You can also find this post and a variety of other interesting reads on the Mammut Athlete Team Blog.
Got out my Heron Pro and put together my pack for Denali today: 3 ropes, 2 full racks, 8 liters of water, and ankle weights. Sound to you like a savvy packing list for heading out onto the Kahiltna Glacier for a month? Me neither. But of course, packing for Denali begins long before the climb, with plenty of training and prep beforehand. This season I'll be guiding both Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated's (RMI) first-ever AlaskanAlpine Seminar and a Denali/McKinley Climb, so I'll have both heavy and light packs on for over a month on the cliffs, couloirs, and glaciers around this proud mountain. And while the ice season with Adventure Spirit Rock+Ice+Alpine provided plenty of training for those steep couloirs, I do need to stretch the legs, fill the lungs, and condition the back a bit for Denali's notoriously beastly loads.
Having recently joined the Mammut team, I'm looking forward to testing and reporting back on how the Heron Pro goes at carrying those beastly loads. Even in the training phase, as I try to fill it up with everything, the kitchen sink, and the stove, I'm impressed by its seemingly insatiable maw. I'm also liking the rotational carriage system on the waist-belt, tempering sheer brawn with some degree of elegance in movement. I'll be out on the glacier until early June, but I'm looking forward to delivering a full report when I'm back down. In the meantime, wishing everyone a strong start to the climbing season!