Denali Expedition Itinerary
Day 1: Morning Meet in Talkeetna. Meet at the Alpine Ascents Office (Climbers arrive in Talkeetna one day prior. All transport information will be forwarded upon receipt of application.) After introductions, orientation and final gear check we board a ski-equipped aircraft and fly to Base Camp on the S.E. Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier (7,300’). The flight to Base Camp is marvelous, presenting outstanding views of a variety of peaks including Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter and Moose’s Tooth. Upon arrival we prepare our Base Camp. (Glacier Travel review may be done on this day.
Day 2: Glacier Travel review and carry to our intermediary camp (approximately half way to traditional camp I). This gives us a chance to get an easy start and let you sort out any adjustments in gear and sled pulling setup. This is very important as we will be pulling sleds for the next 8 days.
Day 3: Carry loads to Camp I (7,800’). Snowshoes may be necessary between camps on the lower part of the mountain.
Day 4: Carry loads to cache between 9800 and 10,000ft (Camp II) and return to Camp I. The route this day ascents a slope called “Ski Hill” which flattens out as we approach Camp II.
Day 5: Our carry today depends on snow / weather conditions and how the group is feeling. We either ascend back to our cache and camp for the night or continue on to 11,200 ft (Camp III.) Camp III is located in a small cirque at the base of Motorcycle Hill.
Day 6: We carry all our gear to camp III
Day 8: Carry half our gear up Motorcycle and Squire Hill and then traverse a long gradually rising plateau to Windy Corner. We continue on around this narrow corner for a few hundred yards to make a cache. (approximately 13,500) and return to Camp III. This day provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and the northeast fork of Kahiltna Glacier, 4,000’ below.
Day 9: Move to Camp IV (14,200 ft)
Day 10: Descend to our cache at 13,500 and carry to Camp IV. This is an easy day as we descend 700 ft, pick up our great and return to Camp IV
Day 11: Carry loads to 16,500 ft and return to Camp IV. From Camp III we ascend 1,100’ of moderate snow slopes to reach the beginning of the fixed lines. Using ascenders on the lines to self-belay, we climb the Headwall, which consists of 900’ of 45°- 50° snow and ice up to the crest of the West Buttress. From here the climb takes on an entirely different nature with views that fall off in both directions several thousand feet below us.
Day 12: Rest Day at Camp IV.
Day 13: Carry and move to High Camp, (Camp V, 17,200’). We again ascent the fixed lines and follow the exposed ridge 600 ft up around Washburn’s Tower, and on to Camp IV which we establish on a saddle just above the Rescue Gully and overlooks Camp IV 3000 ft below.
Day 14: Rest day. Rest and prepare for the summit attempt.
Day 15: Summit day. We traverse across a steep snow face to Denali pass. From here we follow gentler slopes to reach Archdeacons Tower and a large plateau at 19,400’, known as the “football field.” From the plateau we ascend moderate terrain to the crest of the summit ridge where we look down upon the immense 8,000’ South Face, with Cassin Ridge and the South Buttress in full view. Once on the summit ridge excitement grows as we climb the last 300ft to the top of North America. From the summit we have a 360° view of the entire Alaska Range, with Mt. Hunter and Mt. Huntington to the south and Mt. Foraker to the west. These peaks, along with scores of others, make this Mountain View one of the most impressive in the world. After taking photos we descend down to our High Camp.
Days 16 - 17: Return to Base Camp. From High Camp we spend two days returning to Base Camp where we will board a plane and return to Talkeetna.
Days 18 - 21: Extra Days. We have several extra days for inclement weather, rest and acclimatization as needed.
Note: Due to the nature of climbing Denali, there may be delays/accelerations due to weather and guide decision-making. It is important to keep schedules slightly flexible, as we will take extra days or combine days if necessary to give everyone the best possible chance of success. A detailed logistics package will be forwarded to each team member upon receipt of application. Our staff will work closely with all Denali climbers.
Alpine Ascents is an authorized concessionaire of Denali National Park and Preserve.
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