Denali Maps & Facts
A Brief History of Denali
Highest Mountain in North America. Denali has always been revered by native Athabascans who inhabit this northern region. The first climbing attempt was made by the Sourdough Expedition (William Taylor and Pete Anderson) utilizing the Muldrow Glacier. They summitted the north peak (19,740’) in 1910. About three years later, in 1913, the true summit was reached. A team comprised of Archdeacon Hudson Stuck, Robert Tatum, Walter Harper and Harry Karstens successfully climbed the south peak. It was Harper, a native Athabascan, who first stood atop North America. Between 1913 and 1950, there were very few ascents of Denali. The landmark achievement, which opened Denali to a larger group of climbers, was Bradford Washburn’s 1951 expedition, which reached the summit of Denali via the West Buttress. Washburn’s team, using a plane fitted with skis to access the Kahiltna Glacier, pioneered the most popular route on the mountain.
As Everest is to the Tibetans, Denali is inseparable from indigenous Alaskan lore. Every native Athabascan who saw Denali towering over their horizon, named it accordingly, the great one or the high one.
Denali (The High One) is the native Athabascan word for North America’s highest peak. It was renamed Mt. McKinley for William McKinley, a one-time presidential nominee, by gold prospector, William Dickey. Common usage has reclaimed the native name, Denali.
First Climbed: 1913, W. Harper, H. Stuck, R. Tatum & H. Karstens
First Climb of West Buttress: 1951, Bradford & Barbara Washburn
Alpine Ascents is an authorized concessionaire of Denali National Park and Preserve.
Capital City: Juneau
Admission to Statehood: January 3, 1959
Area: 656,425 sq. mi,
Constitution: 49th State
Bird: Willow Ptarmigan/Mosquito
Flower: Forget Me Not
Motto: North To The Future
Origin of state's name: Based on an Aleut word "alaxsxaq" literally meaning "object toward which the action of the sea is directed" or more simply "the mainland".
Location: 58.388N, 134.133W
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