Prepping for Denali: 5 months to go

Part two of my monthly countdown for Denali. Read about what I did last month to get ready for my Denali expedition. Part two of the series: Prepping for Denali: 5 months to go.

Physical preparation

Training is hard at the moment! It’s still dark, wet and cold outside. Beside that, days are really short, making it nearly impossible to do any training while it’s still light outside.

Rainy run. Hard time of the year to prepare!End of December, both of my tibia were painful when running and my calfs were stiff almost all the time. I could barely walk and this was annoying me badly. I really need, and want, to be able to run smoothly. But if this injury keeps coming back, it will never happen.

I decided to cut down running. Instead, I started a 2 month Bootcamp program. This program mainly focuses on core stability (again!). As soon as my tibia aren’t painful anymore, I will pick up running again. Somebody recently told me using compression socks might prevent injuries. I might try that!

Another thing I will do, is try to get some more structure in my training program. Right now I’m too depended on other (non climbing experienced) trainers. Without doubt they are giving me the best advice they can, but I think I need a little more guidance on training more specific.

To get this guidance, I ordered the book Training for the New Alpinism. I have read some very good reviews on this book!


Well, not much news in the equipment department! I’m pretty close to having everything. I just need to buy some ‘small things’, and expect to order these pretty soon. Currently, I’m searching the internet to find them.

The expedition

Some great thoughts on this! First of all, recently I got the names of my expedition members.  This does feel like another step closer to the expedition! It’s also time to pay the final deposit for the expedition. Not the most fun part ;).

I’m 99% sure I fly Iceland Air to Alaska. Iceland Air offers a free stopover in Iceland. This would be an excellent opportunity to have to time to get to myself again after (probably) a demanding time at Denali.

So now I’m considering to lengthen my trip for four days in Iceland. The Landmannalaugar trek looks like a beautiful hike to me. But, there is a huge chance it isn’t open yet. It probably opens around June 16th, which is 2 days too late. I have to give this some more thoughts!

The project

Progress on the overall project “Climbing the 7-Summits in 7 years” is pretty good! Last December I launched this blog and my Facebook page finally is deduplicated. Going steady on this!

Last couple of weeks I have been talking to some interesting people about what do to next, to make the project work. I need to work more on the concept of the thin line between pleasure and pain. What do these words really mean to me? How can I help other people to achieve their goals using these words?

Expect some blogs on this very soon!

Prepping for Denali: 6 months to go

It’s still a long time before my expedition on Denali starts. But, doing nothing now simply is not an option. Read all about my current progress here: Prepping for Denali: 6 months to go.

Physical preparation

Winter is the hardest time for me to keep in shape. Nights are long, it often rains and temperatures are low. This currently forces me to mainly focus on core stability in my workouts. You can read all about my current training schedule here.

Focusing on core stability has a price; I cannot put the desired amount of time in endurance training. For know, I’m not to worried about that. When days get longer (and hopefully less cold), I will pick up cycling again.


It’s always fun to get new stuff for mountaineering. Because of this, I have been following the biggest outdoor shops in Europe to find the best prices available. My main guideline for buying equipment is the gear list of Alpine Ascents.

Remember, the Dutch Sinterklaas helped a lot!

 MSR Double-wall insulated mug MSR Double-wall insulated mug. This mug will let me enjoy a nice warm cup of tea on the glacier. It’s not that big, but is easy to grab. Even wearing gloves or mitts.
 Petzl Ascension Handle Petzl Ascension Handle. One of the hardest days on Denali I’ll be climbing Headwall. This is a 45 to 50 degrees climb. I will do this belayed using the ascender. I trust I will make it with this golden one!
Therm-a-rest Z-lite SOL Therm-a-rest Z-lite SOL. Apparently, sleeping on my Neoair X-lite will not keep me warm enough. Not even while I’m in my sleeping bag that goes down to -25. This extra layer of insulation will hopefully be enough to change that. It’s surprisingly light, but not that compact.

The expedition

Since last August I am sure I’m joining the expedition. But, not everything is settled directly. Last month I completed the Denali Climbing Registration, which is required to climb Denali. Now the main actions left are buying tickets for the flight and the final payment for the expedition.