Patagonia Capilene mid weight Long Johns
  • Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Long Johns
  • Patagonia Simul Alpine Pants (rig tie downs on cuff?)
  • Marmot Precip Eco Full Zip Rain shell pants (full side zip!)
  • Mountain Hardware Compressor Pants (full side zip!)
  • Sports Bra (1-2) Comfy and work well under heavy pack
  • T shirt Voormi Merino Wool Tech T
  • Sun Hoody Voormi River Run hoody
  • Patagonia R1 Hoody
  • Patagonia Houdini or Houdini Air
  • Patagonia Micro Puff or DAS light
  • Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody Full Zip
  • Patagonia Storm 10 Rainshell
  • Patagonia Grade VII Down Parka (Parka sized to fit over other layers)
  • Light weight liner glove: BD Light Weight Soft-shell Gloves
  • Insulated leather work glove: BD work glove, Kinko 1927, REI Co-op Guide Insulated Gloves
  • Warm Glove: Black Diamond Guide Gloves or Guide Finger (removable liner for drying)
  • Mittens: Black Diamond Super Light Mitts
  • Buff X 2 (cut small hole to breathe)
  • Ball cap
  • Neoprene half face mask (Velcros in back, cut small hole to breathe)
  • Glacier Glasses
  • Beko Nose guard
  • High contrast Goggles (Julbo Aerospace Reactiv 1-3 Super Flow?)
  • Thin skull cap to fit under helmet
  • Helmet: Petzl Sirocco
  • closed cell foam pad: Thermarest Z-Rest
  • Inflatable pad: Thermarest Neo-air Xtherm
  • -20deg F down sleeping bag (-10 if you sleep warm or late season trip)
  • Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering make great -10deg bags.
  • BIG Backpack!
  • Mountain Hardware AMG 105
  • Gregory Denali 100
  • Hyperlite 5400 Porter
  • 140-150 Liter Sled Duffle (long and skinny is best to fit in sled)
  • Budget: Outdoor Products Deluxe Duffle
  • Non Budget: Hyperlite Duffel
  • Note: Alaska Mountaineering School clients will be provided a custom duffle.
  • Harness: Petzl Altitude or Mammut Zephir Altitude (I love the plastic coated toggle buckle on the Mammut when its super cold in the morning)
  • 12 point Crampons, Steel only no aluminum.
  • Ice axe: (Light!) BD Raven, CAMP Corsa Nanotech
  • Trekking poles (w snow baskets)
  • Snowshoes
  • Locking and non locking carabiners
  • Cordage/slings for glacier rig
  • Ascender: Petzl Ascension (right or left handed for your dominant hand)
  • Stuff sacks: Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Dry Sack or Hyperlite Pods/Stuff sacks
  • 1 large for sleeping bag
  • 1 large for misc clothes
  • 1 small/medium for all small things (Hyperlite Pod)
  • 1 small for cup/bowl/spoon/hot drinks
  • 3 for lunch food (5# lunch food per bag)
  • 1 XL for cache bag (20-35 liter)
  • Misc:
  • Ear Plugs
  • Watch w alarm
  • Small solar Panel and battery (consider sharing panel)
  • Paperback or Kindle
  • Individual baby wipes
  • Toilet paper (2 rolls)
  • Small hand sanitizer
  • Foot and/or body powder
  • Hand warmers 3 pairs
  • Blister repair kit
  • Advil and Advil PM
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Diamox
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Pee Bottle: Nalgene 48 oz Flexible Canteen
  • Pee funnel (for Women, Practice!)
  • Mug (or just use 1/2 liter Nalgene w Bottle Boot), bowl, spoon (no metal)
  • 1.5 Liter water bottle and .5 liter water bottle. 40below for both w 40below boots
  • Alpine Start Instant coffee, Starbucks Vias or Trader Joes Instant coffee packets w cream and sugar. The TJs ones are way simpler if you’re a cream and sugar person. You’ll probably need the calories anyway!
  • Favorite snack food. Bring a variety of snacks.  Altitude messes with your appetite and its nice to have a few different things to choose from. Sweet and savory. Welchs single serving fruit snacks and peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets are 2 of my favorites.

Things I don’t bring

  • Redundant base/midlayer/softshells. Easy for these to creep in.  If you cant wear all your layers at once then consider which ones might be unneeded.
  • Multiple weights of long underwear bottoms.  With ski socks and triple boots most of your lower leg is already covered. I found a single pair of mid weight LJ to do just fine. If its really cold enough for a true fleecy LJ I just put on my puffy pants.  As it warms you can always strip off you full side zip pants where as you’re trapped in heavy LJs.
  • Thermos. I like a 1/2 liter Nalgene in Boot Bottle as my mug/thermos/extra water bottle.
  • More than 15 pounds of lunch food. 5 pounds per week.
  • Heavy shell/rain gear.  Light hardshells are fine, especially once you get higher Denali is a fairly cold environment. It can occasionally rain at lower elevations.
  • Excess toiletries/handwarmers/electronics/camera gear.
  • Fleece Balaclavas. With 3-4 hoods, 2 buffs, thin hat and neoprene facemask I never ended up wearing my Bala so I stopped bringing it.
  • Gaiters. Triple boots make them redundant but even with normal double boots I always found tie downs on my soft-shell pant cuffs adequate.
  • Headlamp.  Anytime after early May its plenty light out even for reading at night.
  • Giant bottle of sunscreen. Small 2 oz bottle is fine, mostly just for face. I try and cover up with Buff/hat/sun hoody instead.
  • Big container of baby wipes.  Freezes solid anyway. I prefer a handful of individual packaged wipes. Easy to thaw/warm in pocket.
  • Negative 40 F sleeping bag.   -20 F is great unless you sleep incredibly cold.  You also have a lot of puffy clothing you can press into service if needed.
  • Big camp booties. I like the lighter/smaller 40Below booties and mine fit inside my boot shells to wear around camp if I need the traction or warmth
  • Big knife.  If you want to bring a knife bring the Swiss Army Classic.  Scissors and tweezers are often more useful than a blade anyway.  Don’t bring any lunch food (meats/cheeses) that need slicing in the field. Pre slice everything in town.
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