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Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley) - is the tallest mountain in North America, and the third highest of the Seven Summits. First climbed in July 1913, now it is one of the most popular destinations attracting adventurers looking for an unforgettable journey from all over the world. It is important to keep in mind that 6000 meters on the Denali is equivalent to approximately 7500 meters somewhere in the Himalayas. Of course, this is not a precise reference, but only related to how these vertical meters makes your body feel.
Climbing season on Denali is very short, and it is quite difficult to say which month in particularly is the best one to climb: at the beginning of the season you have to deal with -30-40 degrees below zero while at the end of the season when it is much warmer you face a risk of falling into crevasse. At the beginning of the season the weather is slightly more stable than at the end. If you are not afraid of queues on the fixed ropes and overcrowded high camps, then choose the very middle of the season. It won't be so cold, and perhaps the glaciers will still be quite passable.
Most of the companies have narrow number of starting dates of the climbs. That limits the travelers flexibility and not always convenient.
We are different in that approach and offer a vast variety of starting dates - almost every day - to fit your schedules and desires.
“Climbing Mt. McKinley with Alpine Ascents transformed a cold, logistically complicated climb into a rewarding, simple, and even socially rewarding experience. The food was plentiful and nourishing and the climbing schedule was demanding but sensible. These guys have been up the mountain long enough to dial in what works. Overall, if you want a good shot at climbing a tough mountain, go with Alpine Ascents”.
“I can’t say enough good things about the guide team I had. Peter took command and control of every situation and made the correct decision every time. I would like to do Mt. Vinson and I would definitely sign up with AAI if Peter was guiding the expedition. Kristie and Robin were fantastic as well. They knew the right balance of helping out when in need and when to push the team a little harder”.
"The expedition has been a great experience in every way. All the factors that intervene in this program make it literally an incredible experience for a lifetime. The landscape, strong and great leadership of the team of guides make the expedition to Denali something that can be fully enjoyed".
"All three guides were very patient and hands on, helping everyone in the team whether it was with new skills or refreshing exciting ones. There was plenty of practical learning/teaching before we ever left Talkeetna, not to mention on the mountain itself. Plus all three guides had great anecdotes!"
"Climbing Denali with this Alpine Ascents team has been the highlight of my mountaineering experience. This was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but our team had great chemistry and worked together towards the goal of everyone making the summit together. Best trip I’ve ever been on".
There is signal on some sections of the route. We recommend you to use the satellite phone, since it weighs not much more than a cell phone, but it works at any point of the route.
For snacks on the mountain during the day and at night, consider getting additional items such as energy bars, gorp, candy, cheeses, sausage, jerky, bagels, crackers, drink mix and etc. About 15 lbs. total for two weeks is normal. Variety is the key.
Denali requires proficiency in basic mountaineering skills, including: expedition camping skills, cramponing, walking on snow, self-arrest, crevasse rescue and glacier travel on a rope team. Take a course if needed to excel your skills.
All climbers are required to register with the ranger’s station located in the city of Talkitna, at least 60 days before the beginning of the expedition. Registration and payment for permission can be made online with a credit card on the official Denali National Park website.
Keep in mind that there are no porters on Denali, and you will have to carry all your expedition cargo yourself. This means that for at least a week for 6-8 hours a day you will travel with a backpack weighing up to 25 kilograms on your shoulders and with sledges weighing up to 30 kilograms.
There is a limit of 1,500 climbers on Denali from April 1 to August 1. There is not a daily or weekly limit, only a seasonal limit.