With it’s easy accessibility and zero permit fees, it’s an easy climb right?
Well it has some surprises.
Being a relatively seasoned mountaineer (no pro but no novice either) I went there with no big qualms. Thousands climb the peak every year and it’s tremendously popular with those with no mountain experience due to the amount of guides that haul them up the peak.
Tim and I went to the Alps with training at altitude being the focus rather than a Mont Blanc summit. It would be our last training excursion before this year’s mega expedition; Tajikistan, and a Mont Blanc summit would simply be a bonus.
This year is already looking action packed and adventure filled. With the main event being the Highest Dinner Party on the North Col of Everest in May, there will be other trips going on that I look forward to telling you about.
Next month I’ll be jetting up North to the Arctic once again where myself and my good friend KP (Katherine Pears) will be doing a week long ski expedition on the cheap. It will be fun to share how Arctic expeds don’t have to eat away all your savings. I met KP on my first ever Arctic expedition in Svalbard 2011. We shared ten weeks together and a year after we completed the Haute Route (Chamonix to Zermatt). We have been talking about going back to the Arctic for years and as they always do, the decision was made and shook on after a few to many wines… Now’s the time, I can’t wait!
Below is one of my more memorable days on Denali. It definitely qualified as one of the most rewarding and challenging days on the mountain and I wanted to share it with you along with some chilly pictures. Step into the world that is Alaska...
The snow had finally melted and the water trying to boil. Once poured into the food bag we’d have 10 more minutes and then fuel to feed the furnace that is our tummies.
It had been a long and exhausting day on Denali. The mountain was starting to show it’s menacing side.
With the temperature below -40C, things were serious. I hold the bag waiting for the food to hydrate. I can tell the food is losing it’s heat already. I’m cold, tired and clumsy. I caress the food bag in my lap but don’t realise my grip is too tight. The bag opens and water spills out into my sleeping bag. The food is now losing it’s heat rapidly. I give it a try anyway in the hope for some much needed calories. Cold. Crunchy. Inedible. I look over at Tim. He is having the same problem. We have our toes in the same sleeping bag trying to share what little heat we have. Our full down jackets are on and never have I worn so many clothes and still be the coldest I’ve ever been.