standard Denali , America’s highest peak

Mt._McKinley,_Denali

Denali - Alaska

Mount McKinley or Denali located in Alaska, USA , is Amerca’s highest mountain peak with a summit elevation of 20,320 feet (6,194 m) above sea level.  Denali is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve. Mount McKinley has a larger bulk and rise than Mount Everest, although the summit of Everest is higher at 29,029 feet (8,848 m).

Mount McKinley has two significant summits: the South Summit is the higher one, while the North Summit has an elevation of 19,470 feet (5,934 m) and a prominence of approximately 1,320 feet (402 m). The North Summit  is rarely climbed, except by those doing routes on the north side of the massif.

mount-mckinley alaska

Mount Mckinley , Alaska

Temperature

McKinley is  perhaps the coldest mountain in the world outside of Antarctica its combination of great height, high latitude, and terrible weather are literally unique. The summit area is always below zero degrees Fahrenheit, and ferocious wind lashes the peak almost all the time.

Temperatures as low as −75.5 °F (−59.7 °C) and windchills as low as −118.1 °F (−83.4 °C) have been recorded by an automated weather station located at 18,700 feet (5,700 m).

Climbing Denali

Although considered a technically easy climb by the most popular routes, an ascent of McKinley is a serious undertaking made difficult by the cold, the weather, and the sheer scale of the massive mountain. On average during the past few years, about 1000 climbers attempt the summit per season, 500 make it, and 3 die. The climbing season runs from mid-April until mid-July, since before then it is too cold, and after that too stormy and the snow too mushy and unstable from too much sun

denali summit

Denali Summit

The standard route is the technically easy West Buttress, which starts at a glacier airplane runway at 7200 ft . The standard rule is to allow three weeks for the climb, and to be prepared to spend a week of that holed up in your tent waiting for the weather to clear. Other routes include: the Muldrow Glacier route, technically easy but involving a long approach over the tundra from the north , the West Rib, a more challenging climb involving a steep couloir , and the Cassin Ridge, a committing and difficult rock climb.

Winter climbing Denali involves incredible risks not because of its mountaineering challenge.  Some of the world’s best climbers have either disappeared or perished being frozen to death . Denali in winter time has one of  the most hostile environments on this planet.

Mt McKinley Denali

Mt McKinley - Aerial View

Denali facts

  • Elevation – 20,320 ft (6,194 m)
  • First ascent –  June 7, 1913 by Hudson Stuck ,Harry Karstens, Walter Harpr and Robert Tatum
  • Easiest route –  West Buttress Route
  • Prominence – 20,156 ft (6,144 m)
  • Record – Amerca’s highest peak

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