Denali Expedition

Difficulty Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Lying in the heart of the 600-mile-long (960-km-long) Alaska Range, Mount McKinley, or Denali, is the largest mountain in North America, rising 20,320 feet (6194 m) above sea level. Denali towers almost 18,000 feet (5500m) above the surrounding tundra, giving it more vertical rise than Mount Everest.

In the native Athabaskan, Denali means “The Great One” and indeed, that it is!

Expedition Highlights:
  • Walk in the footsteps of Bradford and Barbara Washburn, the West Buttress first-ascenionists, while climbing the same route
  • Boldly tick 'Wild Alaska' off of your bucket list
  • Land on a glacier in a ski plane in the remote mountains to begin your expedition
  • Climb on a mountain where the sun never really sets.
  • Celebrate your success listening to live music in the Fairview Pub with a host of other climbers from around the world.

***We work exclusively with Alaska Mountaineering School (AMS), LLC, an authorized National Park Service mountaineering company, for our Denali program. Mike has been leading expeditions on Denali with AMS for nearly two decades and firmly believes that no one offers better logistics, professional support, and local knowledge. We will work with AMS again this year to offer you an excellent partnership on Denali!

Climbing the Seven Summits is committed to providing the highest quality Denali expedition with our partners AMS. You can be assured that it will be both challenging and fun, a true once in a lifetime.

Denali is truly rugged and known to have some of the worst weather in the world, at a latitude of 63 degrees North, Denali is just 200miles South of the Arctic Circle. Every year it attracts climbers from all over the world including the world’s best alpinists to test themselves on the peak that many consider to be the most challenging of the Seven Summits. Not only for the extreme conditions but also the workload required.  Climbers need to be able to carry all their own gear, make their own camps and prepare their own food as a team, unlike other mountains where high altitude porters help with the work.

As such an expedition on Denali requires lots of planning and preparation, perhaps more than any of the other Seven Summits. It is a serious, gear intensive climb that requires plenty of advanced planning to ensure success. We utilise our breadth of experience, detailed logistics and our partnership with AMS to take much of this planning headache away from our climbers, but we still require them to be focused and committed to the climb ahead.

Most climbers fly into Anchorage before transporting themselves to Talkeetna, which is where our expedition begins. Here we will conduct gear checks, pack and have a number of briefings. When the weather permits we approach the mountain on a glacier ski plane, enjoying a forty minute flight that boasts incredible views of Denali and the surrounding peaks. We land on the ice at the South East fork of the Kahiltna Glacier and unload at Base Camp and begin our climb.

We use the normal route being ‘The West Buttress Route’ which this offers the most direct route up and interesting climbing. Climbing via this route usually takes two to three weeks but we allow a month, door to door, to allow for bad weather days and a safe, conservative climbing schedule.

From Base Camp, the route ascends the main branch of the Kahiltna Glacier up moderate terrain surrounded by the largest and most forbidding mountains in North America. It is mainly lower-angle glacier travel heading North until Camp 3 where the pitch steepens as it gains the upper reaches of the mountain, climbing exposed ridges, snow slopes and smaller glaciers heading North and East. The West Buttress Route climbs nearly 13,000 vertical feet in 18miles making it one of the biggest climbs of the Seven Summits circuit.

From Base Camp and across the lower glacier, a night schedule is established to climb during the the coldest hours on the lower glacier when the crevasse bridges are the safest. The intense heat of the direct sun during the day makes it unsafe and uncomfortable and during the Alaskan summer the night is sunlit so there is no need for a head lamp.

Across the climb we employ ‘a climb high, sleep low, double carry’ strategy to systematically move up the mountain and cache gear, whilst acclimitizing. There are 4 camps that we use before the summit. Summit day is a long, serious day in a hostile environment with most climbers averaging eight to ten hours to the summit and another three to four to descend back to High Camp.

