Saturday, April 26, 2008


Packing food for up to 26 days on the mountain was a challenge. Considering the exertion and cold, we will need about 6,000 calories per person per day. That is hard to do, considering that you don't have much of an appetite at elevation. Everthing has to be high calorie, appetizing, easy to prepare, and light.

For the first two weeks in April, Andy dried industrial quantities of veggies in a food dehydrator that his mother-in-law, Laurette, bought for his birthday. Altogether, Andy dried 12 lbs of onions; 6 lbs each of mushrooms, peas, bell peppers, carrots, zuccini, potatoes, and eggplant; and 3 lbs each of celery and corn. After drying, a full produce bag of mushrooms, for example, fit in 1/4 of a quart zip lock bag.

In mid-April, Ben flew up to Portland for a long weekend to pack food and climb Mt. Hood with Steve (Andy had to work). We made 6 different dinners (3 of each) for 18 days to be eaten at 14,000 ft. or below, and we bought 7 days of freeze dried dinners for high camp. Breakfasts alternate between hot and cold cereal, breakfast bars and "greasy breakfast" for rest days (powdered eggs, dried potatoes and onions, and bacon - all fried in Crisco). Lunches alternate between peanut butter & honey, turkey salami, and lunch bars/GORP. In addition, we have soup, various drinks and treats. When we checked out of the grocery store, the cashier told us we were his "career high" order - about $1,000.

Here are the dinner main courses:

We took everything to Steve's basement, layed it out on tables, and started assembling. We removed all packaging and combined all ingredients for a meal into one or two zip lock bags. We then grouped three meals for each day into a larger bag and labeled everything. That way, when we take a carry to a higher camp, we'll know for sure we have the right number and type of meals. Our goal was 2 lbs/person/day, and we came in right on budget.

Here is what the meals look like assembled. We will mail the food, stoves and empty fuel containers to Talkeetna so we don't have to deal with security restrictions on the airlines.


Anonymous said...

Wow - Good Luck - Have a great trip. Your blog has fantastic detail. We will be thinking of you and looking forward to a safe return. - Celeen

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