Denali Visual Tour de Camps

Base camp is located at 7,200 on the Southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier.  It can be a bustling place, with the deep drone of aircraft echoing off the surrounding walls.  Here are some images to help readers get a sense of what your friends and family are experiencing on their Denali climb.

Denali BC

Looking southeast across the SE Fork of the Kahiltna.  Mount Hunter is the prominent peak, with the mile-high Moonflower Buttress rising from the glacier.  (Drew Ludwig photo)


Right out of Base Camp the trail descends about 200m down "Heartbreak Hill."  This makes for an easy start to the day, but can be a heartbreak when climbing back up it three weeks later!

Right out of Base Camp the trail descends about 200m down “Heartbreak Hill,” before turning north up the broad Kahiltna Glacier. This makes for an easy start to the day, but can be a heartbreak when climbing back up it three weeks later!  (Jared Vilhauer photo)



Camp 1 is generally situated on the Kahiltna Glacier at about 7,800′, near the base of the first real hill of the ascent. Ski Hill rises about 1,800′ above the camp. Immediately to the east of camp is the Northeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier and a stunning mountain called West Kahiltna Peak.  (D. Ludwig photo)


NE Fork

Looking east from Camp 1, climbers have a great view of Denali on clear days. Here a Mountain Trip team head up the NE Fork, en route to the West Rib, which is the sun/shadow ridge in the center of the image.  (Michael Burmeister photo)


Camp 2

Camp 2 is located in the basin in the center of this image, taken from the peak called Kahiltna Dome, on the W. side if the Kahiltna Glacier, which is at the bottom of the photo.  Camp is right at the bottom of the shadowed basin, and if you look carefully, you can see the trail leading to it.  The West Buttress is the prominent rocky feature above camp, and the south (higher) summit is in the clouds to the right of the top of the W. Buttress. Motorcycle Hill is in the shade immediately above camp, and the big hanging glacier at right is the Upper Peters Glacier.  Windy Corner is the rocky ridge line that drops off the W. Buttress to the right.  (Yoshiko Miazaki-Back photo)


Camp 2 looking west

Looking west/southwest from the 11,200′ camp.  17,500′ Mount Foraker is at the far left and Kahiltna Dome is the rounded, glaciated peak to Foraker’s left.  (Francois Morin photo)


Loking downhill at Windy Corner

Looking downhill at Windy Corner, a prominent feature that drops off the West Buttress proper.  (F. Morin photo)



Camp 3

Looking down at 14,200′ camp from the base of the Headwall, the steep slope that leads to the ridge, which takes climbers to high camp.  (F. Morin photo)


The Headwall

Climbers on the Headwall, the steepest part of the West Buttress route. The ridge leading to high camp trends up and right in the image. The Headwall is fixed with ropes that facilitate protecting climbers from slips.  (F. Morin photo)


Climbers on the ridge leading to high camp.

Climbers on the ridge leading to high camp.  This part of the route is fun, exposed and engaging!  (F. Morin photo)


high camp

Looking south and west across the 17,200′ high camp, with Mt. Foraker in the distance.  (Todd Rutledge photo)



Our friend Sarah Campbell on the Autobahn, the steep traverse that leads up from high camp to the col (saddle) between the North and South summits of Denali.  (T. Rutledge photo)


zebra rocks

Above the Autobahn, the climb to the summit winds past the gray and black Zebra Rocks in this image and continues for hours until the climb up to the final, summit ridge.  (F. Morin photo)


Denali summit ridge

The last stretch to the summit involves crossing the spectacular summit ridge.  The route often follows the crest of this knife-edged feature, with 9,000′ of exposure to the climbers’ right!  The summit is past the small climbers barely visible above the monster cornice.  (F. Morin photo)

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  1. Oye mi amor no da mucho gusto saber de ustedes y de los logros que estan obteniendoque bueno que fue un dia facil para ustedes y que estan trabajando duro estamos muy contentos tambien tu tios felicidades mi amos que dios te bendiga te mandamos muchos besos

  2. Hey Rick! These pixs are great! After viewing them we immediately turned up the thermostat a half a notch, fluffed up our blankets and poured some gin and tonic. Good luck up there! I am not sure what one says to mountain climbers but look out for the yellow snow might be some good advice! Cheerio!

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