Denali, because it is so close to the Arctic Circle feels like a much higher mountain. What is impressive about Denali is that you start your expedition at about 7,000 and push up, totally self-reliant and self-powered (i.e. no Sherpas, no helpers etc…). Denali is known for its very unpredictable weather and even during its climbing season (End of April to early June), it presents a challenge that you won’t get sometimes even in the Himalayas.
Yet in the winter, she is fierce and deadly and altitude, length and constant subzero temperatures take an unprecedented toll on the body.
We lost over 15 pounds each in 19 days last year. The body suffers and the constant fight for survival is tough. We pull up 1 month of gear and provisions in huge backpacks and sleds – the weather is too harsh to sleep in tents so we must dig a new snow cave at every stop and it takes about 5 hours – the constant subzero temperatures slowly destroy the gear that freezes, stays frozen and looses its insulation power – in Feb, it is still very dark so that ads an extra challenge to the climb too.
Artur led the only successful January expedition on McKinley summiting Jan 16, 1996. It has since then been tried few times without luck.
For us and for all the true survival reasons mentioned above, we need Acli-Mate when we are out there to stay as hydrated as we can and as strong as possible for as long as possible. Carrying all our provisions ourselves up to 17,200 or 19,200 (last camps), careful decisions are made prior to departure regarding the usefulness of each and every item we are thinking of taking. Every ounce on our back and on the sleds counts. Acli-Mate is a couple of pounds we do not want to part with. It hydrates us, picks us up when we get low and keeps us going. It is natural which matters to us as our diet is horrible out there.
We climbed McKinley twice last year, once in May and once in June. By the 2nd time, we were already hooked on Acli-Mate so we made a couple of pix of us with it for you to see. Both pix with Acli-Mate were taken at Windy Corner, about 13,500 feet)…
Artur and Christine
12357 S Hunter Creek Dr
Palmer, AK 99645