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Mt. Aconcagua

Mt. McKinley

Mt. Kosciuszko

Mt. Elbrus

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Everest

Mt. Vinson

 

Elevation 6,193.6 metres (20,320 ft)
Location Alaska, USA
Range Alaska Range
Coordinates 63°4'10"N, 151°0'26"W
First ascent 1913 Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, Robert Tatum
Our route West Buttress Route (glacier/snow climb)
 

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.

As 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 strong winds.

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.

Climbing McKinley

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.

McKinley Summit