Eli PotterEli Potter

I have lived in Alaska for most of the past two decades and have managed to guide and climb around the state as well as all over the world during these years, but I am always pleasantly surprised to return home to what I consider the most pristine mountain paradise on Earth!  For the past 15 years I have been carving out a homestead in McCarthy, Alaska in the heart of Wrangell St. Elias National Park.  It is a quirky off the grid community situated at the base of a giant glacier leading up to 5000 meter mountains at the head of the valley.

My wife, Aria and I operate a small guide service/outdoor gear shop/air taxi there seasonally (you have to wear a lot of hats to make a living in Alaska!) called Wild Alpine.  In the winters we migrate to the greater Anchorage area and guide ski touring and ice climbing in the mountains around Anchorage and Girdwood.

Every spring for the past several years I have been happy to incorporate a trip or two on Denali as a guide for Mountain Trip.  There are tens of thousands of amazing remote mountains in Alaska, but there is only one “Great One”  It is a massif that is so complex and so rewarding to stand on top that a lifetime could be spent on this peak alone.  I think the variations and sub-ridges will keep me coming back to Denali for a long time.  I enjoy the tight friendships I make with my climbers as we collectively try to get to the top.

I enjoy the company of guides who I have worked around for years and I enjoy watching time change the various spots of the mountain from year to year.  I am extremely proud to have been invited to join the Mountain Trip Family.  After watching commercial trips from afar on Denali for over a decade, I decided Mountain Trip was the operation I most admired, as I really dug there style!

By being a Mountain Trip Guide, I am honored to join the ranks of many of my climbing heroes and mentors, Gary Bocarde and Mugs Stump to name a couple, but I also get to work alongside the legends of the next generation and am always excited to return to my climbing season on Denali.


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