Friday, May 28, 2010

Killing some time today and did some research on Denali aka Mt. McKinley. Considered one of the seven summits of the world, Denali reaches 20,321 feet above sea level. The first recorded climb was back in 1913 and the most popular route up the West Buttress saw its first ascent in 1951.

According to Wikipedia, Denali has a larger bulk and rise than Everest. The base of Denali sits at 2,000 feet and gains 18,000 feet in rise. It's sort of cold up there. The average temps are as low as -75.5 degrees Fahrenheit coupled with windchill as low as -118.1. The mountain houses five glaciers and has two summits.

Despite being one of the colder places on the planet, the biggest challenges mountaineers face is altitude sickness due to Denali's high latitude. Three people had to be evacuated from the mountain in the past couple of days as a result of various altitude complications.

Alpine Ascents International offers a 21 day Denali trip for those who are itching to get some big mountain experience. Prior to heading up to the Alaska range, they advise clients to prepare six months in advance. You have to be able to sustain 8 hours of climbing up hill with 50 pounds on your back and able to carry a 40 pound sled. You should be able to fully recover in an 8-12 hour time period and sustain this activity for 21 days straight. This is not for the faint of heart.

Interesting in going?

I'm not sure what sounds more intriguing - freezing on an enormous mountain or doing some liquid mountaineering?

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