||6,193.6 metres (20,320
||1913 Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens,
Walter Harper, Robert Tatum
||West Buttress Route (glacier/snow
On May 23, 2004 Alan Mallory age 19 and father Dan
Mallory age 53 flew from Toronto to Anchorage Alaska,
from where we flew to base camp at Mt. McKinley.
Mt. McKinley (also known as Denali), at 20,320 feet
high, is the highest mountain in North America and one
of the most difficult mountains to climb. It receives
winds of over 100 miles per hour and occasionally up
to 200 miles per hour, severe temperatures below zero,
and because it’s atmospheric pressure is less
than mountains near the equator, its affect on the body
is equivalent to a mountain 2,000-3,000 feet higher.
On arriving in Anchorage, we learned that there were
two mountain rescues that week from falls into crevasses.
We realized that we would be climbing on the Kahiltna
Glacier for most of the climb and with 35 bodies still
left on the mountain, we knew that we had a challenge
facing us. We also learned that only 17% of the summit
attempts that year had been successful.
we progressed up the mountain, each camp required an
excavation into the snow and/or a wall of ice blocks
around the tent along with multiple anchors supporting
the tent to ensure that it did not get blown away by
Some climbers were turned back at “windy corner”
that regularly has winds exceeding 100 miles/hour because
of the “Venturi Affect” along with the 5
feet of fresh snow. Fortunately, we were able to make
our way through this area late in the morning.
At basin camp at 14,200 feet, we commenced to climb
the 2000 foot headwall with the last 800 feet being
almost vertical to drop off half of our provisions at
17,200 foot high camp only to return to basin camp to
repeat the effort the following day and to remain at
high camp the second night completely exhausted.
On June 4, 2004, we departed high camp at 5:15am arriving
at the summit of Mt. McKinley on a beautiful clear sunny
day taking in the magnificent 360 degree vista before
returning to high camp arriving at 5pm. A magnificent
and challenging mountain.