Last May a group of Dutch SOF operators went to Alaska to climb the 6194 meter high summit of the
Denali mountain. The Denali is considered as one of the coldest mountains on planet Earth, where
temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius are no exception. The utmost is demanded not only of the
operators, but also of the materiel used during the ascent of this summit. The expedition offered the
opportunity to test various kinds of equipment that are also used operationally by the operators
In preparation of this expedition, it was decided to use Halite Tupilaq bags to bring materiel
during the climb and to temporarily store it at various camps. Through cooperation with the
Forsvarets Spesialkommando FSK the Dutch SOF operators came into contact with these bags, but
they also had little to no experience with the use of Halite bags at extreme heights and cold.
During the expedition, the Halite bags were mainly used on the pulks (snow sleds) in which
each expedition member carried extra food, fuel and equipment. The equipment of the expedition
members was between 50 and 60 kilos.
At the top of Motorcycle Hill (4000 meters) a large dump (cache) was made where the
Tupilaqs were left behind, securing them in place with straps and ice screws. Due to the extreme cold
and bad weather, the Halite bags could not be reached for a number of days.
After a week, the bags were barely visible above a thick layer of snow. After excavating them,
the contents turned out to be completely dry and untouched by the elements. The extra expedition
clothing, food and fuel could be used for the remainder of the expedition without any problems.
The Tupilaq has proven its worth on all fronts during the expedition and has done what it was
supposed to do, protecting and keeping essential equipment dry to carry out the climb. After 14
expedition days, the team had to turn around at 5200 meters due to the dangerous conditions on the