The National Park Service (NPS) reviewed and approved our application in writing so that hurdle is past. All it really shows is we filled out our paperwork and paid part of our fee. Our 60 day window is soon upon us locking in our team; we can only make one team member change up to 30 days prior.
Equipment logistics have been a primary focus. The gear list for a Denali expedition is pretty extensive. Thankfully most purchases have been more equipment enhancements than new or replacement gear. I even rented a -40 degree F sleeping bag for the trip saving me up to $600 compared to buying one. While my personal gear is mostly acquired we still have some group gear to figure out. It won’t be a big issue now that we have new group owned 4 season/4 man tent. Food supplies are the final logistic task to complete.
Training is never ending: gym workouts, running, climbing, hiking, walking the dog wearing a pack (me not her), taking the stairs etc. Skills based training is also part of the plan with winter camping, setting up the tent with gloves on, rope practice, knot review, gear inspection, cleaning and repair and reading about all of it.
Trip logistics are in place. We fly to Anchorage on 13 May and leave for Talkeetna the next day via a shuttle service. That afternoon we meet with the NPS to get our permit, pay our fee and sit through their required briefing. On the 15th, weather dependent, we fly for the glacier to land at 7200 feet “aka the Denali International Air Strip” the start of our 15 mile, 13,000 feet of elevation trip to the summit (noted by the D on the map). We plan to be back at the air strip by 4 June and back in Colorado by the 6th. If we accomplish our summit goal early we will leave earlier as flights allow back. Whether or not we return successful we will celebrate our return with plenty of burgers, pizza and beer in Talkeetna!
Get out and Explore the World!