Denali National Park and Preserve keep a staff of highly trained climbing rangers on the mountain during climbing season. Their job is to facilitate the climb, keep the mountain clean, relay weather information and provide rescue service and helicopter should climbers need it. While reassuring, it is important to be self sufficient and judicious while on the mountain so the rangers don’t have to put themselves at risk unnecessarily. Denali is a potentially dangerous mountain and climbing at nearly 6,000 meters is very serious.

This expedition will be organized and led by Mike Hamill, Owner of Climbing the Seven Summits alongside our field partners AMS. Mike has personally guided nearly 20 Denali expeditions and is committed to helping the CTSS climbers navigate and succeed through all of the exciting challenges of Denali whilst remaining safe.

Welcome to “Climbing the Seven Summits” Denali Expedition

Denali is one of the most imposing mountains on earth and is considered one of the hardest climbs because of it’s extreme weather and serious terrain. I joke that I return to guide Denali each year to prove to myself I’m still a hardcore mountaineer. It is consistently the hardest and most arduous work of of any of the Seven Summits and a real climbers mountain.

As such, it is one of the most sought after of the famed “Seven Summits” and shouldn’t be underestimated. Climbers need to be able to carry very heavy loads as there is no support from porters or pack animals available, meaning the achievement of the summit is that much sweeter, but the responsibility of the workload falls entirely onto the climbers’ shoulders. Summiting is no easy feat but I am committed to helping you achieve it and with the right preparation and expedition set up, I have no doubt you will.

Benefiting from nearly 20 Denali expeditions and drawing on decades of first hand guiding experience I am committed to sharing my knowledge with you and providing you with all the resources you need for a successful climb. I’m proud to have led well over 100 people to the summit, and excited to continue to share that memorable moment with more mountaineers in the future.

We look forward to sharing a great experience with you on Denali. Please contact me directly regarding the expedition should you have any questions.

Best regards,
Mike Hamill
Owner and Lead Guide, Climbing the Seven Summits

Expedition Options (Schedule and Prices)

At CTSS we offer different climb options to customize your Denali experience to your climbing style and ability
We also offer a variety of custom and private expeditions upon demand. Please contact us for rates and schedules for our custom climbs.

Denali Climb (West Buttress Route): $8,900
June 10 – July 1, 2018; $8,900 usd

This expedition is our traditional guided team climb which ascends the stunning West Buttress route. Provided are guidance, leadership, and expedition oversight by renowned expedition leader Mike Hamill, local guides, logistics, team gear, porters, food, and support for a summit attempt on Denali.

Denali Private and Custom Climb
(Please contact us directly for dates and prices)

Having your own private guide climbing with you can be an indispensable advantage and allow you to customize your itinerary and program to fit your schedule. A personal guide will give you total autonomy and control over your trip and they can coach you throughout the expedition, give you valuable feedback, be available if there are any medical issues, and make your climbing experience more enjoyable overall. Although summits are obviously never guaranteed, there is no better way to stack the odds in your favor then climbing with a private guide!

This expedition provides a Private guide, logistical oversight by renowned expedition leader Mike Hamill, logistics, food, team gear, and support for a summit attempt on Denali. This is our signature premiere expedition. Our private guided climb is for those who want to stack the odds in their favor as highly as possible with unparalleled safety and personal attention. Whether you’re a less experienced climber or have climbed at altitude many times before, our private climb with 1:1 Private Guide will give you the best chance at standing on top of Denali.

All prices are in US Dollars.

CTSS requires clients to buy trip insurance for all expeditions. Please see our page on trip insurance and cancellation policy for more information.

All payments once submitted are non-refundable and non-transferable. If balances are not received by specified dates, the client forfeits their place on the program and any prior fees paid.

  • Denali ist he farthest north of the Seven Summits, at 63 degrees north latitude.
  • Kilian Jornet holds the speed ascent record on Denali, at just over 11 hours.
  • In mid-summer on Denali it is always light, so you won’t need a headlamp.
  • In winter, Denali is one of the coldest places on earth.
  • The United States bought Alaska from Russia in 1867 for about two cents an acre.

