Mountain Page   Home     Help   Index     Login
Denali (Mount McKinley)  Alaska   #4368
Ranges: North America Ranges / Alaska Ranges

Height: 6190 m <- 20310 feet
Prominence?: 6140 m  

Location:   63.06922,-151.00670     63:04:09, -151:00:24   5V 600715 6994864   AreaCode: GP31/AA60
First Ascent: Saturday June 07, 1913 Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, Robert Tatum
Southwest Side of Denali
This peak is #1 on the Height List for Alaska . This peak is #1 in Prominence List for Alaska .Located in the central portion of the Alaska Range, which spans much of south central Alaska. It is approximately 130 miles (210 km) north-northwest of Anchorage and 155 miles (250 km) southwest of Fairbanks. In 1989, a survey determined the mountain's elevation to be 6189 m, but for some reason most maps stick to the less accurate 1956 survey height of 6194 m, no doubt because nobody wants to see a mountain diminish in stature. It is the highest mountain in North America and its prominence parent is Chimborazo in Ecuador.

Name Notes: In 1896, the mountain was named for William McKinley, the Republican nominee for president, by a gold prospector, William Dickey. When asked why he named the mountain after McKinley, Dickey replied that the verbal bludgeoning he had received from the numerous silver miners had inspired him to retaliate with the name of a strong proponent of the gold standard. The native Athabascans called the mountain Denali--the High One. In 1980, the State of Alaska officially changed the name of the mountain to Denali. The U.S. federal government followed suit with the name change on August 31, 2015.

1. West Buttress Route (1951) Bradford Washburn party. Buttress is steep, high altitude and weather.. This is the most common route up the peak. People fly in via float plane from Talkeetna, and land with skis on the glacier at 7700' on the park boundary. Then relay loads up the Kahiltna Glacier to just below Kahiltna pass, then swing east and ski up toward Windy Corner. There is a big camp at 14,500 feet below the West Buttress itself. Then climb the steep snow slope to the West Buttress on permanent fixed rope. Then along the ridge to Denali Pass and then the summit.
2. Muldrow Glacier Route (1913.06.07) Rev. Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Robert Tatum, Walter Harper. Long approach. Since air support is not permitted within park boundaries, climbers must walk in from Wonder Lake, or use skis to reach the park entrance. Overland distance is 140 km. From wonder lake, descend to McKinley R, then follow E fork of Clearwater Cr to Cache creek and McGonagall Pass (1740m). This distance of 35km takes 3 or 4 days. From McGonagall Pass, follow N side of Muldrow Glacier to the lower icefall, a distance of 8 km. Find a way thru the lower icefall along right edge and pass along the base of Pioneer Ridge, then back into the center and up to the 2600m (8500') level opposite Mt Carpe. Here, turn left and go S along flanks of Mt Carpe and Mt Koven toward Karsten's notch at 3330m (10,900'). From the notch, gain the knife edge of Karstens ridge and go up 1.6 km to a prominent step at 3690m (12,100'), the only good campsite on the ridge. Continue along ridge to Browne Tower at 4450m 14,600'. The ridge is the hardest part of the climb and usually requires at least 200m fixed rope. From Browne Tower go N thru Parker pass and find a passage thru the first icefall at 4870m (16,000'). Continue thru second icefall at 5180m (17,000') and beyond to Denali pass 5584m (18320') and on to the summit.

Trips within 1 km
60 2019.05.30 Denali - unepic West Buttress expedition Serguei Okountsev
87 1996.05.05 Mount McKinley Expedition Fred Touche
35 1978.07.01 McKinley West Buttress Route (July 1978) Route Robin Tivy
50 1978.06.28 My Mount McKinley Disappointment in 1978 - Original Journal Notes Robin Tivy

2013.10.01 Official Summit Elevation Raised Fred Touche
2011.03.31 Climbing History of Mount McKinley Robin Tivy

Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
20 Mount McKinley from near Stony Hill Overlook Martin Berka
14 Zoom of Mount McKinley from near Stony Hill Overlook Martin Berka
13 Climbing Toward Denali's West Buttress Fred Touche
11 Denali and Foraker Aerial Kevin Altheim
10 Upper West Buttress on Denali Fred Touche
9 Southwest Side of Denali Brian Friedrich
6 Denali - East Side Closeup Kevin Altheim
5 The Summit of Mount McKinley Wanda La Claire
2 Mount McKinley from a Plane Wanda La Claire

Placename Photos
15 Hunter, Denali, and Huntington Brian Friedrich
5 Denali West Buttress (AK) Serguei Okountsev