Denali behind tents at base camp

How to climb Denali: all your questions answered

Our Q&A-style tips on how to climb Denali, gathered from the many questions asked by our readers

Whenever I get back from a big climb, I invariably receive an array of questions about the expedition via email and social media. As usual, I’ve collated them all below in a detailed Q&A that includes all my tips on how to climb Denali. If I’ve missed anything, please do get in touch.

Denali gear list flat lay

Denali gear list: the kit that got me to the top

My complete Denali gear list includes everything you’ll need to summit the highest mountain in North America

Denali in Alaska, USA, stands at a lofty 6,190m (20,310ft), making it North America’s highest mountain and one of the seven summits (the seven peaks that make up the highest point on every continent). 

I recently returned from climbing Denali with American Alpine Institute (AAI). Any good guiding company will issue you a detailed kit list, but I always like to see exactly what others have used. As such, I thought it would be helpful to share my complete Denali gear list for future climbers to reference.

Sleeping system for Denali inside my tent

Steep dreams: my tried and tested sleeping system for Denali

My sleeping system for Denali worked a treat and ensured I always enjoyed a good night’s sleep on North America’s highest peak

The coldest I have ever been in my life was while climbing Denali – hardly surprising considering it’s one of the coldest and windiest places in the USA. During the expedition, there were several times when I felt the cold intensely, so much so that I even suffered some mild frostbite on my fingers after we were delayed on the fixed ropes for several hours. That said, I was never cold when safely cocooned in my sleeping bag. 

most peaceful countries in the world 2020

Ranked: safest countries in the world 2024

The safest countries in the world have been updated for summer 2024. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below

Iceland is the safest country in the world followed by Ireland, Austria, New Zealand and Singapore.

However, the world is not as safe as a year ago as the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated for the 12th time in 16 years. Ninety-seven countries recorded a decline in peacefulness while 65 registered an improvement according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI).

Peter on the summit of Denali

Climbing Denali: a dream almost slips through my fingers

Although it was the natural next step in my bid for the seven summits, climbing Denali proved to be an altogether different beast

At around 6.30pm local time on Tuesday 28 May 2024, six grown men stood on the summit of Denali, the highest peak in North America, crying their eyes out. Among us was a triathlon athlete, a veteran of the Marathon des Sables and an Everest summiteer returning to Denali for his second attempt. One of our group, a Californian who regularly climbed in the Sierras, was on his knees sobbing over his ice axe. I tried to record a video message for Instagram but couldn’t speak through my tears of relief

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7 adventure sailing holidays for your bucket list

From Pacific passages to a global circumnavigation via Cape Horn, here are our favourite adventure sailing holidays

Adventure sailing holidays have the ability to carry passengers to the far reaches of the world, accessing some of the most remote and magnificent scenery the world has to offer.

10 famous trees cut down by humans

Following the felling of the beloved Sycamore Gap tree, we dig into other famous trees cut down by humans

It was an act of vandalism that scandalised a nation. Britain’s iconic Sycamore Gap tree was cut down with a chainsaw in the early hours of 28th September 2023. The senselessness of the act was particularly poignant. There have been other famous trees cut down by humans, but there has usually been a reason: accident, protest, exploitation. In the case of the Sycamore Gap tree, it appears to be sheer malice.

Kia looks out across the Drake Passage

On travelling solo as a small brown woman

“People think they can push me around – sometimes literally,” says Kia as she reflects on the trials of travelling solo

I am not one of those women who move through the world looking sleek, elegant, aloof and inscrutable. You know the ones. They’re usually wearing clothes that are ‘dry clean only’ and their wrists drip with expensive accessories. Men find them attractive but also a little frightening – as if they might turn you to stone if they deigned to look at you.

The countries we most want to see

Seven years after their original list, Kia and Peter revisit the countries they most want to see

In 2017, during a long trip through Asia, I asked Peter a question: if you could see only five countries before you die, what would they be?

My rule was that he couldn’t choose countries he had already visited, nor stateless territories (e.g. Antarctica). Fast forward seven years and he has seen four out of five countries on his original list, so I asked him to come up with a new one. Given that he has been to 100 countries and all seven continents, it wasn’t easy – but he managed it.

A complete travel photography gear guide

We’re often asked about the gear we take on our travels. In response, we have written a detailed and complete travel photography gear guide

I have been involved in film or photography throughout the course of my career: initially as a camera operator, video editor and AV engineer, later as a teacher in digital media, and now as a travel writer.