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

Climbing Denali requires serious fitness and an ability to perform well at altitude. Climbers need solid cramponing, general knowledge or glacier travel and crevasse rescue as well as knowledge of fixed line climbing, rope work, knots, and hitches. Experience climbing at altitude is a plus. If you don’t have these skills we can work with you to get you up to speed prior to the climbs. Please let us know how we can help! Our mountaineering seminars teach skills specific for climbing Denali and other Himalayan peaks. This isn’t the place to start your Seven Summits bid: instead climb smaller, less serious peaks first to work your way up to Denali.

The following is a sample itinerary for a Denali expedition. Keep in mind that weather on Denali can be difficult, flights in and out of the range can be delayed, and conditions can dictate movement on the mountain so the actual schedule is rarely the one described here.

  1. Fly from home
  2. Arrive in Talkeetna
  3. Meet at AMS for gear check and training
  4. Fly in to Kahiltna Base Camp
  5. Move to Camp 1
  6. Carry to Kahiltna Pass to cache gear
  7. Move to Camp 2
  8. Back carry to Kahiltna Pass
  9. Carry to Windy Corner
  10. Move to 14,000ft camp
  11. Back carry to Windy Corner
  12. Carry to 16,000ft
  13. Rest
  14. Move to High Camp
  15. Summit and return to high camp
  16. Descend to Camp 2
  17. Descend to Kahiltna Base Camp
  18. Return to Talkeetna and celebrate!
  19. Fly Home
  20. Arrive home
  21. Contingency day
  22. Contingency day
  23. Contingency day
  24. Contingency day
  25. Contingency day

This detailed gear list is provided for your reference. Each item has been selected over many Denali expeditions. Please follow these guidelines carefully. Every item on the list is mandatory and if you arrive in Talkeetna missing some of them you will be required to track them down in town prior to the climb at your own expense, which can be difficult and costly. Please make sure you are fully prepared so that your trip and the trips of your teammates goes smoothly. If you have any questions about the gear, please give us a call and we can discuss it: we’re here to help!

Travel:

  • In town clothes (some restaurants are nice so a collared shirt/dress is not a bad idea)
  • 2 large duffels, water proof PVC rugged construction (like North Face XXL) One should be light weight and will be used to haul in the sled. The second will stay at the hotel in Punta Arenas with your street clothes and other items not needed for the climb.
  • Travel wallet
  • Passport
  • Cash
  • Print out of team emails and bring with you
  • Hand sanitizer (small container, for the mountain and travel)
  • Marker
  • Pen
  • Day pack for carry on, 40L

Lower Body:

  • Warm Down Booties
  • 1 thin long john pants, and 1 pair of medium weight long john pants
  • 1 pair medium weight climbing pants
  • 1 pair of goretex shell pants, must be full zip
  • 1 pair of down pants, must be full zip
  • 3 pairs climbing socks (1 thin, 2 thick)
  • 2 pairs climbing underwear
  • Triple climbing boots (like La Sportiva Olympus Mons or Millet Everest)

Upper Body:

  • 1 ski/winter hat
  • 1 ball cap for sun protection
  • 1 balaclava/face mask (must cover your whole face (all exposed skin) with goggles
  • 2- 3 buffs
  • 1 pair liner gloves
  • 1 pair of lighter work gloves
  • 1 pair heavy climbing gloves (like OR alti glove or Black Diamond Guide Glove)
  • 1 pair heavy mitts (like OR altimitt)
  • 1 pair dark goggles (like Smith turbofan)
  • 1 goretex shell jacket
  • 2 long john tops (1 light, 1 medium)
  • Synthetic Sun hoodie or trekking shirt, long sleeve (like Patagonia sun hoody)
  • 2 Upper body Pile Layer, like Patagonia R1 or similar hoodie (must be able to layer on top of each other
  • Synthetic Puffball jacket, synthetic or down, mid weight with front zip and hood or similar (like Patagonia Puffball)
  • Ultra heavy weight down parka with hood (like Mountain Hardware Absolute Zero or similar)

