Denali, “The Great One,” rises a full 18,000′ (5486 m) from the surrounding landscape in southcentral Alaska. At 20,310 feet (6190 m), it is the tallest mountain in North America and one of the famed Seven Summits. Despite being the third highest of the Seven, it has more vertical relief than Mount Everest, and many climbers would argue that an ascent of Denali is even harder than climbing to the top of the world.
Climbers are drawn north to test themselves on the mountain for many reasons, but once they arrive, they become a team, as teams are much stronger than any individual. At Mountain Trip, we are fortunate to help climbers from around the globe develop into climbing teams as we assist their experience during expeditions on Denali that can last over three weeks. These climbers have trained for months to prepare themselves and assemble the equipment and specialized clothing necessary to spend weeks at high altitude, just below the Arctic Circle.
On May 22nd, a team of climbers will assemble in Anchorage, Alaska to finalize those months of preparation. Under the advisement of a team of experienced mountain guides, they will continue to process of forging themselves into a team and on the 23rd, they will head north to board small, ski-equipped airplanes that will fly them deep into the remote Alaska Range to set forth up heavily glaciated terrain on their attempt to climb to the top of Denali.
On this particular team, we have four members of the Wheeler family climbing together. As a father, I can think of no greater joy than to have that sort of experience with my sons!
Let’s meet the climbers!
And our Mountain Trip guides:
We encourage you to follow their adventure. The team will call in updates via satellite phone from the Alaska Range, sharing their experiences with you in their own words. Please understand that such phone calls are difficult at times, given the far northern latitude of the mountain and the tall peaks and ridges that can easily block phone call transmissions. Having a day or two gap between updates is the norm for the Alaska Range, so we hope that you can hold onto the age-old adage, “No News Is Good News!”
We encourage you to append your comments to their posts, as climbers love to read through your thoughts and kind wishes after they come down from the mountain. There is no good way to pass all the comments to the team in real time, but if you ever need to get word to your friends or loved ones, please email or call the Mountain Trip office in Telluride, Colorado.