Denali Climb Gear List & Day 1

Denali Climb Gear List & Day 1

Folks, the day is upon us. Justin and his 4 teammates have landed at Denali’s base camp at 7,200 feet (Denali’s summit is 20,310 feet).

Minutes before their departure from Talkeetna!

The team sorted all their gear on Sunday and left it in the K2 Aviation hanger in Talkeetna, then stayed at an Airbnb in Talkeetna owned by a friend of ours.

Monday morning, they had their prep meeting with the NPS rangers. You’ll see from the ranger station sign pic below, there are more than 1,000 climbers registered, and 166 on the mountain. No one has summited, and 9 have come down already. The wind has been BAD. So terrible that teams couldn’t even get onto the mountain (there’s 1 team that had flown there TWICE, only to return to Talkeetna because they couldn’t land the plane; they are on the mountain now).

Amazingly, after 4 days of not flying due to weather, K2 Aviation in Talkeetna had planes flying Monday, the day Justin’s team hoped to get on! Let’s hope the weather gods keep smiling upon Justin’s team.

Thanks to the SPOT X satellite messenger, I hope to get pretty regular updates on their progress. So my plan is to update you guys maybe every few days. As a reminder, the climb could take anywhere from 15-35 days. Justin was on the mountain for 23 days last time. He has enough food for 28 days this time.

He certainly is carrying more gear and food than his climb in 2016, mainly because this is an unguided trip. Last time with RMI Expeditions, the guides carried much of the cookware, group gear (i.e., wands, ropes, etc) and group food. In this case, the 5 guys are splitting it all up, which adds more weight to their personal loads.

I really don’t know how he does it, but the grand total of his personal gear is … 137 pounds! He is wearing his 100-liter backpack and pulling a sled with 2 duffle bags.

You guys, he weighs 141 pounds! Actually, with his clothing & mountaineering boots, he weighs 153 pounds. I’m not a math person, but somehow this seems crazy!!

Gear for the team of 5 weighed in at 750 pounds.

His gear changed some since 2016 (see the gear review post here), and here is the grand list for 2019:

Gregory Denali 100 Liter Backpack

Gregory Alpaca Duffle (1st bag on sled)

Big Agnes Battle Mountain Tent 2P (personal tent)

Big Agnes Battle Mountain Footprint

Sierra Designs Mountain Guide Tarp (tent for team kitchen/meeting room)

Therm-a-Rest Polar Ranger Sleeping Bag -20

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir X-Therm Max Sleeping Pad

Therm-a-Rest Ridgerest Pad

Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Liner

Therm-a-rest Air Head Light Pillow 

Therm-a-Rest Z Seat

Zen Bivy Pillow 

MSR Pro Bivy (emergencies)

Leki Condor Poles


La Sportiva Spantik Boots

Superfeet Redhot Insoles

Exped Down Booty WB

Superfeet Merino Wool Insoles

Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaitors

40 Below Purple Haze Overboots

Farm to Feet Denali Socks 

Cloudline Compression Socks

3 pairs Lorpen T3 Inferno Expedition Polartec Socks


Black Diamond Rhythm Tee (testing for Backpacker)

Columbia Short Sleeved Tech Shirt

Black Diamond Alpenglow Sun Hoody 

Ortovox Fleece Lite Grid Jacket (testing for Backpacker) 

Ice Breaker Body Fit Midlayer Botton

Brynje of Norway Arctic Merino Wool Baselayers (Tops & Bottoms)

Mountain Hardware Touren Softshell Pants

Eddie Bauer First Ascent BC Alpine Pants

Mountain Hardware Compressor Insulated Pants

ArcTeryc Proton Hoody

Blackyak Pasiega Hardshell (testing for Backpacker)

Big Agnes Jacket (testing)

ExOfficio Give N Go Boxers

Outdoor Research Alti Mitts

Gordini Camber Mitts

Black Diamond Patrol Gloves

Shower Pass Waterproof Light Gloves

First Ascent Guide Trigger Mitts

CTR Headwall Versatile Glove

4 beanie caps (Mountain Hardware, The North Face, CTR Tempest Cap)

1 Buff 

1 Serius Face Mask

Trucker Ball Cap with Brim


SPOT Gen X 2-Way Satellite Messenger

Powertraveller Falcon Panel 40

Powertraveller Falcon Panel 20

Powertraveller Extreme Solar

Powertraveller Extreme Powerbank 

Sawyer First Aid Kit

Sawyer Stay Put Sunblock SPF 30

Beko 2013 Nose Guard

Jublo Dolgan Glacier Glasses x 2

Stage Stunt Photo-chromatic Googles 

Hand Warmers 

Sea to Summit XLarge Airlite Towel


Suunto 9 GPS Watch

2 iPad Minis full of movies/games 

1 iPod full of music

1 iPhone 

1 Pentax Optio WG2 Waterproof Camera

Kindle Paperwhite 


MSR Personal Windburner Stove System

MSR XGK – Ex with arctic pump

MSR Trillium Stove Base

Stanley Coffee Cup

Klean Kanteen TK Pro Thermos

3 Nalgene Bottles (1 is a pee bottle)

2 Outdoor Research Bottle Insulators 

Morsel Spork

Gerber ComplEAT Cook, Eat & Clean Tool


Atlas Snowshoes (new – testing for Backpacker)

Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe 

Black Diamond Helmet 

Black Diamon Contact Crampons

Mammut Alugator Pro Light Shovel

MSR CX 320 Striker Probe

MSR Cable Pickets 5

MSR Snow Tough Stakes 10

Brooks Range Snow Saw

Black Diamond Vision Harness 

2 Black Diamon Ice Screws

7 Various Locking Carabiners

3-piece pulley crevasse system 

Petzl belay device


12 Black Diamond Quickwire non-locking carabiners 

2 bale prussiks

2 long slings

2 short slings 5 assorted cordalets 

2 Motorola Walkie Talkies

Big Agnes Rolling Stagecoach 125L Duffle (not on the mountain, just for transport to Alaska)

And here are some snippets of his food stash. 28 days worth … Climbers need about 5,000 calories a day, which is not easy to accumulate with oatmeal, hummus, tuna, pringles, bars, dehydrated meals …

Closeup of snacks while still in original packaging

Stay tuned!

3 responses to “Denali Climb Gear List & Day 1”

  1. Amanda says:

    so fascinating and love the food stash pics- totally my area!! wishing him best of luck!

  2. kevin culleny says:

    Good luck and God speed. Enjoy the adventure!

  3. Jason Ledder says:

    He’s a champion! As are you for keeping us all in the loop!

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