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25 interesting facts about Colombia

Our curated list of the most interesting facts about Colombia we learnt during our visit

We didn’t plan on staying a month in Colombia. After spending longer than we had planned in the South Pacific, we were wary that we had only six months for an area far larger than what we had seen thus far.

Of course, our journey through Cartagena, Santa Marta, Taganga, Medellin, Guatapé, Popayán and San Agustín warranted more than the two weeks we had planned.

India couple smiling at the camera – happiest countries in the world 2024

Ranked: happiest countries in the world 2024

Finland is the happiest country in the world for the seventh consecutive year. We take a look at the latest World Happiness Report

Happiness is a nebulous thing; hard to grasp and harder to hold onto. Scientists, economists and philosophers have defined it through the ages as a combination of different things, among them health, wealth, companionship and security.

The sun sets over the sea on a section of the English coast. A trail sign is seen in the foreground.

Britain’s best long-distance footpaths: 12 epic treks

Britain’s best long-distance footpaths provide excellent access to the outdoors while showcasing the finest scenery our isles have to offer

When you think of the best long-distance hiking trails from around the world, little old Britain probably wouldn’t top of your list. Hikers will more likely be drawn to the Triple Crown of the Appalachian, Continental Divide and Pacific Crest trails in the US, New Zealand’s Great Walks or the famous Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp treks in Nepal.

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How to choose hiking boots: a beginner’s guide

Our guide on how to choose hiking boots will ensure you enjoy every step of the trail. Here’s how to pick the perfect pair

Footwear is a hiker’s most critical piece of gear. Inappropriate or poorly fitted boots or shoes can spoil a day on the trail and have you wincing with every step. But with a dizzying array of choices, from lightweight trail running shoes to double-layered plastic mountaineering boots and everything in between, knowing where to start can be bewildering.

cleanest air in the world iceland

Which country has the cleanest air in the world?

The countries with the cleanest air in the world have been ranked in a new report. We take a look at the results

The Pacific Island nation of French Polynesia has the world’s cleanest air, according to the latest World Air Quality Report from IQAir. The report ranks 134 countries and territories by the level of fine particulate matter present in the air.

Wheal Coates at sunset – one of the best views in Cornwall

Best views in Cornwall: 12 Instagrammable spots

From the birthplace of King Arthur to the westernmost point of mainland England, these are the best views in Cornwall

It’s easy to see why Cornwall is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. This historic county has over 300 miles of jaw-dropping coastline with rugged cliffs and golden beaches, quaint fishing villages and bustling ports, while inland it boasts ancient forests and dramatic moors.

Hadrian's Wall Path and the best hikes in Northumberland National Park lead image

12 best hikes in Northumberland National Park

The best hikes in Northumberland National Park reveal an underappreciated but utterly delightful expanse of English countryside

Amid the ancient rolling hills between the Scottish border and England’s industrial northeast, you will find Northumberland National Park. England’s most northerly national park is also the least visited in Britain and the least populated in England and Wales with just over 2,000 residents.

How to pass the PADI Open Water Diver course

A step-by-step guide on how to pass the PADI Open Water Diver course

In theory, an expert diver should be writing this post. Logically, he or she could tell you what to expect, give you insider tips and prepare you for the challenge ahead. That said, I have one distinct advantage over the experts: I know exactly how hard it is for nervous first-timers.

the best esim for travel in mexico will allow you to post pictures of suyun cenote

Best things to do in Yucatán State: a 4-day itinerary

From mystical Maya ruins to sun-soaked cenotes, our 4-day itinerary covers the best things to do in Yucatán State

We began our month-long trip through Central America in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It was my first visit to this part of the world and I was keen to visit the ancient Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá – my seventh world wonder – and to explore the region’s famed cenotes (freshwater sinkholes).

15 best hiking apps to download in 2024

We share the best hiking apps to download this year, from navigation and route planning to first aid and stargazing

Occasionally, when Kia and I are driving somewhere remote – the Kalahari in Namibia, say, or the Australian Outback – she will marvel at the fact that travellers used to do this with only paper maps. Unlike me, Kia grew up in inner city London and had little opportunity to venture into the outdoors. As such, she never learnt how to use a compass and map or how to build a campfire, or any number of the skills a frequent hiker should have.