Climbing Gear:

  • Power battery/recharger/solar charger with cords (optional)
  • Pee funnel (women)
  • Ear plugs
  • Camera or phone camera
  • Small Aloe Vera for sun burn
  • Hand Cream (optional)
  • 1 sleeping bag, rated to -40C/F (like Marmot Cwm)
  • 1 thermarest
  • 1 ridge rest
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen (like All Good 35spf with high Zinc Oxide content)
  • Book (optional)
  • Alarm (on watch or other)
  • Headphones (optional)
  • Baby wipes, for staying clean
  • Meds: (bandages, triple antibiotic ointment, tums, antacid, immodium, ciproflacin, azithromycin, ibuprofen, aspirin, blister kit, bandaids, etc) keep it fairly small and light to reduce weight
  • Toilet paper (2 rolls)
  • Pee bottle (1 liter)
  • 5 large heavy duty trash bags (for caching gear)
  • 2 X 1 liter Nalgene-type water bottles with full covers (Camelback-type hydration systems are unacceptable. They freeze, pop and break so are unreliable.)
  • Large internal frame pack, must be 100+ liter (like Mountain Hardware BMG)
  • Light harness (like Black Diamond)
  • Helmet
  • 1 pair steel crampons
  • 5 locking carabiners
  • 9 non-locking carabiners
  • 40ft of cordelette (7mm)
  • 1 Ascender
  • 1 single length sling
  • 1 double length sling
  • 2 pairs glacier glasses (one spare)
  • Belt for climbing pants
  • Collapsable ski poles
  • 1 long alpine length ice axe
  • 3 stuff sacks
  • 1 compression sack
  • 3lbs personal snack food (real food and stuff that you know you will want to eat at altitude when you don’t feel like eating: nuts, jerky, granola bars, dried fruit, candy, etc.)
  • Cup
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Tooth paste and toothbrush
  1. Select the program for which you would like to apply.
  2. Fill out the CTSS online application form completely, truthfully and to the best of your ability or ask us to email you the application package. Pay initial deposit of 25% of the program fees into our trust account to reserve your place. Payment can be made by credit card, PayPal or bank wire transfer. Your spot will not be secured until monies have been received, and we have reviewed your application and accepted you to the program.
  3. Upon acceptance of your application*, we will send you follow up forms including a waiver form, physicians medical form, travel sheet, and passport information form to make sure we have all of your details. We will also begin sending you the program emails to get you up to speed on all the details for your trip.
  4. Submit your remaining 75% balance payment and paperwork prior to 120 days before the program start date.

*Note: This application requires the acceptance of CTSS personnel before the applicant will be enrolled on the program. CTSS reserves the right to deny an applicant enrollment in its programs. Further, if the applicant is under the age of 18, the application must be signed by their legal parent or guardian and they must be accompanied by a legal parent of guardian on the program. If you are not accepted for the program your deposit will be refunded.
 (Please Note: Full Payment Terms & Conditions, Cancellation & Refund Policies can be found on the Waiver Release Form.)

Included:
  • Guides
  • Transportation: All group transportation while on the expedition. If you depart early then the added expenses for transport, lodging, rescue, and evacuation is your own responsibility.
  • Mountain Food
  • All Group Gear: Four season tents, cooking gear, group duffels, stoves, etc.
  • Satellite Phone
  • Denali National Park Climbing Permit
  • Glacier flights from Talkeetna to Denali and back

Not Included:
  • Flights to and from Alaska
  • Transportation to and from Talkeetna
  • Hotels in Talkeetna or en route to Alaska
  • In town Meals: All in town meals are your own responsibility
  • Personal gear: all personal climbing gear is the responsibility of the client
  • In the event of a rescue, evacuation, or early departure from the group, any rescue expenses incurred or excess expenses above and beyond our normal trip costs including transport, hotels, evacuation, flight changes, and gear shipping are the responsibility of the client.
  • Guide Tips (customary but optional)
  • Costs incurred as a result of events beyond the control of CTSS above and beyond the normal expedition costs
  • Required trip insurance policy (for trip cancellation, interruption, rescue & evacuation, medical treatment, repatriation, etc.)

