Lessons learned from our most recent overnight training

The Denali Girls recently had another overnight training. We learned some stuff! And here I will impart all that valuable knowledge to you, dear reader.

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I need a bigger pack! Thank goodness for Paul who saved the day by showing up with beer, ice cream and a 95L pack for me to borrow. This trip prompted me to email Cilo Gear to get and estimate of when my new, big pack will arrive. The guys at Cilo Gear assure me they are working as fast as they can.

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Building the wind walls for the tent took a long, long time, but I think next time we will be faster. One thing we learned is that we can dig with the shovels in a little way, and then start using the base to saw out blocks for the wind walls. This will be much faster, I think.

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Our tents need a bigger footprint than we anticipated. The Hilleberg tent, in particular, has a bigger footprint than we thought.

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It took us about 2.5 hours to melt water in the morning. This melts water for breakfast food and drinks plus about 2.5 liters per person for the day. We have capacity for more, but it all freezes so we’ll need to melt water in the morning and then again in the evening, melt another 1.5 liter per person plus water for dinner and evening drinks. The goal is to drink at least 4 liters of water per person per day.

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We used about 30oz of fuel. That’s 7.5 oz of fuel per person per day. But two of our members cooked pasta. We’re thinking about doing dehydrated and freeze dried meals, mostly because things don’t cook well at high altitudes. This will save some fuel

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Contact lenses have to be kept in the sleeping bag or they freeze. Actually it seems like almost everything has to be put in the sleeping bag at night (water, toothpaste, electronics, boot liners… what doesn’t go in the sleeping bag?)

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It was a beautiful weekend and we were lucky to be out! I’m excited to see Alaksa! I hear it’s the most beautiful place you can imagine!

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3 thoughts on “Lessons learned from our most recent overnight training

  1. My Denali climb was in 1976 and before plastic boots and Gore-Tex. The MSR XGK was so new we stayed with the tried and true Optimus and Primus stoves. My reminiscence is no-doubt faulty in some areas; I only wish I could remember which areas…

    I recollect we spent 3 hrs AM & PM to set up/break down camp, cooking, melting snow, etc. I also remember there were times we were on the trail for about 12 hrs and slept for about 12 hrs which added up to 30 hrs/day. In these instances we would take every 3rd day to acclimate and re-sync. We climbed in June so had light all but an hour or 2. Summitted on day 13.

    AK snow is much less dense. Building snow walls will take less time and you will be amazed at the size blocks you can cut and carry! Knowing what I know now about igloos (warmth and quietness) and their construction (AK technique is different than WA) I suspect they might have had a place in our trip.

    Our meals were freeze-dried. If cooking consider pressure cooker.

    Best,

    Doug

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  2. if you cook pasta at home, then dehydrate it, it cooks up super fast at camp. not that you guys have any time to be dehydrating foods.

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