Each year, beginning in late April or early May, climbers from around the world arrive in Alaska, intent to attempt the tallest mountain in North America, Denali. At 20,310 feet (6190 m), it rises a full 18,000 feet 5486 m) above its surrounding landscape. It has the highest vertical rise of any planet on earth, and due to its location so close to the Arctic Circle, it can essentially make its own weather, and typically not the hot and sunny kind of weather!
Denali means “The Great One” in the language of the local indigenous people and it qualifies on all levels. It is a difficult undertaking and suitable only for the most fit and well prepared climbers. Mountain Trip is fortunate to have been able to help climbers test their mettle on the mountain’s heavily glaciated flanks for over 40 years and we are thrilled to welcome the climbers of our May 15, 2017 expedition to Alaska.
Yesterday, a group of climbers from a diverse background and different cultures gathered in Anchorage, Alaska to finalize their preparations for an attempt of the classic West Buttress route on Denali. They were joined by a team of our guides for an expedition orientation, as well as an equipment check, at the Lakefront Hotel on the shore of Lake Hood the Anchorage float plane base, the world’s busiest sea plane base, handling, on average, 190 planes per day.
This morning, the team loaded up in a van provided by Mountain Trip and is making the drive north to the small, end of the road town of Talkeetna, Alaska, the launching point for most Denali expeditions. They will attend a mandatory orientation provided by the National Park Service, weigh their bags and load onto ski-equipped planes flown by our friends at Talkeetna Air Taxi, for the short flight into the heart of the rugged Alaska Range.
Joining us on this adventure are:
They will be accompanied by the following Mountain Trip guides:
We encourage you to follow the team as they spend the next two to three weeks climbing Denali. They will call in auidio posts from the glacier on a regular basis, but please understand that they might well miss a day or two. Often, it is hard to get a good satellite phone connection from deep in the Alaska Range, and calls might be unintelligible or cut short. While the climbers will not see comments appended to their trip dispatches until they are off the mountain, please leve a record of your warm thoughts and good wishes!