We feel that choosing the right guide service for a high altitude climb such as Denali is one of the most important decisions you will make. Expedition leadership is of paramount importance when it comes to safety, success, and the overall enjoyment on an expedition. We strongly believe our organization is the best in the business; better than our competitors both domestic and international. Some of the reasons we believe we can offer you the best experience at an exceptional value are as follows. We are here to help you make an informed decision so please feel free to contact us directly.

  1. Best expedition at a great value: CTSS believes in providing our clients with the highest quality service in the industry at a great value. Climbing and trekking is our passion and our goal is to share these unique places and experiences with you. We want you to feel good about your experience because we believe word-of-mouth is the best advertising, and that begins with satisfied customers. There is a difference between our expeditions and those of our competitors, especially local cut-rate options. In choosing us you are hiring the finest guides and logistical support in the industry. Benefiting from nearly 20 Denali expeditions, well over 100 high altitude expeditions, and drawing on decades of first hand guiding experience, we have worked hard to refine our logistics in order to offer you the highest chance of success at an exceptional value.
  2. We are a modestly sized guide service with highly personalized service: We maintain a moderate size so that we can tailor our Denali experience to you. Not all climbers are the same and this is why Mike Hamill will work with you directly to make sure you choose only the programs that are right for you. Don’t get lost in the numbers with one of the larger “climbing factories”. They can’t give you the attention to detail you need for climbing a peak as important as Denali.
  3. The best route: CTSS climbs Denali by the beautiful West Buttress route. By using this route we provide you with the highest chance of success and give you the best climbing experience available on the mountain. This is due to the more relaxed terrain and greater amount of time for acclimatization en route to the summit. You will see when you’re on the mountain that there’s no better way to climb the peak than via the West Buttress route.
  4. As expedition leader, Mike’s almost unparalleled experience base at high altitude can spell the difference between success and failure: Let Mike guide you through the many nuances of climbing Denali that will allow you to be successful. From start to finish he will work with you to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to reach your goal of standing on top of North America. Often being able to trouble shoot problems before they occur can make the difference and this is where Mike’s exceptional expedition leader experience becomes crucial. Teams under Mike’s leadership have been incredibly successful.
  5. The Seven Summits specialist! Climbing the Seven Summits is THE Seven Summits specialist. We focus primarily on the mountains of the Seven Summits and Denali is one of our favorite mountains. We have been perfecting our logistics on Denali for decades to create the perfect climbing experience for you. We love the diversity of these the “Seven Summits” and the challenge of climbing them all and that is why we focus on these climbs in particular.
  6. Best guides: The quality of an expedition is, in large part, dictated by the individual guide(s) leading the trip. CTSS hires only the finest guides operating at the highest standards for client care who are highly trained, well respected in the industry, and close friends that we trust. The have excellent personalities and are some of the most experienced professionals in the world. Mike and the rest of our guides are strong leaders who hold the high standards you’d expect from the premier expedition company. Our guides make our company what it is and have extensive resumes of personal climbs, high altitude guided climbs, and certifications. All our lead guides maintain at least a Wilderness First Responder medical standard. Our Sherpa and local guides around the world are the best in the industry and do an amazing job helping you attain your goals and navigating local obstacles.
  7. Safety: Our primary goal at CTSS is safety. We have an unparalleled safety record and our clientele’s well being factors in to every decision we make while on expeditions. Although we like to stand on the top of mountains more than anyone, we believe that climbing is a round trip endeavor and getting you back to your loved ones safely is paramount. We take many safety precautions including bringing multiple communication devices, high altitude safety equipment, medical kits, and the highest quality gear to ensure a safe environment in which to climb.
