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. 

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

adventure sailing holidays-svalbard

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.

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.

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.

how to choose hiking boots

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.

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.

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.

A scene from Antarctica

32 best books about Antarctica: updated for 2024

From harrowing accounts of survival to a heartwarming tale of a rescued penguin, we list our favourite books about Antarctica

The most inhospitable place on Earth is an engrossing setting for any story, be it fictional or factual. Unsurprisingly, Antarctica’s literary canon is filled with tales of tragedy and/or survival against the odds. It would be easy, then, to fill this list with biographies of Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton alone. But Antarctica deserves attention beyond its tales of tragedy.

A vibrant sunset over staple tor in Dartmoor National Park

10 best hikes in Dartmoor National Park

The best hikes in Dartmoor National Park showcase the very finest of England’s wildest landscape

I’ve always been fond of Dartmoor. I first visited as a child on a family holiday and I’ve returned regularly ever since to scope out the best Dartmoor hikes. Famous for its wild ponies, open moorland and craggy granite tors (free-standing rocky outcrops that rise abruptly from the surroundings), it is one of the few genuinely wild places left in England.

The UN world food programme helps the world's poorest countries

Poorest countries in the world 2024 – ranked

African nations continue to dominate the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank

We all have preconceptions about places. Take Ethiopia, for example. As children of the eighties, Kia and I were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia has faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine.

It was easy then to imagine a vast desolate dust bowl ahead of our visit in 2017. 

Siberian tiger in Russia – one of the countries where you can see tigers in the wild

Countries where you can see tigers in the wild

From the Russian taiga to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, we profile the places and countries where you can see tigers in the wild

A century ago, as many as 100,000 wild tigers stalked the planet but by the dawn of the 21st century, that figure had plummeted by around 95% largely due to habitat loss and poaching. Current numbers are hard to confirm – tigers are masters of camouflage after all – but estimates by the Global Tiger Forum put the global population at approximately 5,574 in 2023.

A tiger crosses a riverbed while visiting Jim corbett

Tips for visiting Jim Corbett National Park: 12 dos and don’ts

Our essential tips for visiting Jim Corbett National Park, India’s legendary tiger reserve in the foothills of the Himalayas

The state of Uttarakhand in India, bordering China and Nepal, takes its name from the Sanskrit words uttara meaning ‘north’ and khaṇḍa meaning ‘land’. To Hindus, it’s known as Devbhoomi – the land of the gods – because of its cluster of high-altitude shrines shrouded in mist.

Lenin's bust surrounded by snow

Poles of inaccessibility: the middle of nowhere

The poles of inaccessibility are arguably the true last frontiers for explorers. But what and where are they?

I’ve long been fascinated with the most remote places on Earth and the epic journeys of discovery to reach them. I’ve spent countless long mornings in bed leafing through giant reference books on the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration and even longer afternoons poring over immense maps detailing epic quests across untamed oceans.

A turtle seen while snorkelling Baros Reef Maldives

Snorkelling Baros Reef in the Maldives

Snorkelling Baros Reef in the Maldives offers encounters with turtles, sharks and octopuses just steps away from powdery white sand

The private island of Baros in the North Male atoll of the Maldives is one of our favourite places on Earth. We first visited in 2012 on a press trip with flights, accommodation and all excursions included.

America's most dangerous hikes

Not for novices: America’s most dangerous hikes

From an exposed ridge on a Colorado fourteener to a remote Hawaiian jungle trail, these are America’s most dangerous hikes

While most will – and do – complete these hikes unscathed, the trails can be perilous enough that a spot of bad luck, small mistake or slight miscalculation can leave you seriously injured, or even dead.

Exposure, crevasses, avalanches – all the usual threats can be found on America’s most dangerous hikes. But there are also a few wildcards here that can turn a walk in the park into a dice with death. Huckleberries, anyone?