Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Climbing Mt McKinley

Climbers ascend the summit ridge of Mount McKinley in June. Mount Foraker is in the background. Of the 1,223 climbers who attempted the tallest peak in North America this season, 55 percent reached the summit - including more than four dozen on June 20. Most ascended the popular West Butress. But perhaps the most noteworthy Alaska Range climb this year was a previously unclimbed route up the southeast side of 17,400-foot Mount Foraker, one of the biggest unclimbed faces remaining in the central Alaska Range.The Anchorage newspaper has lots of stats on the 2010 climbs of Mt McKinley. Read the whole thing here.

“Altogether, 670 of the 1,223 climbers who attempted Mount McKinley this year reached the summit -- or 55 percent. That's slightly above normal…

The overwhelming majority (1,136) of this year's climbers used the popular West Buttress route. Cassin Ridge was the second most popular route, with 24 climbers attempting it.

‘I think there may have been a dropoff in what you might call the adventurous spirit,’ Gentzel said. ‘More and more people are trending towards the path of least resistance, with not a lot of new backcountry objectives.’”

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