Denali. “The Great One.” Mount McKinley.
By any name, the behemoth that dominates south central Alaska is something to behold in awe and to treat with the utmost respect. For climbers, the mountain presents what many might consider the challenge of a lifetime, as they pit themselves against brutal winds, arctic temperatures and the thin air of 6000 meters above sea level. Most people would not consider those attributes to be too conducive for a holiday away from work and the complexities of life, but for a select few, it is just that– a challenge and an opportunity to learn lessons about life, while slipping free from the pressures of “civilization,” as they transition into a slow, rhythmic pace of life on the glacier.
On May 16th, a team of climbers with very different backgrounds began the process of forging themselves into a team that will work together each day for a period of over two weeks as they climb higher and higher up the slopes of North America’s highest peak. Teamwork is essential on an expedition, and this team will start the process with a group meeting at the Millennium Alaska Hotel, where three guides from Mountain Trip reviewed each climber’s equipment, and help them finalize their packing and preparations for their ascent of Denali.
Let’s meet the team!
- Jason Ahlan is from Canada
- Caroline Le Jour is also from Canada
- Rob Mortell is from Ireland
- Ray Nadeson is from Australia
- Tashi and Nungshi Malik are twin sisters from India
Our Mountain Trip guides are:
Yoshiko Miyasaki-Back is from Nevada
Brian Muller is from Utah
Alan Rousseau is from Washington State
We first met the Malik twins on Aconcagua last January, where they were rays of sunshine during some very snowy and windy days. They are climbing in support of empowering young Indian women, and as part of their efforts, Nungshi and Tashi became the first twin sisters to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. They are climbing the famed Seven Summits to raise awareness for the challenges and plight of young women in India. To date, they have reached the top of Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Elbrus, Carstensz Pyramid and Everest. Mountain Trip is pleased that we can be a small part of their journey and we invite you to visit their website to learn more about their mission.
As the team makes its way up Denali, we will do our best to post regular updates from the field. We invite you to follow along, but ask for your patience with the challenges of communicating regularly from such a rugged area. The climbers will try to call in audio posts from the field, but if a day or two should pass with no updates, well… that’s the challenge of life in the big, cold mountains!
The team has been busy training for the climb and some members have shared pictures of their training: