It’s just another couple of days before departure! I’m putting the last things together, but generally speaking I’m ready to go. You might be wondering what’s going to happen while I’m gone. Well, here’s my Denali schedule! I’ll keep it brief, which perfectly reflects my days; lots of walking, not much to say about that.
My Denali Schedule
|May 17th||As expected, my Denali schedule starts with departing home… And arrival the same day! From the Netherlands to Anchorage, Alaska will take a while. But, I will also cross some times zones. Effectively this means I will get off the plane two hours after I got in.|
|May 18th||After a night in Anchorage I will return to airport to meet some of my fellow climbers. After this, we will have a two-hour car ride to Talkeetna and sleep in the Fireweed Station.|
|May 19th||Rest day at the Fireweed. Hopefully I’ll have a good sleep, and a small hike. But the most important thing is to pack my bag. At the end of the day, all climbers should have arrived and we are ready to go.|
|May 20th||From this day on, I’m in the hands of our guide. We are picked up from the Fireweed and head to Alpine Ascents office. After a final check, we will board a ski-equiped airplane. This plane will take us to the Kahiltna glacier. The landing-place will also be our first campsite.|
|May 21st||After some checks, we will have an easy hike to intermediate camp. This will be a good opportunity to get used to walking with the sledges.|
|May 22nd||Going to camp 1 (2400m).|
|May 23th||Head for camp 2 (3000m) and leave some gear there. After this, we will go back to camp 1 and sleep there. This will be the start of our acclimatization hikes. Acclimatization will be done by climbing up during the day, and sleep lower. This will help your body to get used to the altitude, while sleeping lower will ensure a good night rest.|
|May 24th||Head for camp 3 (3400m). When we feel good, we’ll sleep there. Otherwise, we descent back to camp 2.|
|May 25th||Get all our gear to camp 3.|
|May 26th||Carry half of the gear halfway up to camp 4 (4300m). After this, head back to camp 3 for some rest and a good night sleep.|
|May 27th||Head to camp 4 and sleep there.|
|Mat 28th||There still is some gear halfway camp 4. Today we will pick it up and return to camp 4. This will probably be an easy day.|
|May 29th||Get some gear up to 5000m and leave it there. There will be some serious climbing up to 50 degrees in snow and ice.|
|May 30th||Rest day at camp 4.|
|May 31st||Head up for camp 5 (High camp, 5200m)! And get all necessary gear there.|
|June 1st||Rest day and prepare for a summit attempt.|
|June 2nd||Summit day! On my way to the summit, I will traverse across a steep snow face to Denali Pass. From here, the slopes get gentler to reach Archdeacons Tower and a large plateau at 5900m, known as the “football field.” From the plateau, it’s an moderate ascent to the crest of the summit ridge. Up there, I’ll can see the immense 2500m South Face, with Cassin Ridge and the South Buttress in full view. Once on the summit ridge, it’s only 90 more meters to the top of North America at 6910m. From the summit, there is 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.
At the summit, it’s time for the traditional cheering, photo’s and everything. After that we head back to camp 5.
|June 3th and 4th||Return to basecamp, board the plane and get back to Talkeetna. This will end a (hopefully!) succesful Denali attempt.|
|Weather and conditions on Denali can be unpredictable. And of course, the suffering could be become to intense for the group, or extra acclimatization might be required. For this reason, we have 5 extra days to spend.|
|June 9th||Return to Anchorage and probably say goodbye to my fellow climbers|
|June 12th||Leaving Anchorage and head to Iceland. Hopefully I was able to spend my time well and got enough info to decide if I’ll stay in Iceland for 5 more days or not.|
|June 13th||Touchdown in Reykjavik, Iceland. I’ll either find my plane to Amsterdam, of find my way to the local campsite in Reykjavik.|
|June 14th – Jun 18th||Time to spend on the Laugavegur trek. The trek is easy and every day I will have plenty of time to get to the next hut. I’ll bring enough food, a tent and everything to be fully self sufficient.|
|June 19th||Last day to complete my Denali schedule! Catch a plane back home, Amsterdam. It’s been over a month now and I probably will be very happy to meet my wife and children again!|
While writing this Denali schedule, I realize it’s quite a trip I’m undertaking. I will definitely will not have a lot of comfort, since most of the nights are either spent in uncomfortable chairs on a plane or on the ground in a tent. But, I trust I will greatly enjoy the trip! I’m really looking forward to the climb. Yes, even the suffering. But also to the surroundings, the things I will learn from the people around me and undoubtedly the things I learn from and about myself.
Want to stay updated during my climb? Be sure to keep a close eye on both my Facebook and this blog. While I don’t expect to have access to the internet from Denali, I will try to figure out someway to send some updates.