Video: Self guided Alaska expeditions involve more than just gazing out of your tent at Mount Hunter while your “Kahiltna concierge” stirs the oatmeal. For example, motel room beds are quite useful for food packaging, and you can carbo up while stuffing baggies full of raisins.
Update: Evan’s take:
Getting the food together for this trip was a process that began months ago. In order to create a menu that was high calorie (shooting for 4-6,000/day), relatively light, would keep well, and hopefully taste good I had to do some serious research. The team decided early on that they did not want any prepared freeze dried meals (too many less than favorable memories in the past). I was however able to find a free dried food provider for all of our vegetables, meat, and dairy that claimed it made tasty foods with no added preservatives. The cans of freeze dried turkey scared all of us, but the taste was mostly palatable. In the game of climbing, there are many sacrifices that must be made.
After sourcing and researching many of the key elements of our menu, it came time to throw it all together. An initial menu was created and sent to the team for input, suggestions were added, and the number of days of food were finalized. All said, we will be flying onto the glacier with 7 different breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners, 3 deserts, and a mountain of drink mixes. We have enough for for 4 people for 45 days on the glacier, which by our calculations seems like enough food for a normal human being to eat comfortably for a year.
When we got to Anchorage I created a shopping list and we went shopping. For those of you who didn’t think it was possible to buy Sam’s Club and Walmart our of anything, well we did… The mountain of food that we created in the back of Jordan’s truck was incredible!
We moved all of it into our already jam packed room by piling all of our gear on our beds (and therefore eliminating the chance of refuge) and began repackaging everything and forming our meals. Original packaging was removed, quantities were measured and thrown in Ziplocks, followed by ice bags, than sand bags. Finally, the bags were color coded and sealed based on part of the trip and the contents were labeled. This process took an entire day, and produced an uncomfortable amount of trash… At one point we also made the mistake of leaving the door to our room open which earned us many terrible looks from guests at the hotel and may have caused the maid to quit — she took one look in our room and said “Oh no, very bad!” We cleaned things up as best as we could when we left, even borrowing a vacuum cleaner from the lobby, but we fear the emotional damage to that poor lady may be irreversible.
Time to load the truck back up and see how much we will need to strap to the roof!
Sixty degrees? Welcome to Anchorage I guess. The warm weather and rush hour traffic is both an unwelcome and welcome change from Alaska Highway. The hustle of Anchorage is somewhat overwhelming. Since arriving, we’ve taken care of a few chores such as trying to figure out our satellite blogging system (still trying to get it dialed!) and laughing at Anton as he scurries around AMH picking up a couple small pieces of gear he left sitting in his apartment in Aspen.
After a Costco trip that cost us more than my first Subaru we are ready to repack the truck and head north (Can you say “breakfast at the Roadhouse”? :)). We have set to work repackaging our food into individual meals. Coming with us to the Kahiltna is 45 days of food for four people, or, to look at it another way, enough food for 1 person to eat (4-6000 Cal/day) for half a year. We hope to finish up in Anchorage by Friday (tomorrow) morning. It’s been more than a week since I’ve been on snow and our flight into the Kahiltna can’t come soon enough.
Aaron Diamond hails out of Jackson Wyoming, he’s a big mountain snowboarder and guides in Chile during summers.