  8. Success: Success rates on expeditions under Mike’s leadership is among the best in the business. (please refer to the summit statistics chart for more details). Mike has maintained an excellent success rate for expeditions under his direct guidance on Denali. This is a testament to our small, personalized service and attention to detail. Mike and our team of guides are incredibly proud of their summit success and work hard to get their clients to the top. As Mike says, “You can’t buy a summit but you can buy better odds.” With our expertise, experience and infrastructure you can stack those odds in your favor. We offer a longer acclimatization progression for proper acclimatization to mitigate the risks of altitude sickness. Many guide services race their clients up the mountain, especially local companies, to cut corners on costs. We are highly invested in our reputation for safety and success and are always striving to improve our programs to maintain our hard-earned status. Decision making in the mountains is supremely important and our guides are the best in the business, have a hunger to summit on any trip it’s safe to do so, and have a proven track record. All of our programs acclimatize conservatively to mitigate the risk of having altitude issues and to give them the highest chance of success.
  9. You!: Why choose us? Because of you! We consistently attract the best clients and believe this is because we offer the highest quality expedition at a great value. Our clientele takes the time to educate themselves about their options and choose us because of this. We feel that surrounding yourself with the right people will make you successful, and that goes for guide service owners, guides, and even those you climb with. Having a team with the right attitude and comraderie is a key factor in making you successful.
  10. Logistics: Our partnership with Alaska Mountaineering School (AMS) provides you with the finest logistics on offer. AMS has been outfitting Denali expeditions for decades and is simply the best in the business. Also, Mike has led countless high altitude expeditions and has worked hard to perfect the logistics over that time, allowing you to focus on climbing, safety and success. Our founder and director, Mike Hamill, personally over sees the logistics of each and every expedition to provide you the best experience. With this combination of AMS and Mike Hamill’s leadership, you are doing everything you can to stack the odds in your favor. Mike has lead well over a hundred major international expeditions including almost 20 to Denali over more than 20 years. Our logistics, flight service, food, etc are the best available. This means eating well and living well. We feel that these creature comforts go a long way to making the time in the backcountry enjoyable. We work with the best local outfitters and provide the best local logistics hands down.
  11. Updates: In today’s connected world people want to know how things are going on expedition. CTSS maintains regular updates on our blog to keep friends and families informed. This can relieve a lot of the stress loved ones have when you’re away on climbing. We want to make the climb as stress-free for both the climber and the folks back home.
  12. Professional Business Practices: Running a professional guide service that you feel comfortable putting your trust in is important to us. Because of this we comply with all local, state, federal and international laws. We hope that this makes you feel more confident about choosing us and our programs.
  13. Enjoyment: This is your vacation and you’re here to have a good time. Our goal is to give you the experience of a lifetime, inspire you in the mountains, and to have a great time doing it. This, again, comes back to our guides; they all have great personalities and their love for the mountain is contagious.
  14. Because you care about your environment, and local communities. CTSS is a member of “1% for the Planet,” an alliance of companies financially committed to making the planet better. Also, a portion of the profit from each program goes to the “Tiger of the Snows Fund.” CTSS Owner Mike Hamill began CTSS in 2014 to provide educational opportunities for workers involved in outdoor tourism and their families globally. Visit the website at www.tigerofthesnows.com By climbing or trekking with CTSS you are making a conscious decision to be a global citizen and support education and local communities. In supporting “The Tiger of the Snows Foundation,” CTSS is creating stronger communities and giving back to the people that give us so much on our expeditions in the best way we know how: education.
  15. Low client to guide ratio: We operate all of our trips at a low client to guide ratio which offers you a better, safer, and more personalized experience.

Each expedition is led by Mike Hamill.

Mike Hamill, lead guide and owner of CTSS, is universally regarded as one of the most experienced and respected high altitude mountaineers in the world. He has guided thousands of climbers on the Seven Summits and well over 150 climbers have stood atop 8000m peaks, including Everest, under his direct guidance.

