Dave Helland, Fischer Hazen and Matt Park are standing on the summit of Denali! They’ve been working hard for weeks, climbing up and down a couple routes in order to reach the top of North America.
They awoke early this morning, brewed up and sorted their gear as they gazed upwards, wondering if the day would continue as clear as it had dawned. They made great time climbing up the steep and exposed traverse that leads a thousand feet up to Denali Pass, a stretch known in the dark humor of Alaska climbers as “The Autobahn” for a party of German climbers that slipped decades ago. Climbing above Denali Pass, the low point between Denali’s lower, South Summit and the North Summit, they passed through some steep sections of snow and a mile of rolling, more gently rising terrain before arriving at a flat expanse of glacier known as The Football Field.
A moderately steep ascent of the 500′ Pig Hill saw them to the summit ridge and finally to the top of the continent. Fischer describes the conditions on top as being “gloveless,” which is pretty remarkable for so far north.
Here is the team –