Please note you will be mailed a set of Denali Team Reference Notes upon registration. This extensive booklet includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip; from travel and medical advice to equipment lists and photography tips. The following is to serve as a helpful guideline but please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!
Who are American Alpine Institute (AAI) and Mountain Trip and why do they run your Denali trips?
AAI and Mountain Trip are our American alliance partners for Denali. The reason that we use them is that Denali National Park mandates that as a guide service, you must run your expedition with a concessioned company. Both AAI and Mountain Trip have a concession for operations on the mountain, so this allows us to share our collective experience in the mountains on this fantastic climb. We find that out of all the providers, AAI and Mountain Trip provide a good, quality product and we are excited to be partnered with them on this amazing expedition up one of the Seven Summits.
What are the skills/prior experience required for this climb?
You need to have at least completed one of our AAI/AC partner Denali Prep 7 day courses or have had equivalent experience on other glaciated terrain mountaineering trips. This climb requires proficiency in glacier travel, crevasse rescue, cramponing, self-arrest with an ice axe, and general winter camping skills. Previous experience at altitude will also be beneficial. Contact our office for details if you have questions about your qualifications or need ideas for how to get the skills required.
What is the conditioning level needed for this climb?
Excellent physical condition is required. The cold combined with the challenge of carrying a heavy pack and pulling a sled along in the sometimes inclement weather, can all play a part on your trip. The better shape you are in, the better you will be equipped to handle the situation. Some folks actually drag around tyres to prepare for the sled hauling! We suggest further reading on training that will help you get started. The thing to remember is that the more prepared you are, the more comfortable you will be during your trip.
How heavy will my pack and sled be?
Your pack can sometimes reach weights of 60-65lbs/27-30kg and your sled could possibly reach 40-50lbs/18-23kg.
What is a typical day on the mountain like?
Days start out typically in the snow kitchen, hydrating and eating heartily. We then break camp, load our packs and sleds, before setting out. Days can be as long as 7-8 hours with summit day up to 14-18 hours! Upon arrival in a new camp, you can expect at least 1-2 hours digging tent platforms and walls, as well as a kitchen platform.
I hear Denali can sometimes be colder than Antarctica! Why is that?
It actually can be! Denali is closer to the Arctic Circle than most mountains; hence, it can be much colder with the wet arctic weather fronts that can blow in at any time.
I hear it’s possible to get stuck on the mountain, is it true?
Yes! If bad weather moves in, it is possible to be delayed at Base Camp until the weather clears for flights. If there is snow, it could take even longer as you need to wait till the snow gets packed down before flights can land. Sometimes you are even asked to help pack it down with your snow shoes!
What time should I arrive and where do I meet my guides?
All our Denali trips begin by meeting in Anchorage for a team briefing and gear check. After you sign up for the trip, you will be advised which date you need to arrive by and we will coordinate the pickup time for the onward shuttle from Anchorage to Talkeetna, the town where all flights to Denali Base Camp originate.
What sort of hotels do we stay at in the city?
Our standard expeditions stay at the Best Western Golden Lion Inn in Anchorage.
On our Highly Supported expeditions, we stay at the Lakefront Anchorage (formally the Millennium Alaska Hotel) which is centrally located and includes free airport transfers.
After the climb, we generally return to Anchorage rather than staying in Talkeetna and we leave our arrangements flexible to allow for any weather delays.
How many climbers will be on this expedition?
On the standard expedition, there are typically 9 climbers and 3 guides on each expedition.
The highly supported expedition has a maximum of 6 climbers and 3 guides on each expedition.
Can I contact other climbers or guides for this expedition?
Sure! Getting training ideas and generally keeping each other excited about the trip is the name of the game! As the time draws closer for your expedition, contact our office and we are happy to share your contact details with the other members of your team.
Will I be sharing a tent or room with other climbers? Is there a single room option on this trip?
Accommodation in Anchorage is included on a twin-share basis on the Highly Supported expedition, but a single supplement is available on request.
For the standard expedition, accommodation in Anchorage is not included and we can help you book your preferred room type at the expedition hotel.
On the mountain, you will share a tent with another climber or two depending on the camp.
What kind of food do you have on the mountain?
The good news about travelling on the glacier is that we can bring a lot of perishable food! Hamburgers, bacon, bagels, and fresh cheese, all the way up to high camp - we try to eat as heartily as possible!
What type of communication is available on the climb?
Your guides will typically carry satellite and cell phones as above 14,000ft, we have line-of-sight signal with cell phone towers! You can even pick up radio stations from Anchorage!
How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?
There is nothing to buy once on the hill, but if we get stuck in Talkeetna waiting for weather to fly in, you will need money to pay for meals and hotels etc. You can also simply bring a cash card, as there are cash machines all over town. Most members get by with around USD$200-300 on each trip.
How much should I tip my guide staff?
Tipping is not required but always appreciated. The level of your tip should reflect the level of interaction with your guide. If you feel that they did a good job for you, then give accordingly.
What if I arrive early or depart late?
If you arrive early or depart late, it’s not a problem and our office will work with you as to these logistics.
Are there any entry or visa requirements?
Depending on what country you are from, you may need a visa and when visiting the USA, often is a simple matter of obtaning an ESTA visa, prior to your departure from home.
What is your cancellation policy? Refund policy?
Click here for our cancellation and refund policies.
Can't find your question here?
Contact us for further information!
Click here to email us
or you can reach us by phone:
+64 3 443 8711
or from USA 1-866-757-8722
From the AC Blog page
Ama Dablam 2017 - Final dispatch
Island Peak 2017 - Last day
Manaslu 2017 - Back in Ktm
Lux EBC #3 2017 - Farewell
Mustang 2017 - Kathmandu
Everest 2017 - Wrapping Up