A guide for over 20 years, he boasts a 91% expedition success rate and an 83% climber summit success rate for all of his expeditions world-wide.

Who you choose as the leader of your expedition is a big deal. Sound leadership is the difference between a great expedition and a miserable, potentially dangerous one and you only want the best in your corner. Mike has an unprecedented safety record, has 6 Everest summits and currently holds the record for most non-Sherpa summits of Cho Oyu. He’s also the author of the guide book “Climbing the Seven Summits,” making him among the most experienced Western guides in the world.

An adventurer by nature, he has skied to the South Pole, cycled unsupported across the United States and completed the famed Seven Summits 6 times. He has competed as a nordic skier, ultra marathoner and cyclist.

His love for the mountains and adventure continues to compel him to travel the globe and connect with the local mountain communities, particularly the Sherpa of the Khumbu region. This bond was his impetus in creating the “Tiger of the Snows Fund” a not-for-profit that provides grants to further education of mountain tourism workers and their families & a portion of each CTSS expedition goes to support the fund.

Mike is a familiar and well respected face in the mountaineering community. He is passionate about imparting his knowledge, skills and experience to inspire others to harness their full potential in the mountains

Climbing the Seven Summits’ primary aim is to help you attain your personal climbing and trekking goals while experiencing the best of our planet, its unique cultures and environments.

We strive to offer the highest quality mountaineering expeditions and treks at a great value while focusing on our primary goals: safety, success, and enjoyment.

We achieve this by bringing our extensive experience, top of the line logistics  individualized service, and world-class guides to each adventure we undertake.

To give our clients the highest possible chance at success we are detailed in our approach, ensuring we’ve dotted our ‘i’s and crossed our ‘t’s. We provide personalized service, employ conservative acclimatization schedules, use top of the line mountaineering, camping and communications gear, hire only the best mountain leaders and we don’t skimp on costs.

Our expeditions strive to set the highest standards and climb in “good style”. By this we mean prioritising the wellbeing and safety of our teams, leaving no trace on the environments we operate in, respecting culture, contributing to local economies by employing regional partners and paying them higher than the industry standard and working in a self-sufficient and self-reliant way. We promote a responsible approach to adventure travel by connecting people to the natural world and giving back to local communities by donating a percentage of every expedition to ‘Tiger of the Snows Fund”

We take immense pride in our expeditions and this shows in the positive feedback we receive from our teams who form lasting friendships forged in the mountains as they work together and overcome tough challenges.

Please visit our Client Testimonials page for quotes reflecting CTSS leadership and experience. If you would like to talk to previous customers as references, please contact us, and we can put you in touch with many satisfied climbers. Please feel free to give us a call or send us an email, and we will be happy to discuss the expedition with you. Joining a climbing or trekking expedition is a big deal, and it’s important to feel comfortable with the expedition leadership. The majority of our clients are return customers because of their overwhelmingly positive experiences.

Denali FAQ

Yes, the mountain tents will be shared accommodations due to limited tent space and the weight of carrying extra tents.

In general, climbing packs on Denali are about as heavy as you will see anywhere.  You will be climbing everything you need for 3 weeks in a cold and extreme environment on your back and in a sled. You will leave base camp with over 100lbs of gear which you will split up to double carry to camps up the mountain. You will then need to cary all of your equipment down and off the mountain in one go.

Yes. Trip delay and cancellation, rescue, repatriation, medical insurance is mandatory for this program for your own benefit. We have seen too many times people need to cancel their trip either before or during the expedition for reasons such as injury, health, family and business matters. With such a long trip and so much at stake, climbers need to be prepared for contingencies.

In general our food on and off the mountain is excellent. There are several good restaurants in Talkeetna and the food on the mountain is first rate. Our partners at AMS take every effort to make sure you have the best, healthiest, lightest, and heartiest food on of any company on Denali.