Friday, June 13, 2008

Post Denali ponderings, Part II

I decided against doing another day-by-day account of our Denali trip since the West Buttress route is so well known, traveled, and documented, AND since Mats is doing such a good job over on VFTT. (Another of our team members, Arm, has posted 100+ nice photos!)

After weighing our gear for the flight out of Talkeetna and coming to the astonishing conclusion that we averaged about 117 lbs.!! per person (although mine was more in the 100 lb. range), I commented that my JMT speed hike pack weighed in at 4 lbs. at the start. This prompted a sort of compare-and-contrast between climbing Denali via the WB and blitzing the JMT. While on my run today, I got a little carried away with it. Here goes--JMT first, then Denali (some numbers are educated estimates):

Total miles hiked: 223 / 38
Average miles per day: 58 / 2.7
Total elevation gain, in feet: 38,000 / 18,000
High point reached: 14,505 / 19,918
Highest pass: Forester 13,153 / Denali 18,200
Demigod: John Muir (duh) / Bradford Washburn
Miles hiked in the dark: Many / 0--it was light all the time!

Partners in crime: 2--crew Chris & Deborah / 7--Frodo, Lloyd, Arm, Garret, Jeff, Mats, & Rob
Time spent in tent: Not nearly enough / Way too much
Surface: Dirt, rock, kitty litter-pumice / Snow & ice
Footwear: Montrail Hardrocks 13 oz. each / La Sportiva Nuptse mountaineering boots 3 lbs. each, MSR snowshoes, Black Diamond crampons, OR overboots up high
Gaiters: Dirty Girls, short / Mountain Hardware, high
Pack: Nathan Intensity / North Face Snow Leopard, circa early 90s (& child's sled low on mtn.)
Average daytime temp: Pleasant (60-70s) / Cold (0-10s)
Layers of clothing: 1 / 5, including down jacket at 19,000 ft.
Painkillers taken: 8 Tylenol / None
Sunscreen: Lots on 80% of body / Lots on 5% of body (face only)
Days without shower: 3 / 14
Food: Mary Jane's Farm pastas, spuds, oatmeal, Snickers bars, jerky, nuts, salami / Same
Java: Starbucks Doubleshots / Folgers instant (possibly the most significant hardship of the trip)
Water: Plenty / Plenty (just had to melt a boatload of snow in order to get it)
Poop: WAG bags in Whitney Zone / Clean Mtn. Cans on entire route
Permits: $15 (for the Mt. Whitney Trail) / $200 per person
Favorite sections: Rae Lakes, Pinchot Pass, Evolution Valley / Fairview Inn, Talkeetna :)
Most adrenaline producing: Climbing Half Dome on reconnaisance hike / Flying to the Kahiltna Glacier, climbing the fixed ropes, traversing the 16 ridge, climbing to Denali Pass unroped, descending Denali Pass roped (i.e. like everything above 14,000 ft.)
Least favorite part: Lyell Canyon / Trying to sleep at 17,200 feet
Best campsite: Lower Evolution Valley / 14,000 ft. Basin Camp (when the sun was out)
Jumping-off town: Lone Pine, CA / Talkeetna, AK
Funny place names: Tully Hole, Bubb's Creek, Happy Isles / Motorcycle Hill, Squirrel Point, Washburn's Thumb, Pig Hill
Crowd factor: High / High
Foreigners: A handful / Many
Quizzical comments: "Well, aren't YOU adventurous?!" / "I DON'T KNOW!" (Hong Kong climbers' response to every question)
Flora seen: Lots / A tiny bit of lichen
Fauna: Lots--birds, marmots, pikas, deer / 1 Raven (Talkeetna population omitted from count)
Fuel: One 8 oz. isobutane canister / 10 gallons Coleman
and finally...
Pack weight:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Viva Talkeetna ! :)