CLIMBING FAQ

What is the common season to climb in the Alaska Range?

Mid April to Mid July is the common time frame for climbing Denali.

What type of storage do you have ?

We provide storage for gear/packs that you may need to leave behind while you are on the mountain.  We require tagging of all articles that you plan to leave with your name and address. TAT will not be responsible for articles left in this storage container.

Wallets and passports will be placed in our safe. Due to limited secured space in our safe we cannot accept laptops, cameras, etc.

Can I take in propane or oxygen?

Propane or oxygen cannot be flown with passengers on board.

Do you sell isobutane cartridges, and can we fly them in with us?

We do not sell isobutane cartridges; however, the AMS Mt. Shop, a climbing store in Talkeetna, does.  You can fly isobutane that is approved for aircraft with you, but you must notify the TAT office in advance.  **Jetboil brand cartridges are not approved for transport in any aircraft.**

Can we purchase Coleman fuel (white gas) from you?

Yes, we sell Coleman fuel.  If you are flying to the Kahiltna Base Camp, you pay for the fuel in our office and pick it up at Base Camp. For all other areas, you will need to fly it in with you.

How much fuel should we take for our climb on Denali?

The recommended quantity is ½ pint per person per day, which would equal about 1 gallon per person for 21 days.  However, each expedition is unique and we recommend doing your own calculations for fuel needs.

What are the sizes of the sleds, and are they rigged?

Our sleds are 60 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 6 inches deep. Some of them are rigged; however we cannot guarantee that you will get a rigged sled, so we recommend bringing your own rigging.

Can I rent a satellite phone?

We do not rent satellite phones, however below is a company that does and we suggest that you contact them directly. We HIGHLY recommend a sat phone if you are going to:  Kichatnas, Hayes Range, Revelations, Tordrillos & Talkeetna Mountains.

ALASKA SATELLITE PHONES
Gregory specializes in equipping climbers with lightweight and easy-to-use sat phones featuring voice, short messaging and optional email capability. Please reserve in advance by contacting Gregory (Alaska Satellite Phone Consultant):

AkSatelliteSurvival@outlook.com
(907) 891-5819 – available 7 days/week

Location: 1231 W Northern Lights Blvd (Suite#202 Upstairs). Northern Lights Blvd. & Spenard Blvd.

Can I rent climbing equipment from TAT?

TAT does not rent climbing gear.  There is a climbing store in town, the AMS  Mt. Shop, located about 5 minutes from our office.  This store has a good selection of gear to rent and/or purchase.  You can call to see if they have the gear you need; their telephone number is (907) 733-1016.

You can rent some equipment (including skis) from:

-AMH, web: www.alaskamountaineering.com

Telephone number: (907) 272-1811

Gear is available for  purchase at:

-REI web:  www.rei.com 

Telephone number:  (907)272-4565

We can.   The cost for a TAT air charter will be from $725 to $1450 for the aircraft depending on the number of climbers, gear and the type of aircraft required.

A van Shuttle service cost about $85 per person one way. We recommend that you contact the shuttle services directly to coordinate details. They can pick you up at the airport or hotel and can stop along the way for food shopping if necessary.  Here are 4 companies that provide that service:

-Planet Earth, web : www.discoverak.com

Telephone: (907) 717-6966

-Denali Overland, web: www.denalioverland.com

(Custom services available)

Telephone: (907) 733-2384

-Go Purple, web:  www.gopurpleshuttle.com

Telephone: (877) 477-6250

Alaska Outdoor Adventures:   www.exposurealaska.com/

What communications does TAT recommend for climbing Denali?

Mostly for West Buttress Route (call for info about other areas)

Family Band Radios:

The Base Camp Manager monitors FRS (Family Band, 2-ways) radio and issues weather reports via FRS each evening at about 8:oo p.m. The NPS currently has a FRS radio at both the 7,200-foot camp and the 14,200-foot camp and monitors it regularly throughout the day.  The radio is not monitored continuously throughout the night. Base Camp Manager uses the NPS radio to transmit the weather forecast at 8:10 pm from base camp.  The FRS radios are more popular on Denali because of the reduced weight and efficient use of batteries. There are a few areas in the common route in which coverage is spotty.  FRS coverage is non-existent on the North side of the mountain. The FRS broadcast happens in the evening.

Cell Phones:

Cell phones do not often work high on the mountain but occasionally work at the 14,200-foot camp. From 8,000 – 9,800’ digital phone calls are sometimes possible.  Limited cell phone service exists above 14,000′ and above depending on your carrier (analog mode is the most successful). The only service on Denali that still maintains analog is Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA) who has an operating agreement with Verizon  The phone must be placed in a “forced” analog mode to call out.   Do not rely on your cell phone as an emergency method of communication.

Sat Phones:

Satellite service is somewhat expensive and you need to make sure that the service you choose works in the higher latitudes. Irridium phones seem to have the best coverage in high latitudes which are available for rent.  You can call the Weather Service for the Denali recreational forecast directly at (800)472-0391, option #1126 (generally available from May 1 – July 7).  The Denali recreational forecast is updated at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm each day.

Can I rent/buy gear in Talkeetna?

Gear is now available in Talkeetna at the AMS Mountain Shop located two blocks from TAT on F Street.  You can reach them at (907)733-1016.

Where can I buy food for my climb?

All food purchases should be done before arrival in Talkeetna.  In Anchorage there are numerous large grocery stores:   Fred Meyers, Carrs or Costco.    Talkeetna has one medium sized grocery store; it is 14 miles away – Cubby’s Marketplace IGA.  There is one small grocery store (Nagleys) in Talkeetna for last minute items.

Do I need to reserve the bunk house for my climbing expedition?

TAT does have a bunkhouse available for your expedition to stay in a day before and after your climb.  No reservations are needed, it is operated on a first come first serve basis.  There is floor space and bunks available and you need to bring a sleeping pad and sleeping bag with you.

How do I contact your office during my climb?

If you need to contact our office for emergency or pick up, be sure to relay your group name and your message as clearly as possible.

Our office is staffed 7 AM until 9 PM after May 1st until September 15th.

If you are calling from a sat phone, you can contact our office at 1-907-733-2218.

If using an InReach contact via email at: info@talkeetnaair.com

If you are traveling to Kahiltna Basecamp, you must contact the basecamp manager to arrange your pick up.  Your whole team must be at basecamp before scheduling your return flight and she will contact our office.