Screening is not a flawless process and we rely on team members to train diligently and appraise their skills with honesty so that each team has the best possible chance of summiting.
Our biggest difficulty is climbers arriving to the mountain with a lower level of fitness, or skill level then the climb requires. This can put your teammates and guides in a difficult situation.
Each climber must meet a series of prerequisites before joining a Denali expedition. These prerequisites not only add to the safety level of each climb but help us build well-rounded, similarly skilled teams. Screening climbers is one of our more difficult tasks: we can inquire about your skill and fitness levels, but this does not ensure the expected level of readiness the day of the climb. Thus we ask each climber to train hard, make sure they have met the skill level requirements and be open to suggestions for courses, training and winter skills. Please be well prepared for this climb as it helps to galvanize our teams of climbers and guides and makes for a much more pleasurable experience. Our pace on the mountain is moderate by mountaineering standards.
While there is no precise formula as to prerequisites for climbing Denali, each climber should posses an adequate level of the following skills and fitness:
Climbing Skills. Proficient in basic mountaineering skills including: cramponing , walking on snow, self arrest, crevasse rescue training, and have had rope team glacier travel. Gaining these skills generally requires, at minimum, of completion of our Denali Prep Course, 6-Day Training course, 13-Day Training course, 8-Day Training course, 10-Day Training course, Alaska 8 Day Course, Alaska 12-Day Training course, or have equivalent skills and experience. This climb requires proficiency in glacier travel, crevasse rescue, cramponing, and expedition camping skills.
Fitness. You should be able to walk and climb on moderate snow and ice slopes for up to eight hours per day, carrying a 50lbs pack and an additional 40lbs on a sled. You should be able to recover from a hard days climb within an 8-12 hour period and to resume another day of demanding exertion, and maintain this pace for 21 days. You should be mentally and physically prepared to go the extra mile when necessary and be ready for weather changes team emergencies and summit bids. One generally trains 6 months in advance for this climb, so please review the 6-month training regimen.
Personal Care. Climbers should have winter camping skills and a good understanding of personal care (i.e. understanding of frostbite, nutrition and hydration issues) for a three week expedition.
Mental Preparation. Climbers should be ready for the mental demands of a Denali expedition. This includes being patient with fellow climbers and guides, being prepared for long hours in a tent during inclement weather and understanding expedition life.
Be Prepared, Be a Team Player
Alpine Ascents is an authorized concessioner of Denali National Park and Preserve.Return to Top of Page